We arrived in Bikaner around 1:30 and went straight into lunch while Hashmat worked out the details of checking in. There were a few hiccups with the rooms, happily not for us, and some people had to be moved from their original, unsatisfactory assignments. The hotel is part of a palace; the maharaja and family still live in part of it and the remainder has been turned into two hotels. The public areas of our part of the place are quite grand but the rooms are fairly basic. Big, but basic.
Straight after going to our rooms for a quick brush of the teeth, we headed out on our afternoon’s explorations. First, cycle-rickshaw rides (Joan and I were in a mini-accident before we even left the parking area AND, based on his coughs, we thought our driver might be tubercular) to a magnificent Jain temple and then a walk back through the market lanes: Fruit and veg, spices, sweets, Holi products, bangles. And, of course, more havelis. These are very different from the painted mansions we had been seeing up until now; these are made from red sandstone and are intricately carved.
Another rickshaw ride back, this one without incident, to something incredible. Stay tuned.