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2005-11-16 India Pictures

Roads in Hassan On the way up to the Jain statue The Jain statue is being cleaned Cucumbers being sold by the side of the road

Harsha had left the previous night, and we stayed one more night at his uncle’s and aunt’s place. The two were very nice indeed! I remember how Harsha’s uncle showed us the water filter they had installed in the kitchen, and he led us to the garage where he had big stacks of books and pointing out the water tank he had installed. We looked at the microwave, the waffle iron, the juice-making machine, the gas stove, and all the spices in the kitchen. And I remember Harsha’s aunt sitting with us as we ate, talking about religion, marriage customs, young people these days, her son in England, how he had met his wife, the home sickness, the lingering fear of being abandoned by your children in your old age, and working life.

This was the day we were going to leave for Hassan. When we arrived, we knew very little about places we wanted to see, but thinking about the temples in Halebid and Belur, and the Jain statue in Sravanabelgola, the little time we had left, we decided to stay in Hassan. Our guide book suggested to take it easy, ignore Hassan, and stay in one of the much simpler hostels in one of the three temple towns. Hassan was dirty, loud, busy, and the other towns were nice, remote, interesting – mysterious!

We didn’t have the time, however, since we had called Noufal in Bangalore, and we had decided to spend the coming weekend in Kerala, all four of us: Noufal, Harsha, Claudia, and me. Thus: Hassan it was going to be.

Harsha’s aunt had called a friend the evening before and gotten some hotel suggestions. The hotels were also listed in our guide book, so we were satisfied. Like typical tourists, the guidebook was like a little native, sitting in our pocket, ready to give some advice. Sometimes it knew more than the locals, sometimes it didn’t. It was hard to ignore it, and it was hard to heed it when the locals gave us contradicting advice. Not this time, however. :)

Travelling from Mysore to Hassan by train. Install ourselves at the hotel and take the bus to Sravanabelgola and the Jain statue on the hill. http://www.grant.org/plewins/india2000/Kerala/Statue.html

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