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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
India ยป Gaya

24.7913957, 85.0002336

Fri. 6 [6 February 1903] Left at 8.30, Mrs S. [Sanders] seeing us off
and got to Gaya at 4.30. No place to lunch, so we made tea and had
biscuits and cake. Installed ourselves at the DB and walked out to
the Vishnu Pad temple. Cloudy day with a drop or two of rain, but
clearing towards sunset. The country quite different - rice fields, bare
till the rains, palms and clumps of bamboos. The houses roofed with
tiles and made of roughly burnt bricks. Lots of trees, chiefly banyans.
The people also different, smaller, browner, nakeder. One felt one
was in Bengal. The town wonderfully picturesque. Tanks with palms
round, narrow streets, the houses made with fronts columned in black
carved wood with a touch of gilding on them and the tiled roofs giving
a totally different air. Walked round the temple outside and then went
in and saw the shrine where Vishnu's foot mark is. Lots of people,
beggars, white faced sadhus, cripples in the outer courts. Saw a man
with elephantiasis. People beating drums. Came home through the
dark streets, lighted with an occasional oilwick of a shop - the food
shops best lighted - and shopped stone figures and animals. Flower
sellers with heaps of marigolds in the temple. A funeral hurried past
us in the dark narrow street - the corpse dressed in white and pink
borne on a litter. Lovely coming home in the dusk, clumps of palm
heads against a red barred sky. Lots of poppy fields, the opium
poppy, white with flower. Much warmer and mosquitos.

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