For this sunday moto-trip, our goal was to reach two places just south of Bangalore which sounded like an appealing guru’s hoax : “Pyramid Valley”, which claims to be the biggest meditation pyramid of the world and the “Art of Living” ashram which has a marketing strategy as efficient as the one from Coca-Cola. The promise of surrealist experiences…
Road signs, organized parking, map indicating the different “attractions”, loudspeakers broadcasting mantras in the paths around the place, no doubt, arriving at Pyramid Valley, we were in a amusement park for aspiring Yogis, and not the recluse ones. With a capacity of 5000 people, the pyramid is supposed to help you achieve a more powerful meditation! Except the carpet, exhibition-place style, the place is very pleasant, relaxing and even impressive with the “intensive meditation platform” which could have been used for a Star Wars movie. Still be careful as the fine line between meditation and having a nap is not allowed to be crossed, we were summoned not to lie there !
Leaving the place (without giving a single rupee), we headed to the Art of Living ashram which is very close, driving on an amazing road: Pipeline Road ! Just as a reminder, medium roads in India are a hell made of cars, trucks, buses which overtake without any visibility and keep on honking. Kanakapura road which leads to Art of Living is this kind of road. BUT, some meters away from this axis lays a pipeline which may link Bangalore to the Cauvery water and along this pipeline there is a road, as large as a bicycle path only accessible for two wheelers. A pure pleasure !
About Art of Living, we don’t know if it’s because we arrived during a particular ceremony but all the clichés we had in mind about ashrams and gurus were confirmed: followers (a lot of western people) who looked like fake Krishnas, gurus with blessed smile, elephant greeting the master guru “Sri Sri”, heady songs and memory shop selling everything from the yoga mat to their favourite sticker guru.
We came back fast to Bangalore to find again the bustle of the city, far from those parallel worlds !