Family trip in May 2019

The fact that we planned for a trip in May 2019 didn’t seem very frightening until a few people said: You’re going to Rajasthan in May?

That’s when I thought: Well, yes. We are going to Rajasthan in May, that includes a total of 10 family members – 6 adults & 4 kids. We had planned for this trip right in January 2019 & had booked the train tickets from Borivali to Falna & return from Palanpur to Borivali. Getting confirmed train tickets during the month of May can be a pain if it’s not done well in advance.

We visited Falna, Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarh, Mount Abu & Palanpur. It was a religious pilgrimage as well as leisure outing combined.

Stop 1: Falna – 22 May 2019

We got a sense of the heat as soon as we alighted at 12pm at Falna railway station. The plan was to visit the Jain temple there in Falna, which is like 5 minute walk from station, do some seva-puja there & then leave by 4pm. We found comfort in the fact that AC rooms were available in the dharamshala in the Falna Jain temple premises. It’s also known as the Golden Jain temple.

Stop 2: Ranakpur – 22 May 2019

When leaving for Ranakpur from Falna, we decided to also do darshan at 4 Jain temples that were in & around that route. They were at Varkana, Nadol, Narlai & Muchhala Mahavir. We were lucky to be served dinner at Narlai even though we were slightly late (around 6:45pm) there. We reached Ranakpur after 9pm.

And we were not quite surprised when we learnt that there are no AC rooms in the dharamshala there. They did tell us earlier when we inquired over the phone that there are no AC rooms in Ranakpur. It was hot. All the family members decided to sleep in the passage instead of the rooms. It was much better then sleeping inside of the room. But me, Riddhi & the kids still opted to sleep in the room itself. And as expected, it wasn’t the most pleasant nights. We woke up multiple times in the night, including the kids as well who were thirsty. Somehow we slept & then realized it was 7am in morning. The most difficult part was over: the night sleep.

Since the Jain temple at Ranakpur is very well known with 1,444 pillars, being my first time there, I was excited to go to the temple after having breakfast. And everything I had heard about that temple, turned true & even better. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had visiting the numerous Jain temples that I have so far.

Stop 3: Kumbhalgarh – 23 May 2019

This was the moment we were looking forward to as this was the leisure part in our trip. We were to stay at a resort for 2 nights & do nothing else but just relax. The only thing we did while here was eat, sleep, swim. We did visit the Kumbhalgarh fort as well. Visiting that in an open gypsy was like cherry on the cake.

23 May is also when I came to know that my visa to Germany has been rejected due to some missing documents. That spoilt the vacation mood.

Stop 4: Mount Abu – 25 May 2019

Despite being the next station to my native place, Palanpur, I had never visited Mount Abu. It’s supposed to be the only hill station in Rajasthan. This was the longest road trip in our journey. It was a 4 hour ride from Kumbhalgarh to here. So we left early on 25th May, around 7am from Kumbhalgarh to Mount Abu.

On our way back, my dad recollected all his memories of coming to Mount Abu with his dad & my dada. He said they would come here with a gas stove & with a water jug, as in those days, none of the (so-called) hotels provided food. I never knew what was the exact job title of my dada, so taking this opportunity, I asked my dad & he said that my dada was Head Clerk to the DSP of Palanpur. The discussion went further, as to why my dada chose this job while his other brothers shifted to Bombay early. It was some fascinating tales that I learnt about in this journey from my dad.

Delwara, in Mount abu is the place where a Jain temple is located. It is famous because of the very unique, complex carvings that are present on each nook & corner of the temple. Since mobile phones aren’t allowed inside, I wasn’t able to click a picture, however I made sure to purchase a photo booklet of the temple right outside the temple premises. I have never seen such beautiful carvings in my life!

We stayed here for 2 nights & left for Palanpur on 27th May. While in Mount Abu, I had also taken a decision to re-apply for my Germany visa, so I decided to cut short my trip by 2 days & return back to Mumbai on 28th May instead of 30th May.

Stop 5: Palanpur – 27 May 2019

On the way from Mount Abu to Palanpur, we visited Ambaji temple. I always wanted to visit that place & finally got an opportunity this time. Once that was done, we visited Kumbhariyaji, another Jain site which has about 5 ancient temples.

We finally reached Palanpur around 12pm. After being exhausted with the heat & journey, we were tired like anything.

Palanpur, is also my native place, that I was visiting after several years, probably 7-8 years. Because I had to leave that day itself for Mumbai, I wasn’t very keen on stepping out of the dharamshala during the afternoon. However, my mom insisted that we should visit & do puja at the temple of Pallaviya Parshavanath that is like 5 minutes from the dharamshala. The 5 minutes wasn’t an issue, it was going at 2pm bare-footed to the temple that was frightening. At mom’s insistence, I & Riddhi agreed. So while those 5 minutes were filled with a short marathon run & some real hot roads, we did reach the temple & were able to do the puja.

I felt at peace after I did the puja there. After all, it’s my native place. 🙂

Overall, this was a very good trip for me & the entire family. Even though I had to cut my trip short, I was still happy that we were able to complete 80% of the trip successfully without any major issues due to the hot season.

I’ll soon share some pictures in this post of all places. 🙂