The trip from southern Goa to Bhatkal Taluk takes 3 hours, one way.

On the way down I saw cows, dogs, chickens, cats, pigs and a peacock.

I passed Churches, Mosques and Temples.

My driver overtook a hundred cars, mopeds, trucks, 3-wheeled cars, bicycles and avoided disenfranchised cows.

It’s a stunning drive with lots of bends, elevation changes and bridges. At times it felt like you were in the Caribbean, Vietnam or Hawaii. Really beautiful.

Which is good, because it was 3 hours coming back too.

Why sit in a car for 6 hours in one day, while in India? FOR THIS:

Murudeshwara in context

That is a 123 foot statue of Lord Shiva (or Murudeshwara).

The incredible Murudeshwara statue

Close up of Shiva

Pretty amazing huh? In addition to Lord Shiva, this site also features the 237.5-feet-tall Raja Gopura.

The 237.5-feet-tall Raja Gopura

And lots of ornate gold details.

Gold details

Shiva and gold detail

Gold detail

The site glowed under the 95-degree heat. It was hard to process the visuals. They were unlike anything I’d ever seen – and especially at this scale. I snapped away happily trying to get the right settings under the intense sunlight. The gold shimmered and Lord Shiva watched my every move. It was spectacular.

I jumped back in the car excited to look through the images, but also looking forward to the 3 hour car drive where I could soak up more of India and think, think, think.

Nagesh and I barely spoke during our 6 hours together, but we did stop on the way back to enjoy a delicious roadside Indian meal. I told him what a good driver he was. And he seem impressed at how quickly I devoured my lunch. Friends for life.

me and nageshThanks so much for reading. More pics of the day can be found here.