Monday, 5 November 2012

Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh and a cut throat razor

After turning off the main Jodhpur to Udaipur road, we find ourselves on a road less travelled and heading for Ranakpur. 

Veggie street sellers.
Another dusty little village and another tasty chai break.  

With a slow train causing the traffic to back up through the narrow main street, we decide to walk and join the bustling mass of friendly people, chugging tractors, tooting buses and dignified camels, all pressing toward the closed boom gates.

Level crossing traffic congestion.

When the rail crossing reopened the cheery old man on the camel cart offered us a lift to the other side of town.

Climbing up through cooler mountain country we eventually arrive at Ranakpur.  We will stop here for the night to enjoy a break from the noise and chaos of the larger towns.
Our black face monkey neighbours at Ranakpur
Plonked in the middle of nowhere, Ranakpur is a tiny village of only a few hundred people, but it's home to a magnificent Jain temple.  Clearly I'm not familiar with the religious significant but the quality of the marble construction and detailed work, dating back several centuries is very impressive.

Life size elephant carving.  Too much carved marble is never enough.

Moving on we prepare ourselves for Kumbhalgarh fort, possibly India's answer to the great wall of China. 

Kumbhalgarh may not be as grand in respect to the intricate detail and carvings as other forts that we have visited but for the sheer size and the incredible 36 kilometre perimeter wall, this engineering masterpiece is awesome. 
KumbhalgarhKumbhalgarhKumbhalgarh. If, like me you're struggling with the pronunciation, try filling your mouth with marbles, now give it a go.  See much easier.

Time for some pampering

Whenever we travel to this part of the world I can't help that I feel I need a little spontaneous pampering.

 Would you trust your throat to this man

Rakesh stops in another scruffy little village and I go in search of a man with a cut throat razor.  In return for my  hard earned $3, this chap over the next hour will give me a head shave, a face double shave, some savage ear treatment, a back, neck, and head massage, knuckle cracking and shoulder popping.
The gathered crowd in his shop and out in the street encouraging my new trusted razor man on to extra extravagant treatments.

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