A Travellerspoint blog

March 2019

29 ~ Should've had a top on saying “New Zealand” : Khejarla

“Where are you from?”


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Finally reached Fort Khejarla, another heritage hotel after 2pm / 14:00.

Khejarla seems to rise out of the Narwar plains like a sentinel. A sturdy fort, it is quite simple and uses very little ornamentation to break the almost forbidding exterior. The interiors too are simple and neat where the guests can look forward to genuine Rajput hospitality as most of the staff come from the local village.

https://jodhpurfortkhejarla.com/

IMG_3486.JPG

IMG_3488.JPG

Making charcoal

large_IMG_3487.JPG

Of the Fort’s 42 rooms, I wasn’t staying in one of the 16 rooms in the old fort itself but neither the less was more than happy with my huge room situated up high on the fort’s parapet. Glad that I didn’t have to take my bag up the many stairs to my room but I did take it back down the next morning using the Osprey back pack feature for the first time.

10b0cbb0-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG IMG_3491.JPG

IMG_3490.JPG

IMG_3489.JPG 0e6aac40-3eb7-11e9-bf76-2f904041e679.JPG

0ee1b100-3eb7-11e9-bf76-2f904041e679.JPG 10a09f10-3eb7-11e9-bf76-2f904041e679.JPG

14cf54a0-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG 12cd1c00-3eb7-11e9-b07e-fd4334ef6627.JPG

1452d1a0-3eb7-11e9-b07e-fd4334ef6627.JPG 15070670-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

158a8e50-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

13a098a0-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

large_1364c820-3eb7-11e9-b07e-fd4334ef6627.JPG

120c6410-3eb7-11e9-bf76-2f904041e679.JPG

12140530-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG 11d8d0f0-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

13265f90-3eb7-11e9-b07e-fd4334ef6627.JPG 130039f0-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

11083a80-3eb7-11e9-9464-0fadd0bfbecb.JPG

0f313090-3eb7-11e9-bf76-2f904041e679.JPG

View from outside my room

Rest of the afternoon was supposed to be at leisure but for me it was a walk around the village.

IMG_3493.JPG IMG_3494.JPG

IMG_3496.JPG IMG_3495.JPG

IMG_3497.JPG

While they are used to tourists, I was still the focus of attention being the only tourist walking around. Again, the shop keepers were only too obliging for their photos to be taken.

IMG_3498.JPG

IMG_3501.JPG

IMG_3500.JPG IMG_3499.JPG

IMG_3508.JPG

IMG_3507.JPG

IMG_3502.JPG IMG_3503.JPG

IMG_3505.JPG IMG_3504.JPG

IMG_3506.JPG

IMG_3509.JPG

IMG_3510.JPG IMG_3511.JPG

IMG_3512.JPG IMG_3513.JPG

IMG_3514.JPG

IMG_3515.JPG IMG_3516.JPG

I should have had a top on saying “New Zealand” as one of the first questions was “Where are you from?” Then of course cricket was mentioned with both current and former Black Caps names banded around.

IMG_3518.JPG IMG_3517.JPG

IMG_3519.JPG

IMG_3521.JPG IMG_3520.JPG

IMG_3522.JPG

I stood watching the old men playing a game on the veranda and one said to me “photo, photo” and gesturing me to take their photo which of course I gladly did.

IMG_3523.JPG IMG_3524.JPG

IMG_3525.JPG IMG_3526.JPG

IMG_3527.JPG IMG_3528.JPG

IMG_3530.JPG IMG_3529.JPG

IMG_3531.JPG

IMG_3535.JPG

IMG_3534.JPG

IMG_3533.JPG

Then there was the old man who couldn’t speak much English at all but insisted that I sit and have a chai with him, served by the young chai wallah.

IMG_3536.JPG IMG_3538.JPG

IMG_3539.JPG

IMG_3540.JPG IMG_3543.JPG

IMG_3542.JPG IMG_3541.JPG

IMG_3544.JPG

I was surprised by the number of barber shops in this small village.

IMG_3545.JPG

large_IMG_3546.JPG

IMG_3547.JPG

IMG_3549.JPG IMG_3550.JPG

IMG_3548.JPG

IMG_3552.JPG IMG_3551.JPG

IMG_3553.JPG

IMG_3554.JPG IMG_3555.JPG

IMG_3557.JPG IMG_3558.JPG

IMG_3559.JPG IMG_3560.JPG

IMG_3561.JPG

At the Computer Academy, Parash called me in and we talked about what he was doing training villagers to use computers. Met his father and nieces and nephew.

85745c00-3ebc-11e9-8664-4798c73d8c3a.JPG IMG_3562.JPG

IMG_3565.JPG IMG_3564.JPG

IMG_3563.JPG

IMG_3566.JPG IMG_3567.JPG

large_IMG_3568.JPG

Then one of his best friend took me on the back of his motor cycle the short distance to the outskirt of the village where he worked at the local petrol station and yes, no helmet! Another chai was downed!

7ffb4c20-3ebc-11e9-a882-1986273e597e.JPG IMG_3572.JPG

From there I slowly walked back.

IMG_3575.JPG

IMG_3574.JPG IMG_3573.JPG

Making bricks

IMG_3576.JPG

IMG_3578.JPG IMG_3581.JPG

IMG_3577.JPG

IMG_3582.JPG

IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3584.JPG

IMG_3585.JPG IMG_3586.JPG

IMG_3587.JPG

IMG_3589.JPG

IMG_3590.JPG IMG_3591.JPG

IMG_3594.JPG IMG_3596.JPG

fc0651a0-3eeb-11e9-a802-b98752ba3cc1.JPG IMG_3597.JPG

IMG_3598.JPG

IMG_3602.JPG IMG_3600.JPG

IMG_3599.JPG

IMG_3603.JPG

IMG_3604.JPG

IMG_3605.JPG IMG_3608.JPG

IMG_3606.JPG IMG_3610.JPG IMG_3609.JPG

IMG_3612.JPG

IMG_3614.JPG IMG_3615.JPG IMG_3613.JPG

IMG_3616.JPG IMG_3617.JPG

IMG_3618.JPG

IMG_3621.JPG

IMG_3622.JPG

IMG_3620.JPG

IMG_3619.JPG

IMG_3623.JPG IMG_3624.JPG

IMG_3625.JPG IMG_3626.JPG

IMG_3627.JPG IMG_3628.JPG

IMG_3630.JPG

IMG_3629.JPG

IMG_3631.JPG

IMG_3633.JPG

IMG_3632.JPG

IMG_3635.JPG IMG_3634.JPG

IMG_3636.JPG IMG_3637.JPG

IMG_3638.JPG IMG_3639.JPG

IMG_3640.JPG IMG_3641.JPG

IMG_3642.JPG IMG_3643.JPG

IMG_3644.JPG

IMG_3647.JPG IMG_3645.JPG

IMG_3648.JPG IMG_3649.JPG

IMG_3650.JPG

IMG_3652.JPG

IMG_3655.JPG

IMG_3653.JPG

IMG_3656.JPG

large_74b46d20-3ef2-11e9-8a35-b7f80268cf8c.JPG

IMG_3657.JPG IMG_3660.JPG

IMG_3661.JPG IMG_3664.JPGIMG_3670.JPG

IMG_3662.JPG

Kachori. Deep fried pooris which are made up of refined flour and carom seeds stuffed with variety of fillings (dal, peas, masala) etc.

IMG_3673.JPG IMG_3671.JPG

IMG_3674.JPG

IMG_3676.JPG IMG_3675.JPG

IMG_3677.JPG IMG_3678.JPG

IMG_3679.JPG IMG_3680.JPG

IMG_3681.JPG

IMG_3682.JPG IMG_3683.JPG

IMG_3684.JPG IMG_3688.JPG

IMG_3685.JPG IMG_3686.JPG IMG_3687.JPG

IMG_3689.JPG IMG_3691.JPG

IMG_3692.JPG IMG_3693.JPG

IMG_3694.JPG

IMG_3696.JPG IMG_3697.JPG IMG_3698.JPG

IMG_3699.JPG IMG_3700.JPG IMG_3701.JPG

IMG_3702.JPG

IMG_3704.JPG IMG_3703.JPG

IMG_3705.JPG

Still playing cards as I walked back

IMG_3706.JPG

IMG_3707.JPG IMG_3708.JPG

IMG_3709.JPG IMG_3710.JPG

IMG_3711.JPG IMG_3712.JPG

IMG_3713.JPG IMG_3714.JPG

IMG_3715.JPG IMG_3716.JPG

IMG_3717.JPG

IMG_3718.JPG IMG_3719.JPG

IMG_3720.JPG

IMG_3722.JPG

IMG_3721.JPG IMG_3724.JPG

IMG_3723.JPG

IMG_3727.JPG IMG_3728.JPG IMG_3729.JPG

IMG_3725.JPG

IMG_3731.JPG IMG_3730.JPG

IMG_3726.JPG

IMG_3733.JPG IMG_3735.JPG

IMG_3734.JPG IMG_3732.JPG

IMG_3737.JPG IMG_3738.JPG

IMG_3739.JPG IMG_3736.JPG

IMG_3741.JPG

IMG_3743.JPG

IMG_3742.JPG

IMG_3745.JPG IMG_3746.JPG

IMG_3748.JPG IMG_3747.JPG

0e7730c0-3ef6-11e9-ac1f-05c5efe1623f.JPG

IMG_3750.JPG

IMG_3751.JPG IMG_3752.JPG

IMG_3754.JPG IMG_3753.JPG

IMG_3755.JPG

IMG_3757.JPG

IMG_3756.JPG

IMG_3758.JPG IMG_3759.JPG IMG_3761.JPG

IMG_3762.JPG IMG_3765.JPG

IMG_3766.JPG

IMG_3767.JPG IMG_3768.JPG

IMG_3769.JPG IMG_3770.JPG

IMG_3771.JPG IMG_3772.JPG

IMG_3775.JPG IMG_3776.JPG

IMG_3773.JPG IMG_3774.JPG

IMG_3777.JPG IMG_3778.JPG

IMG_3780.JPG IMG_3779.JPG

IMG_3781.JPG

IMG_3782.JPG

IMG_3788.JPG

IMG_3783.JPG IMG_3784.JPG

IMG_3785.JPG IMG_3786.JPG

IMG_3789.JPG

During the 3.5 hours capturing what would definitely be one of the highlights of the trip having taken nearly 300 images plus the videos.

Did I take a photo or two of every shop keeper in town? Felt like it!

It was nearly 6pm / 18:00 and time for sunset when I got back.

There was this group of 3 gentlemen whom I asked permission to take their photo and it turned out that one seated was the owner of the Fort. Currently run under management, he will take it back in 6 years’ time. It has been in his family for 450 years.

IMG_3791.JPG IMG_3790.JPG

IMG_3793.JPG

The sunset was nothing to speak of but I had the views of the surrounding countryside from the Fort.

Dinner = Garlic Naan 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US$0.70.
Jeera Pulao 180 rupees / NZ$3.60 / US$2.50.
Basmati rice tampered with cumin seed and salt 260 rupees / NZ$5.30 / US$3.60.
Mangodi Hara Pyaaz dumplings made from a combination of different lentils simmered in rich thick gravy 225 rupees / NZ$4.60 / US$3.15.
Plus GST and a tip came to 900 rupees / NZ$18.20 / US$12.60.

de5ca040-3ef6-11e9-9b41-edfa70417d06.JPG

IMG_5940.jpeg IMG_5941.jpeg

Posted by bruceontour 00:02 Archived in India Tagged khejarla Comments (0)

28 ~ Same desert flat featureless : Jaisalmer to Khajrala

Day 7 : Train or plane would have been better ...


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

After another wonderful Fort Rajwada filling breakfast, was ready early and left at 8.45am / 08:45 for the 5 hour drive through to Khejarla.

33d2b380-3eb5-11e9-8066-6fad98e5e24f.JPG

More of the same desert flat featureless scenery so I didn’t take many photos till we came to the area where marble was been quarried. Something quite different.

IMG_3463.JPG

IMG_3464.JPG IMG_3466.JPG

IMG_3465.JPG

IMG_3472.JPG IMG_3473.JPG

IMG_3471.JPG IMG_3470.JPG

IMG_3475.JPG IMG_3468.JPG

IMG_3469.JPG IMG_3474.JPG

IMG_3477.JPG IMG_3478.JPG

IMG_3481.JPG

IMG_3476.JPG IMG_3484.JPG

We had to pass right across Jodhpur as my overnight stay at Khejarla was some 85 km / 53 miles east or another 90 minutes on the other side of the city.

IMG_3480.JPG

IMG_3485.JPG IMG_3482.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:55 Archived in India Comments (0)

27 ~ Royal Cenotaphs - Bara Bagh + Sunset Point : Jaisalmer

How to hold the moon

Back to Fort Rajwada, a walk around the lovely grounds and then soaked in the afternoon sun by sitting on the sun lounger by the pool. There was nothing to see outside the hotel itself and yes, I could have caught a tuk tuk back into Jaisalmer but decided not to.

43f98bf0-3e59-11e9-b28c-c7c7c1531b4f.JPG

The Royal Cenotaphs of the Rawals

Leaving at 4.30pm / 16:30 I did the optional extra visit to The Royal Cenotaphs of the Rawals in Bara Bagh (meaning big garden). The entry fee had just gone up to 500 rupees / NZ$10.40 / US$7 and 200 rupees / NZ$4.20 / US$2.80 for the camera which in some ways was far too much as over at Sunset Point are similar but certainly not so many cenotaphs and that entry fee was only 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US$0.70 and 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US$0.70 for the camera!

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Jaisalmer has another group of similar looking cenotaphs, in a large unkempt garden around five kilometres further out, erected in honour of the city's royal rulers from the 16th to 20th centuries. The last cenotaph to be built is dedicated to Maharaja Jawahar Singh, who reigned after India’s Independence. However, it remains incomplete due to his death a year after Independence, which was viewed as a bad omen by the family. Most intriguing are the plaques on the cenotaphs. Plaques showing both maharaja and maharani together indicate that the queen committed sati (threw herself on her husband's funeral pyre). In contrast to the cenotaphs, modern wind turbines now populate the breezy hill as well, to generate electricity.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

IMG_3394.JPG IMG_3396.JPG

IMG_3418.JPG IMG_3395.JPG

IMG_3397.JPG

IMG_3398.JPG IMG_3404.JPG

IMG_3400.JPG IMG_3401.JPG

IMG_3402.JPG IMG_3403.JPG

IMG_3405.JPG IMG_3416.JPG

IMG_3408.JPG IMG_3406.JPG

IMG_3407.JPG

IMG_3409.JPG IMG_3411.JPG

IMG_3412.JPG IMG_3415.JPG

IMG_3414.JPG IMG_3410.JPG

IMG_3413.JPG

IMG_3417.JPG

IMG_3419.JPG IMG_3420.JPG

IMG_3422.JPG IMG_3421.JPG

IMG_3423.JPG IMG_3425.JPG

IMG_3428.JPG IMG_3427.JPG

IMG_3426.JPG

IMG_3399.JPG IMG_3424.JPG

IMG_3429.JPG

Allowed just 30 minutes at the Royal Cenotaphs as with the sun about to set had to head over to the nearby Sunset Point which is supposed to be the best place from which to both watch the spectacular desert sunset and also photograph the fort.

Sunset Point

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Vyas Chhatri, on the edge of Jaisalmer north of the Fort, is dedicated to the great sage Vyasa who authored the Hindu epic The Mahabharata. This haunting place is used as a cremation ground for Pushkarana Brahmins and contains a number of cenotaphs (empty tombs) erected in honour of notable ones. The cenotaphs are referred to as chhatris because of their domes, which look like umbrellas (chhatris). Go there for spectacular sunsets over the city.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

The sun was quickly dropping and colours changing.

IMG_3431.JPG IMG_3430.JPG

IMG_3432.JPG IMG_3433.JPG

IMG_3434.JPG

IMG_3436.JPG IMG_3437.JPG

IMG_3435.JPG IMG_3438.JPG

IMG_3439.JPG

large_IMG_3440.JPG

Set up the Go Pro on time lapse to try and capture the changes.

cc1580c0-3e5e-11e9-bbed-0d0724bceeb1.JPG

IMG_3441.JPG IMG_3442.JPG

cc6e9d40-3e5e-11e9-bbed-0d0724bceeb1.JPG

IMG_3443.JPG IMG_3445.JPG

IMG_3446.JPG IMG_3447.JPG

large_d4515a20-3e5e-11e9-a08c-312469d02aa7.JPG

large_IMG_3444.JPG

IMG_3448.JPG IMG_3449.JPG

In the distance were these 2 guys trying to do a selfie of the Fort and with the rising moon behind them I had to move very quickly to position myself and capture this shot.

large_IMG_3450.JPG

IMG_3453.JPG

IMG_3455.JPG IMG_3456.JPG

IMG_3458.JPG

large_IMG_3459.JPG

IMG_3454.JPG IMG_3457.JPG

IMG_3460.JPG IMG_3461.JPG

IMG_3462.JPG

Using last night sunset experience as a guideline, I was one of the last to leave before they closed and locked the gates. By now the sky was really red and soon it was black.

Dinner with Askok at Junction Palace – boneless chicken tikka, 400 rupees / NZ$8.30 / US$05.60.
Butter masala - marinated and grilled boneless chicken cooked in tomato butter based gravy 425 rupees / NZ$8.90 / US$6.
Askok had something for 450 rupees / NZ$9.40 / US$6.30.
Khadi vegetable paneer cheese 450 rupees / NZ$9.40 / US$6.30.
Garlic naan 250 rupees / NZ$5.20 / US$3.50.
Kingfisher lager 250 rupees / NZ$5.20 / US$3.50.
Water 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US$0.70.
Plus GST and a tip came to 2,000 rupees / NZ$40.40 / US$28.

d424a4d0-3e5e-11e9-99ed-b71b255c4ee8.JPG d239c4c0-3e5e-11e9-bbed-0d0724bceeb1.JPG

d10b56e0-3e5e-11e9-99ed-b71b255c4ee8.JPG IMG_5928.JPG

cce04ad0-3e5e-11e9-bbed-0d0724bceeb1.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:21 Archived in India Tagged jaisalmer sunset_point royal_cenotaphs_of_the_rawals Comments (0)

26 ~ Patwa Haveli + Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli : Jaisalmer

Merchant’s houses


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Note: Videos are "foggy" at the bottom for some unknown reason

Patwa Haveli

874afdf0-3e52-11e9-961d-69e4cbb503e6.JPG

large_IMG_3333.JPG

Wonder what is the correct entry price?

IMG_3301.JPG


Jaisalmer is also known for the fairy-tale architecture of its magnificent historic havelis (mansions), located both inside and out of the fort. Many can be found in the narrow lanes about 10 minutes walk north of the fort.

In this area, the 19th century Patwa Haveli / Patwon-ki-haveli is the city's biggest and most important one. It's actually a cluster of five mansions built by a wealthy Jain trader and his sons. Kothari’s Patwa Haveli is particularly impressive, with its breathtaking intricate stonework and artwork, and has been converted to a museum. The entry fee is 250 rupees for foreigners and 100 rupees for Indians.

http://patwahaveli.com/

The magnificent havelis or merchant’s houses, each richly decorated and carved from golden yellow sandstone – Patwon-ki-haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants) is the largest and most elaborate of the famous havelis of Jaisalmer.

large_IMG_3302.JPG

IMG_3305.JPG IMG_3306.JPG

IMG_3307.JPG IMG_3308.JPG

IMG_3311.JPG IMG_3310.JPG

IMG_3303.JPG IMG_3304.JPG

large_IMG_3309.JPG

IMG_3312.JPG

IMG_3314.JPG

IMG_3313.JPG IMG_3315.JPG

IMG_3316.JPG

IMG_3317.JPG IMG_3320.JPG

IMG_3319.JPG

IMG_3324.JPG IMG_3323.JPG IMG_3326.JPG

IMG_3325.JPG

c8861970-3e53-11e9-b0ab-fb6f9a6978ab.JPG

IMG_3327.JPG IMG_3328.JPG

IMG_3329.JPG

IMG_3330.JPG

IMG_3331.JPG

IMG_3332.JPG IMG_3335.JPG c4d4aa30-3e53-11e9-a8d9-d5837426799e.JPG

IMG_3336.JPG

IMG_3338.JPG

IMG_3339.JPG IMG_3340.JPG IMG_3342.JPG

IMG_3337.JPG

Then the short walk to Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli.

IMG_3344.JPG IMG_3343.JPG

IMG_3347.JPG IMG_3345.JPG

IMG_3346.JPG

IMG_3348.JPG IMG_3349.JPG

large_IMG_3350.JPG

The builders

IMG_3352.JPG IMG_3351.JPG

IMG_3353.JPG

IMG_3355.JPG IMG_3354.JPG

Prem and one of his many local friends

IMG_3356.JPG

IMG_3357.JPG

IMG_3362.JPG IMG_3363.JPG

IMG_3358.JPG IMG_3359.JPG

IMG_3364.JPG IMG_3365.JPG

IMG_3360.JPG IMG_3366.JPG

Finally got the angle and smile that I wanted.

Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli

The Nathmalji-ki-haveli (The Mansion of Nathmalji), the last of the great havelis was built in the late 19th century.

Diwan Mohata Nathmal, then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer built this Haveli in 1885. it was designed by two Muslim brothers Hathi and Lulu. An ethereal building, its construction has an unusual history associated with it; the two architect brothers constructed one half each of the building from the same plan. The two halves turned out to be absolutely dissimilar to each other and are joined together by a faÇade. There is no other building in Jaisalmer that surpasses Nathmal Ki Haveli in quality of workmanship even now. The entire building's faÇade has fine detailing and carvings. The main chamber of this mansion is carved out of rock and the entire frontage of the first floor is carved out of one solitary boulder. Its jharokas (balconies) and jaalis are carved exquisitely, like filigree. The Haveli's interiors are decorated with miniature paintings.

http://www.wondersofrajasthan.com/rajasthan-forts-palaces/havelis-of-jaisalmer.html

IMG_3368.JPG IMG_3369.JPG

large_IMG_3367.JPG

large_IMG_3370.JPG

IMG_3371.JPG IMG_3375.JPG

IMG_3372.JPG IMG_3373.JPG IMG_3376.JPG

IMG_3378.JPG IMG_3379.JPG

IMG_3377.JPG

IMG_3380.JPG IMG_3381.JPG IMG_3382.JPG

IMG_3383.JPG

IMG_3384.JPG IMG_3385.JPG

large_IMG_3386.JPG

large_IMG_3388.JPG

It was just after noon when the tour of the Fort and old town finished and no, I didn’t visit the Government authorised Bhang (cannabis) shop but instead had a chai next door.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

You may be surprised to discover that bhang (marijuana) is sold openly in Jaisalmer. The renowned Lassi Shop (previously called the Government Authorized Bhang Shop), outside the first fort gate at Gopa Chowk, has been in business since 1977. It attracts a steady flow of curious customers who are served by the aptly named Doctor Bhang. There's a tempting array of bhang lassis (marijuana milkshakes) bhang cookies, cakes, chocolates and sweets, with potencies ranging from weak to strong. The safari packs, promising a smooth camel ride, are popular with travellers.

Do note: make sure you go to the original bhang shop, now called the Lassi Shop, next to Trotters Travel at the fort gate. The new "government authorized" bhang shop down the street is reportedly not as good. The owners apparently bribed the officials and took the government license.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

large_IMG_3389.JPG

Chai making

IMG_3391.JPG

419a1820-3e59-11e9-b28c-c7c7c1531b4f.JPG 41445700-3e59-11e9-b28c-c7c7c1531b4f.JPG

41b82770-3e59-11e9-9464-0b730744affe.JPG 427b9e80-3e59-11e9-8440-f10f4de13c1e.JPG

3ff96070-3e59-11e9-b28c-c7c7c1531b4f.JPG

IMG_3390.JPG

large_IMG_3393.JPG

IMG_3392.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 23:58 Archived in India Tagged jaisalmer haveli jaisalmer_fort sonar_quila golden_fort patwa_haveli patwon-ki-haveli patwon_ki_haveli Comments (0)

25 ~ Pay no tax, no rent : Jaisalmer Fort

Graffiti with a difference


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Onto the Fort itself.

Standing 76m / 25 yards above the town, enclosed by a 9 km / 5.5 mile wall with 99 bastions, it certainly was an imposing sight.

large_ea3a0ea0-3e2b-11e9-be9c-45cd2f2a0c02.JPG

IMG_3163.JPG

large_ea4420c0-3e2b-11e9-b630-d71fafbbb6a6.JPG

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

There aren't too many places in the world where you can visit a "living" fort but Jaisalmer, in the Thar desert, is one of them. The city's mirage-like yellow sandstone fort is home to thousands of people who have been residing in it for generations. The fort also has a multitude of shops, hotels, restaurants, a palace complex, old haveli mansions, and temples inside it.

Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal began building Jaisalmer fort in 1156, making it one of the oldest forts in Rajasthan. It eventually expanded to cover the whole hill and transformed itself into a city, which swelled in population during times of conflict. The fort survived many battles. However, its condition is now rapidly deteriorating due to illegal construction and poor drainage. Waste water has been seeping into the fort's foundations, making it unstable and causing parts to collapse.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-palaces-and-forts-in-india-1539345

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Jaisalmer's ethereal sandstone fort, which resembles a massive sandcastle rising from the desert, is the city's focal point. The fort was built in 1156 by Rajput ruler Jaisal, who also founded the city at the same time. What really makes it unusual is that it's one of the few living forts in the world. Thousands of people reside inside its walls. It's also home to numerous hotels, guesthouses, temples, handicraft stores, restaurants, and the former maharaja's palatial palace. The palace is open to visitors for a fee, although it does get crowded and could be better maintained. Tickets cost 500 rupees for foreigners, including an audio guide. You'll need to pay 100 rupees extra to take your camera inside. It's pricey, so you may want to skip it!

Unfortunately, the condition of the fort is rapidly deteriorating, as drain water is seeping into its foundations. Hence, many people now choose to stay outside the fort in a hotel with evocative views of it.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

large_38a853b0-3e42-11e9-869e-319a8a0cd1b4.JPG

IMG_3166.JPG IMG_3168.JPG

35ec40f0-3e42-11e9-b517-7b67fb31ef89.JPG

IMG_3169.JPG

IMG_3164.JPG IMG_3165.JPG

IMG_3160.JPG 35e84950-3e42-11e9-869e-319a8a0cd1b4.JPG

Poha, made up of flattened rice which is steamed and served with spices. Gently tempered with mustard seeds and fennel.

0359ad90-3e2d-11e9-8a18-d7fea4e185bb.JPG

IMG_3162.JPG IMG_3170.JPG

IMG_3172.JPG IMG_3171.JPG

Entered via the east Gopa Chowk, through the First Fort Gate (Akhai Pol), then up the ramp: Suraj Pol, Ganesh Pol, Hawa Pol and finally Rang Pol.

large_IMG_3174.JPG

large_IMG_3177.JPG

IMG_3175.JPG

Suraj Pol

IMG_3178.JPG IMG_3179.JPG

IMG_3180.JPG

IMG_3181.JPG

IMG_3182.JPG IMG_3183.JPG

IMG_3184.JPG IMG_3185.JPG

IMG_3186.JPG

IMG_3187.JPG IMG_3188.JPG

Palace of the Maharawal

large_IMG_3189.JPG

IMG_3192.JPG IMG_3190.JPG 920a12b0-3e45-11e9-9995-3b3aa662650d.JPG

Jain temples

One of the main attractions inside the fort is a stunning series of seven interconnected Jain temples that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Carved out of sandstone, the detail on them rivals that of the marble Jain temple complex at Ranakpur. You'll need to remove your shoes and all leather items before entering. The temples are open daily from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., although foreigners may only enter all the sections after 11 a.m. Timings are prone to changing, so do check first. Tickets cost 300 rupees for foreigners. Indians don't have to pay but there is a camera charge.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

IMG_3193.JPG IMG_3194.JPG IMG_3197.JPG

IMG_3198.JPG

large_44eae410-3e49-11e9-8e54-07e0cac3b165.JPG

IMG_3204.JPG

IMG_3195.JPG

IMG_3199.JPG IMG_3200.JPG

IMG_3201.JPG

IMG_3196.JPG IMG_3208.JPG IMG_3203.JPG

IMG_3205.JPG

91ff6450-3e45-11e9-b517-7b67fb31ef89.JPG

IMG_3202.JPG IMG_3206.JPG

IMG_3207.JPG

IMG_3209.JPG

IMG_3210.JPG IMG_3211.JPG IMG_3213.JPG

IMG_3212.JPG

IMG_3214.JPG

IMG_3216.JPG IMG_3215.JPG IMG_3218.JPG

IMG_3217.JPG

IMG_3222.JPG IMG_3220.JPG IMG_3221.JPG

IMG_3219.JPG

IMG_3223.JPG IMG_3224.JPG

Pagdi (Turban) is a Rajasthani headwear worn by men and made up of cotton (printed).

IMG_3254.JPG

Pagdi and Mooch (Moustache) are the pride of Rajasthani men.

IMG_3226.JPG

IMG_3234.JPG IMG_3225.JPG

IMG_3237.JPG

IMG_3239.JPG IMG_3238.JPG

IMG_3228.JPG IMG_3229.JPG

IMG_3230.JPG IMG_3236.JPG

IMG_3231.JPG

large_IMG_3232.JPG

IMG_3233.JPG

Then a climb to the roof top for a great view over Jaisalmer.

large_f9489170-3e4c-11e9-8e54-07e0cac3b165.JPG

IMG_3240.JPG IMG_3241.JPG

IMG_3242.JPG IMG_3245.JPG

IMG_3243.JPG IMG_3246.JPG

IMG_3244.JPG

IMG_3247.JPG

IMG_3248.JPG IMG_3249.JPG

IMG_3253.JPG

Instead of visiting the armory, Prem showed me where he lived and sipping chai from the roof top had a slightly different view of Jaisalmer below.

Prem is one of the 3,000 people who live within the fort. Looked like more than 3,000. Was told that they pay no tax, no rent. Now approximately 150 hotels and many restaurants are located within the fort dotted around the narrow winding alleyways.

large_IMG_3250.JPG

Prem with his sister's wedding invitation

IMG_3251.JPG IMG_3252.JPG

large_cd883350-3e4d-11e9-8e54-07e0cac3b165.JPG

Note: For some unknown reason, videos are "foggy" at the bottom.

IMG_3255.JPG IMG_3264.JPG

Palace of the Maharawal

IMG_3259.JPG IMG_3262.JPG

large_IMG_3263.JPG

IMG_3257.JPG IMG_3258.JPG

Palace of the Maharawal

IMG_3256.JPG

large_4d19f9f0-3e4e-11e9-8e54-07e0cac3b165.JPG

Looking south

IMG_3260.JPG IMG_3261.JPG

IMG_3268.JPG IMG_3266.JPG

IMG_3267.JPG IMG_3269.JPG

IMG_3271.JPG IMG_3270.JPG

IMG_3273.JPG IMG_3274.JPG

IMG_3275.JPG

IMG_3278.JPG IMG_3279.JPG

IMG_3276.JPG

IMG_3284.JPG IMG_3285.JPG IMG_3286.JPG

IMG_3281.JPG

IMG_3287.JPG IMG_3288.JPG

IMG_3282.JPG IMG_3283.JPG

IMG_3299.JPG IMG_3297.JPG IMG_3289.JPG

IMG_3290.JPG IMG_3291.JPG

IMG_3292.JPG

IMG_3293.JPG

large_IMG_3294.JPG

IMG_3295.JPG

IMG_3296.JPG

Graffiti with a difference

In Jaisalmer, the unique practice of painting wedding invitations on house walls continues.

Caught between the expectations of the world to nurture the rich legacy and the growing aspirations of its youth to take a giant leap forward, Jaisalmer is holding on to many unique customs and traditions.

One of them is the practice of painting wedding invitations on the walls of the house. Tracing the remnants of the past, in the narrow winding streets of the Jaisalmer Fort – oldest living fort in India -- home to old havelis, exquisite stonework and a multitude of narratives, the painted wedding invitations make one of the most intriguing sights.

At the entrance of almost every house is painted Lord Ganesha - the deity invoked before embarking on anything auspicious – announcing the date of the wedding and inviting one and all. “In the case of bride's house, the girl's name is written first and then the groom's name while in the case of groom's house, its vice-versa,” says a middle-aged Anita, who is visiting her parental house, where a wedding has just taken place.

Standing against the backdrop of the colourful invitation her Vasu Family extends, Anita helpfully adds, “The trend of distributing cards began as late as some thirty years ago. Jaisalmer was a small city where everybody knows everybody and this was the perfect way of inviting people and spreading the word around. A family in one street would see it and then pass the message to the others living elsewhere.”

While some prefer to do simple crisp ones in Hindi, a few families pep it up with amusing one-liners. The residents claim it's a tradition that's specific to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan but something that cuts across different Hindu castes and sects living there. According to Tarachand Vyas, the practice runs common to Pushkarna Brahmins, Bhatias, Khatris, and many more. “I was born here in 1940 and have seen these invitations ever since. Marriages or saawas, as we call them, are an auspicious occasion and how do we forget Ganpati on such an important event. So, we call a local painter three to seven days before the wedding, to paint. And it's important to note that the invite stays on the wall till a new wedding is announced and replaces the old one.” Another local citizen chips in, “That's why our weddings used to be so huge, around 2000-3000 people and still are…”

Practiced for centuries, the tradition's popularity hasn't faded a bit. The younger generation considers it an integral part of their culture which is indispensable. “Wedding cards are there but nothing can replace the charm of these wall invitations. Our grandfathers did it, then our fathers did it and now we will do it,” says Prashant Acharya who works as a guide.

https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/graffiti-with-a-difference/article2931600.ece

large_IMG_3227.JPG

large_IMG_3235.JPG

IMG_3280.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 01:08 Archived in India Tagged jaisalmer jain jain_temple pagdi mooch jaisalmer_fort sonar_quila golden_fort Comments (0)

24 ~ Protect me from evil eye - Gadisar Lake : Jaisalmer

Day 6 : 7 chillis & a lemon


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

What a brochure said about Jaisalmer“It is India’s most exotic and unusual town – a medieval looking place, straight out of the ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’. This beautiful city is situated inside a huge mud fort and grew as a result of its strategic position on the trading route between India and Central Asia bringing great wealth to the city. It is a tiny jewel in the heart of the Thar Desert – once the capital of the Bhatti Rajputs. Jaisalmer started as an important caravan centre and remnants of caravan sarais still exist.

It was part of the Silk route renowned for the textile, scarfs, antiques and silver jewelry.

Visit this perfect Rajput walled desert city which is like a golden jewel shimmering above the hard sand.”

Another 9am / 09:00 departure and Prem my local Guide was waiting for us at Gadisar Lake – the large natural oasis that attracted Rawal Jaisal to this site.

IMG_3133.JPG

Prem

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Gadsisar Lake, also called Gadisar Lake, is a huge artificial reservoir that was built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh in the 14th century. It provided the only water supply to the city until 1965. The many small temples and shrines that surround the lake make it an inviting place to relax and spend some time. Migratory waterfowl are an added attraction in winter, along with numerous catfish in the water that love to be fed. Boats are available for hire too. The lake is situated on the southeast edge of the city.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-visit-in-jaisalmer-1539657

IMG_3120.JPG

IMG_3122.JPG IMG_3125.JPG

IMG_3123.JPG

IMG_3126.JPG IMG_3127.JPG

IMG_3128.JPG IMG_3124.JPG

IMG_3129.JPG IMG_3131.JPG

large_4143ff20-3e28-11e9-9dff-359b8d5afb64.JPG

IMG_3130.JPG

IMG_3135.JPG IMG_3136.JPG

38b60e20-3e28-11e9-9d1d-e5b8703b6f6e.JPG

IMG_3137.JPG

IMG_3134.JPG

Buri nazar na lage. (Keep me protected from evil eye). This is very traditional. 7 chillis and a lemon.

Hindus believe that this device drives bad spirits out of the house. This special string of chilies and lemon is also hung in front of businesses for good luck.

Just hang a fresh string of chilies in the house, at the door or on the balcony, or perhaps carry a plastic ‘horn’, which looks like a chili, in your pocket as a lucky charm. Tradition dictates the chilies should be fresh, not dry, to ensure good fortune.

https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/food-drinks/kitchen-superstition/

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-significance-in-India-of-hanging-lemon-and-chili-tied-to-a-thread-outside-of-ones-house

Traditional Belief (what people think) or Scientific (ancient) belief? After knowing the reason, all logics seems so simple. Our Ancestor are more scientific than us, they just hide the pure logic and attach it to religion.

https://dharamvigyaan.blogspot.com/2015/12/why-do-we-hang-lemon-and-7-green.html

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-history-or-significance-of-Nimbu-Mirchi

https://www.thebetterindia.com/51153/explanation-behind-superstitions-in-india/

Then on leaving walked up the bank and the view of Jaisalmer Fort, also locally known as Sonar Quila or more popularly nicknamed the Golden Fort due to the golden aura that seems to engulf the fort during each sunset.

While all Hindus are generally cremated and not buried, things change per state and belief depending on the village or town.
In the foreground was the cemetery where I was told the unmarried are buried as married Hindus are cremated.

IMG_3142.JPG

IMG_3144.JPG IMG_3145.JPG

IMG_3140.JPG

large_IMG_3121.JPG

IMG_3139.JPG IMG_3149.JPG

IMG_3147.JPG IMG_3146.JPG

IMG_3148.JPG

IMG_3119.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 23:37 Archived in India Tagged jaisalmer gadisar_lake jaisalmer_fort sonar_quila golden_fort Comments (0)

23 ~ Sunset over Sam sand dunes : out of Jaisalmer

Jeep to myself having booked a “shared” jeep


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Being close to the Pakistan border (100 kms / 60 miles), the Indian army had many, many bases here as we approached Jaisalmer. Soldiers stay for 2 years only before being moved to another base.

IMG_3027.JPG

It took over an hour to get to the Sam sand dunes out in Rajasthan's Thar desert, about 42 km / 26 miles west out of Jaisalmer. I had the jeep to myself having booked a “shared” jeep. So that was bonus. 1,000 rupees / NZD$22 / US$14.80.

IMG_3026.JPG

We had time to stop off at a small group of houses where the locals earnt a living quarrying the local rock.

IMG_3028.JPG IMG_3029.JPG

IMG_3031.JPG IMG_3032.JPG

IMG_3030.JPG

IMG_3034.JPG IMG_3035.JPG

large_IMG_3033.JPG

IMG_3036.JPG IMG_3037.JPG

IMG_3038.JPG

Hundreds and hundreds of wind turbines dotted the countryside. Hate to see them all going when the wind really blows which it must do but certainly not today.

IMG_3039.JPG IMG_3041.JPG

Pass many of the paragliding operators who use jeeps to get their fare paying people up into the skies above.

IMG_3043.JPG

IMG_3044.JPG IMG_3045.JPG

IMG_3047.JPG IMG_3048.JPG

Soon it was off the main tar seal road, passing one of the many tourist luxury glamping tent village complexes, proceeded along the sandy track. I was asked by Kabir my jeep driver if I wanted to go to a tourist or non-tourist sand dune? Of course the non-tourist area please.

Decided before the trip not to do an overnight stay “glamping” it up in one of these luxury tent complex. Mainly because of how cold the overnight winter’s temperature could drop to. A wise decision as the buffet dinner food selection back at the Fort Rajwada was the best on tour!

IMG_3049.JPG IMG_3050.JPG

IMG_3052.JPG

A tourist filled sand dune

IMG_3051.JPG

Kabir of course had his friend Isak the camel man and while he stayed with him, pointed me in the direction of the sand dunes which was not far away and up I climbed. The dunes here are not high at all but the best that India can offer.

IMG_3053.JPG IMG_3057.JPG IMG_3054.JPG

IMG_3055.JPG

large_fe8b07f0-3dff-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG

large_fe3f31e0-3dff-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG

IMG_3058.JPG

IMG_3059.JPG

IMG_3060.JPG

IMG_3062.JPG IMG_3063.JPG

IMG_3064.JPG IMG_3065.JPG

IMG_3066.JPG IMG_3067.JPG

IMG_3068.JPG IMG_3074.JPG

large_IMG_3069.JPG

large_IMG_3070.JPG

IMG_3073.JPG

IMG_3075.JPG IMG_3076.JPG

IMG_3078.JPG

IMG_3077.JPG

IMG_3079.JPG IMG_3080.JPG

IMG_3081.JPG IMG_3082.JPG

IMG_3083.JPG

IMG_3084.JPG

IMG_3085.JPG IMG_3086.JPG

IMG_3087.JPG

I had over an hour enjoying the peace of this area finding my own space away from the neighbouring dunes with many tourists dotted on them. Yes, tourists on camels plus the local gypsies wanting to perform a dance for me wandered by. You could hear the traffic in the far distance on the road and later the noisy powered paraglider but … it was worth it.

IMG_3088.JPG IMG_3104.JPG

Slowly the sun dropped below the horizon a few minutes before 6.00pm / 18:00. (Yes, lots of sunset photos!)

IMG_3089.JPG IMG_3090.JPG

IMG_3092.JPG IMG_3094.JPG

IMG_3096.JPG IMG_3097.JPG

IMG_3098.JPG IMG_3100.JPG

7e24c860-3e01-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG 7ebd37d0-3e01-11e9-8a70-09be40672e4b.JPG

153d8200-3e02-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG 7e905b70-3e01-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG

IMG_3102.JPG IMG_3103.JPG

IMG_3105.JPG

I eventually wandered down the sand dune and Isak still had a hot chai waiting for me that he brewed up on an open fire much earlier and kept it hot by no doubt burying it next to the hot embers.

IMG_3106.JPG IMG_3107.JPG

Kabir ~ Isak

IMG_3108.JPG 81fa44f0-3e02-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG

IMG_3109.JPG IMG_3110.JPG

IMG_3112.JPG IMG_3113.JPG

It was nearly dark 20 minutes after the sun had dropped when we left going back to Jaisalmer dropping Isak off at his village first. The jeep with no side window (roll down plastic if we had wanted to) so it was fresh air for the hour long trip back. Again was glad for the merino layers that I had taken. Yes, could have stopped and rolled the plastic windows into place.

Back to the hotel and their marvellous buffet dinner.

This hotel had by far the best buffet breakfast and dinner on tour!

Sonal Restaurant - A self-sustainable Rajashtani Fine Dining Restaurant which uses organic and local produce from nearby farms to offer the best of what rajasthani cusine has to offer. The decor and luxurious interiors add to the whole Imperial Experience offered by us at Fort Rajwada.

http://www.fortrajwada.com/

1,000 rupees / NZ$20.20 / US$14 all up.

IMG_3115.JPG IMG_3116.JPG

IMG_3117.JPG IMG_3118.JPG

7f9a34e0-3e02-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG 7f369110-3e02-11e9-ae52-c7b1d5106389.JPG

IMG_5908.JPG IMG_5909.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:58 Archived in India Tagged thar_desert sam_sand_dunes Comments (0)

22 ~ Police & their radar ... Gajner to Jaisalmer

Day 5 : Along the flat boring road with a ridiculous speed limit of just 80 km / 50 miles per hour


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Beautiful presented breakfast and I was asked if I wanted another omelet which of course I couldn’t refuse and said, “Yes please …”. The photo of the second omelet just doesn’t do justice.

IMG_2982.JPG IMG_2983.JPG

IMG_2984.JPG

Time to take the outdoor scenes that I took last night so that you can see the comparison in the previous entry.

After breakfast again, it was a 9am / 09:00 departure drive for a 5 hour drive through to Jaisalmer.

IMG_2998.JPG IMG_2999.JPG

IMG_3008.JPG IMG_3000.JPG

Kilometres after kilometres seeing the trees being protected by the small circle of bricks. With so many brick kilns around here with some billowing out smoke, no wonder ….

IMG_3001.JPG IMG_3002.JPG

IMG_3003.JPG

More overloaded trucks with hay.

IMG_3004.JPG IMG_3005.JPG

IMG_3006.JPG

Onwards we drove along the flat boring road with a ridiculous speed limit of just 80 km / 50 miles per hour. Yes, police with their speed radar was out and …. you can finish this sentence. Remember this is India ...

IMG_3010.JPG IMG_3007.JPG

IMG_3009.JPG

Cotton behind this tractor

Jandals / footwear being left behind by pilgrims heading to Ramdevra Temple. Ramdevra is home to the temple of Baba Ramdevji. Devotees from all over visit the temple all-round the year.

IMG_3011.JPG IMG_3015.JPG

IMG_3012.JPG

IMG_3013.JPG IMG_3014.JPG

IMG_3016.JPG

Dates

Got to Fort Rajwada a 4 star hotel at 2pm / 14:00 and a representative of the local agency was waiting. Was informed that the jeep ride out to the sand dunes to see the sun set was later this afternoon leaving at 3.30pm / 15:30.

IMG_3021.JPG IMG_3019.JPG

IMG_3024.JPG IMG_3023.JPG

IMG_3022.JPG

IMG_3025.JPG

IMG_3017.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:54 Archived in India Comments (0)

21 ~ 2 Hot Water bottles : Gajner

Gajner Palace = best room set up on the trip


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Time was marching on, so it was time to go as my overnight stay was Gajner Palace, another heritage hotel.

IMG_2953.JPG

It was 30 minutes out of town, getting there just after 5pm / 17:00. There was no time to wander the village of Gajner by myself.

https://www.heritagehotelsofindia.com/rajasthan/gajner-palace.html

Not much time to explore the buildings and grounds before a non-existent sunset over the lake.

fa395ab0-3df7-11e9-8a2c-ffe91129df57.JPG

IMG_2954.JPG

large_IMG_2990.JPG

IMG_2988.JPG

IMG_2989.JPG

IMG_2966.JPG

IMG_2992.JPG

f9c1b9b0-3df7-11e9-8a2c-ffe91129df57.JPG

IMG_2960.JPG IMG_2961.JPG

IMG_2962.JPG

IMG_2964.JPG IMG_2963.JPG

IMG_2987.JPG

IMG_2986.JPG IMG_2997.JPG

IMG_2995.JPG

IMG_2996.JPG

Here are the "day and night " images from the same spot.

fa955d60-3df7-11e9-8a2c-ffe91129df57.JPG IMG_2977.JPG

f836ace0-3df7-11e9-8a2c-ffe91129df57.JPG IMG_2980.JPG

IMG_2965.JPG f04c00c0-3df7-11e9-8927-3f1ee1dea064.JPG

f3da57a0-3df7-11e9-80b7-1fe334243516.JPG IMG_2981.JPG

IMG_2967.JPG f2963ee0-3df7-11e9-b6f6-7f938195d87c.JPG

IMG_2968.JPG f5d404c0-3df7-11e9-8927-3f1ee1dea064.JPG

IMG_2970.JPG IMG_2975.JPG a9662190-3df7-11e9-b6f6-7f938195d87c.JPG IMG_2973.JPG

Told that dinner service started at 7.30pm / 19:30. On arrival it was effectively booked out with several large groups having reserved most of the inside tables. So I was asked if I would sit outside on the courtyard with the local group of dancers and musicians providing the entertainment for the dinner guests. Thankfully my dinner didn’t take that long to arrive as it quickly became colder but thankfully I was dressed for it.

Dinner = Laal Maans - Regional Rajasthan preparation of mutton in a spiced red curry 650 rupees / NZ$13.50 / US$9.10.
Steamed jeera rice - Tomato lemon peas or dried fresh fruit 350 rupees / NZ$24.30 / US$16.80.
Naan bread 110 rupees / NZ$2.30 / US$1.60.
Plus GST and a tip came to 1,200 rupees / NZ$25 / US$16.90.

f4b74a20-3df7-11e9-b6f6-7f938195d87c.JPG IMG_5899.jpeg

The Gajner Palace certainly had the best room set up on the trip – felt like a mini apartment. Pity that it was for just one night.

IMG_2956.JPG IMG_2957.JPG

IMG_2958.JPG IMG_2959.JPG

A knock on the door and a real nice surprise - 2 hot water bottles.

IMG_2972.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 23:43 Archived in India Tagged gajner_palace Comments (0)

20 ~ World’s Smallest Miniature painting : Bikaner

Steady hand needed


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Now 3.30pm / 15:30 and it was back across town by tuk tuk to see the World’s Smallest Miniature Painting.

IMG_2942.JPG IMG_2936.JPG

IMG_2937.JPG IMG_2941.JPG

IMG_2939.JPG IMG_2938.JPG

IMG_2943.JPG

I simply don’t have the steady hand to even try something like this. Shiv Swami demonstrated his craft. Yes, I was fascinated.

Shiv held in 2002 and 2003 the Guinness world record for the world's smallest painting.

http://bikanerminiaturearts.com/artist.asp

IMG_2945.JPG

large_IMG_2947.JPG

Can you see “Bruce in India”, 9 trees, 6 birds and the 3 temples on my nail and rather dried finger? I had to use a magnifying glass to see the fine detail in this magnificent art form.

large_IMG_2950.JPG

large_b6b7f8b0-3df6-11e9-8927-3f1ee1dea064.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 01:29 Archived in India Tagged miniature_painting Comments (0)

19 ~ Bhandasar Jain Temple : Bikaner

Beautiful leaf paintings, frescoes & ornamented mirror work


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Bhandasar Jain Temple is a three-storey temple, famous for its beautiful leaf paintings, frescoes and ornamented mirror work. This temple is constructed using red sand stone with beautiful paintings and yellow-stone carvings on walls, pillars of the sanctum and mandapa. On the walls there are illustrations depicting the lives of the 24 Jain tirthankaras. The temple consist of garbhagriha, antarala, mahamandapa and ardhamandapa. The sanctum is pancharatha (five rathas) is covered by shikhara having karna-amalakas and amalakas at top.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhandasar_Jain_Temple

Jain temple is one of the oldest temples in Bikaner, and was built in the 15th century. It is decorated with mirror work, frescoes and leaf paintings. The temple is built of red sandstone and is divided into three floors. One can see the skyline of Bikaner by climbing to the topmost floor of this temple. It is believed that the temple was made with 40,000 kilograms of ghee instead of mortar, which locals insist seeps through the walls on hot days.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/rajasthan/jain-temple-bhandasar.html

IMG_2924.JPG

IMG_2926.JPG

IMG_2927.JPG IMG_2930.JPG

large_IMG_2929.JPG

IMG_2933.JPG IMG_2931.JPG IMG_2932.JPG

IMG_2925.JPG

IMG_2928.JPG

IMG_2934.JPG

IMG_2935.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 02:47 Archived in India Tagged jain jain_temple bhandasar_jain_temple bhandasar_temple Comments (0)

18 ~ My Mooch is longer than yours : Bikaner

Wouldn’t even try and grow one like his


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Then a walk through the old town with more shop keepers being willing subjects.

IMG_2849.JPG

IMG_2851.JPG IMG_2853.JPG IMG_2852.JPG

IMG_2850.JPG

IMG_2856.JPG IMG_2857.JPG

IMG_2854.JPG IMG_2858.JPG

IMG_2859.JPG IMG_2860.JPG

IMG_2855.JPG

IMG_2861.JPG IMG_2862.JPG

large_264d17c0-3d2d-11e9-9091-c7aee11a8d0a.JPG

IMG_2863.JPG IMG_2866.JPG

IMG_2867.JPG IMG_2865.JPG

IMG_2864.JPG

IMG_2868.JPG IMG_2869.JPG

IMG_2872.JPG

IMG_2873.JPG IMG_2871.JPG

IMG_2876.JPG IMG_2875.JPG IMG_2880.JPG

IMG_2877.JPG IMG_2879.JPG

IMG_2878.JPG

IMG_2882.JPG

IMG_2884.JPG IMG_2885.JPG

IMG_2883.JPG

IMG_2887.JPG IMG_2886.JPG

IMG_2889.JPG IMG_2888.JPG

IMG_2890.JPG

IMG_2891.JPG

IMG_2893.JPG IMG_2894.JPG

IMG_2895.JPG

IMG_2896.JPG IMG_2897.JPG

IMG_2892.JPG IMG_2898.JPG

large_IMG_2900.JPG

large_IMG_2901.JPG

IMG_2902.JPG

IMG_2923.JPG IMG_2899.JPG

IMG_2903.JPG IMG_2907.JPG

IMG_2906.JPG IMG_2905.JPG

IMG_2909.JPG IMG_2910.JPG

Starting from top:
Bread Pakora - Bread sliced and filled with potato filling, dipped in chick pea flour mixture which is spiced and deep fried.
Mirchi Bhajia - Green Chillies (not spicy ones) are stuffed with besan (chick pea masala) and deep fried.
Kachori (at bottom).

IMG_2912.JPG IMG_2911.JPG

IMG_2908.JPG

Having Javed with me and a tip of 50 rupees / NZ$1 / US0.70, secured the photo op with this guy and his rather impressive mo (moustache). In Hindi known as a “MOOCH”.

And no, I wouldn’t even try and grow one like his.

IMG_2913.JPG

large_IMG_2914.JPG

IMG_2915.JPG

IMG_2916.JPG

IMG_2918.JPG

IMG_2917.JPG

large_IMG_2920.JPG

IMG_2919.JPG

IMG_2922.JPG

IMG_2921.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:36 Archived in India Tagged mo moustache mooch Comments (0)

17 ~ Sea of faces : Bikaner

Bikaner’s havelis


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

It was 2.15pm / 14:15 when we set off into town by tuk tuk with the wait by the railway crossing waiting for an inter-city train to pass. A captive sea of faces for my lens with the beautiful afternoon light. Soon the barriers were up and off we went to see the outside of some of Bikaner’s havelis.

IMG_2812.JPG IMG_2810.JPG

IMG_2813.JPG IMG_2816.JPG

IMG_2818.JPG IMG_2821.JPG

IMG_2815.JPG IMG_2820.JPG

IMG_2819.JPG IMG_2824.JPG

large_IMG_2822.JPG

IMG_2823.JPG IMG_2826.JPG

IMG_2827.JPG IMG_2829.JPG

IMG_2825.JPG IMG_2811.JPG IMG_2828.JPG

IMG_2830.JPG

IMG_2831.JPG

IMG_2833.JPG IMG_2834.JPG IMG_2835.JPG

IMG_2837.JPG IMG_2839.JPG IMG_2840.JPG

IMG_2848.JPG

IMG_2845.JPG IMG_2842.JPG IMG_2847.JPG

IMG_2832.JPG IMG_2836.JPG

IMG_2844.JPG IMG_2841.JPG

IMG_2843.JPG

IMG_2846.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:58 Archived in India Tagged haveli Comments (0)

16 ~ Really expensive wedding coming up : Bikaner

The Lallgarh Palace ~ Laxmi Niwas Palace


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

The Lallgarh Palace

It was only 45 mins in the Fort itself before off to The Lallgarh Palace.

This vivid palace was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob and built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. This grand architecture was built using red sandstones. The Lalgarh Palace is a classic example of Indian, European and Mughal architecture, and is famous all over for its lattice sandstones. The palace also houses a museum and the fourth largest private library in the world. The complex features magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The Karni Niwas wing houses the Darbar hall and an art Deco indoor swimming pool.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/rajasthan/lalgarh-palace-and-museum.html

https://www.lallgarhpalace.com/

IMG_2785.JPG IMG_2786.JPG

large_00e642a0-3d27-11e9-9b18-cf76ae63d076.JPG

IMG_2787.JPG IMG_2793.JPG IMG_2796.JPG

IMG_2797.JPG IMG_2798.JPG

IMG_2792.JPG

IMG_2790.JPG IMG_2789.JPG

Indoor swimming pool

Laxmi Niwas Palace

Next door was Laxmi Niwas Palace where that night in the grounds a rather lavish and expensive wedding was to be held and it was being set up.

http://www.laxminiwaspalace.com/

IMG_2800.JPG IMG_2799.JPG

IMG_2801.JPG

large_adb57500-3d27-11e9-b3a3-3d02f0b74652.JPG

large_ae2af320-3d27-11e9-b3a3-3d02f0b74652.JPG

IMG_2802.JPG

IMG_2803.JPG IMG_2804.JPG

IMG_2805.JPG

large_IMG_2807.JPG

IMG_2808.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 00:24 Archived in India Tagged the_lallgarh_palace laxmi_niwas_pa Comments (0)

15 ~ Cloak & dagger stuff with insider help : Junagarh Fort

Beautiful colours streaming in with the sun behind


View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Got into Bikaner at 1pm / 13:00 and it was straight to Junagarh Fort.

Look at the sequence of photos of the sign being changed while we waited the 10 minutes for Javed my local guide for the afternoon to arrive. Told him about my photography interest and away we went. He listened and just gave me what I will call the “Reader’s Digest” version of the Fort’s history but more importantly took me to best places to shoot photos. This was because he was a photographer himself!

large_IMG_2733.JPG

IMG_2734.JPG IMG_2735.JPG

IMG_2737.JPG

92205420-3d24-11e9-b3a3-3d02f0b74652.JPG

90b6d910-3d24-11e9-bfa7-f3572903e48e.JPG

Junagarh Fort

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

Although Junagarh Fort is one of Rajasthan's lesser-known forts, it's no less impressive. What's particularly notable about it is that it's one of the few forts in India that isn't situated on a hilltop. The fort is right in the midst of Bikaner and the city grew around it.

Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, built the fort during his reign from 1571 to 1612. He was a well-traveled expert in arts and architecture, and this knowledge is reflected in the fort's superb structures. Subsequent rulers added elaborate palaces, ladies quarters, audience halls, temples and pavilions.

The fort's original name was Chintamani. The renaming of it to Junagarh (Old Fort) took place in the early 20th century, when the royal family relocated to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. However, they continue to maintain it and have opened part of it to the public. Guided tours are conducted, and there are also two museums with many compelling royal artifacts and memorabilia.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/top-palaces-and-forts-in-india-1539345

Junagarh Fort is located amidst the Thar Desert and was built by Raja Rai Singh in 1594. Located on a sprawling land of 5.28 hectare, this place is studded with temples, palaces and pavilions. Its 986m-long wall, with 37 bastions, is surrounded by a (now dry) moat. Within the vicinity of fort, there are 7 palaces, viz. Bikaneri Havelies, Phool Mahal ("Flower Palace"), Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Ganga Mahal, Badal Mahal and Bikaneri Havelies.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/states/rajasthan/junagarh-fort.html

IMG_2739.JPG IMG_2738.JPG IMG_2740.JPG

IMG_2744.JPG IMG_2745.JPG

large_92e13320-3d24-11e9-b3a3-3d02f0b74652.JPG

IMG_2746.JPG IMG_2747.JPG

IMG_2748.JPG IMG_2749.JPG

IMG_2750.JPG IMG_2753.JPG

IMG_2754.JPG

8f44f990-3d24-11e9-b3a3-3d02f0b74652.JPG

IMG_2756.JPG

IMG_2757.JPG

IMG_2758.JPG

IMG_2761.JPG

Javed took me to a “secret” passageway with the stain glass providing beautiful colours streaming in with the sun behind. This passageway was not accessible to the tourists, so we waited to they had passed before I could enter. All cloak and dagger stuff with his insider help!

IMG_2765.JPG IMG_2762.JPG

IMG_2763.JPG IMG_2766.JPG 94bb2dd0-3d25-11e9-9b18-cf76ae63d076.JPG

IMG_2764.JPG IMG_2769.JPG

IMG_2770.JPG

IMG_2768.JPG IMG_2772.JPG

IMG_2771.JPG

IMG_2773.JPG IMG_2774.JPG

IMG_2775.JPG

IMG_2776.JPG IMG_2777.JPG

IMG_2778.JPG IMG_2779.JPG

IMG_2780.JPG

Afterwards gave Javed a list of places from the various travel guides in Bikaner that I would like to see in the remaining time that we had.

IMG_2781.JPG

IMG_2782.JPG IMG_2784.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 23:17 Archived in India Tagged junagarh_fort Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 15 of 29) Page [1] 2 » Next