Woke up around 5:45 and felt like going out and taking sunrise shots – don’t get to do that too often in the city. Rushed out at 6:00 and met the guest house owner. He advised to walk across couple streets to a guest house on the opposite wall of the fort (facing east). The owner of that g.h. was quite happy to let me upstairs to the roof after I gave reference of my guest house’s owner. It was quite cold there but the view was spectacular. in the east one could see gadisar lake and the old city expanse and windmills in the far horizon.
In the west from the roof higher than this was the main entrance of the fort and the palace buildings (now the museum) with hundreds of pigeons resting overnight. (see pic)
I was a bit early for the sunrise and a couple photo enthusiasts also showed up on the same roof in sometime and we all waited and got some shots though the haze made it far from ideal to take great sunrise photos (see pic)
Got back to the guest house and the prevailing mood in the room was of general disenchantment with the room and the touristy nature of the city. So the decision was to visit the jain temples and then lodruva/amar sagar and leave.
First stop was the chandraprabh temple at fort that was a few hundred metres from the guest house. The temple houses 108 statues of parswanathji and is impressively carved.
The neighboring temple of parswanathji has a beautiful ornate gate that I couldnt stop clicking (see below).
Other details in the temple were no less impressive (Given its age)
It also has few smaller temples within its compound and a statue of bhomiyaji.
The moolnayak (main statue) is made of sandstone and mother of pearl paste is applied once every 8 years to make it totally white. I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t asked the priest !
The nearby temple of shantinathji had a colony of small and very evil looking bats.
Overall, a great set of temples though not matching khajuraho in detail or variety yet some nayika statues were very beautiful.
Checked out of hotel and drove to Lohdruva on sam road. The two statues of parswanathji – one in the main temple and another in the smaller annexe temple are made of kasauti stone. The gatekeeper informed me that the principal sculptor of the statue could carve only one statue in his lifetime (due to hardness of the material) and that statue is in the main temple. The sculptor’s son finished the other statue in the annexe temple. The main gate is ornate and imposing – bears marked similarity to the gate of parswanathji temple in the fort. Further, was told that the artisans working on this temple moved to patan after this temple was concluded. Now I know where I’m heading next 🙂
The temple was originally built around 900 ad, destroyed by muhammad of ghor and reconcstituted in 17th century. Signs of vandalizing by blunt objects very evident in the main temple thus lending credence to the story.
Next stop was Amarsagar – an adinath shrine that was renovated in 1997 by the current trust. The temple is devoid of any charm and I spent about ten minutes looking around – didn’t take a single snap. Left for phalodi via Pokaran – beautiful empty road. Lunch stop at RTDC motel located strategically at the bifurcation of bikaner bound NH14 from NH112 bound from Jodhpur. Food surprisingly good for a motel where we were the only guests in a restaurant that could seat about 30.
Onwards to phalodi and Khichan – the wintering spot of the demoiselle cranes. Pulled into Khichan around 4:30 pm and started enquiring about crane habits.
We had to backtrack to Phalodi – about 8 kms away to get an acceptable room. Given that it’s not a major tourist spot, the rooms were not bad value – 900/- for a double Aircon with cable and european style w.c.s The restaurant was named ‘Charli’ for some reason!