Watkin’s Museum–Rajkot

Several hundred miles south of Pakistan, Rajkot is the technological and engineering center of India (although we are experiencing HUGE WAITS on the internet at this moment…what irony).  Textiles, gold jewelry craftsmanship, and honking took-tooks (three-wheeled no-doored motorized rickshaws) find their home in this city.  Driving here from Porbandar, the countryside was laced with so many different agricultural sites.  At one site, a happy woman was taking fresh cow patties and making plate-sized dung discs to dry in the hot sun to be sold for fuel.  She waved a dripping hand to us and we bowed rather than extending our handshakes.

Later in the middle of nowhere on our drive, we came upon a Hare Krishna temple–a beautiful castle-like boy’s school where boys were making lais for temple worshipers.  It was peaceful and surrounded by flowers and vegetation.

We also stopped by a dress-making factory, and a  linen spinning wheel factory where young girls are brought in to learn an important and useful trade.  We watched the progression of making linen:  string-like  thread was spun onto spools which were then spun more finely onto smaller spools which were woven into 3×100 yards of material.  Then, that material is sold to dressmakers, who batik patterns into the folds of material with dyes made from native plants.  We bought several materials from a wholesale dressmaker–now, we have to find a tailor!

Last stops were a museum and a visit to Gandhi’s formal high school…it began to rain and we headed to our motels for some hot tea and writing time.

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