20.02.2013 ►Jodhpur

Published: 26.06.2013

Just when we got ready the driver arrived. About 08:00h we started, curious, if the Google map prediction of needing 4,5 hours for the 270km from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur was right. The day promised to be sunny with cloudless sky, temperatures around 25°C. Actually warm enough for air condition, with which the car had not been provided. When the sun got directly inside, in the morning already temperatures easily reached 25°C. With the windows down, airflow yet gave a cooling effect. Drowsing we sat in the car, and got more awake only when seeing something moving in front of us on the road..

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“Ships of the desert“ on their way

The young camels seemed to know their stuff and stayed on the left lane, from where they watched the cars, which had to avoid them. Herds of sheep or goats however are peopling the whole road mostly. Drivers here always have to be alert to events with animals and ready to apply the brakes immediately. In this case the camels were visible already from far, but when an impediment in form of a herd is blocking the road or changes the road side, capacity of fast reaction is requested. Especially in curves this might give some adrenal chock to the drivers. Astonishing cooperation between the different traffic participants, animals included, fortunately result only very rarely in accidents. Increasing traffic volume certainly might be able to change the situation for the worse.

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Khejra tree in typical landscape between Jaisalmer und Jodhpur to the left and right of the well-developed road

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Rural conglomeration, seen from the road

The landscape flew at our right and left. Whereas it was more monotonously flat and stinted until we saw the camels, it started to change gradually and literally got more contour in form of soft hills. Beside the road bushes and scrubs were twining up on wire fences, marking rural conglomerations. Generally they consist of a mixture of round clay huts with thatched roofs, bare brickwork and whitewashed houses. The tenants first erect the round thatched clay huts. After some time they start collecting stones for the construction of a house. From these the bare brickwork is erected, which bit by bit is upgraded as the family’s dwelling. The completed residential house is girdled with a wall of piled stones.

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Sand dune, planted with Prosopis jiliflora (family of mimosa)

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Thar Desert partly is green, even fertile

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Soon the hills became more and more pebbly

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The stones are cut...

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and processed.

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The front yet is constructed with gaps for windows and doors!

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Soon the tree will provide shadow for the house, only a question of time.


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 Just arrived? Families of quarry workers settling under trees beside the road

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In two minutes distance by car or motorcycle the men are working.

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Some still move the traditional way.

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Some are lucky & picked up.

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Oops, where is the well-developed road?

We easily advanced until there were approximately 70 km left to Jodhpur. The location was named Balesar Satan. Not only traffic had increased, but also the quantity of rural conglomerations, new settled or longer consisting. The attraction of the stones got stronger and stronger, providing livelihood for many. But apparently delay for upgrading the street was too long. On well-developed NH 15 we drove 108 km until Pokhran. From Pokhran we had 162 km to Jodhpur on NH 114. 90 km on NH 114 were in good condition, but the remaining 70 km shook us up. We needed nearly two hours for the 70 km, whereas it took 4 hours for 200km.

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Here the necessary is done!

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Somewhere seen "Om" on a road roller?

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 The area becomes more urban.

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At the outskirts of Jodhpur floral wreaths are offered.

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Roundabout to the centre, destination ahead!

After six hours we reached our destination. Hotel Kalinga near the station was recommended to us. There directly we contacted the Jodhpur based Jain family. The son of the Surana family had done his studies in Europe and was very versed in English language. Our communication was not only in terms of language very good. Sometimes one is lucky to meet people with immediate mutual understanding. This was the case when we encountered the Surana family. They gave a warm welcome to us, and we agreed on meeting later in the afternoon. We first wanted to cleanse away the dust of the desert and then eat something. When Saurabh Surana picked us up in front of the hotel it was as if old friends met after a long time. On the way to his parents he first showed the wonderful residential building to us, which the family is about to construct for own use.

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The new residential building of the Surana family

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Welcome! Solid material and fine handicraft result in good substance.

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Saurabh Surana and Christian Geerdes

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The spacious roof terrace yet was completed.

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Shri and Shrimati Surana

When we took tea together we already discovered our common interest. When Shri Surana heard that we wanted to visit Jain temples around Jodhpur like Osian and Ostra Parshvanath, he smiled and started to study a book which he had taken from the bookshelf without needing to look. It became clear that both of them had visited many temples already, about 500 during the last 5 years! Shri Surana browsed in the book, murmured, and then said smilingly that we will go on a temple tour together the next day during which we definitely would see what we hoped to. That sounded great to us. Due to the plan for the next day, we regretted not to be able to accept their invitation for dinner. We simply needed some rest and sleep before.

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Sources
Photos by HN4U
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Christian Geerdes
  2. Cooperation
  3. HN4U
  4. Jain Temples
  5. Jaisalmer
  6. Jodhpur
  7. OM
  8. Osian
  9. Ostra
  10. Parshvanath
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