Sorry I've been off the grid for the past week -- we went to Bangalore, India to visit our two best friends who have been out there since November for work. They are leaving in April to come back to New York, but we couldn't pass up an opportunity to go out there and visit them!
Bangalore isn't a particularly tourist-y place, but our friends toured us all around the city and took us to see the sights in the area. As many, many other people have said, India is an overwhelming, inspiring, challenging, awe-inspiring place. We were only there a few days but the experience made an enormous impression on me, even over that short period of time. Here are are a few of the most visually impactful things I saw over our five days!
We saw an amazing amount of temples. Whether out in the countryside of Karnataka (the state where Bangalore is located), hidden down a busy side street, or located in a prime spot in the city, these structures were so impressive. (Photos inside the temples are prohibited so I only have outside shots!)
The Palace at Mysore was incredible. It is the home of the Wodeyar family who ruled the region from 1399 to 1950. The palace as it currently stands was started in 1897 and completed in 1912. The Wodeyar family is still involved in Indian politics and they own a silk company which makes stunning silks for saris and other special applications. Also, the guy next in line to be the next Mahajara of Mysore is a student at UMass Boston which made me laugh.
One of the things I enjoyed the most (besides the food -- we absolutely stuffed our faces for five days straight) was the textiles. I was stunned by the quality of the hand-embroidery. The colors, patterns, and intricacy of the embroidery were a complete joy to behold. For a textile nerd like me it was heaven to see and touch these amazing works of art!
I wish we could've spend more time in India and traveled around more, but we had to get back to Chicago by today. My, admittedly incredibly small, impression of India was that it is both a greatly beautiful and very difficult place. Have you ever been to a place that both delighted and challenged you?