Author: Bill Aitken
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195647114
Wry, profound, vivid, passionate and informative by turn, this is an unusual travelogue by a writer who describes himself as one of the original hippies.
This is a travelogue by a writer who describes himself as one of the original hippies. He set off in his twenties from his native Scotland on the classic outward journey, expecting to come closer to the Truth. Aitken’s need to search, however, was genuine, keeping him in this country for over forty years, restlessly traveling its hills and plains and becoming, in the process, vastly knowledgeable about the country’s history, religions and geography.
In this fascinating account of his travels through the Deccan, Aitken attempts to explain 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. 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 site of Badami and Pattadakal, Bijapur and Gulbarge, Hampi and Lepakshi. He tells us the of the region, its many religions, warring sects, kings and queens. The grandeur of the plateau rockscape, he argues, fired the rules of all religions to produce monumental architecture and liberating art. The breezes of the tableland stimulated free and radical theological exchange. 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.
From railway engines to motorbikes, Bill Aiken has traveled through India on most modes of transport. He is a well-known and versatile writer. His books include ‘Exploring Indian Railways; Riding The Ranges; Seven Sacred Rivers and the Nanda Devi Affair.
Over the Ghats
Sab Ka Mali Ek
Blow Horn, Keep Distance
I Like this Panduranga
Bull in the China Shop
Bijapur: Monumental Joy
Forever Blowing Bubbles
Wandering in Uncertain Places
Anvil of the Creator
Ganga Snana, Tunga Pana
Theology on the Rocks
In the Manner Most Singular
Spring to Both Body and Soul
Cold Waters in a Dry and Thirsty Land
Divinity Exploring its Own Wonders