So I am back from my trip to Nathdwara. This time we decided to take a different way altogether to get there. Usually we take a train to Falna and then get take an hour and a half cab ride to get to Nathdwara. This time, since we could not reserve the tickets on time, we decided to bus-it all the way to Nathdwara. To be honest, the bus journey was not all that bad. The route from Surat to Vadodara (Baroda) on NH-8 is where we experienced the worst roads on the entire journey. I should definitely say that an awesome job has been done along NH-8, the roads are in prime condition and it feels wonderful to sit in the bus and enjoy the (almost) bump free ride.
The thing about Nathdwara is no matter what time of the year you visit, you will always find people. No such thing as an off season here. This time I have been very fortunate to witness such beautiful darshans. Since the festival of colors, Holi, is around the corner, the mood was pretty colorful with plenty of colors thrown in the air, lots of singing and dancing. They have also increased the praying time for certain darshans from 20 mins to 45 mins, which sort of helps. But then if you are late, be prepared to miss the aarti, which is the best part of the darshan.
A few more irritating things have popped up lately. Mobiles are no longer allowed in the temple complex. I have no issues with that, but just the whole thing of handing your expensive phones over to the security guy outside who barely makes enough is a pretty discomforting thought to me. I am not saying that they are cheats, but just that I preferred to leave mine in the hotel room, rather than hand it over to the security guide. Another irritating thing that I have found is this whole thing about the VIP darshans. This is basically paying some amount and get to view the darshans, before rest of the common junta joins in. I dont think God told these temple authorities, I am willing to give a more better darshan if you charge 100 bucks from this guy. Just more way of making money for the temple people. Another thing I observed that while doing the service (seva), doodh seva (milk service), phool and shaak sevaf (ruits and vegetable service), the people who collected these things from us started asking for more money. I personally got very much annoyed with all these constant demands of money everyone around.
The food as usual was great, nothing beats Kathiawadi food other than mother’s cooking. We also shopped a lot, dresses, food, salts, herbal products, photo frames, etc. It was all very tiring. But overall the trip was excellent. Mom enjoyed a lot, she had been saving quite a bit for this trip and it felt good that she enjoyed it thoroughly.
Now my next trip is going to be somewhere in North East or Vaishnodevi. It is about time I explore India fully before heading out anywhere.