You must have heard the English idiom ‘God is in the details’.
It is very relevant when you are traveling in India off the beaten track by a RSRTC bus & are not a seasoned traveler of this vast land of ours. I had to go to Kaila Devi for darshan yesterday so I packed a toothbrush and hopped onto the first Roadways bus leaving Jaipur Sindhi Camp Bus stand in the general direction of Karauli & Kaila Devi village.
The bus headed out on to the NH11(Jaipur-Agra Highway). All went well till the Mehndipur Balaji Mor ( turning) from there on the bus took a badly carpeted single track route to Hindaun City, through numerous minor villages, which at one point even crossed right through the Aravali range. I reached Hindaun City in the evening. But the direct bus to Kaila Devi was jam packed so I took the bus to Karauli & from Karauli I took a bus to the Kaila Devi Mela ground. The journey that started at 3.30 pm ended at midnight in Kaila Devi Mela Ground. The good thing was the influx of people to the Kaila Devi was such that there was no dearth of buses to Karauli or the mela ground. An important lesson learned was to ask about the duration of the journey also besides the category of the bus and the route taken by the bus.
If you can talk to your fellow passengers for nuggets of practical advice, nothing like it. You can be sure that they have been on this route more often than you. Rightly though, these days you are advised not to talk to your fellow passengers. They might cause you bodily or financial harm. You can check out sites like INDIAMIKE before leaving home for nuggets of information & practical advice.
Kaila Devi village is situated some 180km from Jaipur and about 25km from Karauli on the banks of Kalisil river. In 1114 AD Mahatama Kedargiri established the idols of Kailadevi here. It is a shaktipeeth.
After a short nap and shower I was on my way to the Kaila Devi Temple for the Mangla Arti darshan after 4 o’clock in the morning. The whole world was awake with one mission only. On the way up on both sides of the way to the temple the shops were selling numerous articles people offer to the deity like doras, sindoor, suhagan ka shringar-green dhani churis, sweet meats as prasad, books of bhajans & history of Kaila Devi, CDs of bhajans and food stuffs, snacks other things which would attract the devotees. When I reach near the temple the temple guards form the devotees into a giant ‘Q’ which is moving ahead at a brisk pace. We reach the ‘garbh grah’ have darshan and are already on our way out. My world is at peace.
‘Navratras are always busy here. They want as many people as practically possible to have darshan. The sky is lighting up as I reach the guesthouse.
I have some tea and go up to the temple again at 7 o’clock. I want to take some pictures. If it is possible it is even more busy now. People are lighting up diyas and buying prasad and waiting their turn for darshan. I take some pictures and am back at the guesthouse where I have some breakfast and am back at the bus stand & book a ticket on a bus going direct to Jaipur.
One of our fellow devotees is an American with excellent hindi, who is on his way to Mehndipur Balaji. He is visiting all places where Balaji is worshiped.
After a long journey we are back in Jaipur at 6 o’clock.
Lastly I must say that the mela administration Trust is doing good work of a difficult job in managing this yearly influx of humanity at the deity’s feet. The security was tight & helpful to the devotees. The RSRTC bus service was excellent, plentiful & timely.