We were off on our nearly 300-kilometer journey to the beautiful lake city of Udaipur. Along the way, we stopped a few places you don’t want to miss.
1 – Ranakpur Jain Temple
Our first visit was to the incredible Ranakpur Jain Temple or Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara. The temple is one of Jain’s holiest pilgrimage centers and the Jain Temple. It dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries, crafted of pure white marble with more than a thousand columns.
This is truly worth the visit and spending an hour or so. The temple is famous for its intricate carvings and unique architecture.
This 600 square kilometer wildlife sanctuary is a significant destination all by itself. It covers four different hill and mountain ranges and three districts of Western India.
We were only fortunate to stop at the WelcomeHeritage Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat for a quick lunch at their outdoor dining room. They offered Rajasthani, Indian, and Continental cuisine.
However, despite being the foodies we are, we decided to try the Chicken Nuggets and Fries. We weren’t very hungry and just wanted a quick bite and something cold to drink.
If nothing else, the walk through the beautifully shaded property and the spotlessly clean bathrooms made the stop worthwhile. If you are in the region, be sure to check out more of the wildlife sanctuary.
While you are in the sanctuary area, be on the lookout for local farmers working in the fields. We saw this farmer using an ox to power a water wheel to water his crops.
A few hours down the road, we stopped at one of the most interesting places on our entire trip.
It is said that Om Banna, formerly known as Om Singh Rathore, crashed his motorcycle a 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet, allegedly while driving under the influence.
The story goes that the police moved the cycle to the station, and the next morning it was gone and back at the scene of the crash. Thinking it was a prank, the police drained the gas and chained up the bike. The next morning the chains were broken, and the bike was found back at the site of the crash.
Legend says that the motorcycle kept returning to the same ditch regardless of what police did.
This was considered a miracle by locals, word spread, and it is widely believed that Om Banna’s spirit helps distressed travelers. The shrine and motorcycle were beautifully decorated with fresh floral garlands. There was a line of people waiting to see this fantastic motorcycle.
A few other things to look for when you stop at the shrine is this local man who uses his ox to press sesame seeds for oil.
Right behind them, the family was drying
papad in the sun, a local, regional snack made from sundried lentils.
The trek is a good day’s drive between some of the winding roads in the preserve and the incredible scenery. But, each of these places was worth the time.