We could not wait to get back to the temple, so intrigued we were by the beauty of the sacred place, so captivated we were by the friendly smiles, the eagerness to talk to us, to have our photo taken with the family… It was like bathing in good vibes. Everything was the same when we returned, except the temperatures – it was cooking and to make matters worse, very humid. We never realized how much the heavy rain the previous day had cooled down the city. Then streets were flooded, and the on-and-off rain that followed was annoying, but temperatures were so pleasant. We did not last long in this sauna.Walking back to the hotel we got more and more guilt-ridden. Watching skinny rickshaw drivers transporting loads, four times their weight, and women carrying baskets full of sand across a construction site in the blazing sun, was hard to stomach.
We returned with the sunset. Strings of tiny lights illuminate the temple and the surrounding buildings only to increase the magic. Gilles managed to get some great shots using his tripod until the spear-carrying guard told us to pack up, friendly but determined. The guards run a tight ship, but they have to, with thousands and thousands of people pouring in every day, without any checkpoints, metal detectors, no gun yielding soldiers, nothing. When Gilles carried his gigantic camera bag into the very temple, nobody even gave a second look.
Late in the evening we did make it inside the very temple, when the line was less upsetting. Of all the holy places we visited in India, this felt the most spiritual.
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