November 26th, 2012 by admin

Muchwala Mahaveer temple is a important Jain pilgrimage in Rajasthan. It is located near Ghanerao village of Pali district, Rajasthan. It is around 37 km from Ranakpur.

So how the name Muchwala Mahaveer was coined? Legend has it that once the king of Mewar during one of his tour was tired and rested at the temple. The priest here gave him some prasad. The king found a small hair. On this the king joked does your Lord has mustache? The priest said yes out of fear. In those days it was always wise to sing with the king’s tune. The king said he would like to see the lord’s mustache when he visits here next time. The priest now further scared thinking that king will punish him he will find the lord have no mustache. Finding no way he decided to kill himself or anyways he is going to be killed. That night lord Mahaveer showed up in his dream and told – next day do my puja as usual and put a drape on my face and ask the king to offer prayer when he comes.

He did exactly the same. When the king arrived, he went inside to offer prayer. There he opened the drape and to his surprise, Lord Mahaveer had mustache. The apologized to lord on his mistake. Later the mustache disappeared. However, the name “Mucchal Mahaveer” got coined. The main temple was getting renovated when I was there. Photography of idol is prohibited. Also, one must leave their shoes outside.

More photos of Rajasthan at, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

November 22nd, 2012 by admin

The drive from Kumbhalgarh to Ranakpur was a revelation which I never expected. I was told by my driver that this section of Rajasthan is a hilly region featured by the Aravalli hill range. As we traveled I was surprised to see the dry ghat section almost resembling the eastern or western ghats of India. I saw a few places where the road takes a number of hair pin bends. Forest on the body of the hills are not very thick but bushy in nature. From a viewpoint noticed that a new hotel/resort is being made ready in the valley below.

Rainy season will be more greener and more soothing, there is no doubt about it! If environment can be helped artificially with more rain or water for the ecosystem here, the forest would grow further. This would ultimately result in more natural rain and the ecosystem can endure henceforth. Driving through the forest and stone hills we stopped at a bridge. Here a natural waterfalls can be viewed during monsoon season only. Through I could see water below the bridge but there was no trace of waterfalls then.

We were greeted by langurs who tried to block our way in the hope of getting something. I found langurs are naturally found here. They typically wait beside the road in the hope that passerby people will feed them. These species of monkey are different than what is typically found in and around Bangalore. The langurs have grey hair, black face, black hand and black feet. Wheres the monkeys around Bangalore are smaller in size comparatively, have red face and golden hair.

I could view a few temples in the lap of the hill merging with the forest but still distinctly visible. This journey kept be guessing. Soon we reached Surya Narayan Temple followed by Ranakpur temple. This was a discovery for myself. I would like to tell my readers that Rajasthan is not all desert as many of us typically think. Be there to experience it and surprise yourself!

October 4th, 2012 by admin

It is a 9 story tower which raises in the plains of Marwar region near Kumbhalgarh. It gives a bird’s eye view of the plains of Marwar. The staircase is nicely decorated with teachings and photographs of Jainism. At top there is a white statue of one of the Jain Thirthankaras.

As I started climbing the stairs the wind became more cooler and soother. The leg of stair is made of wood. From here one can see the nearby town and country side. There is no entry fees. It is open morning to evening.

October 1st, 2012 by admin

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

With Club Mahindra’s invitation on hand, on 27th July 2012, around 4.30 am I left home for Bangalore International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli. The day before I had booked a MERU cab online. MERU sent the driver’s contact number and cab number a few hours before the pickup time. It took less than an hour to the airport early in the morning without any traffic. MERU is a dependable service when you have to reach the airport during odd hours. It cost me Rs 770 for that one way trip to BIA. The cabs are fitted with GPS and if the speed exceeds 80 km/hr, it raises an alarm.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

My flight for Mumbai was at 6.35 am with Air India and then a connecting flight from Mumbai to Udaipur at 12.20 pm again with Air India. I understood that it rained earlier that day in Mumbai. But Udaipur was very hot compared to Bangalore. At Udaipur airport, I was picked up by Prakash, driver from Club Mahindra resort, Kumbhalgarh and we set out on a 94 km drive to Kumbhalgarh. At Club Mahindra I was given a grand welcome in true Rajasthani style. I was allotted a cozy studio apartment. After refreshing myself had lunch which was delivered to my room. In the evening, Club Mahindra arranged a visit to Kumbhalgarh fort. Kumbhalgarh fort is the heart of Kumbhalgarh. The fort is located just 4 – 5 km away.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

After light and sound show while returning to Club Mahindra it was pitch dark outside. So know that Kumbhalgarh is peaceful clean village for a good retreat. Next morning a day trip was arranged. The country side road, clean air, sight of Aravalli range ghat section, old buildings, colorful Rajasthani life – what a treat to the eyes! We saw Kalpa birksh, Badal Mahal, Parsuram Kshetra, Ranakpur ghat section, Suryanarayan temple (Ranakpur), Ranakpur Jain temple, Keerthi Stambha, Muchala Mahaveer and Dehsuri ghat section. That night I was scheduled to have lunch with Kaustav, the front office manager here. kaustav was a perfect host. The lunch at Gazebo has the romance and fantasy of the location as well as the ruggedness of a foodie. The Gazebo balcony was setup with the background of Aravalli hills on one side and the club Mahindra apartments on the other side. It will be very fulfilling to sit at the end of Gazebo balcony and have a few drinks. With overload food, I bide Kaustav and retired to my room for good. I could not visit Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary as it was closed then. But it is a must visit. This 600 sq km national forest houses Shambar, Nilgai, leopard, Wolf etc, various birds like Kingfisher, Parakeets etc. Jeep safari is available or one can go on trek with permission from the concerned authority.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

The 3rd day at Club Mahindra was very tight on Schedule. I woke up early in the morning and shot the mists kissing the hills. Then I took walk all along the property and captured some shots. Around 9 pm, I was sitting with Biplab Banerjee for interview at Gazebo, the general manager of Club Mahindra resort, Kumbhalgarh. Following this, there was an interactive session with the activities manager, SPA manager and Chef. Kaustav told me how the resort came into being and their motto of customer service with care. Following this I had lunch at the buffet area and then left with Kaustav for Haldighati. First, we saw Chetak’s tomb. Then followed by Haldighati museum, Haldighati hill, Badshah baug, Maharana Pratap’s cave and Haldighati battlefieldRaktatalai. In the last leg traveled through precarious rugged Mewar country side to reach Nathdwara – the abode of Shrinathji. Unfortunately, I could not visit Eklingji temple. It was found by the founder of Mewar state Bapa Rawal (734 – 753). Eklingji, a form of lord Shiva is the royal deity of Mewar royal family.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

After reaching Club Mahindra, went on to enjoy ethnic Rajasthani dance which was organized there. Such events are organized frequently by the management for the entertainment of the guests and to give them a true taste of Rajasthani culture. Following this I was scheduled to have dinner with the Chef at the Royal balcony. All food and drinks served on silver utensils and the environment bound to make one feel royal. I had just the night, as next day early morning while it was still dark, I had to leave Kumbhalgarh. My flight was around 7 am from Udaipur.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

Rajasthan is so colorful, you cannot miss it anyway. This is evident in their lifestyle, buildings, environment and almost everything. Check one glimpse of that below.

Club Mahindra, Kumbhalghar

The treatment given by the resort is to make its guest feel important. Kumbhalgarh must be selected as destination because it offers a mix of adventure, peace and history. As you read among them are Kumbhalgarh fort, Aravalli range and country side, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and ancient temples. If you have time, you can explore some off the beaten trail places like Thiki Maata temple, Amaj Maata temple, Suraj Kund (believed to be built by Arjun) and lakes of Kumbhalgarh like Taladri lake and Lakhela lake.

To view more images visit: Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

September 24th, 2012 by admin

Parsuram Kshetra is also known by the name Bhairo ka Math (temple). It is called Parsuram Kshetra (place) as Lord Parsuram is said to have lived here for sometime and did penance. The deity here is lord Shiva. Behind the linga (idol), are pictures of lord Shiva and Shiva – Parvati in tiles on the wall.

Outside also there is a Shiva linga near a pond. River Banas which flows through Kumbhalgarh, is said to have originated here. I was told this pond never goes dry. However, during my visit there, I saw river Banas was almost dry.

It is also called Bhairo ka Math as there is also a Bhairo devi temple on the left hand side of the compound. I was told coronation of the Mewar kings used to take place here.

Little away from here, my driver showed a cave on the face of a rock and myth has it that it was Parsuram’s.

For more pictures of Parsuman Kshetra visit: Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

September 17th, 2012 by admin

Kalpa Vriksha is located at the foot hill of Badal Mahal around 10 km from Kumbhalgarh. We visited in the morning. Hurriedly we went inside as it was drizzling then. Walk further and you will see the Kalpa Virksha (tree) first. Indian mythology says it is a wish fulfilling tree. People with faith comes here pray for their wish and tie read cloths on the trunks and branches of the tree. Side by side there is a male and female tree. There was coconut places all around the tree as offering. This tree also bears a green elongated fruit once in every 12 years. God’s grace I was lucky to see that. I was shown a Rudraksh tree as well there.

Fruit of Kalpa Vriksha

Next I was saw a miniature idol of Kamdhenu (the divine cow). Both Kalpa Vriksha and kamdhenu came out during Samudra manthan (harvest of ocean). It was done by the demons and Gods to get Amrit (drinks to achieve immortality). Besides there was a havan kunda (where yogya (prayer) is done). At the background was a big painting of Maa (mother) Durga.

This place was little different from other typical Hindu worship place.

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