Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 4th March 2009, 23:08   #1
Team-BHP Support
Samurai's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 21,111
Thanked: 11,060 Times
Default Rajasthan through her eyes

My wife has been a lurker Team-BHPian since the time I joined the forum. She spends at least an hour on the forum everyday, if not more. But she has never joined on the forum because I wrote all the travelogues. Recently when she went on a long trip without me, she finally got the chance to write her own story. What follows is her write-up and her photos.
__________________________________________________ ______________

Rajasthan has always been a dream destination for me. When my uncle & aunt asked me to plan a vacation anywhere in India, I could not think of a better place to take them. Hubby got me a local travel agent’s contact in Jaipur (thanks to Deky! there’s little we can do without BHPians these days). and we quickly had our package in place.

We were all set to fly out on Feb 7th. Come 6th night, something was not right with my little one. He could not move his hand, and was clearly in pain. I did not pack and didn’t think it would be possible for me to go. Early next morning, we took him to an orthopedic, it was a pulled elbow but the doctor said it is common among kids and other than giving him pain killers there was nothing more to be done. Surprisingly the minute we came home, my son was bouncing around and even using his hands very normally. The doctor certainly had a healing touch.

My aunt was relieved when I finally started packing, just an hour before leaving for the airport. Our connection was via Goa, while waiting at Goa airport we got a glimpse of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Such a simple man, his simplicity belies his depth of knowledge. Rest of the journey was uneventful. It was dark by the time we reached Jaipur, we quickly had dinner and hit the bed.

Feb 8th Jaipur
We are ready by 9am and as we drive out of the hotel, I realize there are err, no pink buildings. I mention it to the driver and I get a short history lesson. We are in the new city, only the old city is pink and we are going there right now. Jaipur was founded by Sawai Jai singh, who was quite an architect and town planner himself. It is the first planned city of India, being neatly divided into identical blocks and connected by wide roads and surrounded by high walls and huge gateways.

We arrive in front of Hawa Mahal, the icon of Jaipur. Tourists are not allowed inside, it was only a photo-stop. The building is about a foot wide so there is nothing much on the inside either. As most know it is a gallery built for royal ladies to watch festivals and processions while being unseen.

Name:  P1000507.JPG
Views: 4245
Size:  253.5 KB

Pink buildings

Name:  P1000512.JPG
Views: 3977
Size:  322.9 KB

A gateway

Name:  P1000514.JPG
Views: 3980
Size:  310.3 KB

We proceed to Amber Fort, first glimpse of the fort and I am lost in time, all the fairytales from my childhood came to life right there. A thousand words are not enough

Name:  P1000519.JPG
Views: 4598
Size:  236.5 KB

The fort complex is a beautiful blend of hindu and mughal architecture. Raja Man Singh started the original construction however lot more structures were built by successive rulers over centuries.

Jaleb chowk courtyard

Name:  P1000533.JPG
Views: 3815
Size:  210.6 KB

Name:  P1000532.JPG
Views: 3667
Size:  243.8 KB

Name:  P1000535.JPG
Views: 3434
Size:  246.8 KB


Name:  P1000546.JPG
Views: 3339
Size:  255.6 KB

Name:  P1000543.JPG
Views: 3238
Size:  234.7 KB

Name:  P1000548.JPG
Views: 3213
Size:  306.4 KB

Name:  P1000553.JPG
Views: 3298
Size:  189.1 KB

Mughal garden

Name:  P1000554.JPG
Views: 4381
Size:  293.3 KB

Maids’ dorm, the door leads to Queen’s bedroom. Curiously there is an ancient wheelchair on display nearby. The Queens wore heavy saris or ghagras weighing about 10-15kg and they were decked with jewelry from head to toe. They could barely walk with that much weight, hence the wheelchair.

Name:  P1000556.JPG
Views: 3112
Size:  210.1 KB

Water channel

Name:  P1000558.JPG
Views: 3018
Size:  169.9 KB

Name:  P1000561.JPG
Views: 3070
Size:  246.0 KB

Sheesh mahal, the palace of mirrors, it is said that a single candle could light up the entire palace and the palace would seem twinkling as though made of stars.

Name:  P1000566.JPG
Views: 2984
Size:  332.6 KB

Rajasthan through her eyes-p1000577.jpg

Name:  P1000579.JPG
Views: 3143
Size:  299.5 KB

Name:  P1000580.JPG
Views: 2904
Size:  296.4 KB

Name:  P1000588.JPG
Views: 2892
Size:  299.2 KB

Summer palace, those domes are hollow and used to be filled with water during summer

Name:  P1000590.JPG
Views: 2837
Size:  207.1 KB

Latticed balcony for women, overlooking the Durbar-e-aam (hall of public audience)

Name:  P1000592.JPG
Views: 2802
Size:  304.6 KB

Name:  P1000597.JPG
Views: 2764
Size:  334.9 KB

A woman’s view

Name:  P1000595.JPG
Views: 2734
Size:  189.7 KB

Some views from the fort

Name:  P1000603.JPG
Views: 2705
Size:  234.1 KB

Name:  P1000604.JPG
Views: 2661
Size:  207.9 KB

Name:  P1000608.JPG
Views: 2649
Size:  281.8 KB

Cool Passages connecting the buildings

Name:  P1000613.JPG
Views: 2624
Size:  136.0 KB
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2009, 23:24   #2
Team-BHP Support
Samurai's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 21,111
Thanked: 11,060 Times

Man Singh palace, it is the oldest part of the fort. Raja Man Singh had twelve queens so the palace has twelve identical quarters. The king’s chamber is connected to each of the queen’s chambers by secret passages. This palace is not adorned with mirrors or murals but has that medieval charm.

Name:  P1000616.JPG
Views: 2637
Size:  245.6 KB

Name:  P1000619.JPG
Views: 2605
Size:  270.6 KB

Name:  P1000620.JPG
Views: 2639
Size:  257.6 KB

Name:  P1000622.JPG
Views: 2636
Size:  263.0 KB

Name:  P1000630.JPG
Views: 2646
Size:  254.4 KB

A private courtyard, for the king and his queens

Name:  P1000634.JPG
Views: 2758
Size:  243.7 KB

Name:  P1000637.JPG
Views: 2487
Size:  215.2 KB

Name:  P1000642.JPG
Views: 3083
Size:  241.7 KB

With that we are out of the fort complex, the ruins outside seem interesting enough to explore. Another day, perhaps

Name:  P1000522.JPG
Views: 2460
Size:  302.7 KB

Name:  P1000609.JPG
Views: 2581
Size:  286.5 KB

Some traditional craftsmanship of the region

Block printing

Name:  P1000647.JPG
Views: 2508
Size:  281.5 KB

Gem polishing

Name:  P1000650.JPG
Views: 2489
Size:  220.2 KB

Carpet weaving

Name:  P1000652.JPG
Views: 2651
Size:  66.2 KB

Next we had the best food of our entire trip, a Rajasthani thali. Lots of new stuff for me like baati and the delicious churma. For this thali alone I could go back to Jaipur, everything else is a bonus.

Name:  P1000654.JPG
Views: 2746
Size:  177.7 KB

Jal Mahal - Lake Palace of Jaipur, there are four levels below water, only the top floor is visible.

Name:  P1000657.JPG
Views: 2660
Size:  226.6 KB

Jantar Mantar – Sawai Jai Singh set up Jantar Mantar as an astronomical observatory. Few instruments I found interesting.

A sundial

Name:  P1000661.JPG
Views: 3000
Size:  210.8 KB

Notice the graduated markings, it’s similar to present day clock and Jaipur local time can be read directly (Add 41mins to get IST).

Name:  P1000660.JPG
Views: 2395
Size:  192.2 KB

This instrument was used to track the movement of the sun in the Northern Hemisphere (Uttarayan), there is an identical one behind it for Dhakshinayan.

Name:  P1000664.JPG
Views: 2535
Size:  223.5 KB

The below instrument , Jai Prakash Yantra, was used to track planetary movements. This was used for making janam kundalis (birth charts) as well.

Name:  P1000669.JPG
Views: 2400
Size:  265.9 KB

Name:  P1000671.JPG
Views: 2362
Size:  382.3 KB

Later we visited City Palace which is next door to Jantar Mantar. The textile gallery was interesting but photography was not allowed. There was a huge, and I mean HUGE kurtha on display. It belonged to Sawai Madho Singh who was over 7 feet tall, had a four feet wide chest and weighed 250kg. And if our guide is to be believed he had 120 wives/concubines. Ouch!

Name:  P1000683.JPG
Views: 2411
Size:  297.9 KB

And there is “ Gangajali”, world’s largest silver vessel which Sawai Madho Singh the second used to carry gangajal during his visit to England.

Name:  P1000687.JPG
Views: 2511
Size:  249.1 KB

Name:  P1000689.JPG
Views: 2350
Size:  217.4 KB

This palace pales in comparison to others we saw later on, so I won’t post more pictures here. Tomorrow we leave for Mandawa.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2009, 23:48   #3
Team-BHP Support
Samurai's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 21,111
Thanked: 11,060 Times

Feb 9th Mandawa – Bikaner

“Aap Mandawa kyon ja rahe hai? bilkul gaon hai, koi tourist nahi jata udhar”. That was our driver. I had read something somewhere but could not recall at that moment. Anyway, after confirming that it would add only 30-40km extra to our Bikaner route, we decided to go and find out.

We bought some fruits on the way at Chomu, this fruit is called “bear” by locals. It looks like ripe dates, even has a similar seed and is equally delicious. I was assured it was not dates; it doesn’t even grow on palm trees. The only other thing I found out was that I was equally allergic to “bear”. Nevertheless, it’s a lovely fruit; the more fortunate should certainly try it.

True to the warning, Mandawa was absolutely a village

Name:  P1000754.JPG
Views: 2545
Size:  266.9 KB

We ask around and reach Mandawa Fort Palace, a world apart from its surroundings. Presently this is a heritage hotel.

Name:  P1000714.JPG
Views: 2546
Size:  304.0 KB

Name:  P1000720.JPG
Views: 2292
Size:  250.7 KB

Frescos! That’s the reason we are here. The walls are so animated, I had no idea where to begin

Name:  P1000703.JPG
Views: 2285
Size:  357.0 KB

Name:  P1000716.JPG
Views: 2263
Size:  278.9 KB

Name:  P1000724.JPG
Views: 2307
Size:  243.7 KB

Name:  P1000729.JPG
Views: 2281
Size:  336.1 KB

Name:  P1000730.JPG
Views: 2233
Size:  313.5 KB

Name:  P1000731.JPG
Views: 2230
Size:  378.6 KB

Name:  P1000735.JPG
Views: 2215
Size:  272.0 KB

Name:  P1000738.JPG
Views: 2190
Size:  305.1 KB

Name:  P1000741.JPG
Views: 2211
Size:  309.0 KB

Name:  P1000752.JPG
Views: 2179
Size:  291.7 KB

Name:  P1000753.JPG
Views: 2188
Size:  384.8 KB

We had lunch there and resumed our drive to Bikaner. For a while we were on internal roads, driving through Fathehpur

Name:  P1000759.JPG
Views: 2245
Size:  284.0 KB

Soon we were back on the highway, the roads being fantastic we reached Bikaner in no time at all. We checked into Banwar Niwas, better known as Rampuria haveli. The interiors are lovely, reminiscent of an era gone by.

Name:  P1000778.JPG
Views: 4231
Size:  325.5 KB

Name:  P1000777.JPG
Views: 2201
Size:  167.8 KB

Name:  P1000776.JPG
Views: 2270
Size:  160.9 KB

Name:  P1000779.JPG
Views: 2201
Size:  171.0 KB

Name:  P1000781.JPG
Views: 2138
Size:  222.0 KB

They even had a vintage Buick outside.

Name:  P1000784.JPG
Views: 2301
Size:  202.2 KB

Around 6.30 in the evening we set off on a slow drive around town. The old town of Bikaner is a labyrinth of narrow roads, most houses and shops are right at the edge of the street. From my window seat in the car, I could see people gathered around in their living rooms, women chatting, laughing, men playing a game of dice, some family owned shops closing up and whole families sitting together counting their day’s earnings. It was surreal watching a slice of their daily lives while I remained invisible to them on the dark street inside a tavera.

Rasgulla? The driver stopped and asked if we wanted rasgullas, it is famous here. Allright, I get down to buy some. I had to walk a little to the shop, the stench in the air is unbearable, I see open sewers all around, even rats at the dark edges of the street. Wish I hadn’t stepped out of the car, a minute ago I had a different view of the place and now it was tempered by stark reality.

Feb 10th Bikaner-Sam Dunes

It was a rainy morning in Bikaner. We dragged ourselves out of bed with some effort; it was 10am when we finally checked out of Banwar Niwas. The rain stopped by the time we were reached the fort and there was a pleasant chill in the air. Another marvelous fort awaited us.

Junhagad fort complex

Name:  P1000788.JPG
Views: 2158
Size:  306.3 KB

Name:  P1000791.JPG
Views: 2102
Size:  211.8 KB

Name:  P1000795.JPG
Views: 2098
Size:  263.8 KB

Name:  P1000798.JPG
Views: 2137
Size:  208.3 KB

Murals showing the arrival of railways to Bikaner, think it is showing the train as the ship of the desert.

Name:  P1000801.JPG
Views: 2168
Size:  208.1 KB

Karan Mahal. This section was closed off, could only see the gold paintings on the ceiling.

Name:  P1000804.JPG
Views: 2292
Size:  278.1 KB

Name:  P1000805.JPG
Views: 2159
Size:  330.6 KB

A courtyard

Name:  P1000809.JPG
Views: 2019
Size:  298.1 KB

Name:  P1000810.JPG
Views: 2009
Size:  235.2 KB
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 00:16   #4
Team-BHP Support
Samurai's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 21,111
Thanked: 11,060 Times

Silver doors

Name:  P1000811.JPG
Views: 2279
Size:  276.0 KB

Doors painted in vegetable colours

Name:  P1000812.JPG
Views: 2305
Size:  238.2 KB

Name:  P1000821.JPG
Views: 2055
Size:  246.5 KB

Name:  P1000822.JPG
Views: 1983
Size:  267.4 KB

Badal Mahal

Name:  P1000815.JPG
Views: 2242
Size:  387.4 KB

Name:  P1000816.JPG
Views: 2147
Size:  343.4 KB

The magnificent Anup mahal

Name:  P1000837.JPG
Views: 1995
Size:  279.4 KB

Name:  P1000835.JPG
Views: 2236
Size:  266.4 KB

Encrusted with gemstones

Name:  P1000832.JPG
Views: 1928
Size:  321.3 KB

Name:  P1000834.JPG
Views: 1921
Size:  260.3 KB

The enameled ceiling

Name:  P1000827.JPG
Views: 1895
Size:  303.4 KB

Barracks, stables

Name:  P1000846.JPG
Views: 1883
Size:  237.4 KB

That’s us

Name:  P1000854.JPG
Views: 1876
Size:  283.2 KB

Swing where Lord Krishna was worshipped

Name:  P1000856.JPG
Views: 1891
Size:  311.9 KB

Name:  P1000857.JPG
Views: 1799
Size:  324.4 KB

King’s dining room

Name:  P1000859.JPG
Views: 1830
Size:  321.5 KB

King’s bedroom

Name:  P1000863.JPG
Views: 1785
Size:  255.4 KB

The ceiling

Name:  P1000865.JPG
Views: 1781
Size:  244.7 KB

The window

Name:  P1000867.JPG
Views: 1774
Size:  326.1 KB

A hall

Name:  P1000872.JPG
Views: 1765
Size:  293.3 KB


Name:  P1000878.JPG
Views: 1752
Size:  212.5 KB

Name:  P1000879.JPG
Views: 1730
Size:  163.2 KB

Another hall with 40 feet high wooden ceiling

Name:  P1000881.JPG
Views: 1739
Size:  226.0 KB

Name:  P1000882.JPG
Views: 1710
Size:  194.3 KB

Name:  P1000884.JPG
Views: 1721
Size:  176.0 KB

Weapons! you should have been there Sharath.

Name:  P1000888.JPG
Views: 1727
Size:  202.3 KB

Name:  P1000889.JPG
Views: 1708
Size:  186.9 KB

Name:  P1000891.JPG
Views: 1699
Size:  185.2 KB

Name:  P1000892.JPG
Views: 1708
Size:  148.4 KB

Name:  P1000894.JPG
Views: 1702
Size:  160.5 KB

To be continued...
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 03:49   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: CCU & Kitchener
Posts: 587
Thanked: 58 Times

Excellent pics. Please keep them coming.

I have only been to Jaipur, on a trip from Delhi. I believe that it is impossible to cover Rajasthan in a single trip. It takes atleast 2-3 separate trips to experience Rajasthan. Such a magnificient place!!
Saurabh M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 04:01   #6
Superleggera's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Kannur/Boston
Posts: 284
Thanked: 66 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)

Excellent pics..Those walls and court yards are so beautiful!
Waiting for the next part!
Superleggera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 12:22   #7
Senior - BHPian
gd1418's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,578
Thanked: 649 Times

A great travelogue with excellant snaps. Waiting for more...!
gd1418 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 13:02   #8
Senior - BHPian
rjstyles69's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bengalooru..
Posts: 4,334
Thanked: 737 Times

Aye aye we hear you Mrs.Sharath , nice to know you have a penchant for writing and travel like Sharath. I wont comment on the photography part coz am sure the man himself is quite capable of giving you the best tips.
Honestly there are some real good compositions on the list of pics posted here.

I have never visited Rajasthan , time to pack and do something on the same lines.
rjstyles69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 13:10   #9
Senior - BHPian
DKG's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,699
Thanked: 873 Times

Lovely pictures. Rajasthan is a must see for those who appreciate architecture and history.

Those who wish to see some more pictures may want to check out

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...age-india.html (Architectural Heritage of India)

Mandawa is one of three main towns (Nawalgarh and Jhunjhunu being the other two ) in the Shekhawati region (which lies between Jaipur and Bikaner) that have many old havelis adorned with paintings on the exterior. It has often been referred to as the world's largest open air art gallery.

Last edited by DKG : 5th March 2009 at 13:13.
DKG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 13:14   #10
Team-BHP Support
mobike008's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 9,925
Thanked: 5,869 Times

Very interesting pictures.

Those courtyards and the interiors is so historical, seeing them almost makes you go back into that era. Did you do this trip by road? If yes, any pictures of enroute, would be interesting to see if you crossed any deserts, plains etc to get the general hang-up of its road scenary.

I loved that huge silver jar. In this hot summer, they should allow visitors to take a dip in that when filled with water. Just kidding..LOL
mobike008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 13:42   #11
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Birmingham, U.K, Jaipur (India)
Posts: 72
Thanked: 2 Times

Now I am feeling home sick
no_limit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 13:54   #12
Team-BHP Support
navin's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: mumbai
Posts: 21,473
Thanked: 3,195 Times

Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
We arrive in front of Hawa Mahal, the icon of Jaipur. Tourists are not allowed inside, it was only a photo-stop.

We proceed to Amber Fort, first glimpse of the fort and I am lost in time, all the fairytales from my childhood came to life right there.
Since when? I have been 'inside' the Hawa Mahal atleast twice. Once in 1994-5 and once in 2004 or 5 (I think). I think I went inside on my 1992-93 trip as well but I cant remember that far back.

The last time they were doing some repair work. BTW Hawa Mahal is just a facade there is not much to see inside execpt you can climb up to the various windows and see the street from there.

On any trip to Amber fort you have be very careful the elephant owners dont take you for a ride. On our first trip we bought a return ticket only to find out that the elephant we came on has vanished and will not be available on the way down. We had to climb down on foot which was scary as other elephants would walk past you. On the second trip (94-95) we were more careful (we had my God parents with us) and took the name of the elephant driver as well as the number of the elephant and even promised the driver a baksheesh if he was there in 1 hour to take us back. I did not want to subject my then 75 year old god parents to the scary walk back.

Unfortunately my photos are on film (we used a Hassie 500 C/M) and left in LA.
navin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 14:01   #13
pjay_in's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 396
Thanked: 18 Times

Lovely report and mindblowing pictures. I will probably recommend this thread to anyone wanting to visit Rajasthan.

And I am one of them.
pjay_in is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 14:45   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,986
Thanked: 1,351 Times

Hello Mrs. Samurai,

Rajasthan holds a very special place in my heart. I was born in Jaipur and my mother was a Rajasthani. I still have family in various cities around Rajasthan.
I've been there, everywhere in Rajasthan - many, many times, both as a child and adult and think that this is truly a beautiful and special place.

You are lucky to have enjoyed it. Thank you for reviving some wonderful memories. Some of the pictures are really nice.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 5th March 2009 at 14:47.
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th March 2009, 15:14   #15
Senior - BHPian
esteem_lover's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Madras/Py
Posts: 7,551
Thanked: 430 Times

Very interesting Mrs. Samurai. I can relate to the thali comment. We had Rajasthani food in our office on 25th Feb, brought in a cook from Rajasthan. It was one of the most wonderful food that i have had which does not involve meat. Nice pictures too.
esteem_lover is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan nix1976in Travelogues 85 15th November 2013 09:18
Seattle-Redmond-San Francisco-Las Vegas-Newyork...USA through our eyes sforsarang Travelogues 24 18th April 2011 10:40
Kodaikanal through my eyes nickatnite Travelogues 27 4th June 2009 11:24

All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:02.

Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks