Saturday, January 19, 2008

January 18, 2008 Day in Belgaum, Visit to Jain Temple, Tata Power Plant, RCI presentation

Got up this morning and I can’t even remember what we did. Everything is becoming a blur with all the activities they have us doing!
We went to a Jain Temple, Kamal Basti, which was built in the 11th century but didn’t look a day over 100 years. It was incredible. I almost felt disrespectful photographing it but we were encouraged to do so. People still actively worship in the Basti so we entered to observe. It was beautiful. When a man came with a plate for offerings, I put the smallest bill in that I had, 100 Rs (about $2.50 American) and the man’s eyes got very wide. Apparently it was a huge amount! He gave Jennifer and me two small bananas with a flower on top as a gift. My bananas had a distinct vibration that ran through them every minute or so. I quietly placed them on a ledge at a nearby temple. We then went to a larger Hindi temple nearby and meditated. We were then given the honor of a meeting with the Swami that cares for the place. It was a huge honor. Jennifer later said it was the best day of her life after he blessed her for her birthday today. He spoke to us about worshipping ourselves as God is within each of us. It is difficult for me to type about his message as it was very peaceful and emotional for me.
We then went to the Tata Power Generating plant. We had to fill out extensive paperwork to gain entry and then it was because one Rotarian is friends with Tata and buys electric from them that we got in. Tata generates power from low-sulfur petrol (<2%) and sells the power to smaller power plants. The smaller ones then put it into the power grid and sell it to the consumer. We were permitted into the main control room and shown the main computers that control everything. It was a huge privilege as the common citizen can’t even get in the gate! Then we were given hearing protection and taken into the main room with the engines, couplers, turbines, and generators. They said the noise level was 110-115 decibels. We communicated with gestures and writing. The engines, five of them, were 18 cylinders apiece and huge, maybe 20 feet tall and 70 feet long and 10 feet wide. I may even be underestimating their size here. The noise was deafening even with the ear plugs. We then toured the outside and saw the cooling system which was almost like a giant radiator except the water fell through the air to release heat. The tanks of oil were large too. Everything was very efficient and safe and only required 6 people to work it. They even recycle the steam to heat the fuel. Nothing is wasted and they follow strict laws regarding pollution. The US power plants could really learn from them! In the photo you can see part of the building that houses the engines as well as the tall smoke stacks. Notice there is no smoke coming out of them even though all of the engines are running, very eco-friendly.
After that we went for lunch and the usual time of 1400 and then to our hosts homes. Mukumb was still at his factory so I spoke with Granny for a while. She speaks no English and I no Hindi but we still are able to have a conversation. I went up to take a nap and woke up sick. I had all flu-like symptoms and felt miserable. It has been going around the group and I finally got it. I took some meds from suitcase pharmacy and we went to the Belgaum Rotary Clubs group meeting. There were about 65 people in attendance. I walked in while Bernie was just starting and did what needed to do. I was miserable but in the end I felt better. We went for an early dinner at 2100 then went to a movie at one of the Rotarians theatre. The movie was called “Welcome” and even though it was in Hindi, it was hilarious. It was about the mafia and the Indian movies are very dramatic and romantic. It seemed to be PG-13 but that didn’t stop them. The movie got done at 2400 and we headed home.
From the left in the photo is my host, Mukumb, me, Granny (86 yrs), Mukumb’s father and mother. Well, it’s time to go to sleep as we move to Kholapur tomorrow. I will miss my host, Mukumb Bang, he has been very gracious and helpful and very funny!

1 comment:

Brahmanand Chipre said...

Hello. Thx for visiting the Temple. If possible u can have a look at this one and comment back.

I m striving hard to save it !

Thx in advance.
Bangalore - India.