On to Gujarat
After over two months in Rajasthan, we have finally moved on to Gujarat, the most western state of India bordered by Pakistan to the north. Famous for its Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture, its ex-Portuguese colonies along the coast, and its rare wildlife, Gujarat’s real attraction seems to be an exceptionally friendly and welcoming people.
The first time we encountered Gujaratis was at the Sachiya Mata Jain Temple outside of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Groups of Gujaratis came up to us, shook our hands, took our pictures, and welcomed us to India. We were nearly overwhelmed by their hospitality. After a rough start in Pushkar, this was a wonderful experience, and we knew then, we were going to have to visit Gujarat.
Now we are in Ahmedabad, a huge cosmopolitan city with a rich Muslim and Hindu history (and glamorous malls from what I’ve heard). We haven’t seen much but the inside of our air-conditioned hotel room where we’re hiding once again from the unbelievable heat. Most of the traffic noise is drowned out by the noisy AC and the intermittent call to prayer from several nearby mosques. Between The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a movie titled “Killer Tomatoes Attacking France,” we managed to sneak outside to peak around. The photo above shows the carved Tree of Life Window at the Siddi Saiyad Mosque around the corner of our hotel.