Last week, I went on a pilgrimage to the Palitana temple near Bhavnagar in Gujarat. It is considered as one of the most sacred places among Jains. I had last been there 30+ years ago. This year, my mother-in-law is spending two months there, so we decided to go there.
We went by train – the Bhavnagar Express. It was a 13-hour ride to Songadh, and then a 25-km auto ride to Palitana. The next morning, we climbed the 4000-odd steps of the Shatrunjay Hills to the main temple complex. It is s a very tiring climb. I was ahead of the pack because Abhishek kept wanting to come to me, so it was decided that I just go up quickly. The same was the case for the return trip. It took me about 90 minutes to climb up and 60 minutes to come down. We spent about 4+ hours visiting the various temples at the top. Amazingly, Abhishek climbed up barefoot – as Bhavana kept him engrossed with stories.
As it happens during my journeys, lots of thoughts come to me when I am travelling. Will share some of these in the coming days.