After an exciting Day 1 of our holiday in Bundi, we had decided to start our second day pretty early with a trip to a nearby Jain temple called Bijoliya Parasnath, then return to Bundi for lunch and then start for our long drive to Pushkar.
And in order to manage everything in time, we started pretty early from Bundi at 6.30am (in fact it was so early that we had to wake up the haveli staff to open the doors J) for our journey to Bijoliyaji Parasnath. Now the distance between these 2 places is only around 50 Kms but the drive takes around 2 hours one way, due to the bad conditions of the road.
The temple of Bijoliya Parasnath is very old and important for Jains as it is supposed to be the place where our 23rd Teerthankar Bhagwan Parsvanath meditated and where Kamattha (an enemy from quite a few past generations) created a massive storm and threw huge rocks on Bhagwan Parsvanath (to end his meditation). However at this point, 2 devs (in the form of snakes) came and created a protection around Bhagwan Parasnath, with which the Lord immediately attained kevalgyan (complete universal knowledge). He then held his first Samavsharan (public address) here.
Later the temple idols here were discovered quite by chance. A famous businessman of Ujjain City came here during his pilgrimage and saw a dream about the ancient idol of Bhagwan Parsvanath. According to the dream, the next morning he dug the place near a pond and a magnificent ancient idol of Bhagwan Parsvanath appeared, along with some other idols of goddess Ambika, Padmawati, Shri Dharnendra & Kshetrapal (this pond is still there till today).
We reached this place after a beautiful drive (more on the drive later) by 9.00am and did the darshan of the various temples around. We then went and saw the rocks around here that have really old inscriptions, which are supposedly dated 1170 AD and are now protected by Archeological Survey of India in Rajasthan. This is a really quiet place in between of nowhere and we found it to be immensely peaceful. However if you are planning to come here, then please bring some food along as there is nothing around here (or anywhere nearby for that matter).
We spent about an hour and a half here and then started our drive back to Bundi. Now this drive (to and fro from Bundi) is a beautiful one. First we saw some stunning natural pink rock formations in various shapes and sizes. I hunted a lot over the internet for more reference material on these rocks but couldn’t find anything regarding the origins or study of these rock formations. Our guide however said that they were naturally made and have been there since a very long time.
Then all along the way the topography kept changing. In some places it seemed pretty barren and then in some places it was completely green and with a lot of water bodies. For a long time I just couldn’t believe that I was in the desert state of Rajasthan.
With a slight detour, we saw the Bhimlat Mahadev Falls which were spectacular, though they are even more so during the rainy season. There is a Shiv temple close by and during the rainy season the locals come and camp around here, hold a small fair and go to the temple to pray. However it was extremely quiet when we saw it, with no one around except birds and some strange animals. I also loved the rugged and hilly scenery all around these falls, and could even imagine a rainbow over it.
For the rest of the drive, we just saw green fields and the most amazing variety of birds. Every 10 steps there was literally a new species of birds in all beautiful colors and kinds. At one point I just felt that I should chuck the car, rent a bicycle and cycle all around this area to capture these birds on camera. Though I have kept this as a to do for my next trip around here, for this time I just tried to capture as many as I could. However these were not even a fraction of all the varieties that we saw. These alone made my whole trip worthwhile.
We then reached Bundi and had a quick-lunch of hot jalebis, checked out of hotel and started our drive towards Pushkar. Now this drive was pretty boring and not as interesting as the previous one. Also the road was horrible, thereby breaking our backs. This road was so bad that the car just wouldn’t go above the second gear and we took about 6 hours to reach Pushkar. The only notable thing during this journey was a lunch break at a small nondescript town called Kekri . We had wanted to eat dal baati (a local Rajasthan specialty) here but since we were late, lunch was over everywhere and we landed up at a place for a ranta parantha. This is one extremely large paratha (as you can see from the image below) served with a simple salad, pickle and vegetables. Though it was extremely simple and cheap, but it was simply mind blowingly tasty. Though I wonder till date as to how do they turn such a large paratha over to cook both sides well. Anyways, it is a must for everyone who is driving through this way.
We reached Pushkar around late evening and checked into our Haveli guesthouse here. We then had dinner in the guesthouse itself and crashed from exhaustion.
Tips for the trip –
- Keep food with you for this day as there are not enough good eating options on this entire route.
- If you can cycle for long distances, then rent a bicycle in Bundi and drive around on the Bijoliya route. These birds en-route are a beautiful sight.
- While entering Pushkar there is a Rs 20 tax for all visitors and then a guide starts selling his services. This is pretty irritating. So just refuse politely and continue your journey. Additionally we saw a lot of cars just drive past and not stop at all.
- Pushkar has numerous budget stay options but you must check the quality of the rooms and bathrooms etc before agreeing to stay in a place.