Tag Archives: Rajasthan

Appreciating the “miracles” of Bara Padampura, Rajasthan

30 Aug

After the successful darshans of Choolgiriji (Khaniyaji) and Sanganer; we arrived at our final destination for this quick trip and that was, Padampura. Padampura is a small town (around 33kms from Jaipur) and famous for the temple of miracles i.e. Bara Padampura. This unique temple is known for the beautiful and captivating idol of our 6th Teerthankar (God), Bhagwan Padamprabhuji. This idol had appeared in Vaishakh Shukla 5 V.S. 2001 and is a small idol of 2 feet and 4 inches in a padmasan (sitting) position and made of white (though now looks off-white / yellow) stone.

The Bara Padampura Temple

The Bara Padampura Temple

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Discovering the “secrets” of the Jain Temple Sanghiji in Sanganer, Rajasthan

28 Aug

Continuing my journey (from my previous post Choolgiriji, Khaniyaji) on the Jain temple trail, I reached the small town of Sanganer, which is situated 16 km south of Jaipur City on National Highway No. 12, Kota – Jaipur Road. This is a historical town and famous for textile printing and handmade paper industry. However its most famous for the old and beautiful Shri Digamber Jain temple Sanghiji.

This is an ancient temple in red stone and exquisite carvings, that represents the old style of architecture and was completed in many phases. Per the inscription of V.S. 1011 in one of the pylons (Toranas), the last phase was completed in 10th century A.D. In this temple the Mulnayak Pratima (main idol) is of our first tirthankar, Lord Adinath (Rishabh Dev), made of local stone and expected to be more than 4000 years old. This temple is seven storied and has sky-high ‘shikharas’ (spires) and the inner sanctum is a stone shrine with skyhigh eight Shikharas (pinnacles). The inner temple is a stone shrine with three pinnacles and carvings of lotuses, creepers and elephants pouring water from pitchers held in their trunks all around.

The main entrance of the temple

The main entrance of the temple

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Understanding the term “being at peace” in Choolgiriji (Khaniyaji), Rajasthan

27 Aug

Since I have started traveling, I have discovered numerous new categories within travel – rural, dark, voluntarism, responsible, eco, cultural, spiritual, action, active, etc etc. But along with experimenting with all of these, I have tried another  type of travel that is both rural and a spiritual experience. This is the Jain temple trail i.e. visiting ancient Jain temples in smaller unknown villages and towns in India. Initially I didn’t like temples and like everyone my age group around had to be either dragged or emotionally blackmailed by parents into visiting them. But after a few such recent visits something in me has definitely changed. I have now come to like these visits and consider them a photographic and a spiritual delight. Many of these temples are really ancient and hence have a unique architecture, carvings, intricate patterns, some in ruins, etc that make beautiful pictures and on the other hand somehow these temples just bring about a certain sense of peace / harmony within me. My mom says, this because of the ultimate faith that people who built these temples then had in religion which still lingers in these old places / temples.

Entrance to the temple, Choolgiriji, Khaniyaji

Entrance to the temple, Choolgiriji, Khaniyaji

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus

24 Aug

The topic for this week’s weekly photo challenge is Focus inspired by Matthew George’s post on focus, in which he talks about highlighting the subject of your picture frame using the concept of depth of field. Using this concept and playing with the aperture settings, a single sight can be captured in multiple ways thereby making your audience concentrate on different subjects with each frame.

For this topic, I have decided to share my picture of an Indian Roller bird that I clicked in the jungles of Rajasthan last winter. When I first saw this bird, I just gaped at it for a while as I was so awestruck with its colors and then I remembered my camera and clicked this bird in about 12 different poses. I guess it enjoyed my foolishness and hence decided to humor me by patiently sitting and modeling for me 🙂 In this pic, I have just focused on the bird, resulting it to be sharp and the resulting background to be blurred.

The Indian Roller posing for my camera

The Indian Roller posing for my camera

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A Food Guide to Pushkar

24 Feb

Pushkar is any vegetarian and budget traveler’s food paradise. 🙂

The majority of the travelers visiting this town are foreigners and they live here for long periods of time. But the entire town is a temple town, hence any form of meat and alcohol is strictly prohibited. This has resulted in all kinds of cuisine being available here in their pure vegetarian avatars. This town is really small and for all practical purposes just one long winding road, but the number of eating options in terms of places and variety is just mind-boggling. And all this is available at dirt cheap prices.

So it’s no wonder that when a foodie like me landed in this town what happened – well I literally ate my way through the streets. My friends, Sonal and Partha had been to Pushkar a couple of months before us and they had spent about 10 days exploring this place and its hidden food gems. We tried their recommendations and found some of our own too. We were literally eating every 30 minutes here.

Since I loved the food here so much, I  am now listing the same below for everyone who is visiting this amazing town to try out and enjoy. Since I was busy eating and now reminiscing while writing, the descriptions are quite short. Hence take this as a teaser and visit Pushkar for your own experience. 🙂

  • Pohas – Every morning all along the roads people come with carts and set up street side  poha stalls. Poha is a kind of flat rice which is cooked with vegetable likes potato and peas and served with a garnish of fresh tomatoes, coriander etc. This simple dish served in a newspaper for just Rs 5 is the most amazing poha that I have ever eaten anywhere in India or at home. This is a must try for at least one day breakfast. 
A Poha Stall

A Poha Stall

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Ajmer – my visit and impressions

10 Feb

During our stay in Pushkar, we decided to book a local cab for a day and explore Ajmer. Now Ajmer and Pushkar are pretty much twin cities just separated by a hill and a 15 – 20 minute drive. Based on my own experience, I recommend that everyone stay in Pushkar and visit Ajmer for a day trip only.

We started our day with a visit to the Jain temple of Nareli. Nareli is a new temple complex that is around 7 kms ahead of Ajmer and is a kind of township. There is a main temple building built-in the centre on the ground and 23 small temples built atop the hill behind this main temple. The color of the stone used for these temples is a mix of pink and red which contrasts with the barren hills around this place and contribute to the character of this complex. There are gardens all around the main temple and they have small rooms built with replicas of Jain beliefs on conducting their life and small boards which explain the principles of Jainism in the most simple language.

Jain Temple, Nareli, Ajmer

Jain Temple, Nareli, Ajmer

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Meeting the various forms of Lord Shiva in Pushkar

20 Jan

Pushkar is a small Hindu temple town in Rajasthan that is full of temples, either every alternate building is a temple or every house has a temple. In addition to the famous (and one of the few in the world) Lord Brahma temple, there are numerous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva here. According to Hindu mythology when Lord Shiva’s wife – Lady Sati died, Shiva cried so much that his tears created 2 ponds and one them is in Pushkar.

Hence it was not surprising that while walking around this town we came across Lord Shiva in various forms. While it was prohibited to take pictures inside the temples, we captured Shiva on camera in various other places. I am sharing a few of these here in my 100th post today.

We found this small kid wandering on the road dressed exactly like Lord Shiva. However unlike the Lord he demanded a small fee to be photographed. 🙂

A kid dressed as Lord Shiva

A kid dressed as Lord Shiva

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