A little over a year ago, I visited Rajpur for the first time. Within a couple of weeks, I was back, scrambling over rocks, getting sunburnt and vowing to bring the Mian along the instant he landed in Dun. Sadly, we never went. And yesterday, when I visited it again, I missed him so. Remember my telling you of the priest's house? The peepal tree I gushed over is now strangling it, causing its walls to bulge inward. It now painted an eyesore pink (oh my mian, my mian. will you never be rid of pink bedrooms?). I am afraid now that by the time he comes back, it will not be there. Well, the structure will be there; my little magical house will not. Why, why, did Mian and I not pack up sandwiches and go off there in the winter?
It is good then, to know that some things are still around. The lychee grove is still there. And yesterday it was prettier than ever before. The lychees are ripening, and all the trees look like Christmas with their shiny dark green canopy studded with ruby-like lychees. There were horses there, and the grove looked like it must have when the area was on the old trade route to the hills.
As the name suggests, it is famous for the many springs in its vicinity.We counted six springs that are still flowing. There are also some that have now dried, but could be induced to flow with a little restoration. Even more springs have been lost to construction of a road, and the 'modernization' of a house. Interestingly, this house was earlier a caravan-serai, and the springs had been included in it's planning. The serai had been built so that each room had a little spring bubbling into a basin. How utterly practical and romatic! Now of course, the springs have been walled up and piped water has been brought in.
The temple is a large, ever expanding, and becoming-more-urban-by-the-minute structure, but has some unexpected beauty to recommend it. The roof is painted an intense red, which actually works quite well.
Look at the spot where the bell hangs from, though and you notice that the snazzy red has been used to cover the beautiful murals that once covered the wall. Ah, progress.
If you like, you can continue up the new ( untarred) road that leads past the temple and reach Rajpur village instead of catching the bus back.
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