On the way back from Allahabad, the driver strongly recommended a stop at Sita Mardi.
There are signs to this place from the time you leave Allahabad and a lot of hype. What beat us was that we had never heard of this place before as an important historic place in connection to the Ramayana. Ayodhya yes! Panchavati, yes! etc. etc. Sita Mardi. . not really.
Still curiosity and the fact that we had exceeded the daily limit of 200 km and were paying extra anyways made us say "okay. it is on the way and a small detour.. so take us there"
Amazing artwork on the dome!
Was told by driver that the wall work was done by Japanese artists. Do not know if it is true..
Some really nice bas relief murals on the walls..
Shiva with the ganges from his head flowing on steps into a pond. Nicely done!
The place definitely had some unique artistry compared to typical temples.. There was almost a feeling that a FengShui expert had designed the whole premises!
Shopping for trinkets. What would any trip be without it?
Flit like a butterfly, sting like a bee?
Jr. boxes flies like Mohammad Ali!
It was so funny to watch her being so mad and angry and trying to box the flies away with her fists!
The Giant Hanuman was nice but there was no place to stand in a shade and admire it. Lot of concrete around the statue, that was too hot to step on barefoot. No footwear and lot of heat with no shade was difficult for me to walk around and take photos, and it was impossible for the kids. So it was a one minute trip around this statue.
We went through a one lane mud road for 9 km and finally reached a market. There was a beautiful temple there (built by Birla is what we were told but could not see any signs there) in what was a gorgeous setting. A small river, temple on the river and a bunch of shops around it. Apparently the small temple has been built over many times and the later attractions like the Giant Hanuman statue were built by Japanese architects. The Hanuman for some reason looked more like a Japanese Hanuman than an Indian Hanuman!
The kids were not impressed what with the heat and the flies in the place. We stopped there for an hour and enjoyed the temple. On a cooler day with some breeze, this would have been a great outing.
Definitely recommend a visit if you are going on the Varanasi - Allahabad route!