India Video

There a great many things to do, see, and eat in India.  Check out the song/video I made about some of the things I did.

Follow this link or click the picture below to view the video.

 

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Many Temples and One Taj

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“Service is prayer,” said the guide.

He had been telling us of the Sikh religion. It is a very pragmatic religion. They believe in equality of all people concerning gender, race, religion, culture, beliefs and more. They believe that everyone is equal. In every gurdwaras (*0), they serve food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for free. They do this because they believe that even the rich and poor are equal, and that service is prayer. When you sit down to eat, you notice that everyone is sitting down like you, and it’s the most magical feeling ever.

After the gurdwaras, we saw what would be(*1) an amazing view of Old Delhi from a minaret above Jama Masjid, a big mosque in Old Delhi.

Afterwards we saw Hayuman’s tomb, which highly resembled the Taj Mahal. After all, Shah Jahan had gotten his inspiration for the Taj from this tomb. When we turned around to leave, there was a dog on top of the grand gate. He had probably got up there by grabbing a pigeon, who flew up there.

The next thing we did in Delhi was see the Lotus Temple. We learned about how widespread the Baha’í religion is. Queen Anne Marie of Romania and the king of Samoa became Baha’í. There are Baha’í temples all over the world, including Turkmenistan, Uganda, America, Australia, Panama, Samoa, and other countries. They even had a Baha’í conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Before I knew it, I was staring at the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of my world (*2). I got a magnificent photo of the Taj with its reflection. The problem is that either it is very hazy or super crowded. Either way, it is still amazing. I had already read a Magic Treehouse book about it, so I knew that it had been built by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan in dedication to his 14th wife. He took food out of the mouths of his people to do so, but it was built anyway. He was going to build a Black Taj across the river for himself, but then his son imprisoned him.

*0 = a sikh temple or holy place
*1 = without the pollution
*2 = which could change

Amazing Amritsar

Amritsar - Making Friends

During our time in Amritsar, we saw many amazing things. I had three favorites.

Crazy Temple - coming out of the crocodile mouth...why not?
Crazy Temple – coming out of the crocodile mouth…why not?

My most favorite was the “Crazy Temple”, which is actually very convenient because it told about every Hindu temple in India. In one part you have to climb inside a lion’s mouth. Later you come out of a crocodile’s mouth. I also learned a lot about the religion. I was told many things by our guide and companions, whom we had met in McLeod Ganj. We learned about why Ganesh, the elephant god, has an elephant as a head and why Hanuman, the monkey god, has puffed out cheeks and why cows are holy.

Ganesh has an elephant head because he was very good at guarding his mother. He had been born while his father was gone, so they did not know their relationship. One day Ganesh’s father (Shiva, the most important Hindu god) came home while Ganesh’s mother (Parvati) was taking a bath. Ganesh didn’t let Shiva see Parvati, so Shiva cut off Ganesh’s head. When Shiva realized that Ganesh was his son, he grabbed an elephant head, which was the closest animal head around, and put it on Ganesh’s neck. Fortunately, Ganesh was alright.

The reason that Hanuman has puffed out cheeks is because one time when he was a kid, he thought the sun was a ripe fruit. He put the sun in his mouth. The sun couldn’t fully fit in Hanuman’s mouth, so eventually he spit it out.

The reason why cows are holy is because Shiva rode a cow as his special riding animal.

Wagah Border dance party. Can you spot me?
Wagah Border dance party. Can you spot me?

I also liked the Wagah Border Ceremony. It is a ceremony at the border town of Wagah to take down the flags and close the borders for the night.  It is the border between India and Pakistan. Before, there was a party, which I danced in. That was my favorite part.

We also went to the Golden Temple, which is a Sikh temple covered in gold leaf. It has a large complex all to itself. That was boring, except for the food. We ate there. The significance of eating there is that everyone was sitting down, completely equal. They feed tens of thousands of people a day for free!  The food was very intense…just like the city itself.