Sep '14: Of Palaces and Forts: Royal Rajasthan

Dry Ice

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2014
Exploring Jodhpur

First up, Mehrangarh.

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Massive!

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Fort on the right, overlooking the old city

We reach pretty early around 9 am, but are shocked to see the crowd! Navratri - Mata ka mandir - inside fort. The entry is same but then for museum, there isn't much rush. We take one way elevator tickets as well.
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City view

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Fort Garden, and city beyond the fort walls

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Blue Blue Blue!

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Clock Tower in Sadar Bazaar

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That's Jaswant Thada

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Umaid Bhavan

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Amazingly fine worksmanship

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All this from stones!

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Some neglected parts

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Royal Court

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Forgot the name! But very beautiful

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Canonball marks


After the fort, we head out to Jaswant Thada. It's a stone's throw away from the fort.

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Jaswant Thada, main building

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This is inside. Seat of power?

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Mehrangarh Fort, City and the Cenotaphs

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Umaid Bhawan

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Admiring the fort!

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Peaceful!

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An Artist with the Raavan Haatha - a regular feature outside forts/palaces in RJ

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And a random 'artistic' shot

Everything covered in Jodhpur, we head to Bishnoi Village Camps. Days are still pretty hot and thanks to the thoughtfulness of the hosts - there are ACs in the huts. Or maybe, that's why it's so popular afterall. Everyone wants a taste of rural india but in 'reasonable' comfort ;)


More Soon...

 

Dry Ice

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2014
Bishnoi Village

The property is good but the huts are showing their age. Maybe they could do some makeup to spice things up a little. There are some new cottages coming up as well in addition to the older ones.

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We have lunch and relax. The weather is too hot for the village safaris right now. We start by 4:30pm with Amit, our host and now, guide.

Amit recalls the story of Salman Khan and black buck. Apparently it was here, the incident happened. He says, Salman should thank his stars (pun-not-intended) he was not manhandled by the local populace. The Bishnoi people are guardians of wildlife. I will not narrate everything here, but will just direct you to Khejarli - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He escaped much before the people got to know. The gypsy driver who brought them here, though, is still missing. Whose behind it, no one knows, his family still lives a simple life hoping he will return some day.

It was not one of those safaris you do in a forest, with the sole intent of spotting wildlife. This was a ride, bone-jarring though, through the absolute wild - where people seem to be living harmoniously with nature - there was no conflict, no grudges. So peaceful, so pure. Accompanied with Amit's stories, it was as if we were reliving the past. There was an innocence

Some wildlife we spot in the trip.

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Black Buck - Of Salman Khan fame

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A slightly cropped version

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Total Wilderness

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Siberian Crane?

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Amit also takes us to a nearby pottery and artisan villages. Well, not villages exactly, but close. Fantastic initiatives by the youth. See this is what education does. You get to know the world and it's dirty ways. So now they don't meddle with the middle men and take the profits home directly. They know how to sell their craft and since the usual tourist doesn't go much deep into the hinterlands, they have brought their art to nearby villages - it still gives a feel of seeing the 'actual' thing and yet at the same time it also feels like a 'theme' shop. Anyway, ladies buy some stuff impressed by the demonstrations (how could they not!) and we head back to the camps.

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Amit arranges for a folk singer to entertain while the dinner is prepared. The proper shows are held only during the peak season. Since we are the only family present, we have to be content with just a singer. But he was good - and the show lasted for close to an hour. The dinner was traditional affair - daal, baati, churma and the works. We enjoy it! Very different, but we love it.

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Oct 4, 2014
Heading Home!

After having a sumptuous breakfast the camp we leave for Delhi. Enroute we decide to stop at the Brahma temple at Pushkar. Not many pictures here - it is super crowded and we barely manage a darshan. Rest of the journey is uneventful, and we reach back home, safe and sound by night.

Before the curtains draw, a special thanks to the trusty steed for taking us everywhere in comfort.

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Take a bow, mate!

Until the next one.. ;)
 
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