Author: Bill Aitken
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 019 566350 0
In this fascinating account of his travels through the Deccan, Aitken describes the lure of the awesome plateau country to which he returned every year for twelve years, mesmerized by a rocky landscape in which theology and topography are hard to disentangle.
He tells us the story of the region, its many religions, warring sects, kings and queens. On his motorbike he goes deep into the numinous bouldered terrain of the Deccan, visiting the birthplaces of Shivaji and Tipu Sultan, the ashrams of Shirdi and Puttaparthi, the monumental sites of Badami and Pattadakal, Bijapur and Gulbarga, Hampi and Lepakshi. Aitken investigates gods, godmen and cults in search of the truly spiritual, finding it in Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, among others.
Wry, profound, vivid, passionate and informative by turn, this is an unusual guide to the Deccan, indeed to India, in a far deeper sense than usual.
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS
Unfailingly interesting and readable… It makes the heart glow.
Unusually perceptive and observant.
-Indian Review of Books
A book done with a dispassionate searching eye that only erudition and knowledge can bring about.
- The Statesman
Aitken clearly relished studying not only the history and geography of a place, which he does brilliantly, but also its human foibles and dramas.
4.Over the Ghats
5.Sab ka Malik Ek
6.Blow Horn, Keep distance
8.I Like this Panduranga
9.Bull in the China Shop
10.Bijapur: Monumental Joy
11.Forever Blowing Bubbles
12.Wandering in Uncertain Places
13.Anvil of the Creator
16.Ganga Snana, Tunga Pana
17.Theology on the Rocks
18.In a Manner Most Singular
20.Spring to Both Body and Soul
21.Cold Waters in a Dry and Thirsty Land
22.Divinity Exploring its Own Wonders