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12 ~ Why are most cars painted white? Delhi to Mandawa

Day 3 : Fields of golden yellow mustard


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

A 7.30am / 07:30 departure to try and avoid Delhi’s infamous commute traffic so it was an early up and breakfast.

It wasn’t that bad leaving Delhi in amongst the morning winter’s fog, or was it haze and pollution. I suspect a bit of everything.

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One thing that I quickly noticed was the abundance of white painted vehicles. Very few cars of other colours. Reason … Easy to repaint after the inevitable minor dings. I also will say tongue in cheek “a person who learnt to drive in India can drive in New Zealand but someone who learnt in New Zealand can’t drive well in India”. With the lack of road markings and how close they can drive next to other vehicles, tuks tuks and pedestrians, I was amazed that I didn’t see too many accidents. Just the odd near miss or “touch”.

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About an hour later after passing the airport, soon we were out of the city limits.

Then there were the many trucks going into Delhi loaded up with gravel.

School where Ashok’s children goes to.

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Passed Rewari where Ashok lives.

One feature of this trip would be passing kilometers and kilometers of fields of the golden yellow mustard.

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Passed a group of Jain with no shoes walking along the road. They practice ahimsa to the point that they wear no shoes so that they do not step on insects and kill them.

What is Jainism?

Thou shalt not harm

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion grounded in the principle of non-violence.

Their 'do no harm' approach extends to humans, animals, plants and even bacteria.

It's the reason Jains are strict vegetarians — they don't eat root vegetables because they believe the practice kills the entire plant, and any microorganisms living in the surrounding soil.

Jains only eat between sunrise and sunset to avoid accidentally consuming insects or needlessly killing bacteria.

But the faith affects more than just diet.

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Three hours into the journey a 30 minute stop for Ashok to have a meal break.

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Ashok

Local brick kilns were in this area.

Yes, I had a cup of tea but as it was too early for lunch, didn’t want anything to eat plus I had what I will call a double breakfast. This was to become the routine ... a huge breakfast enough to see me through till dinner. That plus my packets of orange Raro juice brought from home was enough for hydration during the day.

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Camels pulling loads of sand so at least there was something else for me to see from the road side.

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Huge bales of hay with most from Punjab being transported were to be a sight seen throughout the trip. It really fascinated me hence so many photos of that and the overloaded vehicles. Hate to see what happens when the wind picks up.

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This looks like more of a biscuit and it could be a unique sweet or possibly a peda (sweet) made out of milk solids and sugar shaped in a mould or with a hand.

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By now the sun was reaching the high of 23C / 74 F. Passed fields of wheat, more kilns, some with smoke billowing from their chimneys, the countryside quickly became dry. Dead dogs and animals on the road was something else that I didn’t see last year. Perhaps that was because I was sitting at the back of the bus as oppose to this trip being in the front passenger seat at the front of the 2.4 litre diesel Toyoto Innova. Much better than sitting in the rear passenger seat as most tourists do. At least I had a near uninterrupted view of the scene in front of me and out of my left window for my photography. Thanks for the unexpected upgrade of the vehicle. Plus, it had complementary wi-fi but wasn’t strong enough for a Facebook Live.

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The road for a short section got really narrow with just one lane sealed so it all depended on who was the smaller vehicle to move onto the unsealed section of the road. Local bus won this time.

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Arrived at the overnight heritage hotel Udai Vilas Palace which was out of Mandawa itself at 1.30pm / 13:00. So that was 5.5 hours from Delhi. This was my first heritage hotel and felt strange and empty. Sure enough of the 66 rooms available, only 3 were occupied that night.

It’s web site… spread over more than 3 acres of verdant lawns is a veritable oasis in the midst of the stark grandeur of the Rajasthan desert. The charm and charisma of Mandawa truly comes alive at Udai Vilas Palace Mandawa.
http://www.udaivilaspalace.com/

I was told several times through the trip that it is between 20 December and 10 January when the local Indians travel, whereas few international foreigners travel as they stay home for their Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Spent a few hours sitting in the sun on the restaurant first floor terrace above the pool. It was so peaceful after hectic bustling Delhi.

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View from my bedroom

Posted by bruceontour 00:55 Archived in India Tagged jain jainism

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Comments

Amazing photography as usual, Bruce. We experienced so much of the same but in April’s heat and mainly in a bus or train, not a car. We stayed in heritage hotels including former Maharajah town palaces. Needed a stool to get up onto a high bed in the one in Jodhpurs, which also had a roof dining area with brilliant views. and the scary sight of overtaking trucks hurtling towards you and cutting back in at the last minute, with camel carts, hand carts, donkeys, enormous haystack-trucks, people of all kinds, dust and colour. Women working in the fields, groups of men sitting around in the villages. Jain and other temples, wayside cafe/souvenir shops - could go on and on. Isn’t India an amazing country! Thanks Bruce.

by Ian Bogue

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