In the center of the old part of Jodhpur is the clock tower. It´s a normal building but what really makes it worth visiting is the trip there. You have to cross the super massive and busy bazaar (Sardar Market) to get there. Noise and dust are somewhat unpleasant, but in India, this is always accompanied by a good dose of "talks" and interesting bargains that usually end up in the purchase of something.
Known as the Blue City of India, the old village of Jodpur is a great place, a place you can not miss on your trip to the country, with views of the wall and the fort, giving the environment an aspect that is both ancient and mythical, in the city you can get lost among the people and markets is a wonder to the traveler.
The Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok is about 30km from Bikaner and is dedicated to a goddess who was considered the reincarnation of Durga. The temple is famous, most of all, because there are a ton of rats living there, and they have completely lost their fear of people. People head to this sacred place to pray and put out food for the rats, which are considered reincarnations of the Charan, a group of traditional musicians. They say it's good luck to see the rats in the temple and that they'll bring you happiness.
During religious festivals, like the Aarti, they spoil the rats with treats and sweets. Ganga Singh, ex-governor of Bikaner, ordered that this temple be constructed completely out of marble and feature domes of gold and silver. In the entrance, the door is super detailed and a result of careful workmanship. Entry fee is $3 to take photos. People from all over Rajasthan come here to celebrate the Navaratri festival and have a celebration in the temple.
After strolling and browsing all day for Jaisalmer, we decided to hire a rickshaw to visit the royal cenotaphs on our own (negotiate the return trip). It was a good choice, because at that time of day, the tour groups are no longer in the area, and there are only some children and youth groups who gather to watch the sunset. I recognize that the time was unique, as the sun reflects off the stones of the cenotaphs, and the light is special. I loved walking quietly and almost alone among the monuments, and enjoyed the silence.
We passed through the pink city on a rickshaw and arrived that the Monkey Temple which, honestly, we had zero intention of visiting, but it came highly recommended and we're glad we went. It's a small temple with some amazing views of Jaipur and we were accompanied by a child ve acted both as our guide and "defender" against the monkeys! We hadn't seen so many monkeys during our whole trip to India and it’s fun to get a bag of food for 5 rupees and watch how the little things come running up and act almost human as they eat their peanuts. Just a word of warning. Once we got in the temple they tried to get us to make an offering (as usual) and offered some bad henna tattoos, which you shouldn't get. I wouldn't suggest getting a guide either, because they ask for a lot and, in the end, no one needs to be "defended" from the monkeys, they're quite cute and harmless!
Situated in the lower part of town, right on the edge of the lake, this haveli (the name given to an Indian house) is the perfect place to end a visit to Udaipur. It is totally classic, and it contains some objects from the 18th century. Some cultural events are held in the courtyard, and paintings are exhibited. It also displays the world's largest turban (which I doubt!). The Palace offers a beautiful view over the lake. Elephants are often parked nearby. At the exit, you will pass by the workshop of a sculptor in polystyrene: the Taj Mahal, Rolls Royce, the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of Pisa ... The tour costs 25 rupees, not even one euro per person.
Our first contact with India. The good thing is that it is not a very touristy town so you can walk calmly without street venders overwhelming you. Be sure to see the beautiful havelis there with some of them renovated into museums or hotels.
A small city or a large town, which has not yet been discovered by occidental tourism. It has many attractions including the abandoned Grand Palace, visible from any point in the city. But above all, what makes this place unique is the festival that is held every year in summer, which makes Bundi an important pilgrimage place. The picture was taken in the access to the train station of Bundi, a day before the festival started.
This is a small city or a large town, which has not yet been invaded by Western tourism. It has many attractions including the Grand Palace which is visible anywhere in the city. What makes this place unique is the festival that is held every summer, which makes Bundi in an important pilgrimage. The photo is taken in the access to railway station Bundi.
The fort in Bikaner is in the city center next to the public park. It was built between 1589 and 1594 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of the Mughal emperor Akbar. Inside you can visit the different royal apartments. Its main feature is that it is one of the few fortresses of Rajastan that isn't high on a hill. There is even a room decorated with stripes, which is thought to help precipitation, as this city is extremely dry and lacks rain. It is open from 10:00 to 17:00.
A haveli is a typical house from Rajasthan, characterized by its paintings. They were originally considered to be very luxurious and had a lot of decoration, but they have ended up being associated with the rich merchant class. The haveli is considered to be a mansion with beautiful decoration. They usually have 3 or 4 floors and patios, one at the entrance and another which is distributed around the house. The paintings usually depict scenes of foreign customs, demonstrating their owners ve have traveled.
The mausoleum, constructed in 1899 in memory of a Maharaja, occupies a rocky area at the height of the city, near the famous fortress. The white marble is, not surprisingly, the same as was used for the Taj Mahal in Jodhpur. The interior is very sobering. It costs a few rupees to enter but it´s worth your time and money.
In late November we celebrate the camel fair in Pushkar. A few weeks before, a there is a fair held that is a bit smaller. This is the one I went to: Dozens of stalls selling hundreds of camels, prepared and with makeup, careers, barracks, ..... It is a Purely local event, where you can see how people live in the area.
It is an unforgettable adventure to travel those roads, with children coming from all over, visiting villages, seeing animals like cows, camels, peacocks etc. The city is also fun because the 4X4 did not go very fast and cars and bikes overtook us. Almost everyone greets you and even poses for photos. Most people are very friendly and nice. It´s an amazing place where nothing should surprise you. We left after lunch and we went to a pottery workshop, then we went to the Bishnoi village and back to Jaipur.
The roads in India are not measured in kilometres, but in hours. I didn't understand why until I took a bus trip. It took about 4 hours to travel a distance of just 90 kilometres. We had to stop in endless traffic, and there were animals occupying the road. Meanwhile, the traveller receives smiles, looks of amazement and a huge amount of stimuli.
In any carpet shop you go into there will be a live demonstration of how the carpets are made by hand with antique looms in rather precarious conditions. I had occasion to see this twice in two different stores. The images I'm uploading are from the most luxurious shop in a mall. The funny thing is inside the store. I sit in quite a spacious room and offer you something to drink. Once all are served, the show begins, because it really it is a show. Carpets unfold quite theatrically with a bang on the floor and unwinding at once, ha ha. They are deployed in groups of two or three people at a time. When you realize you have the floor at your feet full of rugs in different qualities and all very nice. The feeling is quite overwhelming, especially if you have no intention of buying anything. If you want to buy one, they will wrap it well so you can check it in as hold luggage or you can have it sent to your home, whichever you prefer.
The Saheliyon ki Bari or Garden of the Maids of Honor 18th century, is a very nice park with many ponds, marble elephants, statues, etc ... It's a very relaxing walk in the garden too bad I did not have much time to enjoy it, so if you do not forget bring yourself mosquito repellent. On our walk we saw a garden that is full of life, people walking, children playing. There was even a bride making a report of her wedding.
The havelis are multi-storey high houses, most of them are hotels, which belonged to middle-class families just a few centuries ago, in the great era of the Maharajas in the North of Indian. Today they are half abandoned because these families left in order to go and live in the city. The Salim Singh Ki haveli was the property of the minister of the town, at the time when Jaisalmer and its region were independent. Today you can visit the haveli, you have to pay an extra euro if you want to take pictures of the frescoes inside. The inside, although it is rather neglected, is very beautiful and you can imagine the splendor and parties that used to take place here. All of the people who came to the palace for weddings and other family events.