Sunday, 18 June 2006

Country roads

Second time in KL means I haven't taken a single picture of the twin towers, yet :P. But sight-seeing on weekends is happening as usual. Headed out of the city for a completely unplanned tour of some places we'd heard of! Top of the list was Batu Caves, an hour or so by bus from KL.
Watching the scenery turn from cosmopolitan to almost rural so quickly reminded me of the drive out from Kolkata. The sight of the world's tallest Murugan statue against the sheer weathered walls from afar was really something! But you had to get close to realize exactly how huge it is :).On the way up the steep stairs to the cave my European and Central Asian friends were totally mesmerised by the hoards of small monkeys eager for any titbits offered by the tourists! Obviously, monkeys aren't exactly a common sight in Poland, Romania or Kazakhstan :).
For once I was the most knowledgable amongst the bunch 'cos the temples in the Batu caves are Hindu with easily recognizable religious motifs, and my grandmas had made sure I know my epics rather well :). The thunderclouds swirling darkly overhead, a steady drizzle that sent water seeping down cracks and crevices to patter down from the mighty inverted pinnacles, the eerie light of lamps and candles within the cavern mixed with the chants of prayers from the temples... quite an atmosphere!By the time my friends had had enough of the monkeys, and I'd had enough of the caves and temples, the sun was out again :). After a lunch of dosa in a South Indian restaurant we went looking for an Orang Asli settlement. Armed with a Polish guidebook and absolutely no clue whatsoever that the name was that of a tribe and not of any location, it was quite a miracle that we got anywhere at all! But vague directions and a helpful cab driver got us not to the settlement, but to a museum set deep in the hillsides where the faintest indications of big-city living would have been completely out of place!Quite a nice day in the end! And it is so much more fun with chatty, enthusiastic company :D. Haven't yakked this much since the last time I was in B'bay :P.

Current Mood: waahaa, weekend over :(
Listening to: Pearl Jam - Last kiss

More pics here.

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