A Travellerspoint blog

Jaipur to Jodhpur

Saris, Turbans Elephants and Forts

overcast 22 °C

We concluded our 2 night stay in Jaipur with a special night put on as part of our Scenic Tour. We were dressed in Turbans which were then given to the men and saris where given to the delighted ladies. Celina looked especially beautiful in a blue sari and we were then photographed as a souvenir of the night and the tour as 4 members of the group were leaving that night. Our meal took place in the dining room which used to house a table which could take 80 people at a sitting. We were exhausted at the end of the evening and expected to be woken at 6-30 for our departure next morning but did not repack as we were exhausted. We were woken nearly 1/2 hour late and threw our clothes into the suitcases for "bags out" at 7 am.

At times I feel the blog may have come to a disastrous end as I am about to stomp on this laptop. We have had a wonderful few days with exciting elephant rides, auto rickshaw rides and chaotic street scenes and rural poverty. We have dined in Saris and Turbans provided by Scenic Tours and visited or stayed in magnificent palaces and hill top forts. We have travelled by auto rickshaw cycle rickshaw and elephant and tomorrow we go on a camel safari.

Our 2nd to last hotel was a magnificent palace owned by the Maharajah of Jaipur and our current hotel is a modern hotel placed at the old blue city of Jodhpur at the foot of the Meranghar Fort which sits 400 feet above us and then rises another 200 feet into the air. The stone carving is magnificent and almost sings. We have seen Tigers in the wild and the colours of the women in Rajasthan have been amazing. The lack of order in the traffic and the sights and smells will never leave us.

Celina is improving day by day although climbing many stairs today and the ride on the Tuk Tuk caused some additional pain. We had a pleasant meal tonight and almost forgot our coughs and splutters as the tour group shares the bugs around. Tomorrow we hope to venture into the bazaar which is around the corner. Hopefully will sleep tonight until the local Muezzin starts to call the islamic faithful to prayer in the early morning.

Market in Pushkar Market

Market in Pushkar Market

Holy Man in Pushkar

Holy Man in Pushkar

Pushkar Scene

Pushkar Scene

DSC_0090

DSC_0090

Celina as Indian Model

Celina as Indian Model

Mirror Room Amber Fort

Mirror Room Amber Fort

Posted by acudoc 09:04 Archived in India Tagged india luxury_travel Comments (3)

Ranthambore to Jaipur

Ancient Astronomers Astrologers and Princes.

rain 18 °C

On Valentines day after seeing the bengal Tigers we returned to our Oberoi Oasis, Shaken and stirred. We then dressed up for a romantic dinner in the outdoor dining area of the Oberoi Vanyvilas with a bonfire roaring in the centre of the dining room, skies above us and roses on the tables and Valentines greetings all organised by Claire our tour leader and Collin one of fellow travellers. All the while as she is wont to do the Hotel's General Manager and her wonderful staff tended to our every need. The meal was delicious and we were serenaded by a pair of local musicians. As we were returnig to our tent a wind sprang up and soon we had a major storm crashing over our heads. The tent moved in the wind and the rain but we slept, woken by occasional massive claps of thunder and lightning.

Yesterday morning we arose for breakfast and were farewelled by the staff and the 2 elephants who are owned by the hotel and which are available for rides. Some of our companions had even gone to see the elephants washes and be washed by them. We then drove in our coach the 4 hours to Jaipur along reasonable roads with the usual scenes of farm animals wandering along the road plus Elephants Camels and cycles of every type rushing in and out of the traffic. We finally entered the Pink City of Jaipur - coloured a TerraCotta colour in honour of a visit from Prince Albert in the latter 19th Century. We drove to our fabulous hotel - the Rambagh Palace which was once the home of the Maharaja of jaipur and is still owned by the family. Our room is huge with a four poster bed and black marble fitting in the huge bathroom. After briefly freshening up we toured the City Palace founded in 1721 with its Astronomical Observatory with dozens of highly accurate instruments which assisted the planning of crops, astrological forecasts of daily life and matrimony - a science that is still used by everday Indians to forecat marital compatability and other relationships. We toured the Palace and saw the textile museum and a number of the Royal appartments before taking a cycle rickshaw into the bazaars and crowded streets of old Jaipur.

We were taken to a Gem Factory and were told that most of the worlds precious Gems are cut and polished in Jaipur. We then partook of a viewing of jewellery sourced from Sapphires Emeralds and Rubys and returned to our hotel. In the evening about 15 of us travelled to another part of town to a small palce which is now a Hotel which accomodates 12 couples or guests. Unchanged since 1871 we met the current Royal and were given a tour of the hotel then sat down for a buffet meal.

This morning we woke to a rainy Jaipur and left after breakfast for our Elephant Ride up to the Amber Fortress which overlooks the city of Jaipur. Dozens of brightly painted Elephants toil up and down the steep entrance to this Mughal Fort built over 500 yeats ago. We then toured the fort and were able to see the restored mirror hall at the Forts centre. On the wway back to the hotel we stopped of at the Hawa Mahal of House of the Wind
which housed the women of the Harem and allowed them to view the Maharajah's processions down the main street of Jaipur which today is crowded with traffic, Snake Charmers, monkeys and traffic chaos. A planned hill walk between 2 ancient forts in the nearby Aravalli Hills was cancelled due to the inclement and wet weather.

Tonight we are to have a special meal and are expected to dress up in a Sari which will be provided by Scenic tours and a turban also provided.

What a fantastic trip so far and 8 more days to go.

Astronomy Device from 1721

Astronomy Device from 1721

Ancient Indian Observatory

Ancient Indian Observatory

Mother Tiger feeding Su;tan

Mother Tiger feeding Su;tan

Posted by acudoc 01:50 Archived in India Tagged india luxury_travel Comments (2)

Agra to Ranthambore

Tiger Heaven

sunny 26 °C

Today we went on 2 safaris, the first a morning drive was very dusty and rough but we sore lots of naughty monkeys with long tails and serious faces. We saw several kinds of deer and we travelled over bone shaking trails past an ancient fort on top of a hill. We came back for lunch and then we went for our second dusty but fantastic second drive in which we saw everything we saw in the morning plus crocodiles and finally two magnificent tigers lying in the road in front of our large truck. They were a mother and her son who is 12 months old and still feeding from his mother. We were apparently one of few safaris to ever see this happen. Our guides were amazed!

We meet in half an hour for our last dinner here and then we are off to Jaipur in the morning - a 4 1/2 hour trip on made roads thank goodness. Yesterday we travelled on a train for 3 hours sitting next to a local man who spent most of the time shouting into his mobile when he wasn't racing up and down the train carriage nearly knocking over the chai wallah's. The railway station at Bharatpur was an amazing experience in it's own right.

The foregoing was originally sent to our grandson so the language is not up to our usual standard. Fortunately the accommodation here at Ranthambore does exceed our wildest dreams. The 2 Oberoi properties we have stayed at here and in Agra are superb with equally friendly and efficient staff. Our dinner tonight was in an open courtyard with a bonfire in the centre. One of our companions had organised roses to be delivered all the way to us in the middle of nowhere and the staff created swans out of towels for us filled with rose petals. A romantic card completed the surprise! Our tented room is out of this world along with a marble 4 claw footed bath shower and all facilities including gourmet chefs. The gardens are wonderful and there is a beautiful private terrace complete with 2 chaise lange with peacocks, squirrels and humming birds.

As mentioned above our highlight of the day was to see at close range a female Bengal Tiger and her year old cub who was still suckling. A rare sight for all of us. Many of our group have back problems and these are likely to be worse after the pummelling they received today and 3 days ago between Orchha and Agra. Celina spent most of the 2nd game drive today virtually standing in the front seat of the large safari vehicle. Along with the Tigers we saw crocodiles Sambar and spotted deer, monkeys, and wild boar.

Tomorrow its off to Jaipur - a 4 hour drive on our coach and our next palace. Phots will be updated as I get the time.

Posted by acudoc 09:18 Archived in India Tagged india luxury_travel Comments (0)

Delhi to Agra

Much better than the road the others travelled

sunny 22 °C

Spent last night in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi watching the Delhi Glitterati gathering in the coffee shop. Young girls dressed in gorgeous silks and young men preening like peacocks. The girls teetered on stiletto heels and did Bollywood dance moves and some pouted and posed - all the while with mobiles at the ready. The meal was excellent and the room comfortable but not a patch on the Imperial or our current hotel in Agra.

We were picked up by our private vehicle at 10-15am and driven through Delhi until we reached the Yarmuna Expressway to Agra. The journey took about 4 hours and with a stop for refreshments we reached outskirts of Agra to be caught in traffic congestion with cars, buses, donkeys, cows,camel, goats a few hundred thousand people with up to 8-10 in the auto rickshaws and 3 on a motor bike, all dodging and weaving like an exotic dance on the narrow roads - shops and stalls on either side. The chaos is endemic but unmissable.

We finally got to move and had our first sight of the Taj Mahal. Pictures do not do it any justice as it stands alone out of the grimy and crowed streets. Finally arrived here at our oasis away from crowds and are able to see the Taj from the hotel lobby and have a wonderful view from our room which surpasses the Imperial Hotel in spades. Tomorrow we go to the Taj before dawn then tour most of the day and see it again at sunrise. Had wonderful meal tonight at Indian restaurant at our hotel. More later!

Taj from the road into Agra

Taj from the road into Agra

Posted by acudoc 08:55 Archived in India Tagged india luxury_travel Comments (3)

Khajaraho to Delhi

Avoiding the Orchha to Agra roadtrip

sunny 22 °C

We arrived in Khajaraho yesterday afternoon, had lunch at the superb LaliT Hotel, where stayed for 1 night, then left for the brief trip to the famous 900 year old Temple Complex dating back to the Chandela Dynasty of Central India. Soaring towers covered in exquisite carvings of Gods and humans indulging in war, worship and having exuberant sex with anything that doesn't move and in all positions conceivable. But the sheer artistry outweighs any prurient interest. We were told to observe but keep the practice to our hotel rooms.

We finished the tour and were taken for a cultural event consisting of an enthusiastic group of dancers performing a mimimg to music tracks. we returned to our hotel packed our bags which were to go ahead on the comfortable coach to Agra. Today we fly back to Delhi and tomorrow we drive up to Agra in a private car and will be at our hotel before the rest of the group.

Celina has improved in the past 24 hours and we look forward eagerly to Agra and the Taj Mahal, The Agra Fort and Rajasthan.

Khajaraho Temple

Khajaraho Temple

Temple Figures Khajaraho

Temple Figures Khajaraho

900 year old Temple carving

900 year old Temple carving


Roses at Khajaraho

Roses at Khajaraho

Posted by acudoc 21:27 Archived in India Tagged india luxury_travel Comments (1)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 16) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 »