After a very long and tiring bus ride, we arrived in Bikaner too tired to do anything other than shower and go to bed. Next day there were sights to see, but most of us didn’t have the energy to trek around. Bikaner was said to have some wonderful textiles, so four of us headed off to find them.
It didn’t take long for us to find ourselves in textile heaven!
Piece after piece was thrown on the floor in front of us. Each one was handmade exemplifying astonishing skills from weaving to appliqué to embroidery.
Some were of the finest fibers with the very softest being those from a baby camel. I never would have thought camel hair to be suitable for weaving.
Much of the work is done by women working at home, but here we saw these ladies sitting on the floor doing their lovely handwork. While I was in awe of their work, I did not envy their sitting on a hard floor while doing it.
I can’t tell you how long we were in this one shop, but I can tell you that we purchased so much that we were presented with a gift, a sari. Now that is something we weren’t going to buy for ourselves, but we are very happy to have this special memory of India and had fun going native that evening at dinner.
Back at our hotel, we were welcomed by this gentleman who was only too happy to have his photo taken. I was quite surprised when he pulled from behind his ears the rather dramatic extension of his mustache. I must say we’ve seen some pretty spectacular facial hair during this adventure!
Speaking of hotels, the ones we have experienced have been spectacular. Several are palaces that have belonged to maharajahs. In fact, some still claim ownership and lease the property to hotel operators. Quite a nice way to have all those rooms become income producing, wouldn’t you say?
In addition to being very plush the service is amazing. Every employee goes out of his or her way to be helpful and pleasant.
And let me not forget the food, always freshly prepared
and beautifully presented.
Yes, this trip is a kaleidoscope of contrasts which is what makes is so very interesting.