The Jain Temples of Shatrunjaya

Paid a visit to Shatrunjaya first thing in the morning today. This place is about 2 kms away from Palitana, where my hotel is. Shatrunjaya is an important place for a jain piligrim. The main temple, and 41 other small temples, are located on the top of a hill. And how to get there? Well, you have two choices: either climb the 3600 or so steps up the hill, or take a doli . A doli is carried by two or people depending on the kind of comfort you want. I chose to walk up, kind of obvious right?

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Burnt and Baked !

Wanted to set off from the Dhaba as early as possible, but still ended up pushing off at only at 7. I continue on the road, leading towards Bhavnagar, with Shatrunjaya being todays stop.

Long boring ride it turns out to be. The hot sun is aided here by the lack of trees close to the road. The only thing of interest on this road were the salt factories. These churn out mounds of salt. It is interesting to see salt formed in various crystalline structures in pools of water.


The land is parched in most parts along the road here. Villages are five kilometers away from the highway, a surefire indicator of where the more hospitable land is. Dried-up rivers have left in their trail a white residue, which can only be salt. Elsewhere too, there are small dry patches of land tinged with white. I have had enough of this salt and heat, except that my body is losing some.

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Lothal and Beyond

Oct 2 : I have been observing, with some curiosity, the many ways in which tea is served here in Gujarat. There is the kaat(half) chai and the full tea. Full tea, at eight rupees, is quite expensive. However, if you consider the percentage of milk in it, then it is good value for money. The Gujaratis like their food and drink, and will pay for them too! The full tea is not considered full until the tea overflows from the cup into the saucer, and a significant amount at that. Many hotels stock more saucers than cups. The reason? The more popular half tea is served directly in saucers. This annoys me since the tea cools off fast. Not a problem for the locals who seem to rin through their tea fast.

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A quick update

I had keyed in a long story, which was lost due to a typing error. Ouch - more than an hour's worth of effort wasted. I've seen Lothal's excavations and have seen greenery, parched lands, and salt fields.

I am now in Palitana, near the Jain piligrimage place of Shatrunjaya. It's been extremely hot here all along the route. I had an hour's yesterday evening. Suprisingly I woke up close to dehydration. It is clear I'll need to change my plans. But by how much I dont know yet. If Gujarat is this hot, I cannot think how bad Rajasthan could be 🙁 Some tell me the temperatures are high due to less rains, but not others. Anyway, I am here now, and I have to deal with it...

Will rewirte and post stories later. Today is a semi rest day !

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I’m on my way

Yesterday was a hectic day - both at office and home. KP helped me pack the bike into the box(thanks BOTS for that), and we also ensured that the panniers were OK. A stitch in time is supposed to save nine. I had only one bag to save. But stitch I did.

Harsha dropped me and the bike to the airport. But before that I said goodbyes to my sister, brother and aunts, and most importantly, to KP. As I was shaking hands with him, I realized that this would be the last I would see of him for quite some time. KP is moving to Singapore. At that moment, it dawned on me that I would miss him much. I shed a few tears unseen by the rest of the folks, much like I had when I bid goodbye to roommates during my engineering days. Who says men don't cry. We do, but we are experts at hiding them too...

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The Bike

Discussions of a bike tour tend to remain incomplete without a discussion of the bike itself. In the interest of keeping the next posts interesting, let's get this detail out of the picture first 🙂 Here's a picture (click to enlarge).

My Bike

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Next Tour : Starts Oct 1

Welcome to my next journey. I'll be touring Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab for the whole of October (approximately the area marked in green below). Again on my bicycle. Starting from Ahmedabad on October 1st. More than 30 days, 3000 kms for the stat junkies.

I'll be blogging live (approximately once per day). Hopefully, you'll see better stories this time. "More experiences and insight, less data", I keep reminding myself. I'll also upload interesting pictures when I am able to.

If you are a first time visitor here, feel free to have a look at my previous journeys - the links to those are on the right hand side of this page.

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Resizing dSLR images on my mobile

I'll be carrying my Nikon D80 during this trip. One issue I have faced all these years : how to upload those images ? I'm not carrying my laptop during this tour, and I don't plan to waste time visiting cyber-cafes. My E71 will be my laptop, pretty much.

The solution we came up with is quite simple : instead of the standard SD cards, use micro-SD cards. These fit inside my camera via an adaptor. After I shoot the images, I remove the card, push it inside my mobile, and then upload it to my website using GPRS. That all seems fine, but an image from the camera is upward of 3 MB. That could take ages to upload via GPRS. Also, I don't intend to show the images in the full resolution on this website, since that takes too much bandwidth as well. So I really need to resize the image to something that's small enough : on the order of a 100 kB or so.

I've solved this problem by writing another small python script to resize images. Python for S60 really is neat, and provides all that I need to write this script with ease.


Enough coding… Well, almost!

Spent the last day & more trying to figure out a way to get my KML files show up on WordPress. I was thinking of uploading my tracks at the end of every day. I'm giving up on this - almost. The killer turned out to be "newMediaObject". Looks like there is no way to add attachments to WordPress posts using XML-RPC. And that's the only way Geo Mashup will pickup KMLs. So, time to stop coding. Except for one part : I need to write some code to resize images from my D80. That will keep me occupied for some time tonite 🙂

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More WordMobi Plans

First things first : I fixed a bug in my geo-blogging code yesterday. I had a busy loop in python - that's fixed now. This turned out to be the reason why I wasn't able to take snapshots of the new dialog using ScreenShot. I've uploaded the changed posts.py too. Plus, WordPress Geo Mashup released their version 1.2.8 today, which includes a fix for the issue I had reported yesterday. Thumbs up to them ! I'll update my previous post with this information.

Also, I realized yesterday that I could do a little more with WordMobi than just posting coordinates. For instance, that I can post KML files - thus plotting my route on the blog! The file attached to this post has a path that shows the appropriate area of my tour (experimenting right now with this - it's supposed to show up on the map on top - doesn't seem to be working!). Need to add this functionality to WordMobi - and need to figure out how as well... Update: This doesn't seem to be possible with the current Geo Mashup. Perhaps I should try 1.3alpha...

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