Blogs from Rajasthan, India, Asia


Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur April 29th 2023

Later start today at 9.30am as it's basically a free day. Gordon and Peter had booked another driver like we did for the day, but Arjun said it wasn't necessarily as he and the driver were at our disposal. So we all cancelled the driver and just joined the optional cooking class. First stop for photos was the Albert Hall (at my request) which fortunately was on the way to the scheduled stop, the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. This is a beautiful Hindi Temple completely built with white marble. It was nice to witness the end of a service when we arrived. Had our first proper rain fall as we arrived but temperature today had dropped considerably. Week before we arrived the highs were over 40 degrees centigrade. This week, it's dropped to low 30s, much more ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan April 28th 2023

Usual start at 8.30am after breakfast. Seemed like we were the only 6 guests but a few more turned up as we were leaving. First stop was Amber Fort, but instead of our mini-bus, we all hopped into a covered Jeep for the drive up to the Fort entrance. The old traditional method was riding up on an elephant, but tour companies no longer use this method because the elephants are badly treated. The Indian government does not allow any new elephants to be trained in this way. Amber Fort was fantastic. Located 11km from Jaipur, it was the old fort of the Kachwaha clan of Amber. The fort is built with white marble and red sandstone and many interesting parts to it, plus great views of the surrounding area. After that, we stopped to look ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan April 27th 2023

Started our bus trip to Jaipur at 8.50. Entertaining journey out of Delhi watching how the traffic completely ignores the lanes marked on the road, like they don't exist. Stopped at 11.45am for an early lunch at a nice place in the middle of nowhere called the Siva Oasis Resort. We discovered today that all our dinners are provided, so we ate a light lunch of creme of chicken soup and garlic naan for Daisy and a grilled chicken sandwich for me. Arjun also asked us to tip the rest room attendants. 10 rupees per person is a fair amount. We left to continue our journey at 12.50pm. The landscape changes towards Jaipur from flat to hilly. Many trucks are colourfully painted and have decorations. Arjun says it's because the trucks are like their home because ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur April 26th 2023

Buffet breakfast was interesting. A lot of Indian style items we'd never heard of before. We went around and tried small portions of everything. Daisy had a dosa made which she really liked. Tour started at 8.30am and we met our guide Arjun and driver, Arjay. Surprisingly, there was still just the six of us for this entire tour. Certainly wasn't expecting a small group tour. Robyn and Anne however didn't opt for the Varanasi extension. First stop was a visit to Old Delhi. We were taken to the Jama Masjid Mosque (the largest mosque in India), which has three great gateways, four angle towers and two minarets constructed ofalternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. First we had a rickshaw tour through Chandni Chowk, a colourful shopping bazaar in OldDelhi. Then a tour ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Kumbhalgarh March 14th 2023

Kumbhalgadh – Ranakpur-Mt Abu Being nearest places from where we live (Gandhinagar), Mt Abu, Udaipur, Kumbhalgadh and Ranakpur are frequently visited places for Gujarat. This was our second visit to Kumbhalgadh and Ranakpur and n-th visit to Mt Abu. Preferred route to Kumbhalgadh is from Udaipur. Ranakpur is near to Kumbhalgadh and hence both places are covered on the same day. Ranakpur can also be approached from Abu Road via Falna. Detailed descriptions about Kumbhalgadh and Ranakpur are available on internet and hence I do not intend to repeat all that. In this blog, I will highlight the mistakes we made. Day-1: Gandhinagar to Ambaji We started from Gandhinagar in the afternoon and reached Ambaji (162 km / 3-15 hrs via Vijapur-Himmatnagar-Khedbrahma). Alternate routes include: Gandhinagar-Himmatnagar national highway, Gandhinagar-Mehsana-Palanpur-Ambaji or Gandh... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ranakpur March 14th 2023

Kumbhalgadh – Ranakpur-Mt Abu From Kumbhalgadh, we proceeded to Ranakpur. 55 km / 90 min, via Sayra. That is the only route. Sayra to Ranakpur is not so bad. Visited Ranakpur temple in the afternoon. It closes at 5 pm. One of the most beautiful Jain temples, constructed in 15th century – 800+ yrs old. Original idea was to stay somewhere near Ranakpur. Mistake number four! No regular ‘hotels’ are available near Kumbhalgadh or Ranakpur. There are only ‘resorts’ in this area. Most of these are in remote, off-the-road locations, more suitable for larger groups of tourists, rather than elderly couples like us and those who are not interested in hard drinks. We do not prefer isolated, lonely jungle places (aka - resorts!). So, we decided to drive on. From Ranakpur, you can reach NH-62 via ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan March 14th 2023

Day-3: Abu Road-Mt Abu Although, rather dangerous from driving point of view, the most enjoyable part of the day’s journey was the last 45 min before reaching Abu Road, when it started pouring cats and dogs. Visibility was just 10-15 feet! Made it to Abu Road safely to stay for the night – where I wanted to be – at the junction from where road to Mt Abu starts. Visited Brahmakumari’s center at Abu Road in the morning. They provide a personal guide even for a small group of two people (like us)! On to Mt Abu. Mt Abu during raining season is real fun. We have visited the place during monsoon several times. A positive change we noted this time was the road around Nakki Lake (open only for pedestrians) which has been developed with ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pushkar January 15th 2023

Pushkar, Rajasthan Feb 14th With "five rupees" for paper and strings You can have your own set of wings With your feet on the ground You're a bird in flight With your fist holding tight To the string of your kite David Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke, and The Londoners Long you live and high you fly Smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry And all you touch and all you see Is all your life will ever be Pink Floyd Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life You were only waiting for this moment to arise John Lennon/ Paul McCartney If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly... I can see in myself wings ... read more
Pop up kite street stall
Babu showing his moves on the corrogated roof of his old family house
Babu's 'gang' have hauled up hired serious sound equipment for all day maximum volume techno music.... along with every other rooftop nearby

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pushkar December 27th 2022

Empty phenomenon rolling on. Anagarika Munindra Zen teaches vigilant carelessness and detached involvement. In a more high-sounding phrase, it teaches transcendental ordinariness. In a simpler, more sympathetic phrase, it teaches nothing but ordinariness. Yoel Hoffman Awakening is ordinariness awakening to ordinariness Ama Samy The Self is here and now Ramana Maharshi Be the Buddha now Adyashanti You are perfect as you are and there is always room for improvement Shunryu Suzuki Today a friend of 40 years died here in Pushkar, Rajasthan. Naryan was a simple man who, as far as I know, may never have ventured far from this place in all his 73 years. His life's work was a pakora wallah... a man who made fried vegetable snacks and so... read more
Chai on the road
Tibetan nun
Prahlad the Silver Maker

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur March 14th 2021 13th March - Amber Fort - Jewel of Jaipur The historic hill fort rises above the town of Amer (it is sometimes called Amer Fort), which was the capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from the 11th to the 18th century. Construction began in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, a commander in the army of the Mughal emperor Akbar. In shades of honey and rose stone, white marble and gilt decor, Amber Fort is more of a palace than a fortress, and the design is a unique mix of Hindu and Muslim styles. Dilip was our virtual guide & as he climbed the steps he stopped for breath and we could listen to the musician. We entered through Sun Gate, the palace is divided into four main sections, each having its own entry gate and courtyard. ... read more

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