Namaste, friends and family,

Today we venture forth without a guide (no big loss, as far as we're concerned). Osiyan is in the desert and most of the guides are employed with the camera safaris.

The usual chaos on the road (see previous post). Below, a small series of women workers dressed in their finery. This is not at all unusual; in fact, I'd say it's the usual dress for women doing heavy labor.

 Woman construction worker

These last are cleaning, so they are untouchables. Laborers are a higher class or caste, according to our driver, Raj.

We pull into Osiyan and make our way to what I think was the Sachiya Mata Temple (Hindu 12th century). Red sandstone intricately carved.

There are a number of these small temples on the roof.

Each containing some Hindu deities. No idea who is on the left; I believe that is Kali in the middle, and Ganesh, the elephant headed god is easy.

We're in the desert and it's hot.

Met this adorable family who wanted to have their picture taken with me.

I'm afraid I look totally stiff and awkward while they pose and move like dancers. Maybe they're in entertainment.

Getting more in the spirit of things 

Down the street a beautiful Jain temple with its detailed, intricate and what have become almost familiar carvings

These Jain temples are unbelievable. How many lifetimes did it take? These are a couple of probably over a hundred columns in this small temple.

It looks as if OSHA has been here and made them put in hand railings.

Our guide book said that behind the Jain temple was a mammoth baoli or stepwell. We wandered around, saw a couple more temples, and then came upon these two young fellows who said they could show us the way.

Uh, you sure about this, guys?

Then there it was before us, massive, astounding in size. Built in the Pratihara period, which stretched from the mid-7th century to 11th century in Northern India, an amazing achievement, creating this reservoir to provide and store huge quantities of water.

Details from the photograph above.

Our young guides. It turned out one of them lives in the house across the way which looks over the baoli, the one with the turquoise door. Their last name was Singh, like our driver, from the warrior caste.

One of the young fellows and many people have wanted us to take a camel safari, which we have consistently refused. On the way out of town our driver, Raj, took us to one of the starting points so we could have a look. On the other side of the railroad tracks you can see the camels mostly resting on the sand dunes, although some are cresting the dune. It looks hot, dusty, sandy, smelly; not for us. Probably you Burning Man fans would like it.

Love from India,

Era and Don