CAMEL RIDING AND LOTS OF RATS IN BIKANER! | GRACE FILLED TRAVEL JUNKIE

CAMEL RIDING AND LOTS OF RATS IN BIKANER!

Back to my India post! In case you haven't been updated, I have written about Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. This post will talk about Bikaner, one of the most memorable cities I've visited in India and thus the last city I visited before going back to Delhi for a flight back to Indonesia.

Feeling pretty bored of the architectural sites, I was excited for Bikaner. Unlike the other cities, Bikaner provides a camel ride through the dessert and safari. It was quite exotic for us living in Indonesia that is very tropical! 

I booked a tour with Babu through an online site. Seeing a lot of recommendations he has, I was pretty convinced that it was going to be a fun trip. Turns out it really was!
Meet Babu!
Babu is a family man with two kids. He lives in Deshnoke and opens his house for tourists to stay in for a cheap price. It was unfortunate for us because 2 other European tourists had already booked a week with him. We were given a lousy hotel room, but I think it was the best we could get in a small city like Bikaner. 

There was nothing in the city, especially in Deshnoke. Live in Deshnoke seems to be a lot slower than life in a big city. Even though they don't speak English, people were much friendlier. Probably as friendly as its morning sun.
Deshnoke's desert.
Deshnoke's citizen.
Standing alone.
Sand-dunes in front me.
After a horrible night in that lousy hostel, I woke up to find Babu for our camel rides! Excited to see a camel up close for the first time, yes my childhood wasn't that fun, I woke up quite early despite of the cold weather telling me to stay in bed.

Finally the camel arrived! The camels were named Ahmed and Syaid. One of them kept on making weird sounds because it was sick. It was quite gross, yet appealing at the same time! 
Is this how they attract the females?
Camel riding was a hustle.
Finally on top!
Sand-dunes
I was having too much fun.
The rides took place in 2 spots, the sand-dunes and the safari. The sights were pretty much the same, but each of them gave me a different feeling. The scorching sun during my rides on the sand-dunes made me feel very adventurous. I felt like pacing my camel and test its fastest speed, which of course something they wouldn't let me do.

The safari, on the other hand, was much more calming. As a big fan of National Geographic, it felt as if I was in one of their documentary. I was hoping to see more wild animals, but there were only sheep and goats. I wasn't complaining, I was still very much thrilled! 
Welcome to the safari.
A mining site near the safari route.
Cart track on the safari.
Solitary.
Sunset in the middle of the safari.
On the way home after a day's work.
A day in Bikaner was more than enough. At night, there wasn't any entertainment available. However, there is a very interesting temple located in Deshnoke called the Karni Mata Temple or the Rat Temple. Just like the english name says, its a temple for rats.

If you wish to see photos of rats, you can scroll down. I am giving a disclaimer for those who don't wish to see them. The temple was filled with rats all over the place. It walks beside you, eat besides you and could even climb up your feet! It did climb on my feet. Worst of all, I had to take off my shoe to get inside the temple.
Rats as pets?
The locals believe that rats are the reincarnation of the citizens. That was why they took care of these rats. Babu, who happens to be the priest of the temple, explained to us that these rats came by itself to the temple. No disease had ever happened because of the presence of these rats, which made the locals even more superstitious about it.

The locals prayed in the temple, kids ran around inside the temple and people were comfortable with these rats running around. When one of it climbed on my feet, locals told that I was lucky since they will bring good fortunes. I was just thanking God that I still had my socks on.
Entrance gate. It is said that the rats had never gone out of the temple's border.
It can move closer.
Seeking blessings for their family in the Rat Temple.
Devotion is strong in India.

Resting on the hands of the gods.
It was such an amazing experience to end my trip in India. Traveling abroad enriched me with a lot of stories and lessons that are hard for me to forget. I am looking forward for more first time experiences in the future. After all, isn't that what life is all about? Trying out new things and experiencing something new everyday? 

Cheers to what's coming in the future! It might be a tough journey, but it should always be an exciting one!
Thanks India! I will come back to explore some more!

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