Tag Archives: Art

Trip To Pattadakal – Karnataka, India

The man wearing a Gandhi cap peered into the small window of my car to answer a question I had asked a few seconds ago in my amateurish incoherent Kannada. “Saar, pattadakal dhaari Ghota?” (Sir, do you know the route to pattadakal?). After staring blankly for a second, he replied in Hindi “Aap raste peeche chod diya ” (You have already crossed the route). After a few moments of highly detailed route discussion with him waving his hands to aid my understanding, I bid farewell to the kind stranger. Driving through bumpy narrow roads was not the first time for me, but driving through slush on both sides of roads was. The small village of Pattadakal greeted me with an eerie silence. The first sign of life came in the form of boy who popped out of nowhere to sell photographs of the village. The person at the ticket counter demanded Rs.100 from us, which we knew was the fare for foreigners. Now, this situation leaves two conclusions: either we were badly dressed that we were assumed to be ‘phirangis’ or maybe spotting visitors on a historical site on the day of the world cup cricket finals raised eyebrows. Whatever the reason, we had the whole site for us to explore in silence.


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Tibetan Mask Dance (QAMO)

The sounds of beating drums echo in my ears, as I brace myself to watch one of the ‘weird’ performances that I might ever witness. A ritual dance is such a personal experience to the participant that I feel like an intruder. My inner self nudges me to move away, another cynic in me chides my overactive mind for jumping to conclusions (after all I am an atheist)! Then of course, the mountaineer in me that always raises thumbs when I finish a climb, asks me watch on. And was it an experience. The Qamo dance performed by Tibetan monks was indeed a sight to behold. Even if my belief in God or any other Godman is limited to the extent of complete lax, I believe that the dance was so filled with faith and belief that it might actually drive away the evil spirits like it was meant to be.

The Daemons Lined Up During The Qamo Dance

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