Day 13 – Palanpur; Ambaji; Mandir, Marble Rotary Hall, Hotel w/ River Names, Ambaji Temple, personal Dharshan, shopping mall, bought Bell, Punjabi Thali, Tuesday, December 2, 2014
We had Slept in home of: Dr Harshad Patel, a Gynecologist specializing in infertility, JItu had slept at the home of one of his best friends from high school.
We left our luggage there and Jitu picked us up early to take us to a breakfast meeting with the Rotary Club of Palanpur.
Played a game with Rotarians
Purchased some new luggage
Visited a school in Palanpur that is supported by Rotary Club of Palanpur CITY
Went back to Dr. Harshad Patel's house to rearrange luggage and pack up a big box to ship
Went for lunch at Hotel Lajvanti with Rotarians from Rotary Club of Palanpur City. Restaurant was behind glass wall
3 pm: Drove to Ambaji
Visited Rotary Hall of Rotary Club of Ambaji
This Rotary Hall was made entirely out of Marble! Most of it had been donated by one of their Rotarians, Champak Lohar, who owned a marble factory in town. Nicest Rotary Hall we had seen. 2 Buildings, contained a Physiotherapy Center, & Dispensary,
After looking at the Rotary Hall we had a small meeting with the Rotarians and 2 Bankers.
They told us about the Blood Drive they are sponsoring tomorrow.
We agreed to come and inaugurate it
We Checked into the Circuit House, an old hotel, rooms were named for rivers in India
Saji & Jitu shared a room, I got a room to myself.
Champak also seemed to have some sort of official title, or maybe just a fake Identification Card, because over the next 18 hours he would get us privilaged access to many restricted areas. We called him "SuperCop'!
We met SuperCop at the Ambiji Temple, Got personal access to inside the Altar, got personal Dharshan, personal scarf
We went to an outdoor shopping mall, bought Bell,
Suddenly, a Wedding party came by. There was the Groom on a horse that I've been talking about for years, ever since I first heard about this custom! And here he was! Saji ran up to him and asked if we could take his picture. Saji is SOOO brave! I never would have done that! But the Groom loved it!
We hung out at the front of the Temple for a while, joking with the Guards and taking more illegal pictures.
I decided to give money to 1 little beggar girl, who was holding a baby. Gave her about 18 10 Rupee notes, telling her to keep the money safe and give it to her mother as soon as possible.
Then we went across the street to a Punjabi restaurant. We all ordered the Punjabi Thali, which had about 10 small bowls on it containing various masalas, dal and chutneys.
We arranged with SuperCop to go back to the Ambaji Temple for morning Aarti’s, then went back to the room to sleep.