Rajasthan Trip – Ranakpur

I must admit, we intentionally made a detour for this one…

It was on my list for a long time as I was captivated by the images of the extremely detailed carvings of the white marble. How could this ever disappoint?

Obviously it didn’t. Weird actually how reality always is a bit different than what you visualized or imagined prior to visiting. When I was planning this out I visualized the temple – for one reason or another – to be surrounded by a dirt field, ie no pavement around, no green, except for thicker woods a bit further away, and old grumpy priests mumbling mantras while looking angry at the tourists. Nope. Everything is nicely paved, the temples seem to be plotted in a city-like compound and the priests are not old or grumpy.

I realized in Jordhpur that my bag was actually made out of cow leather and this could be considered as “inappropriately carrying a slaughtered holy animal into a temple”. After the accidental insults we made the days before, I am much more vigilant.  I switched to a synthetic bag this time… and observed the tourists in line before us to be caught off guard when requested to leave any leather items behind.

And then we enter… ”                                                            “. That was the sound of our jaws dropping to the floor and nothing coming out of our otherwise chattering mouths. This is so impressive, what a craftsmanship, dedication and eye for beauty.

We read about the priests being pushy and not knowing to explain enough of the temple or the religion. Don’t know where those people experienced this, because we found we were left in peace to enjoy and only the moment we wanted to interact with a priest they connected with us. Guess we sent out clear vibes and radiated good karma? A young, devoted and smiley priest joined us and explained us about the history and special features. He was ninth generation priest. He took us around, showed us the one pillar which was intentionally built off center as only God is perfect, and asked if we wanted him to perform a mantra for us. Didn’t know exactly what it meant, but the way he proposed it sounded like it was something special and personal. So yes, that would be a very nice gesture and something we would appreciate. It was so beautiful and moving… and here we go again… the tears are poring out of our eyes. Poor guy, standing there with two middle aged women bursting in tears.

After we got our act back together, we moved on to the smaller temple. Also nice, but obviously “smaller” and less crowded. Is this the new way of getting food from tourists? When we wanted to exit our pathway is blocked… by a monkey. I don’t like to be close to monkeys. I don’t trust them. They are way to smart, quick and strong to my liking. She (I think) probably noticed we didn’t carry anything jummy and left the scene.

To end our day Babu – our driver – took us to a nice sunset spot, making our way through the premises of a restaurant/ hotel, over a stream and up a hill… We had it all to ourselves… A great end to an equally satisfying day.