In Udupi, the city of chariot temples

Udupi, although the place is run down and quite dirty, it attracts hundreds of thousands tourists from India. There is a famous Krishna Temple and unique Chariot Temples (temples on wheels).

 

Very first moments in Udupi

We reached Udupi at late night. We were tired after couple of hours traveling from South Goa. All we wanted was to find a hotel and to have a shower. On the train to Udupi we met an old indian guy who knew the city very well and he recommended us Ramakrishna hotel in the city centre. Right after we got off the train we took rikshaw and we asked for a drop off at a mentioned hotel. It happened that we had that place marked on our map on the phone so we could track rikshaw guy. We learned to do it as they usually drop wherever they want. We arrived at hotel and it turned to be Sri Krishna. It wasn’t the one we wanted and from the outside was looking too luxury for our budget. We explained him how to get to the different one. Driver shook his head in the sign of infinity (indian way of saying “yes”) and started to drive. Another hotel… Krishna Lodge. We explained him again that it wasn’t our hotel and we told him to follow directions we were giving him. Three times lucky, we found Ramakrishna hotel.

Udupi is famous for Krishna Temple (which is destination of many pilgrims), so most of hotels/lodges are named after it. We walked inside the hotel where we were welcomed by receptionist. He told us price twice as high what we had been told by an old man at the train. We didn’t want to take it for a silly price so we went to look for a different one. We were walking from one to another, but prices were suspiciously high. After 2 hours we gave up and came back to the first one. Is Udupi such an expensive place or hotel owners seeing tired foreigns were trying to make easy money on us? We came back to Ramakrishna only because it was looking fairly clean and receception desk was made of marble! When we walked into our room we didn’t see marble or cleanliness anymore, instead we had hole in the floor as a toilet, broken window, altered window bars (it was looking like someone broke into that room before) and awfull mattress. Once again we survived thanks to hammock, sleeping bag and mosquito net that were separating us from that dirty room.

We survived that night somehow and went to town to kill spare time before next train to Cochin. When we were walking out from our hotel we noticed big dead cockroach lying down right in front of reception desk. Receptionist did nothing about it like it was normal in that hotel.

 

Famous Chariot Temples and Krishna Temple

Later we were wandering around not so nice town, heading up to Krishna Temple. Out of the sudden we noticed something like hot air baloons rising above roof level. We were walking towards it to check what it was. After we reached it turned to be Temple Chariots, decorated with carved wood. There were many lights or figurines. We were walking around it and admiring. Inside the ”baloon” was a room for godness. We found out that Udupi was famous for those mobile Temples. Chariots are used during festival days called Ther Thiruviza. Once a year people gather around the temple and pull it.

Chariot temples were right next to Krishna temple which we were looking for!

 

Places of worship in India are not that far with technology. They offer apps on the phone that helps to find info about temples, hours of praying, hotels around temples. We have seen this couple of times in India before.

Krishna App
Krishna App 馃榾

 

P.S. When we came back to the hotel, dead cockroach was still there!

 

Heath & Safety in India 馃榾

Kind of close call presented by some guys at the platform. It was scarry to look at their work, right at the edge of the platform on a wobbly ladder. There is no chance for anything like this in UK. When Anna was working as rail surveyor health and safety rules were so restricted. But here? Guys have taken a ladder and painted something at the edge of the platform and lines weren’t blocked!

Close call India version
Close call India version

 

From Udupi to Cochin by train!

Train had only 25 mins delay, so not so bad for India. Again we were in a sleeper class and here how it looked inside: