Mim Landry

Mim

Mim Landry

A series of fun, fascinating, and hastily-planned journeys from Washington DC to Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and a few other places. Lots of sandals, sand, saris, and hijabs. Visits with interesting people, great food and local attractions, many religious shrines, nice photos, and without the benefit of spell-check. It's all good. Well it's mostly good. Sure beats working!



Asia » Pakistan » Islamabad April 13th 2009

Adventures on the Road to Murree from Islamabad! So, the steep, narrow, curvy, and perilous mountain road leading up from Islamabad to the cool mountain-top town of Murree is, well, steep, narrow, and perilous. The road to Murree is also filled with large commercial trucks that are rolling folk art, wonderfully painted, and dazzlingly decorated. They are also often old and tired. Metal chains dangle and clang as the trucks struggle and strain to go up hills. If you are behind one of them, the people in your rear-view window become increasingly agitated if you don't pass them. There were some other factors to consider as well: (1) a steering wheel on the right hand side, (2) a stick shift in your left hand, and most importantly, (3) oncoming traffic, which means on the right hand ... read more
Pakistani Army Truck
Scene of the Wreck
Our Murree Friends

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai October 1st 2006

In area generally called Kalbadevi, is a very old Hindu Temple, a Jain Temple (different blog), a Mosque, a bazaar, and the nearby Crawford Market. The Hindu Temple is Mumba Devi Mandir, or Mumba Devi Temple. It is dedicated to the goddess Mumba. Mumba is where the name Mumbai came from and is a local incarnation of the Devi (Mother Goddess) conception of being. It's a small temple and was very crowded because of the festival of Navratri during which people pay respect to the Goddess. I was able to snap a photo of devotees passing their hands over the flames inside the temple courtyard. But they were not keen on taking photos. Nearby was the Mosque called Jama Masjid. I happened to walk by during call to prayers in the afternoon. A moment away is ... read more
Mumba Devi Entrance
Mumba Devi Fire
Mumba Devi: Outside the Gates

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 30th 2006

There are several small, open air Hindu temples, such as the one below, which is in a downtown business district. This allows people to make puja on their way to work, during a break, or after work. A friend asked the priest permission for me to take photos of him and his small temple. He agreed but then made a big show of my coming up to the altar wherein he put the red kum kum on my forehead. In addition, most of the Hindu taxi drivers had little altars or shrines on their dashboards. Some were quite elaborate and fancy. At night, some of the dashboard altars had little lights, which made sense since it was quite unlikely that the taxi driver used his actual headlights. Also, there were lots of roadside shrines and people ... read more
Puja at Small Temple
Priest at Small Temple
Close Up of Small Temple

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 30th 2006

While I was in Mumbai, it was the festival of Navratri. Navratri is a festival of worship, dance and music celebrated over a period of nine nights. Nav = nine and Ratri = nights. It is celebrated for the worship of the Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga is believed to exist in many forms. The name “Durga” means “inaccessible”, and she is the personification of the active side of the divine “shakti” energy of Lord Shiva. In fact, she represents the furious powers of all the male gods, and is the ferocious protector of the righteous, and destroyer of the evil. Durga is usually portrayed as riding a lion, and carrying weapons in her many arms. Most neighborhoods had a pandal, or a temporary temple set up so that the neighbors could conduct puja to Durga in ... read more
Entrance to the Pandal
Santa Cruz Pandal
Priest Offering Fire Puja to Durga

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 30th 2006

Near what I believe is the oldest Hindu temple in Mumbai (the Mumba Devi Temple--which is what gave Mumbai its name) and the Crawford Market (huge market for veggies and household goood) is another Jain temple. And much of this seemed to be a fairly Muslim neighborhood. This Jain temple is less opulent than the Babu Amichand Panalal Adishwarji Jain Temple at Malabar Hill in Mumbai. Although they weren't too keen on having a bunch of photographs taken inside, I was able to snap off a few and I tried not to annoy anyone. Outside, the facade of the temple was intricately carved marble and they were in the middle of doing some remodeling or updating. The columns were intricately and wonderfully carved. It was not as quiet as the other Jain temple, and some people ... read more
Close up of Entrance
Entrance Detail
Inside Jain Temple

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 28th 2006

There are many Hindu, Jain, and other types of temples, and of course many mosques. However, because of terrorist bombings in Mumbai several years ago and again several months ago, security is extremely tight at the larger temples. As a result, one cannot bring cameras or cell phones to some of them. So I cannot give you pictures of those temples. And if you are not Muslim, you cannot enter the mosques here. This temple is located in Juhu Beach area of Mumbai. It is a a Hindu temple called Shree Mukteshwar Devalaya Vishwasta Mandal. In Malaysia, the Hindu temples were generally spread out on one floor. This temple is relatively new and built next to the much older and smaller temple. This temple was built on several floors. Each of the groups of deities below ... read more
Close up of Hindu Saints
Hindu Godesses
Close up of Hindu Godesses

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 28th 2006

For a while, I was staying at Juhu Beach in Mumbai, which is north of Mumbai proper. In this and other areas, the autorickshaw provides inexpensive but often frightening transportation. Basically, they are three-wheeled open air contraptions with space for two sensible adults or more if you are a little nuts. They are powered by a motor plant approximately appropriate for a lawnmower. Apparently, the idea is to see who can fit through the tiniest space and do so as quickly as possible. They glide through people crossing the street, and seem to magically squeeze between the next rickshaw or car. I have had to up my Xanax prescription for this experience. In Mumbai proper, the taxicab is the dominant auto on the road. They are tiny little things-- very narrow and short. I keep hitting ... read more
Mim with Rickshaw
View from Rickshaw
View from Rickshaw 2

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 28th 2006

About an hour or so boat ride from the Gateway of India at Mumbai is a small island with a series of caves containing Hindu temple carvings. The complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main temple on Elephanta is a honeycomb of shrines, caverns, courtyards, and prayer halls created some time between 450 and 750 AD. The site of these caves contained beautiful reliefs, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu god Shiva (or Siva). The caves are carved from solid rock. There are three entrances to the main temple in the complex- from the north, east and west. The main gallery is divided by columns into equal rows and aisles. To the west, and outside this area, is a square sanctuary containing a monolithic Siva Linga. The centerpiece of the main temple ... read more
Entrance to Main Temple
Inside the Main Temple
Great Hall

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai September 8th 2006

Yet another in a series of ill-advised, poorly-planned, and hastily-assembled journeys by a fallen-away ex-Catholic -- this time straight to the heart of Hinduism, Bollywood, and lots of terror threats. With pretty pictures, a wealth of inaccuracies, and without the benefit of spell-check. Visit to a Jain temple. Jainism is a religion and philosophy originating in ancient India. Jainism believes that the universe and all its substances are eternal. It has no beginning or end. There is no need for someone to create or manage the universe. The universe runs on its own accord by its own cosmic laws. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator or destroyer of the universe. However Jainism does believe in God. When a living being destroys all his karmas, he possesses perfect knowledge, vision, power, and bliss. ... read more
Jain Temple Foyer
Jain Temple Foyer II
Jain Ritual

Asia » Malaysia » Wilayah Persekutuan » Kuala Lumpur March 29th 2006

Kuala Lumpur has a wonderful and inexpensive monorail that runs north to south and is an easy way to get around. At one end of the monorail is a neighborhood called Brickfield. It is home to many Sri Lankans and Indians. In this area is a small Buddhist temple caled Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple and a Buddhist study center. It was founded by the Sinhalese community based in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding areas provide a place of worship in their Sri Lankan Theravada tradition. The temple is relatively modest but was a very warm place to be. I was lucky enough to have been there when a young couple was having their wedding photographs taken. And they were sweet enough to let me snap a few shots while their official photographer laughted and let me ... read more
Main Altar
Buddha
Small Outside Altar




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