Tale of Two Trails - Ranthambhore & Jaipur
Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
13Trip End May 13, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The fort has been abandoned as a fort for hundreds of years. During that time, it's evolved into a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. According to our guide, Girish, the current count of gods in the Hindu is somewhere around 330,000,000 (yes, million), so just about anything you see can be worshiped. As we walked through the fort, a steady flow of pilgrims climbed with us, bound for the temple to the god Ganesha, recognizable throughout the Hindu world for his elephant head. Girish tried to explain Ganesha’s relevance and position in the Hindu pantheon but I’d be remiss if I told you it fit seamlessly into my western, Judeo-Christian world view.
Apparently, what is most significant in the Hindu belief system is that Ganesha is very near the top of the pantheon, and considered wise and the remover of obstacles, a good god to venture into a dark alley with.
Though respectful of the pilgrimage, for me, enjoying the evocative ruins of the fort, the colorful garb of the women, and the antics of the monkeys drawn by all the extra food, was what made this a memorable morning.
After a late breakfast back at the lodge, and a chance to clean up, we headed north to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan. Our late afternoon activity, after the 105 degree heat has simmered down to a mere 98 degrees, was an amazing walk through the markets of Jaipur, known for it’s bustling bazaars.
We finished the day with a wonderful meal of Indian cuisine on a rooftop restaurant while we enjoyed the music and folk dances of a very talented local family. Tomorrow, we head north of town to explore a rural walk and visit a fort that plays into the complicated relationship between the 16th century Hindu Rajput kingdom and the invading Muslim Moghuls from the north.