Palace home after long drive to Bikaner
Trip Start Dec 27, 2016
17Trip End Jan 18, 2017
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Where I stayed
Not far past Pokaran we stopped at Ram Devi Temple. It is a very vibrant active Hindu temple, and a major place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The streets approaching it were colourful with sugar offerings, spices, garland sellers and such. Pilgrims and beggars were much in evidence. There was so much in the way of railings to channel the worshippers that it reminded me of immigration at an airport. After removing our shoes we entered the temple, reaching up to ring the bell placed there for the purpose
We stopped for lunch at a wayside "resort" near Phalodi on a hill with views in every direction. Lunch was cheese sandwiches, muffins and fruit provided by our hotel. There was much more bread than we could eat, so a lot was fed to some very willing chooks and roosters.
Around Bikaner were a lot of gravel heaps, and camels towing carts.
Our accommodation in Bikaner was once the personal residence of Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner. It is huge, of finely carved sandstone, Along with dozens of photos of the Maharajah on hunting expeditions, Hundreds of antelope heads line the covered walkways, and the billiards room and bar have many lion and tiger skins and even a rhinoceros. My room has ceilings beautifully painted with gold floral decorations, and to get to the huge bathroom I have to walk up and down marble steps past my dressing room. Dinner tonight was all served at table, and was one of the best meals yet, baked potatoes and cauliflower moray as well as a couple of curries, and beautifully presented dessert of mousse, Indian halva and fresh fruit. At my table, Bernard reminisced about his time as a tour leader.