Monday, November 17, 2014

The temple of clay horses

After Kotpad Market, we stopped by an old Shiv Temple, very popular with the local villagers. It is a suitably mysterious place, in the midst of a forest with banyan vines all over it, on the banks of a still lake. It looks like something right out of an Indiana Jones movie. But the most striking thing about it is this enormous pile of clay horses...
... and this ancient banyan(?) tree with an enormous vine that forms a natural swing...
It seems that when you pray at this temple for something, and your wishes are granted, you gift a clay horse to the temple. Over the centuries, this enormous pile of clay horses has built up, that looks like a piece of abstract art.


You can spend hours staring at those horses. There is something fascinating about them, all layered on top of each other, each with a different expression, some broken, some not, some new, some mossy, each representing somebody's hopes and dreams...



But the temple has a dark side as well. It houses leprosy patients. When someone in one of the local tribes develops leprosy, they are banished to this temple. Here they are, looking at us from a distance. We contributed some money to their benefit fund.

The lake beside the temple.

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