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Old 4th February 2014, 18:22   #31
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Day 7 (Continued)

Let me take you into the Durbar hall.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02583.jpg

A large hall, now used partly as a store room and partly to exhibit some items of royal use.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02584.jpg

Books, lots of books.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02585.jpg

An elephant howdha for the King's royal outings.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02586.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02587.jpg

And a howdha for when the King wants to rest.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02588.jpg

Told you.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02589.jpg

These large holes are probably for ventilation, for when air-conditioning did not exist.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02590.jpg

Some simple rooms behind the durbar. Probably for the queen maids.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02591.jpg

Is that a pea-hen feather?

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02592.jpg

The rear of the unused wing. Could do with some maintenance.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02593.jpg

Every locked door whispers a story.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02594.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02595.jpg

And let me take you up the stairs, to one of the Zenana Mahal rooms you can stay in.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02596.jpg

The exclusive balcony of your room sire, complete with a swing.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02599.jpg

Every room is named after a queen or king of the dynasty. Here's the room I'll take you into.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02600.jpg

The queen's bed.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02601.jpg

A small seating area.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02602.jpg

Another bed in an almost invisible antechamber within the room.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02603.jpg

The modern kitted out bathroom.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02604.jpg

A luggage rack.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02605.jpg

Every old building has these accessory staircases and doors that lead into tunnels.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02597.jpg

To avoid confusion, such accessory doors are locked.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02598.jpg

Now I take you to the right wing of the building, the Raja Mahal. Here's the main courtyard.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02607.jpg

That fountain has seen better days.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02608.jpg

So has this little frog-pond.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02609.jpg

Quite unbelievably, you are looking at all the hotel rooms in the Raja Mahal.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02610.jpg

What an exquisite "Chhatri".

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02611.jpg

The walls could do with some cleaning.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02612.jpg

The temple of the "kul-devta" is here. This is the view from the balcony of the temple.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02613.jpg

Last edited by predatorwheelz : 4th February 2014 at 18:26.
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Old 4th February 2014, 19:01   #32
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Day 7 (Continued)

This is the actual temple.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02615.jpg

And I walk you into the Raja Mahal.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02616.jpg

On the first floor is the King's durbar hall (now the dining hall of the hotel) and a terrace. In the middle of the terrace is this Gazebo, where Royal Courtesans once danced.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02619.jpg

The King's vantage point.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02622.jpg

And seating for the less fortunate.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02660.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02661.jpg

Above the terrace is this lovely Jharokha, for the 2nd floor occupants to enjoy the show.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02623.jpg

The 1st floor has only one room, and this is its exclusive balcony.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02624.jpg

A chair from ancient times.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02625.jpg

Let me walk you to the 2nd floor, to the biggest room I have ever stayed in. The entire 2nd floor actually.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02626.jpg

You are first greeted by this lovely balcony, with its huge recliner chairs.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02627.jpg

A cradle for your baby?

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02628.jpg

Not quite. The cradle is 138 years old!

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02629.jpg

As I said before, all the rooms are named after a King/Queen from the dynasty. This is our room.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02630.jpg

Seating area inside the room.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02631.jpg

The room is huge. This is the last corridor which stretches from bedroom to bathroom. One can barely see the other end.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02632.jpg

Does your highness wish to survey what goes on below?

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02633.jpg

His higness' study table.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02634.jpg

The bedroom. We're still inside the room, in case you're wondering.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02637.jpg

A nice painting on the wall.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02638.jpg

I was intrigued by this closed chamber next to our room. With permission, I opened the door to find another ancient wonder.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02639.jpg

A sheesh mahal, as impressive as the one in Udaipur palace, but entirely in ruins!

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02640.jpg

That floor needs a polish.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02641.jpg

Exquisite carvings. Some glass, some plaster.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02642.jpg

Some paintings have faded badly.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02643.jpg

Some not so.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02644.jpg

Wonder how beautiful this glass collage must have been?

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02646.jpg

And this one.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02647.jpg

As said before, the Ghanerao dynasty played a role of strategic allegiance between the Mewar and Marwar kingdoms. This is why the Sheesh Mahal carries the image of the Udaipur palace on one wall.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02649.jpg

And the Jodhpur palace on the other.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02653.jpg
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Old 4th February 2014, 19:50   #33
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
The lake palace of Rani Padmini, the queen of Rawal Ratan Singh renowned for her beauty.

It was here that Alauddin Khilji got a glimpse of the queen's beauty, and his madness in trying to possess her led to the first siege of Chittor.
Thank God, Alauddin did not know that Padmini was a rebadged 1100D.

Poor on though.

Excellent Narration Boy! Though still going through it.
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Old 4th February 2014, 19:54   #34
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Day 7 (Continued)

One last image from the Sheesh Mahal.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02648.jpg

The walls of the dining hall are littered with pictures from old times. Just a few for your viewing pleasure.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02654.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02657.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02658.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02663.jpg

Let me introduce you to Shera, the resident dog of the property and the gentlest Rottweiler we've ever met.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-20140111_163520.jpg

The Ghanerao Forest Lodge

The Ghanerao Forest Lodge (also known as Bagha ka Bagh) was originally the hunting lodge of the dynasty. Just 7 kms from the Rawala, the lodge is inside the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. We had decided to spend one of our 2 nights in the lodge. So after wishing everybody at the Rawla a hearty goodbye, we set off for the Lodge.

The initial road is through the narrow roads of Ghanerao Village.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02664.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02668.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02669.jpg

This gate marks the end of the village, and the road towards the forest.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02670.jpg

Initially the vegetation along the road is sparse.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02673.jpg

Then it gets a little dense.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02675.jpg

And denser.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02678.jpg

And really dense.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02681.jpg

Till you reach a wall with an iron gate, and the signboard denoting the lodge.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02682.jpg

No one at the gate, so the narrator acts as the gateman.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02683.jpg

The 600m jungle trail has a raised centre (I guess marked by tyres of SUVs). I gingerly drive Chhotu all the way so that the suspension doesn't bottom out anywhere.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02687.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02688.jpg

And then, in the middle of nowhere, we sight the lodge.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02689.jpg

Inside the campus is a badminton court.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02690.jpg

A fireplace.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02693.jpg

With a seating area. There's also a covered gazebo behind, as you can see.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02691.jpg

The bungalow of the manager, Mr Manoj Chhaya. The dogs are his. They await their owner with forlorn, cute faces.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02692.jpg

The lodge is managed by a man called Bhura, a tribal who has been in service for 35 years. He tells us of a water reservoir in the forest, barely 3 kms away. Apparently the forest department wants to make it a crocodile reserve and has released live crocodiles there. Its also a spot for bird watching.

Since we have enough time, we set off on a trek to the water reservoir.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02696.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02699.jpg

We sight 2 temples from a vantage point. The left one is Muchhal Mahavir. The right one (on top of the hillock) is that of a tribal godess.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02700.jpg

The silhouette of the fort you see is none other than Fort Kumbhalgarh. Bhura tells us that while Kumbhalgarh is 65 kms by road, a trek through the forest can get you there in just 13 kms!

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02697.jpg

We sight this tiny stream, where we meet a hoard of domestic goats out for a stroll.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02701.jpg

Some village ladies cross our path. They look at us and ask Bhura "Saheb ya Desi Saheb?". I reply "Desi Saheb". They blush and run ahead.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02703.jpg

The terrain is tougher than it looks. We struggle with our expensive boots, while for Bhura and his simple "keds" shoes, its a walk in the park.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02704.jpg
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Old 4th February 2014, 20:44   #35
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Day 7 (Continued)

A bigger stream which feeds into the reservoir. There's not much water in winter.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02706.jpg

We sight some birds here. I'm no expert. Is this the Indian Spotted eagle?

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02707.jpg

I don't know what this bird is.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02709.jpg

We sight a pair of painted storks, but they fly away before I ready my camera.

We continue along the trail. The reservoir is just 1 km from here.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02711.jpg

A woodpecker at work.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02714.jpg

Another bird I request identification of.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02715.jpg

A sharp incline for the last 100 metres.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02717.jpg

And we are at the reservoir.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02719.jpg

For 30 mins we just stand there while Bhura works out where the crocs are. Just when I'm thinking its all a hoax, Bhura points me to 2 large examples basking in the sun on the opposite bank.

The pictures you see are taken at full zoom, since it was impossible to get to the other bank without falling into the water.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02720.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02721.jpg

We spend another 15 mins walking around the reservoir. While walking back, we sight the Pied Kingfisher.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02725.jpg

And another woodpecker.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02726.jpg

These yellow flowers are spread over the entire forest. Probably these are the Ganda Babul the outlook traveller article spoke of.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02728.jpg

Back at the lodge, we go about clicking the interiors. While the Ghanerao Palace is all about history, the Forest Lodge is all modern.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02733.jpg

The dining area.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02732.jpg

The TV Lounge. Tata Sky!

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02735.jpg

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02736.jpg

The corridor to our room.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02731.jpg

A canoe in the front hall. You would have noticed that all doors and windows have grilles to keep out bears and leopards.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02750.jpg

Night fell, and with that the oppressing silence only a jungle can provide. We were the only boarders at the lodge that night. At our request, Bhura lit a bonfire outside. Mr Manoj Chhaya, the manager - an amicable, soft-spoken Gujarati gentleman, accompanied us. We discussed good old days in "Apnu Amdavad". The chat session ran into the night, till the fire ran out.

Day 8 - The return to Delhi

We woke up to a crisp sunrise, and packed quickly for the 590 km journey. We were a little delayed by a flat tyre, which the locals replaced in a jiffy. 2 pics.

Chhotu standing next to Mr Chhaya's Gypsy.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02744.jpg

Bhura, the 50 year old Caretaker, and Mangi Ram, a teenaged ever-smiling boy who works here.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-dsc02740.jpg

We had a marvelous time at Ghanerao. In case you want to arrange a trip to either properties, you can contact Mr Manoj Chhaya (9829784035) or Shakti at the below coordinates.

A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom-img2014020400078.jpg

We made good time on our return journey, with just 2 stops - one for repairing the flat tyre, one for lunch at Ajmer. Unfortunately, while the (almost 400 km) journey till Jaipur took 6.5 hours, it took another 6 hours to travel the nightmare Jaipur-Delhi highway. We reached home at 10 PM, tired like dogs.

That's all folks. You have reached the end of the account, of one my most unforgettable journeys. Hope you liked the travelogue.
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Old 5th February 2014, 17:31   #36
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Rated 5 *****. Thanks for sharing.

I enjoyed the brief mentions of your girth :-), and is that the reason why there wasn't much mention about the food? Of course, I remember seeing a menu board displaying Idli & Dosa!!
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Old 9th February 2014, 18:11   #37
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Rated 5 stars......

Mr. Predator owner, this is by far the best travelogue I have read from you, and that is after knowing you for so many years.

Wonderful addition are the endless pics. Its a brilliant addition to your already great writeups.

Great going.

This thread should be in the state tourism guide websites.
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Old 17th October 2014, 09:39   #38
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Hi predatorwheelz,

This was the big one I would say. You covered good part of Rajasthan, which catches you more and more once you start sinking deeper inside it.
There is always something more to explore, which demands another visit.

Loved the finer points on Chittorgarh, which we missed during my recent trip. Would have loved to follow it up with Kumbhalgarh but may be it was saved for next trip to Baroda.

Thanks
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Old 26th October 2015, 19:58   #39
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Default Re: A week's drive through Rajasthan - The bastions of the Mewar Kingdom

Excellent narration Predatorwheelz ! Loved the detailed and colorful story-telling. As usual your travelogue is inspiring , but felt that it was abruptly ended. Why so ?
Anyway,fantastic trip and travelogue. Kudos
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