We got up at 6am as we have to leave at 8 for Udaipur. Iram tells us the journey will take around 6 hours as “no good roads”. I’m feeling a bit sick and don’t have much breakfast but just put this down to being tired. Ali also feels sick and when we get in the car I let the kids go back to sleep for a few hours.
Despite Iram’s prediction the roads seem ok and we seem to be going at a good enough pace. By now I am looking forward to getting to Udaipur and saying goodbye to him. I have enjoyed travelling around Rajasthan but it has been very tiring and I can’t wait to get to Goa and lie on the beaches in the sun.
Rajasthan has also been much colder than Delhi and Varanasi, this has meant that we have had to wear the same clothes for a week as we each only have one set of warm stuff and I am fed up with this.
On the way we have planned to stop off at Ranakpur, this is one of India’s oldest Jain temples and an incredible piece of architecture. To get to Ranakpur we have to cross over a mountain range and the roads are very twisty. The landscape is completely different to anything else we have seen so far in Rajasthan. Very mountainous and green with lots of lovely flowers, almost tropical looking. There are big monkeys sat on the roadsides watching us go by and we see signs saying this is a wildlife sanctuary and pictures of leopards. I say to the kids that they probably wouldn’t be satisfied with West Midlands Safari Park again after this and they agree.
The Jain religion was set up in the 6th century BC; Jains believe that liberation can only be attained by achieving complete purity of the soul and in order to do this, all matter that attaches itself to our soul by our actions, must be shed .Right conduct is essential and non violence to any living thing is fundamental. This means the Jains do not eat any meat or vegetables that may have caused damage to insects during their harvest. Some Jains sweep the floor in front of them to avoid treading on insects and at the temple picking flowers, wearing leather, smoking and wearing shoes were amongst many other things that were strictly forbidden.
The Jain temple was absolutely beautiful and I hope the photos will do it justice although we weren’t allowed to photograph the idols that were on the outside of the temple walls.
The carvings were very intricate and delicate and the 1444 milk white marble pillars are all different. When we first entered the temple Alister said “oh wow its amazing isn’t it” which I guess sums it up if a 13 year old is impressed.
It was without doubt the most amazing thing we have seen other than The Taj Mahal since arriving in India.
Sadly though Ali and I weren’t able to enjoy it for long as our slightly nausea turned into full on throwing up. We were followed to the toilet by a little girl who wanted money for the privilege of standing and watching us being sick and I wished she understood enough English for me to say to her “sometimes honey when you got to puke you just want a bit of privacy!”
We got back in the car and then had to drive what seemed like hours across “no good roads” this was an understatement if anything and I can only really describe it as something like torture. I lost count of the number of times we had to stop for poor Ali to throw up and I think we all had whiplash injuries by the time we finally arrived at around 5pm. We had booked a hotel and we all staggered in weighed down with all our stuff.
Eight and a half hours later and I vow not to travel in any car, anywhere, ever again for any longer than 4 hours max.
I thought Simon was going to sort Iram out in the hotel reception but apparently he had paid him earlier and I felt really bad when I realised he had gone and me and the kids hadn’t even said goodbye or thank you to him. Simon said he seemed happy enough with the tip he gave him, baksheesh is a way of life here but I still felt awful and I hope he realised I didn’t mean to be so rude.
We got in the room and Ali and I promptly both threw up again, today has not been a good day, got straight into bed aching all over hopefully will feel better tomorrow.