Blogs from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, Asia - page 2

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Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore March 11th 2014

Our last day in India was supposed to be a quiet day with nothing to do. Things don’t always turn out as planned. Mr Ali advises us when we leave Mysore that our airport hotel in Bangalore is a 3 ½ hour drive away, so we ask to stop off at one more temple on the way. It’s a small but imposing 13th century temple with just a French woman and a group of three Indians as the only other visitors. As ever, we are told to leave our sandals at the entrance. We stack them neatly in a concrete compartment and look round the temple, which takes under 20 minutes. When we come to leave, Sara’s blue sandals have been replaced with a small black pair. Some mistake, surely? Gradually the awful truth dawns that ... read more
Mrs Bond in the Temple of Doom
David at Somnathpur
A typical Karnataka road scene

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 23rd 2014

We have a rental space! Anusha's family have agreed to rent us a room they own at only 1200 rupees per month (about AUD$24). This is a fantastic achievement given that the rent in the village is usually over 2000 rupees per month. For two months we will occupy a smaller room on the top floor of their house, until the current tenant of the larger room moves out. The larger room is a separate dwelling on their property, with an attached bathroom. We are all thrilled about this. On the facilitator front, we have one great candidate named Apoorva. She is about to start her Masters in Science, and has a fantastic grasp on English. Her father is also very supportive, we just hope she will be able to fit Pod into her busy schedule! ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 23rd 2014

We are still swanning around in luxury; lovely Thai dinner last night, pedicures, swimming in the pool, sitting enjoying a drink at the al fresco bar and delicious complimentary breakfast. The staff are just lovely and did I mention the beds? Goose down pillows and duvets, crisp clean sheets and thick luxury towels- oh so mmmmmmmm.... We did however tear ourselves away to go sightseeing this morning and then some last minute shopping. Bangalore is ( according to the guide) the largest city in India with a population of close to 2 million. It is much cleaner and much more modern than other cities we have visited. We visited the Hindu Shiv Temple and had a quite different experience from what we expected. Firstly we dropped 108 silver coins on a snakelike walk through 108 bronze ... read more
Pouring milk over the holy stone at the Shiv Temple
Idol at Shiv Temple
Bangalore Palace

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 23rd 2014

We got up to head to our final Indian destination- Bangalore. On the way we visited a summer palace. It was gorgeous, still original, fading and pitted in parts but still lovely. It was much smaller and housed a lot of history; finely worked aquatints from the 18 the century, a number of portraits of the ruling family by Thomas Hickey. These were very simple but expressive and sympathetic to the individuals. Weaponry, fresco paintings and explanations gave the history of the battles against the British. We arrived in Bangalore at our hotel. It was grotty!! That was it, we decided we would like a decent hotel before we left India so we talked to a local who recommended the Oberoi. We packed our bags back into the van ( much to the consternation of the ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 15th 2014

Bella is doing well at the Voice of Stray Dogs. He is anaemic, but is responding to treatment. Once again, if you want to follow his progress yourself, you can go to http://www.strays.in/ and type in my email sheree.venter@outlook.com I will keep you all posted though on his progress. Think about liking their Facebook page for updates on their other rescues and research at https://www.facebook.com/strays.in?fref=ts... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 14th 2014

India is filled with stray dogs. I was prepared for that. But then I met Bella. Bella was lying by the main road in our village, helpless and sick. He was severely malnourished, barely able to walk, and totally unloved. You could see his ribs ripple under his skin every time he breathed. And nobody seemed to care. Everyone here would walk straight over him. I have been trying to feed him milk and soft biscuits this past week, but he remained extremely weak and unresponsive. He made my heart break. So last night I got in contact with Rakesh, the founder of Voice of Stray Dogs (http://www.strays.in/). Check out their website! They are a not-for-profit organisation that rescues and gives medical treatment to stray dogs, and helps rehabilitate them. They have animal ambulances, and qualified ... read more
Where I picked Bella up
Can you see the beauty?
Making Bella feel safe

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 12th 2014

One of our catch-phrases here is "TII" to stand for "This is India." We just had a TII moment... We were in Bangalore city for the weekend, and had to head home this evening. We found a lovely auto-rickshaw driver who would give us the meter fare, and was even willing to drive us ALL the way home! Usually this trip requires you to change rickshaw's twice, to put this into perspective. He was even willing to wait for us to finish dinner before driving us the final leg home. Top Bloke. Except....there was one small problem... His headlight was broken. Like kaput. Out. Gone. Oops. Rural India. Rough roads. Speed bumps. Darkness. Thankfully I had my teeny tiny torch on me (It's smaller than my pinky and puts out about 10 lumes). So for most ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 12th 2014

I am loving my time at the 40K plus pod here in Maralakunte. As many of you know, I have had trouble interacting with children in the past. I am loving it here though. The kids are lovely, enthusiastic and well behaved. Pod time consists of the welcome song, and 2 sessions of 15 minutes on the tablets. These are broken up with "Brain Breaks" where we play games, such as Bullrush, Stuck in the Mud, Bang and Simon Says. Finally there is a 15 minute session of spoken English, where we generally break up into smaller groups to help the kids with conversational English. 40K is in the process of upgrading its curriculum and delivery method, changing it into a fully interactive app, which is very exciting! Once again, please consider donating to 40K, to ... read more
Tablet time
Using flashcards
More tablet time

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore January 7th 2014

We have arrived in Maralakunte, where we will be staying for the next month! India I have seen a massive juxtaposition between the wealthy and the poor here. We have walked through a village past a dog dying of starvation (I wanted to cry), and soon after passed a house with solar heating on the roof and a car out the front. In the city you occasionally pass the luxury car in your auto-rickshaw, for which you are paying 20cents per 1km! Maralakunte The village is larger than I expected, and has a brand new temple, which only opened recently. This means that they have celebrations every night for the following month, with blaring prayer music, gong-banging and incense burning! Lots of fun, unless you want to go to bed early, what with the ... read more
My Sari
This is India!!!!
Outside the Plus Pod

Asia » India » Karnataka » Bangalore October 2nd 2013

A trip to the south Indian temple town of Kumbakonam is indeed a very informative and exhilarating experience.The trip invariably leads one to the various temples of the Chola dynasty replete with religious fervour and architectural finesse.I commenced my journey from Bangalore and travelled by an overnight train.It covered the journey of about 600 Kms in 11 hrs.This small temple town draws crowds who come mainly to pay obeisance to the presiding deities of the navagraha temples.Some of these temples are indeed marvels of architecture built by the Cholas.It definitely helps if one has a personal transport since the temples are situated in different directions and to make it to all these places in a brief span of time can be strenuous and tiresome.There are a number of hotels for the budget conscious traveller. One could ... read more
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