Day 9, Rohet to Ranakpur to Udaipur
We sadly left our desert oasis of Rogetgarh. It was such a special place, green and cool, with warm, friendly people. We hit the road with our driver extraordinare for the Jain temple of Ranakpur. On the way we stopped to watch sesame oil be made in the ancient tradition. The bull is blindfolded to keep him from becoming irritated at walking in circles all day. The woman is pushing the sesame seeds into the center depression, the wooden post rolls around crushing the seeds for oil.
Ranakpur temple is in a valley, still in the state of Rajasthan. The temple is dedicated to Tirhankara Rishabhanatha, a revered teaching god of Jainism. This temple (featured photo) is one of the five holy places of the Jain community and was created in the 15th century. The religion is traditionally known as Jain Dharma and there is evidence of Jain monks in the first or second centuries BC. The three main principles to Jainism are non-violence, non-absolutism, and non-possessiveness. The central tenet is non-violence and respect for all living things.
The temple is an architectural wonder with 29 halls and 1444 pillars all carved, with no two alike.
After exploring the temple, Paramjeet drove us to lunch where we were the ‘table of disappointment’. Suzanne and I would have been happy with a power bar and bottle of water, but didn’t want Param to go hungry. We pulled into a restaurant and were the first party from the temple to arrive. We ordered diet cokes, mixed vegetables, Nan, and vegetable noodles. The staff couldn’t have been more unhappy, commenting on how we only ordered 3 dishes. Weird experience, but at least Param was happy with a good lunch. Param stopped the car so we could see some Gray Langur monkeys. They immediately jumped on the car. This guy is sitting on the drivers side rear view mirror.
Further on our way to Udaipur we stopped to watch a farmer using an ancient method of irrigation. The hand dug well is about 25′ to the waterline. The oxen turn the wheel, which sends little pails down to the water, then back up to be dumped in a small channel that takes the water to the adjacent fields.
We have arrived in Udaipur at another heritage property. The hotel is a 150 year old, ruined palace that was moved and restored on a summit overlooking the city and countryside. The aspect is stunning and the room is modest. We are looking forward to a big day tomorrow with adventuring to multiple sites. Adventuring is pretty much part everything here. From figuring out how to use the shower, to puzzling out what people are saying. And Suzanne and I have found we compliment each other pretty well. She can dodge traffic, with me hot on her heels, to get to the ATM and I know how to use it. I can deal with the old school room locks and Suzanne makes sure I take my Malaria pill. So, all is well and we are doing our best to take care of each other while exploring India.