Thursday, 26 February 2015

Moving on

We were up at 4.00am in time to pack and get to the railway station to buy tickets for our train journey to Palanpur.   The ticket office opened at 6.00am instead of 5.30am as we were informed.   Oh well, it was going to be a long day anyway!

Second class only and for a journey lasting nine hours and stopping at 38 stations it was a bargain price of 70 rupees each (75p).    We settled in our seats with emergency rations of water and biscuits.   There would be plenty of vendors on the various stations selling food, chai and coffee.

We started our journey in the dark and watched the sun rise over the countryside.   At every station there were passengers and the carriages soon became full.   The time went by very quickly.   Plenty of things of interest out of the windows, and the passengers were very chatty.   Where did we come from?   Where were we going?   Did we like India?  Lots of photographs and exchanging of e mail addresses.

Station platforms full of people coming and going.   Luggage, boxes wrapped in calico, chickens in crates, barking dogs, cows, musicians, holy men, groups of Jains on a pilgrimage.    Railway crossing with cars, lorries and motorbikes waiting for the train to pass.   A sign for a bump in the road, with the 'p' missing.   People walking in the country side, where did they come from?   No sign of a village anywhere.

As we neared Palanpur the train slowly emptied of passengers.   One family from Bhuj were travelling to their special temple, only to return again that evening on a 'sleeping' coach.

At Palanpur Samshu was there to greet us with garlands of roses.  He had driven up from Udaipur that morning.    We were heading for Danta only an hour away, but first a cup of chai.

We were in Danta in October and this time I managed to get photographs of the terracotta horses in  the Adivarsi shrine.

big ones

and smaller ones
the size is determined by the wish granted

as the shrine becomes full old and broken images are discarded

We stayed for two nights.    After a long day's travel we had the best sleep ever.   The next night was crazy.   With a wedding going on in the village, which started quietly, all was well.   Then there were the fireworks and the music was ramped up to full volume!    Well, it is the Wedding Season and they did sound like they were having a jolly good time.

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