Unlike Our European Boats, They Do Not
Cut The Waves, But Glide Over Them Like A Sea-Gull.
The surroundings of the bay transported us to some fairy land of
the Arabian Nights.
The ridge of the Western Ghats, cut through
here and there by some separate hills almost as high as themselves,
stretched all along the Eastern shore. From the base to their
fantastic, rocky tops, they are all overgrown with impenetrable
forests and jungles inhabited by wild animals. Every rock has been
enriched by the popular imagination with an independent legend.
All over the slope of the mountain are scattered the pagodas,
mosques, and temples of numberless sects. Here and there the hot
rays of the sun strike upon an old fortress, once dreadful and
inaccessible, now half ruined and covered with prickly cactus.
At every step some memorial of sanctity. Here a deep vihara, a
cave cell of a Buddhist bhikshu saint, there a rock protected by
the symbol of Shiva, further on a Jaina temple, or a holy tank,
all covered with sedge and filled with water, once blessed by a
Brahman and able to purify every sin, all indispensable attribute
of all pagodas. All the surroundings are covered with symbols of
gods and goddesses. Each of the three hundred and thirty millions
of deities of the Hindu Pantheon has its representative in something
consecrated to it, a stone, a flower, a tree, or a bird. On the
West side of the Malabar Hill peeps through the trees Valakeshvara,
the temple of the "Lord of Sand." A long stream of Hindus moves
towards this celebrated temple; men and women, shining with rings
on their fingers and toes, with bracelets from their wrists up
to their elbows, clad in bright turbans and snow white muslins,
with foreheads freshly painted with red, yellow, and white, holy
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