Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 2:
The trip to Bikaner was a long one. We started at 9 o’clock in the morning and reached at 7:30 in the evening! Of course we made a lot of detours. First we went to see a temple which is called the Baabrik Temple. I don’t much like temples. I always find them over-crowded and dirty. But there was something funny about this one. It had three air-conditioners in it! The next stop, sadly for me, was also a temple, the Balaji Temple at Salesar on the way to Bikaner. This temple was also special in a way. The outer temple was built of silver and the inner main one was of gold! But I couldn’t get a photograph of it. Camera was not aloud inside. After this, we decided to have lunch. Menu was simple. Butter naan, Dal Tadka, Paneer Pudina Masala and Raita (note, no non-veg), but the paneer preparation was exceptionally tasty! Later we went to a deer park. But before that we went to a place where peacocks were abundant. This was inside a school complex. A very hospitable man welcomed us inside and offered us chairs to sit in the garden and cool water. And later when we bid him goodbye, he gave us peacock feathers! It was very nice of him.
The deer park experience was pretty good. Made a lot of them run away from me whenever I tried to approach them. But wonder why they ran! I was not smiling or showing my teeth, I’m sure of that! But then it was time for the camels. Camels are so common in Rajasthan that you get used to them very easily. I think I made one pee out of fear while I was standing beside it. After it moved away there was a puddle of water on the road where it stood! Then it was a long drive. Had tea twice on road. And dal pakora. It was from a roadside stall, but very tasty. Afterwards, after sun down, we went to another temple. And even this one was special in a way. It was a replica of the Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra. Then we went directly to Bikaner. The hotel here is very good. It’s inside the Lalgarh Palace Complex. The restaurant area is fabulous with live Rajasthani dance and music. Tomorrow its time for the Bikaner fort and I’m eagerly looking forward to it. It’ll be my first fort experience in Rajasthan.

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