Shanti Shanti

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February 8th 2016
Published: February 12th 2016
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The bikes pulled up into Bundi after about an hour of night driving from Kota. We asked around and then found a guesthouse called Taragarh Heritage. Monty greeted us at the door, and seemed like a natural host. "Shanti, Shanti my friends" he said. He came across as instantly zen. In Hindu, Shanti means peace or tranquility or rest. I had my own room and Dylan and Oli shared one. It was dirt cheap. We went up to the rooftop (yes yet another one) and met a few other travelers, who were drinking and smoking. A few of them were Israelis, and we had heard they're all over India, but they were the first I had encountered. We joined them and all of a sudden it was a social event. Monty asked if we wanted a homemade Thali dish. We accepted not realizing that it would take about three hours for him to make it. Monty was that zen. "Shanti, Shanti". Just based on the guesthouse I was already liking Bundi. We enjoyed the rest of the night, even though we were determined to wake early.

I was up early and decided to grab my camera and head up to the roof. When I got there, some rhesus macaques were lounging up there. One of them spotted me and menacingly approached. I backed up and closed the screen door as it lounged at me. It bounced off the landed staring at me. I went back down and found Dylan, who had experienced the same thing. We went up together and scared them away with sticks. Later Monty would tell me that "red face is not nice, but black face was nice" and would visit him to get food. He was referring to the gray langurs who were also quite prevalent in this region. We all ordered some breakfast, and had to wait about two hours for it to be ready. We also decided that we would be staying in Bundi for another night. Just because. We ate and then walked over to the towering Taragarh fort that was sticking out of the cliff face. We checked out the palace, and then Oli went to down to check out the town, while Dylan and I went up to explore the fort and hiked it for a bit. After that we went down into town. We headed to the market and I noticed that this town was quite laid back. I heard much less honking and overall noise. We began sampling various street food and taking chai breaks. The food was really good and cheap. On the way back I went into a shop and had a close shave with a cut throat blade. The guy took his time and gave me the closest shave I've ever had. Afterwards he gave me a face massage. All of that cost about 40 rupees, wish that sort of thing was more common and affordable back home!

We made it back to the guesthouse and chilled out on the roof. Then we decided where the best place for sunset would be. Stay on the roof or go explore? Obviously explore! We headed back toward the fort thinking that it would be a great view but the one of the fort staff said they were closing for the night. We decided to high tail it to a nearby hill and then climbed all the way up for a nice sunset. It seems like sunset hunting is the thing to do in this part of India. We got back and Monty asked us if we wanted to try some Bhang Lassi that he was going to make. We accepted and within the hour we ingested them. Monty looked over and asked "full power baba?" "Too much power" I responded. He then brought out some food he made and served it to us. I had a large rice dish in front of me, but not much appetite unfortunately. I implored the others to have some food with me because there was no way I would be finishing that dish on my own. Dylan was feeling way too high, so he went downstairs to sleep. Oli and I remained upstairs for a bit. The Israelis returned from a night out and laughed at our state. Eventually one of the Israeli chicks helped me back to my room cuz I was feeling so out of it. I think after this bhang lassi experience, I'll be taking a little break from it for a while!

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15th February 2016
Everything Possible!

'Every thing Possible' - a classic sentiment in India :)
I've been catching up on your adventure through Rajasthan... it sounds and looks fabulous, and your photos are incredibly beautiful. Safe onward travels. Cheers, Ren
13th July 2017

I just love your style! Love your enthusiasm, writing, attitude! Very nice to read about your experience!

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