Filed under Travel
The last day in India we got to be tourists and check out the sights.
We started at the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple. I took this picture from the parking lot. We weren't allowed to bring in cameras and we had to remove our shoes and socks before we entered.
Their web site has some nice photos of the temple.
We were told that normally it takes hours of waiting in line to see the inside, but we were spared the wait because we were there so early (around 9am).
Seeing the Main Temple Hall was quite an odd experience...I knew nothing about these people and what they were chanting about.
Our guide, Rashikesh, was nice enough to buy me a book on the subject.
When we left the temple, we got to put our clean socks back on our filthy black feet. Felt disgusting at first, but you quickly forget about it.
Next stop: Bannerghatta National Park!
Before we started, I needed to test the restroom. You had to pay the bathroom attendant to use it...I'm not sure how much, because Rashikesh took care of it for me. The urinals were normal, but the toilets had *no* toilet paper...just a water hose! And the part that shocked me the most...there was no soap or a sink to wash your hands!
We started with a bus tour through a lion and tiger reserve.
We had to stop abruptly because some wild elephants were too close for comfort...
To scare the wild elephants away a safe distance, some park workers set off several loud explosions. The park workers rode on an elephant to make sure the wild elephants were gone.
Once we got along on the safari, we got *very* close to tigers and lions...
India is a lot more relaxed than the US when it comes to rules and regulations. The great part about that is you get to be really close to lions and tigers. The bad thing about that...lions and tigers are really close to eating us. I couldn't help but think about this scene from Jurassic Park when we were in our bus surrounded by tigers...what happens if the bus breaks down (it was barely running as it was)? Cell phones don't work out there and nobody had radios, so how do you get help? It's dangerous...but that was part of the fun!
Next, we toured the zoo. Our guide showed us a cage of geese. He thought these were amazing creatures and encouraged us to take pictures of them. I told him we see them all the time in the US.
Next, he showed us the pigeons...
I *did* take a picture of the pigeons, because I couldn't believe you would have these at a zoo.
BUT then, we saw the *best* animal yet at the zoo...a monkey!
We were so excited we started taking pictures. The monkey was out in the open just sitting on top of a fence...he wasn't in a cage. Our guide was annoyed and said we needed to hide our food and walk quickly away from the monkey. We wanted to stay and take pictures but our guide insisted we need to move now. As we left the monkey, I noticed there were monkeys all over the trees above.
I explained to our guide that of all the things we've seen at the zoo, the monkey is by *far* the coolest!
He didn't understand. "You don't have monkey's running around San Francisco?"
He explained that monkeys will come in your house and attack you to get your food. They are not afraid of humans. I guess his reaction to monkeys would be like our reaction to rats.
Next up: Lal Bagh Botanical Garden.
The main thing we wanted to see was the Glass House...
This is the view looking away from the Glass House...
I thought the signage on trash cans was interesting...
The rules of the garden were not something I'm used to seeing either:
The last thing we did was go to M.G. Road to go shopping before heading to the airport.
On my way back to the US, I exchanged my Indian rupee's...here's what they look like...