Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Cows on the Beach

Is that weird? I can't tell anymore...



I took an impromptu weekend jaunt to Gokarna, a tiny town on India's western coast. Gokarna is known for two things - fabulous beaches and really holy temples. The temples are so holy, in fact, that I wasn't allowed inside them, and was forced to spend all my time on the beach. Rough.

Anyway, Gokarna (or "cow's ear") is so-called because Hindus believe that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow there. There's a pretty great story about the history of Gokarna. Ready? Hindu gods attained immortality by worshipping a divine lingam (uh...phallus) that belonged to Lord Shiva. A king, Ravana, wanted said immortality so he approached Shiva and asked him for the lingam. Shiva said, fine, you can have my penis statue but DON'T PUT IT ON THE GROUND. I'll give you one guess what happened: Yep, long story short, Ravana was tricked by some other gods with ulterior motives, and the lingam ended up on the ground. Ravana tried to lift the lingam, but to no avail. It remained rooted to the ground and the Mahabaleshwar Temple was constructed around it. Like I said, I wasn't allowed inside, but here's what the outside looked like.

What I DID do was spend about 48 hours straight on the beach. Since my parents believe that family reunions in Utah are the funnest vacations ever, I'd never been to a tropical beach before and it was everything the Hawaiian Tropic commercials make it out to be - azure sky, palm trees, people with cameras in my face ALL DAY LONG. "Madam, one picture?" It's a little surreal to think about how many random photo albums in India I'm in.

The beach I spent the most time at is called Om Beach, named because it looks like an inverted "om" sign.



There was a whole class full of kids in pink uniforms that came with their teachers to play at the beach...

Some children hanging out in front of their house on the edge of town...


There are people whose job it is to scale palm trees - unaided - and harvest coconuts and palm oil. As I was walking along, I heard one such man yelling in the trees...

Okay, I think that's about it. Sorry to post so much at once. In parting I would only say, YOU SHOULD COME TO INDIA. Seriously. It's amazing. And if you come in the next year or so I'll be your tour guide!

9 comments:

what kind of a name is abra said...

Got to see your family over the holidays, it was very cool. Issac and Sophie are so grown-up, it is crazy how things change! Love you and miss you!!!! Can you believe Tamsen is married????

The Strazzos said...

Ok, I love your blog and am living vicariously through it because I miss traveling so much!!! I can't wait to take Tim and Jackson around the world, but until then I get a good laugh reading about your experiences! I was cracking up when you said everyone takes your picture, it was the same way in China and we always thought the same thing...is my pic really in bunch of photo albums somewhere???

T-Migs said...

a) can scrabble really be a better sport than Boggle? I think not.
b) was that guy in the tree naked? That would make the whole coconut thing so much better.
c) Miss you! How's the shower? Did you switch rooms?

Janelle said...

Did you get those pictures out of a National Geographic...seriously, some of them look straight out of one!! It looks to me like you are having some awesome experiences out there, I would LOVE to come visit!!!

what kind of a name is abra said...

Oh where, oh where could Anna be?? Oh where, oh where can she beeeeeeeeeee.....THat was me singing to you..could you hear it?? Hopefully you are busy experiencing things, seeing things, tasting things.....

Zach said...

Haha… you have some awesome pics up here, Anna. How long are you going to be out there again?

faceyboy said...

I was also sort of wondering if/hoping that coconut climber was naked. How exotic. I think all your fans are clamoring for more sweet, sweet blog. I know I am. Like you said, if the guy in a hut with no water or electricity is beating you at posting blogs... you might be behind. No, you are doing a great work and I know your fans are so proud of you. Esp. me. ;)

Ganesh Bhat(ಗಣೇಶ ಭಟ್ಟ ) said...

hi,
nice blog..so did u like gokarna??visit my blog if ever get free time..
its http://ganeshbhatdandeli.blogspot.com/

Ganesh Bhat(ಗಣೇಶ ಭಟ್ಟ ) said...

hey in ur shiva's atmalinga story u have written some other gods tried to prevent ravana....that some other god is called Ganesha(ganapati)...just for ur knowledge..but really a nice blog i must say..