Bangalore felt like a touch of home. I spent four nights with family friends from Connecticut who recently relocated back to India (shout-out to Jyoti, Sandeep, Shreya and Arya!), and it was wonderful. Their apartment community looked like an oasis outside of Bangalore with swimming pools, tennis courts, a small grocery store, basically everything you could imagine! It was nice to carry on with my hosts’ normal life: took the kids to tennis lessons, played on the playground, and attended yoga class.
One of our weekend day trips was to Pyramid Valley International, a meditation center in the shape of a giant pyramid. Pyramid meditation is a type of meditation done inside (or under) a pyramid and is said to provide a more powerful and focused meditation experience. The pyramid is 102 feet tall, is fitted with 640 Himalayan crystals in the walls, and had many chairs in it to sit in silence with eyes closed. It also had a spiral staircase that visitors could walk up to sit in the “King’s Chamber”, which is 32 feet high and is the most energetic spot in the pyramid.
Meditation is a practice that I have been wanting to get more involved in, especially since I have become dedicated to my yoga practice over the last year. One of the reasons I came to India was to explore my spirituality, but I had no idea this meditation center existed prior to my arrival in Bangalore. I felt that it was more fate than coincidence that we ended up visiting the Pyramid Valley meditation center. Now since I’m a meditation newbie, I’m not entirely sure what I believe about Pyramid Meditation and admit that this might be a bit too “new age-y” for me, but I found meditation in the pyramid to be incredibly refreshing (even though I was sweating bullets). My mind is always racing with many thoughts, but in the calm silence of the pyramid I had no choice but to slow down and eventually all thoughts escaped me. I told myself I would dedicate at least a few minutes each day to practicing meditation, but I have to admit that I have yet to meditate again. It’s so easy to get caught up doing anything and everything else, but it takes real effort to just stop and breathe in silence for a few moments. I don’t want to break this promise to myself, so starting now I am going to really meditate every day! I know it will serve to enhance my growth throughout this trip.
Another day trip was to Nandi Hills, an ancient hill fortress about an hour away from Bangalore. It was a beautiful, scenic drive across flat lands; we saw little villages filled with vibrantly colored houses and stopped to buy delicious grapes on the side of the road. Atop the hill, enjoyed the view alongside many monkeys sitting perched on the rocks. When I think of India, I mostly think of the hustle and bustle of the crowded cities, but it was so nice to see a part of India that was so serene.
I didn’t expect to have such a peaceful and soul-comforting experience in Bangalore, but I am so grateful that I did.
We ate at an Indian restaurant chain called Barbeque Nation. It’s basically an all-you-can-eat restaurant in which different preparations of meats, seafood, and vegetables (no beef – this is still India, people!) are brought out on skewers and grilled right in front of you. And they won’t stop unless you surrender by lowering this little flag that sits on the table. Don’t ask questions – just go there. Amazingness. You won’t regret it, unless you eat until the point of stomach explosion like I did. Still, I would go again in a heartbeat. The meditation center preached vegetarianism…buuuut I’m just gonna put that one on the back-burner for now…