Palitana is a town of temples. The entire local economy is centred around the constant stream of pilgrims throughout the year. The new cars mingle freely with the horse carriages – it is a mirror of an India which exists in multiple decades simultaneously.
Part of the charm lay in the dharamshala we stayed at. The facilities were excellent. Many Jain dharamshalas tend to compromise on the basic hygiene and facilities, but not this one. Abhishek and I got plenty of time together to play – Uno, a bit of Chess, and Name-Place-Animal-Thing. And he used the floor of our room to make his own bus depots, trains stations and airports with his toys.
There are few other places on Earth than can provide solitude and inspiration for less than Rs 500 a day. It will probably, as it was for Bhavana and her family in her childhood, become an annual pilgrimage destination for me, too.