Published: November 19th 2007November 15th 2007
Ridin in style
When in India, ride a bus like an Indian
And so began our intimate relationship with India's bus system. In the span of 24 hours, we took 4 buses, from Aurganbad to Shopal to Bijapur to Bangklok to Badami. Total bus time? I think a conservative estimate would be 17 hours, as we spent about 5 hours in Bijapur in between buses. You'd think I would be complaining, but there is no room for complaining in India. "Indians...we're relaxed cool dudes, man!" And besides, the bus offered some of the best experiences to date - like being double bounced 3 feet into the air. Bijapur
With time to kill in between buses, we decided to tour around Bijapur, most notably the Golgumbaz and Ibrahim Rouza. More interestingly, however, it was also at this time we finally started noticing the 'Indian head wave'. Sort of a combination of a nod and a shake (so a yes and a no) it can mean anything from yes to no to maybe to i don't understand what you're saying. Truthfully, it's pretty funny but when trying to figure out which bus to take, it can be frustrating. "Which bus to Badami?" 'head nod' "That bus to Badami?" 'head nod' "Okay, well we're going
Me imitating our tax drivers pose. The guy was ready to start sh*t man!
to walk that way" 'head nod'
The Ibrahim Rouza is an Islamic monument which is said to have inspired the minarets of the Taj Mahal. The Golgumbaz, on the other hand, is this wicked domed building where you can whisper on one end and the other end will hear you. Badami
To date, the Badami caves were probably my favourite cave temples, although there were only four. I attribute this to many factors: The wicked red sandstone ridge, the return of the sex monkeys (albeit without sex this time), and the fact it was set in a little town of about 26,000 people.
The views of and around the caves were super - Super Scenes, as our guide continuously said - but I think the thing that made Badami wicked were the kids. Indian kids are so fun and friendly I wish I could just adopt a bunch and gobble them up with hugs and kisses every day!
Generally the introduction starts off with them asking "What country?" and "Your name is?" followed up by "School pen!", "10 Rupees!", or "Chocolate?". (Notice the chocolate is a question. They demand school pens and rupees, but ask for
Ibrahim Rouza, up close
One of the two large monuments enclosed in the 'rouza
chocolate. To me it sounds like, "I'm Ron Burgundy?")
After we say we don't have any of the above, they will satisfy for a photo which absolutely drives them nuts!!! Photo after photo after photo of kids and it just doesn't get old. They get really excited when you show them the photo after on the LCD screen of the camera, too.
So after another wicked day, we cap it off with a night bus towards Hospet, which takes us to Hampi - an entire district that is UNESCO protected.
There are more photos below