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  • Day17


    January 9, 2017 in India ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Our next stop was the Blue City of Jodphur. The main attractions were the Mehrangarh Fort built in 1460 situated 410 feet above the city which offered pretty views of houses painted in blue, Umaid Bhavna Palace where the current king of Jodphur resides and Jaswant Thada a mausoleum built out of marble to honor the royal family of Marwar which is the region which the family ruled over in Rajasthan.

    Have a look at the pictures, they speak for themselves and truly represent the nature of the kingdoms that ruled in India over the centuries.

    We also stopped at Ranakpur Jain Temple on the way to our next stop which was really amazingly carved out of marble as seen in the last picture.
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  • Day6

    Happy Diwali - festival of lights

    October 27, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Diwali is Hindus largest and most important festival. Many preparations went into today and last nights celebration. Lights on many buildings and homes and other decorative garlands and flower petals sprinkled. Everyone was dressed in their best sari and jewelry. Delicious meals to share with friends and family were prepared.
    Decorations of painted feet at the doorway, wealth and prosperity was on its way in, Lakshmi; the Hindu goddess of Wealth and well being.
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  • Day12

    Jodhpur and the Jets

    February 26, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    From Jaisalmer to Jodhpur was an easy drive - if there is such a thing as an easy Indian drive - and a surprising transition.

    Jaisalmer has the atmosphere of a desert outpost - smaller, dusty and with its admittedly astounding fort built on top of a big pile of dirt.

    Jodhpur is a much bigger place and it too has a fort - the Mehrangarh Fort - which is extensive and built on a solid stone outcrop. It is called the “blue” city for the colours of the houses of the Brahmin caste, although blue houses weren’t all that numerous really.

    Outside the gate to the fort is a memorial to the soldiers lost when Jaisalmer and Jodhpur fought over the affections of the Princess of Udaipur. This would indeed seem to be a high price to pay to get a girlfriend.

    In the company of yet another knowledgeable and passionate guide we toured the Palace - also called the “Citadel of the Sun” - which towers over a hundred and twenty metres over the streets of the city. We saw depictions of the daily life of the Maharajas, depictions of battles, including elephants with swords and - just to confuse things - horses with fake elephant trunks attached to their heads.

    Jaswant Thada, the mausoleum of the Maharajas of Marwar, is close by the fort and another magnificent work of carved marble. We are trying so hard not to get blasé about these sights, any one of which is alone worth the effort of the trip.

    On another level again was the Clocktower, Ghanta Ghar, in the middle of one of the noisiest, most chaotic markets we have seen. The was clothing or fabric on sale in one location that had the frenzied locals climbing over themselves to get hold of some.

    We stayed at the poshly-named Balsamand Lake Palace Hotel, and it was quite special.

    The hotel rooms are cleverly built into the arches under an aqueduct that formerly led water from Balsamand Lake. The grounds are perfectly manicured and are home to peacocks, monkeys and other wildlife. The dam that holds back the lake, dating from 1159, is an architectural monument in its own right, although the aforementioned monkeys seemed to regard it as their private domain and weren’t exactly welcoming toward us.

    We had drinks in the grounds, in the peace of the late afternoon and accompanied by the odd peacock, then a delicious and fun dinner on the lawn, warmed by braziers of burning timber and eating under flickering candlelight.

    That night however, some were awakened by the roar of fighter jets overhead. India and Pakistan, not exactly best buddies, were having a tit for tat shooting match after the murder of some Indian soldiers in Kashmir by Pakistani terrorists. We were only 250 kilometres from Pakistan.

    It is a privilege to see all these beautiful and exciting places, but occasionally there is a reminder that the troubles of the world may also be closer than we would want.

    The following morning, though, normal transmission resumed. We were served breakfast each morning by the oldest group of waiters we have ever come across, all handlebar moustaches and ramrod straight posture, for whom nothing was too much trouble and all seemed normal in the world once again.

    Next stop Udaipur; the adventure continues.
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  • Day5

    Krishna Temple and Market

    October 26, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    It is surprising how quiet Ravi’s house is compared to the cacophony of the streets below. We proceed to the Krishna temple on foot dodging motorbikes and tuk tuks. While we tour the temple, Ravi guards our shoes. The Clock Tower and Sadar Market is in the old city and is similar to the others we have seen, but being a holiday, people are dressed up. Dianne and I are mesmerized by all the colours of saris and the intricate jewellery on display. Tuk tuking back to our hotel is the most convenient mode of transport and we rendezvous with Hari our driver to set the time of departure for tomorrow. We say a final goodbye to Ravi, who has plans for a family gathering this evening at his home.Read more

  • Day5

    Royal Cenotaphs

    October 26, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We meet our local guide Ravi again this morning in the reception of the hotel. We are going to the Royal Cenotaphs and Mehrangarh Fortress. The Royal Cenotaphs are constructed of white marble ; the same as the Taj Mahal. They are great, with nice views of the Blue city. Ravi talks at length about both, if I’m honest, it is sounding to me like the last great palace fortress.

    Next we plan to go to the old part of Jodpur by the clock tower to see a Krishna Temple and the local market. It is a holiday and part of the festival of Diwali. Traffic is intense. We can only take the car so far until we switch to a Tuk Tuk. Ravi negotiates the price and on we go through the narrow ancient streets. As we are bumping along my cellphone falls out of my pocket and hits those same narrow and ancient streets. It made some noise when it bounced off the floor of the Tuk Tuk and so did I. We stop and retrieve it without further drama.
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  • Day5

    Mehrangarh Fortress

    October 26, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    This fortress stands 410 feet above the skyline of Jodpur.; built in the 15th century.

    Jodpur; the Blue City. Ravi explains that city was named in 1459 for its founder Rajput chief named Rao Jodhpur. Jodhpur is the second-largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was previously known as Marwar. Jodhpur is famous for its blue buildings, which were originally painted to signify that they were occupied by Brahmins, the highest caste in India.
    Ravi explained further that the blue colour has its advantages, it doesn’t absorb the heat as much and the mosquitoes apparently don’t like the colour neither!
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  • Day5

    Surprise Lunch

    October 26, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Our Tuk Tuk is stopped short of our destinations by a roadblock. We must proceed on foot. No discount for the shorter ride. Once out on the street Ravi mentions that he lives nearby and asks if we would like to go to his house for some Masala tea. He doesn’t have to ask twice as a rest from all the action here sounds attractive to Dianne and I. We walk about 200 meters from our location, and as we do we see that Ravi is obviously well known here. He nods to all the shop keepers, vendors and craftsmen who in turn wave to us as well. Arriving at his home, we climb some narrow steep stairs to the third floor where there is a terrace adjoining a sitting area and a small kitchen. Ravi introduces us to his parents, his wife and his son. His son is 5 years old. Ravi explains that his parents live on the second floor and he, his wife and son live on the third. The house is about 350 years old. His family has lived here at this location for 7 generations. His neighbours have been his neighbours for 200 years. We are in awe of this.

    Tea is served and Ravi’s mom asks through Ravi if we would like to eat some food. Again we don’t say no and soon we are served some spicy cauliflower in broth with naan bread. Ravi’s son is bouncing off the floor from excitement. Grandma reprimands him gently. In the meanwhile Dianne and I are trying to recall our Indian manners eating with our right hand and me really try not to make a mess. The house has been upgraded throughout its 350 years with new tiles, electricity, running water, kitchen appliances and such. Everyone is welcoming and conversational flows easily. Grandma and Grandpa don’t speak much English but Ravi’s wife is fluent. We spent about an hour talking about family and sharing pictures with each other.
    Before we leave, we are invited to see the temple in the kitchen, and we also partake of the view from the kitchen window. It is the same view we saw from the Mehrengarh Fortress, only in reverse. We part from the company of Ravi’s family with warm goodbyes and immense gratitude for the experience.
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  • Day10

    10. Tag - Fliegen über Jodhpur

    September 28, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Nach einem eher westlichen Frühstück (Banana & Peanut Butter Toast) ging es zur Festung von Jodhpur von wo aus der Großteil unserer Truppe per Flying Fox Seilbahn die Gegend und grandiose Aussicht genoss. Mit meiner Höhenangst lies sich das leider nicht vereinbaren und so habe ich mit ein paar Mitreisenden einen Spaziergang durch die blau gestrichene Altstadt gemacht - die Farbe geht auf die Bramanen zurück, die hier früher größtenteils gelebt haben und hilft gegen Insekten und bei der sommerlichen Hitze.

    Anschließend besichtigten wir dann wieder alle zusammen die Festung und das sehr interessante Museum. Zum Mittagessen nahm uns Amrit mit in eine kleine Bäckerei mit tollen indische Snacks, Keksen und sagenhaften Kuchen.

    Nachmittags machten wir einen Ausflug in einen Textilgroßhandel, der sowohl für den indischen Markt als auch für bekannte westliche Designer produziert - das Paradies!

    Abends waren wir dann bei Amrits Schwiegerfamilie zum Abendessen eingeladen (seit seiner Hochzeit reden seine Brüder nicht mehr mit ihm) - wir wurden wahnsinnig herzlich empfangen und himmlisch bekocht. Da das Haus eher klein ist, saßen wir auf der Dachterrasse und genossen den Ausblick über die nächtliche Stadt. Wir wissen jetzt auch, wie man richtigen Chai kocht - mal sehen ob ich das daheim auch so hinkriege. Ein wirklich toller Abend mit Einblick in das richtige indische Leben.
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  • Day21

    Die Stadt Jodhpur macht Blau

    January 13, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Eine Millionenstadt, dessen Häuser im Stadtkern indigoblau angemalt sind hat Etwas. Angeblich wollten sich die Brahmanen hier früher einmal mit blauen Häusern vom Volk abheben, dann haben es einfach alle nachgemacht. Mitten in der Stadt steht auf einer Erhebung ein eindrucksvolles Fort mit einem fantastischem Palastmuseum. Darüber hinaus gibt es 1000 kleine Gassen mit unzähligen Geschäften, Tempeln, Basaren und sogar eine zentrale Turmuhr. Jodhpur ist eine Hochburg des Gewürzhandels und wir haben uns günstig mit hochwertigen Gewürzen eigedeckt. Hoffentlich müssen wir beim Rückflug kein Übergepäck nachzahlen (Tomek)

    Milionowe miasto, którego centrum pomalowane jest w indygo ma swój urok. Podobno brahmani postanowili kiedyś wyodrębnić się od plebsu, ale ten poszedł ich przykładem. W środku miasta na potężnej skale tronuje forteca z pałacem. Naokoło 1000 uliczek we wszystkich kierunkach z nieprawdopodobną liczbą sklepików, świątyń, bazarów i centralną wieżą zegarową. Jodhpur jest miastem przypraw, więc również zaopatrzyliśmy się obficie w wysokogatunkowe produkty. Mamy nadzieję, że nie będziemy musieli płacić za nadbagaż.
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  • Day9

    9. Tag - Mit dem Zug nach Jodhpur

    September 27, 2019 in India ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    Heute war ein recht unspektakulären Tag - es ging erst nachmittags weiter zu unserem nächsten Ziel und wir verbrachten den Vormittag im Hotel mit Joga und Cricket. Dann brachten uns die Safari-Busse zum Bahnhof und in über 8h ging es ins nur 429km entfernte Jodhpur. Unterwegs bekamen wir Essen in den Zug geliefert - die Verpflegung der indischen Bahn gilt im allgemeinen als ungenießbar - erst recht für uns Europäer. Unser Bus wartete am Bahnhof auf uns (wir lange der wohl für die Strecke gebraucht hat?) und im kurz vor Mitternacht waren wir in unserem indischen Boutique Hotel.Read more

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