Bhavana and I have been doing an annual pilgrimage to Rajasthan since 1997. She maps out a route and we visit various temples over a 3-4 day period. The two constants are Nakodaji and Osiyanji, temples on either side of Jodhpur.
This year, we were joined by Bhavana’s sister’s family. Their daughter is a year older to Abhishek, so both the kids had good company.
We took the train to and from Rajasthan (about 14 hours each way). Due to the holiday season rush, we only managed to get tickets for second class, three-tier, non AC. It turned out to be a good thing since Abhishek could actually look out of the window!
We drove about 800 kms over 3 days in Rajasthan, starting at Abu Road, and visiting Jirawala, Pavapuri, Sheoganj (where my father had set up an edible factory a couple decades ago, but which has since been shut down), Nakodaji, Osiyanji, Ranakpur, Muchhala Mahavir, and ending at Falna, from where we took the train back.
The long rides in the trains and a Toyota Qualis gave me plenty of time to ponder – about previous Rajasthan visits, and the state of the state. It is a state which is home to my ancestors – my parents were both born there. Every visit creates some hope but also depresses. More on that tomorrow.