Monday, January 16, 2006

Bikaner - A city engulfed in noise

Karni Marta Temple, Deshnok

This temple is in Deshnok which is near Bikaner. It is famous for its holy rats that are supposed to be the descendents of the goddess Karni Marta. The rats are quite scraggy and are not frightening like in a horror movie, but it got to me after a while. I originally thought of skipping this little temple, but thanks to two new friends, Jens and Jenny, whom I met at the hotel, we had an exchange of ideas. They went with me to the 'touristy' Camel Festival, and I followed to the holy rat temple. I must say that this is the most unforgettable part of the whole journey. :)

Old town, Bikaner

In a tut-tut, Bikaner

Old town, Bikaner

Old town, Bikaner

Old town, Bikaner

Old town, Bikaner

Old town, Bikaner

Some type of food factory near train station, Bikaner

Bhanwar Niwas Hotel rooftop, Bikaner

Like I mentioned earlier, I thought that Bikaner Camel festival would be the highlight of my trip. My driver, Bhawar, was surprised that I had booked 4 nights in a second rank town. Yes, the camel festival was a let down, but I had some fun anyway. I had a day to walk in the old town with my new friends. The fort was nice, but enough of fort photographs. :)

I stayed in an old heritage hotel in the old town, Bhanwar Niwas Hotel. It is a grand place but stuck in time. It was the only hotel in the whole trip without a television in the room. It is stuck in the back alleys of the old town and they did not have a map to the location. The price of the room and dinner were steep, but undeserved so.

The room that I had was next to a small Hindu temple. There was a prayer every evening and morning at 7 o'clock, accompanied by loud, loud drumming! I got so used to it after 4 days that it did not completely wake me up this morning. The old town must be full of mosques, for in the evening, as the sun sets, you are surrounded in the sound of the call to prayer if you are on the roof of the hotel. At night, the mosques and temples continue to give out holy music which is just about muffled in my room. But the bed in my room was a steel four-poster bed that seemed to act like a stethoscope, amplifying the drum beats of the music through the night.


wansheng said...

hey man...:)

i dun frequent blogs very often, but everytime i visit urs, i see photos that inspire me alot and makes me want to travel to these places. i'm very sure this trip is a very rewarding one. take care and see you soon!:)

ashwin said...

It isn't a tut-tut... It is known as a rickshaw in India. :)

great to see these pictures. Rajasthan is a beautiful place.

pfong said...

The wide angle distortion works well for the portrait of the 4 kids looking up I think.

I like that last shot of yours with the details of the top of the wall. Beautiful textured glass being used for defence. Nothing wasted here I think.

Heng said...

Hi Wan Sheng, this trip was sorely needed. I think I managed to find a part of myself again.

Hi Ashwin, they understand tut-tut here now too. Lots of backpackers travelling and bringing names along. :)

Hi Pfong, I think that the 4 girls were just beautiful. They would probably look good however they were photographed. Unfortunately they did not seem to understand English or I would have found out why they were so made up!

I found so much 'life' in Rajasthan to use for the subject of my photography. So many beautiful things just laying about, waiting for someone to notice.