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4 December 2008

On the morning of the 4th after having breakfast, we sat for the last time by the bay window of our room overlooking the lake and read our books.  We were waiting for Ramesh to pick us up at 11h00 for our journey to Ranakpur – home of the the renown marble Jain temples.  Although Ranakpur was only 90km from Udaipur, it took us three hours to get there and for some reason, it felt like one of the longest drives, having to cut across the dry arid land and eventually winding down the Aravelli mountains to reach our resort which was somewhat of a little oasis in the valley.  When we got there, finding a clear blue swimming pool and green grass in the central courtyard was a welcome sight after hours of driving through the desert landscape of Rajasthan.  Tired and hot from the three hour car ride, I swiftly jumped into the pool as soon as I had unpacked, letting the cool water envelop me.  It livened me up in an instant and it was by far one of the most refreshing swims I’ve had.

Later that afternoon, we took a drive to the nearby temples to see what it was all about.  The temples are made of white marble and it took 65 years to build.  As you step in, you can immediately feel the coolness of the marble floors against the soles of your feet.  The entire 1444 pillars inside the temple as well as its marble ceilings are carved with a myriad of images of deities.  Other than the temples, there’s not much to see around Ranakpur but as the midpoint between Udaipur and Jodhpur, it was a much needed R&R rest stop.