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Published: January 27th 2010
Room with a view
Vicky surveys her kingdom from her palace - The
Having left the capital behind it was time to get localised in deepest Rajasthan...
It was great to escape the city and the fog and get out into the desert sun, first stop Jodhpur, a 14 hour train journey south west of Delhi. We were greeted with ornate tuc tucs, camels, rickshaws and motorbikes to take us to the market square, centralised with a clock tower that looked like something from Back to the future 3. The markets were rife with traditional colourful Rajasthani dress - pinks, yellows, reds, blues, all signifying a womens position in society and marital status. Spices were all around the winding alleys,as well as the sacred cows, wild dogs, hens, craftmakers, and the odd chopped in half rodent, but all a little more civilised and controlled then the craze of the Pahar Ganj area of Delhi. Eclipsing the city was the great red fort dominating the skyline and providing a great vantage point to look over the blue city (buildings covered in bright blue paint below in the steep alleyways with kids playing cricket and woman out washing their laundry for the day...).The rooftops were definately the way forward to appreciate the vast urban
The Omlette Man
Apparently he gets through 2000 eggs a day!
sprawl and receive some calm from the chaos below. Each rooftop restaurant provided the usual drink and curry selection but all totheir own unique culinery expertise - each restaurant trying to outdo each other as the tallest in the city.
Next stop on the Rajasthan circuit was Udaipur, a romantic city set around a beautiful lake complete with islands hosting a floating Palace. The city had lots of charm with with perfect backdrop to watch the sunset over the hills. Palaces,temples,winding markets were the theme here with many centuries old whitewashed buildings, many artist schools encouraged to sell paintings,as well as numerous screenings of Octopussy. Women washed laundry in the lake as well as numerous burning ghats were set off at night as many religious Hindu funeral rituals took place.
Our final destination in Rajasthan was the pink city of Jaipur - a familiar destination on the golden triangle circuit. Here we encountered our first major sighting of monkeys as they jumped from rooftop torooftop,as well as hanging around one of the temples set high up on the rocky cliffface. Kids flew kites in the evening sun,and the bazaars were fullof jewellery makers.Palaces and buildings laid out different
The Blue City of Jodhpur
(not the home of Everton FC)
shades of pink,dependent on their age and preservation. Poverty was once again more intense here, and tauts were everywhere looking for the next rupee. With somuch ground covered we have managed to use almostevery transport known toman - buses,trains,boats,tuc tucs,taxis,cycle rickshaws and even 3's up on a motorbike. Next destination Ranthombore National Park to up close and personal with some of India's finest wildlife...
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