Today was the most relaxing day of our stay in Heranjal. We kicked off the day with our daily 9 am dance practice for our Yakshagana performance tomorrow. Although we were all very nervous to perform in front of the entire village, we definitely felt more ready to showcase the different skills that we have been learning about the dance over the past few days.
At 11:30 am, we went to go visit the Shri Murudeshwara Temple, a 90-minute party bus ride away. The temple was beautiful, with the second-largest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. At the very top of the temple, there were various sculptures of different stories about Shiva’s life, including many stories of his son, Ganesh. Then, we visited the main part of the temple, and soon after left to go to lunch.
At lunch, we had a wonderful Indian-Chinese cuisine with noodles, paneer fried rice, and gobi (cauliflower) manchurian. About an hour later, we boarded the bus again to head off to a beach slightly south of the Shiva temple.
At the beach, we swam, built sand castles, collected seashells, ate many delicious Indian snacks, and even played a cricket match! Others participated in stranger activities like making Shreya a mermaid tail with sand. As the sun started to set, we got out of the water and got together as a group to journal, take pictures, and share our experiences with one another.
Soon, we got back on the bus to go back to the village for our night dance practice. The gates were closed, so we had to break into the school to practice on the performance stage. The skies were dark and we did not have a speaker for the music, and so it was a relatively quick practice. We were all exhausted, and the day ended with a quick party bus ride back home.
Written by Shreya and Autumn