Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I'm laying in bed ( on the same wonderfully old house boat I mentioned yesterday) and have just finished listening to the Imam chant the evening prayer.

Yes. Laying in my bed listening to the evening prayer.

No, the house boat in not floating in a mosque.

The thing I particularly love about Muslim countries and locales ( I say that like I visit them all the time ) is the prayers. The mosques, using speakers, broadcast the prayers for everyone to hear. It was one of the first things I remember about Istanbul and when I left, I missed it. I had forgotten about it until I arrived here. I have no idea what is being chanted and I am the complete opposite of a Muslim ( and of a Christian, and of a Jew, and of most religions you can think of ) but I just love these prayers and the fact they they are projected for all to hear. Every time I hear them I smile, and I will miss them again.

I saw a very interesting side of Kashmir today, the rural areas. And when I say rural, I mean people carrying bags of rice on the heads and sheep being tended by shepherds. I saw a couple guys plucking dead chickens on the side of the road.

This view. Those tiny houses is where I started.
No, I did not die although there were times I wondered if I was being taken out to the woods to be given as a wife to some stranger. Things just kept getting more and more rural but, funny enough, every one had a cell phone. Go figure. It really struck me at how rural these places were and how almost exactly the same each little village was. When the news shows pictures of villages is war town countries, that is exactly what these looked like. Come to think of it, Kashmir has a had a long history of wars. Click the link to read about it's facinating history.

I took a day trip out to Pahalgam, a small but popular tourist destination way up in the mountains and away from most civilization as I know it ( except for the cell phones ). I went specifically to ride a shaggy pony up the side of a mountain to see this beautiful clearing at the top and a stunning view of the Lidder Valley
Damn I make this pony and pahrin look good.

I'm not going to go into detail too much about this area because Wikipedia does is so much better, so here's the link if you're interested.

This is Geetin, ( I think that;s right ). He accidentally took a selfie.

I also had a guide on my trip up the mountain. That's how I got this wonderful picture of myself and the shaggy pony.

On the way up to Pahalgam, we stopped at the ancient Hindu Avantisvami Temple.It was built by King Avantivarman of Utpala between the years 853 and 883 A.D. This particular temple was dediated to the Hindu God Lord Vishnu. There another, nearly identical temple near by, built during the same time, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is composed of one main alter, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and four smaller alters dedicated to other, lesser gods.
Oh yeah! Old Stuff!

We all know how much I love ancient history!! ( Or maybe you don't know that. BUT IT DO! ) So, this was definitely a high light of the day.

Relief carving of Lord Vishnu himself.
Carvings of the nine planets. ( or so I'm told )

What I found really interesting was seeing the technology they were using at the time to build these structures. In this picture over here.
( Yes, right there, to the right! ) shows the groove and peg technology of the time. Truly a marvel when you think of what they were working with.

AAANNNDDD! I lost the inernet last night and that is why this is being posted in the morning.

I wanted to post more but I've got to get going. I have a few silly little things to tell you about.

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