Day 21 (McLeod Ganj)


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Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Mcleod Ganj
July 25th 2011
Published: July 25th 2011
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Today has not gone well so far and i have only been up for about 2 hours.

I got up around 10 and decided to find the other ATM in town to see if my card worked there. No such luck. I also tried the one that hadn't worked yesterday. Same result. I went back to the hotel and used 10 of my last 15 rupees to get my banks phone number using Green Hotels Internet. I returned to my room 15 minutes later with the banks number on the back of my hand.

I called the bank and was asked to answer a few security questions which apparently i got wrong. I was told to call back in half an hour when a new set of questions would be asked. That's what I'm about to do.

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Sorted (kinda). Got through the interview ok this time and found out that my card hasn't been blocked, which i figured is worse than if it had. If it had then it would have taken 30 seconds and i would have access to money, as it was i have to go out again and try the machines once more, maybe i'm doing something wrong.

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Nope, the machine definitely doesn't like me. Tried both machines again and even asked a Tibetan woman who was there if i was doing something wrong. Still no luck. The woman told me there was another at near the temple (there wasn't) and i could get money there (i couldn't), on the way however i saw a money exchange place where they offered cash withdraws off a card (minus there 3% fee of course). I decided to go for it, worried i would be in trouble if i had no money for food, my hotel and further travel. It was a nice looking place and there were some other tourist in there so i decided it was probably trustworthy.

I feel much better now i have money and have eaten. I plan on going to the temple soon but its raining particularly hard right now (its constantly raining here, apparently it hasn't stopped in about 7 days) so i'm gonna wait till it calms down a little before i head off.

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It didn't really ease off so after about half an hour i decided to leave anyway. The Tsuglagkhang temple is a short walk from the town center. I walked for about 20 minutes and found myself on a small path leading into the forest. I was pretty sure that i had walked right past the temple entrance (i had) but the rain had eased off a bit so i decided to explore. There was a maroon robed monk on the path in front of me with a rainbow colored umbrella (half the people in town, many of them monks, have there bright umbrellas) but apart from him there was no one about.

The path led through a wooded area, on the right side of the path there were hundreds of pieces of slate and rocks and a few boulders, pretty much all of them, from small slate to massive rock had engravings and paintings of symbols and prayers on them and there were prayer flags in the trees. After 10 minutes i came to a cluster of buildings and temples, all seemingly deserted. The outside walls of these had spinning prayer wheels and huge wheels could be seen in the small temples. The monk ahead of me ducked into a building and i found myself alone on the small street, it was an odd sensation, for the first time since i arrived in India i was in a place with no one else, no noise from people or cars, just forest sounds and rain. I continued out the other side of the cluster and after 10 minutes i had reached monks residence that surround the temple.

I had a look around the smaller side temple in which all the walls were covered in a painted mural depicting the wheel of life. It was very details and showed both Buddha and angry looking demonic figures standing on piles of bodies. There were also a few statues, one large golden statue of Buddha and another of one of the demon-like people with about 20 arms and multiple vampire like faces.

After the small Kalachakra temple i moved on to the main temple called the Tsuglagkhang Temple. There were many monks sitting outside and inside the temple. A man sat behind a large golden chair that the Dalai Lama usually sits. The temple was beautiful and all the monks were talking and smiling. (i love Tibetans so far, they seem to be always smiling and if there not id doen't take more than a quick mouth twitch before there beaming at you).

Having looked around the temple i headed back to Green Hotel for some food. Had a Tibetan noodle dish called Thenthuk, a soup and noodle dish. Not sure what im going to do later (its already dark here) so i guess ill just see what happens.

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