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Phil's Mondo India Slide Show
Sights of Rishikesh

The pace in Rishikesh is much more melllow than Delhi, and I enjoyed walking about town undisturbed by touts and hawkers. I did take one tour around the outskirts of Rishikesh, at one point visiting the Vasishta Gufta (cave), below.

Around town is this prodigious temple, the Shree Venkateswara Temple. The architecture of this temple is definitely one of the South Indian style, but here it is near the Himalayan foothills. There are numeours levels to theses temples, telling a strories of particular gods and goddesses.

The pet-peeve of many a photographer is the ubiquitous telephone wire, and here we have a good example of that! Someday I'll touch it up in Photoshop...

Approximately 10 miles out of town, along windy roads in the Himalayan foothills, is a hallowed spot called Vasishta Gufta, two caves where the Hindu sage and yogi Vasishta did his sadhana ages ago. The main cave is about 30 feet deep or more, and can hold about a dozen people. The cave shown here was Vasishta's "summer" cave, close to a small beach along the Ganges river. The saffron robed fellow is one of the monk care takers of the caves and nearby temple.

Behnd him is a standard Hindu icon, the Shivalingum, a symbol of the male and female aspects of Divinity, and more specifically a symbol of the genitalia of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Shivalingams are found in almost every temple where Shiva is worshipped. Pujas (devotional ceremonies) are done daily at each cave.



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