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Irene's Adventures

India - Abhaneri

INDIA | Friday, 13 January 2012 | Views [459]

We took a day trip to Ahbaneri to see the step well that was built in the 9th century. It has 11 levels of zigzagging steps leading down to the water 20 meters below. Around the 13th century a palace was built onto one side. It was used by royals as a summer retreat from the heat as the evaporating water caused a cooling effect. It was basically a spa where the royals could go for massages, picnics, etc. The massive windows were structured so that no one could see in, but they could see out. There was a man’s side and a woman’s side. The immediate area has decayed to ruins but water tank remains intact and beautiful. The locals still use it for cooling themselves on hot summer's days, but the main inhabitants are now bats and pigeons.

We were told to go to Balaji to check out a Hindu exorcism temple. We had a lazy driver who tried to tell us that he could not take the car closer to the temple and we must hire a bicycle rickshaw. He was simply trying to get out of having to pay for parking. He finally, reluctantly, drove us up the hill to the temple. It was a bizarre place! It looked like a stock yard, with metal gates and alleys exactly like you would see to sort cattle. They were selling some sort of offerings to be handed over to a fellow who promptly threw it onto a fire. There was a massive open hall with people praying and several throwing themselves onto the floor, gyrating, yelling nonsense, and rolling their eyes back into their heads. It reminded us of a Pentecostal revival meeting. We stayed only long enough to find our way out of the maze.


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