Rajastan - Land of the Kings

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November 15th 2006
Published: November 21st 2006
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The Eye of the TigerThe Eye of the TigerThe Eye of the Tiger

Worth the get up and the wait at Ranthambore National Park
So Rajastan has been our destination now for nearly a week.

Firstly we went Tiger spotting in Ranthambone National Park, involving getting up at the crack and freezing our arses off in an open top jeep, being driven at high speed down some very rough and rocky tracks.

It woke us up though and we were extremely lucky to see 2 tigers after their night's hunting, firstly basking on the top of a rock and then roaming through the undergrowth - it was incredible. They are amazing creatures and look very placid close up although apparently this is only when they have food available!

From here we headed to Jaipur, the capital.

Here we spent 4 days in a beautiful colonial hotel and mainly just chilled drinking G & T's, playing backgammom and seeing just a couple of sights. There are only so many temples and forts that you can get excited about, even after only a couple of weeks.

From Jaipur we headed west again by train to jodphur - approx 6 hours away. This was a pretty quick stop but an amozing city with, I admit, an amazing fort and famous for a mass
I am in the middle somewhere...I am in the middle somewhere...I am in the middle somewhere...

Having just shaken every one of their hands at least 5 times Simon decides to get a photo and the kids go mad, singing and dancing and crushing me...!
of very blue houses.

It was here that I, no we, experienced our first con. Wandering up to the fort we came across a beautiful blue temple, we took a few photos and within seconds a man living next tells us it is his temple and would we like to come into his house, we feel a bit guilty about taking pics wo we enter. (There is a real intrigue to understand how people lilve here) He shows us the views and introduces us to his wife. He calls her an 'artist' and just as I was about to ask where here art is, it happened...within seconds I was sat on this seat next to his wife and her hand is holding mine, palm facing up...next came the henna, "mendhi" they call it locally and lots of it, it smells kind of methol but also a bit weired. I am looking at Simon and he is smiling, I am feeling unsure about this. She then starts to cover my hand in this mad pattern, not particularly artsitic...i try to say that just one finger and part of my hand is fine but she doesn't stop.

She then finishes
Hotel Meghniwas Hotel Meghniwas Hotel Meghniwas

Our chill out pad in Jaipur serving G&T's with lime and mineral water ice...mmm...
and her husband repeats "my wife she an artist" , these words haunt me for days after. The pleasure costs 150 rupees The henna become darks very quickly as is absorbed into my skin. I try to wash it off when I get to the hotel but it doesn't budge. Simon is pissing himself laughing, I look in the book and see that this may last up to 3 weeks...I need to get a grip and get on with things...

It takes about 3 days for me to stop freaking out everytime I see my own hand - waking up in the night with it next to my face, in the mirror, even Simon was screaming and refusing to let me touch him with it! It's not that I don't like body art, it's just I wasn't ready for it....it felt a bit alien. Now I actually quite like it, it has faded a lot and goes well with my adapted traveller look which is slowly developing...x

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


The artistThe artist
The artist

After I had accepted that this was going to be full coverage
Beautiful JodhpurBeautiful Jodhpur
Beautiful Jodhpur

The amazing blue city

21st November 2006

i am not sure from where you got the idea that average monthly wages are Rs 250 , though the cost of putting up hena was bit high but i am very sorry to hear theese remarks from a traveler who is in india for such long period , hopefully you will understand india much better in coming time.
26th November 2006

pink t-shirt
Hello Emm and Simon... lovely to see a new entry on blog.. and another appearance from the pink t-shirt!! Looks like you are having a lovely time.. hope the henna has gone by the time you get to HK! Keep on writing... Love Mish and Andy xxx
29th November 2006

and thats why you travel a country, to understand it, and its people.....as further demonstrated when you read this blog.
1st December 2006

I think I probably did Rajasthan a bit of an injustice really although Simon did then get ripped off on his credit card which blatantly saw the guy doing and questioned him at the time - the cheek! So, now we are in a place called Dui - a small island - although connected to the mainland of Guyurat. Udaipur was amazing as you had said - had an almost serene, meditteranean feel. Mumbai was great for just getting back to a bit of reality after Rajasthan although bloody expensive and now we are just chilling, living very basically by the beach, eating freah fish every night for less than a quid. So, life is good and yes, lots of experiences coming our way as we meet more people and understand more about the different cultures and the simplicities of living away from the western influences that have begun to dominate and shape our exsitence xx
3rd December 2006

My pink t-shit!!!!
After a comment from Mish about the said item - you will see in future photos that I am making a conscious effort to wear something different although we all know that once you find something comfortable that doesn't show the dirt too easilyy and wears well that it is a definite key item for the duration. The pink t-shirtt is however more of a 'townie' outfit and is not reall;y making an appearance at the beach so watch out for the new 'item' and get ready to cast your votes xx

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