Of Durry’s, Moustaches and Temples. India Day 4

29 06 2009

A truly memorable day. Not for the never-ending hours of travel of course, but for the people and places.

The day began typically. Early start, average breakfast buffet, and straight onto the bus.

First stop? Data Durry (rug) weavers in a small village just South of Jodhpur.

Data Durry Weaver

Here we met the most amazing character. An old guy who’d been weaving his entire life. Very friendly, very amazing, and what an amazing look. He was very proud of his life, and especially his moustache.

Actually I think this is one of my favourite (if not the favourite) picture of the whole trip.

The Master

Susie and The Master

We watched him at work, talked, photographed and then waited while he began his sales pitch. Eventually it was back onto the bus and we were on the way again.

The scenery was certainly looking different. Large plains, with mountains in the distance. Stunning looking, but not a place I’d want to live, especially in 3rd world conditions and without running water or electricity.

Typical Rajastani Landscape

A further few hours down the road, after many games of cards, and ATM stop, drinks, snacks etc we finally arrived at the Jain Temples in Ranakpur.

Building started in 1439 and is built around the number of 72. 72 yards square, 1440 (72 x 20) pillars, 72 shrines, 72 inch tall statues etc etc.

A central pillar holds an inscription commanding the building of the temples.

Inscription of construction

Everything is elaborately carved, columns, ceilings, statues etc.

The Family of Gods?

Temple Ceiling, Ranakpur

Holding up the World

Some statues are rubbed for good luck and decorated with flowers and gold leaf.

Rub me for luck

Ganesh, temple style

Around the sides are the 72 shrines. While you can’t get to close to the statues, you can certainly see them.

Buddha behind bars

Amazingly enough, the temple complex is still under construcion. Workers clambering over it building, cleaning or repairing.

Temple labourers

Following our (too brief) stay at the temple, we headed down into and beyond the villages to our hotel. Not quite what we expected, but a stunning eco resort, consisting of large 2 floor cottages with great views out over the valley. We didn’t see any but they claim that leopards sometimes cone down to drink in the stream.

After getting acquainted with the accommodation for the night we went on a walk into the local village to have a look around. It was much more rural that any of us expected. Just a small collection of houses and a few families.

The girls seemed to be the ones who had to carry all the water from the ancient round water wells with their mechanical water lifts.

Ancient Water Well

Water Girl

Of course, being a bunch of foreigners, the local kids flocked to us, to joke around and ask for money. Very cute.

Yes Capitan II

Yes Capitan!

Eventually, with the sun setting, we arrived back at the hotel for the nights entertainment. What can be better than fire, music and beer?

Indian Bonfire

Musicians

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