Sawai Madhopur

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    • Day 3


      February 24, 2023 in India ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      Friday morning was Metro time, heading back to Old Delhi with our new travelling companions. The Metro was efficient and clean, quite busy to me, we were told to push, push, push to make sure that we got on. Thankfully we only had to shove a little!
      We walked then rode in a cycle rickshaw amongst the crazy traffic. Highly entertaining seeing vehicles coming and going in all directions, seemingly with no rules. Apparently it is all done with the eyes and head wobbles, plus a large amount of luck. Despite the chaos we felt safe.

      We walked past very ornate and very simple temples, all had fresh flowers in, people were worshipping as they passed while continuing in their daily tasks.

      Next stop for some spiritual calm. Built
      by a Mughal Emperor between 1644 and 1656 Jama Masjid Delhi's oldest Mosque is India's largest. Built of the local red stone and lavishly decorated with white marble it was built as a symbolic gesture of Islamic power throughout India. The name translates to Congregational Mosque or Friday Mosque, a common name for Islamic Mosques around the world.

      Removing our shoes, women also had to wear a gown, we entered the huge square. Large enough to accommodate 25,000 praying souls. The huge prayer hall has three beautiful domes and towers at each side.
      James went to the top of one of the towers to get a birds eye view of Delhi prostrate below.

      Then on to a Sikh temple Sheeshgamj Gurudwara , it was built here to mark the place where the ninth Sikh Guru was beheaded in 1675. Built in 1783 as a small shrine, the present building was built in 1930 with the gold dome being added a little later.

      The temple is a Haven of peace amongst the chaos and noise in the streets. It is beautiful inside and out. Inside is lavishly decorated with gold and rich fabrics. Live devotional music is played throughout each day. This was very atmospheric and added to the solemnity.

      Just across the courtyard is a community kitchen where thousands are fed daily, lunch and evening. The food is grown and provided by donors and charities, all prepared by volunteers, everyone is welcome. This happens across India.

      At some point we visited Agrasen Ki Baoli step well which was incredibly beautiful, built in three levels. Possibly before the 14thc. It has one hundred and eight steps, as it rains the well fills up and people could access it easily via the steps. Now everyone has running water so they are not used.

      To make the most of the few hours left in Delhi we set off to see more sites, with a driver to take us around. The Gandhi museum which is situated where he was assassinated , was sadly disappointing, the rooms where he spent his last days were interesting, but failed to give enough detail of his life to feed our interest.

      We passed the India Gate a military memorial of WW1, heading to Humayun's Tomb. Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor and this was Delhi's first Mughal mausoleum. Supervised by Haji Begum his senior wife who is now intered alongside
      Made of local red sandstone inlaid with black and white marble the octagonal building is set on a raises platform in a formal garden. It is a huge area with beautiful gardens and other tombs laid out very formally.

      Dinner was at a cafe nearby, 10 minutes walk along the main road the pavement all broken and twisted and electrical wires hanging ready to trip us up or strangle us as we passed. We were forced to walk on the edge of the road and compete with the 2 wheeled vehicles and tuktuks, of course going in both direction.
      Dinner was great though.
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    • Day 103

      Ranthambhore Tiger Day 2

      March 31 in India ⋅ 🌩️ 22 °C

      I got up and ready for an early morning game drive. I left Bob sleeping as the rough ride took a toll on him. Those of you who have gone off-roading with us in Arizona can only imagine how rough of a ride our game drive was yesterday if it put Bob out of commission this morning. I was even very sore from yesterday.

      I am happy to report that our driver for today was much calmer.

      We had a beautiful game drive. The sun was perfect for photography. The tigers proved to be a bit elusive this morning. We were out there for hours just sitting in the jeep waiting to hear warning calls from deer or birds.

      We were finally able see both an adult female and two cubs.

      What was really fascinating was that while one cub was hiding, two deer were standing at a safe distance vocalizing to warn others. This was wonderful to watch this interaction.

      We made it back to the hotel a little after 10. I grabbed a quick breakfast and then dashed to the room to shower and pack.

      We met at reception by noon.

      We again attempted to use an ATM. Several of us were successful.

      On the way to the airport, the bus driver pulled over at a shop, ran in for a couple of minutes and returned. Next thing we know, he is making a U-Turn and driving down a dirt road. He stopped at a roadside stand and purchased some beer as a going away gift.

      We arrived at the Jaipur airport only to have a very tearful goodbye to our guide and driver. They were both absolutely wonderful. If anyone is going to India, we have a recommendation for a great guide!

      We checked in, made it through security and tried to find a lounge. The Jaipur airport is rudimentary. The lounges were nothing but an area with hard chairs. As a result, we chose to find seats in the food court. As I disinfected our table, there were five pigeons swoop down and feed on left-overs on an adjacent table. Next thing I know, a gentleman came by with a stick to chase the pigeons away. I should give them pointers on getting rid of pigeons.

      We departed Jaipur at 7:55 PM on our way to Mumbai.

      Upon arriving in Mumbai, we got through immigration quickly as we were in business class and able to be processed through business class line.

      The Mumbai airport is very clean and modern. In Mumbai, we were able to go to a very modern business lounge where we waited until 12:25 AM for our next flight to Mauritius.

      At the gate, we met a lot of the people from the ship who were all on different independent tours. It was nice to debrief with everyone and get feedback from how their tours went.

      Upon boarding the airplane, I was so excited to see that we had seats that made into beds. After a week of not sleeping much, I was pushing my limits.
      I grabbed some medicine and a blanket. As proof as to how tired I was, I was able to sleep the entire six hour flight duration.

      We had a bit of miscommunication with transportation to our hotel. As a result, we ended up just grabbing a ride from a local driver. He was quite the wealth of information regarding Mauritius.

      When we arrived at the hotel, our rooms were ready so we checked in. We met Dale and Jenni for breakfast.

      Photos will be added shortly.
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    • Day 17

      Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

      April 5, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      A notre grande surprise, le Rajasthan pourtant sec et aride possède un parc national appelé Ranthambore Reserve abritant le prestigieux tigre du Bengale. Autant dire, que le business autour de l'animal est grandissant! Les agences se battent pour obtenir des tickets d'entrée dans les zones 1-5 (celles où il y aurait le plus de tigres). Nous assistons à un cohu-bohu devant les guichets assez impressionant! On nous explique par la suite que tout est question de backchichs et corruption...on ne s'attendait pas à ça en venant dans un parc naturel! Relativisons, n'est-ce pas un mal pour un bien? Le tourisme n'est-il pas la seule façon d'éviter le braconnage?

      Un peu ecoeurés, nous partons tout de même pour 2 demi-journées de safari au beau milieu d'un parc offrant un paysage varié. Les gorges aux falaises abruptes côtoient les collines sèches, de majestueux banians se suspendent au dessus des pistes et de grands arbres aux fleurs rouge donnent de jolies touches de couleur.
      Arrêtons de tourner autour du pot, non😢 les tigres n'ont pas voulu pointer le bout de leurs moustaches! C'est le jeu, on ne gagne pas à tous les coups! Ce n'est pas faute de les avoir traqué! Nous étions dans la même jeep avec 2 indiennes qui en étaient à leur 18ème safaris (!!)...autant dire qu'elle avaient l'oeil sacrément aguerri! Elles nous parlent avec passion de la faune et flore de la réserve et également de l'ecologie en Inde. Bien sûr, nous tombons sur des perles rares car l'Inde a encore du chemin à faire niveau pollution, recyclage des déchets...ça fait plaisir de faire une telle rencontre!

      Même sans tigre, cette excusion ne nous laissera pas indifférents! Surtout que sambars, antilopes, paons, martin-pêcheurs, aigle royal, mangoustes, crocodiles étaient de la partie!😊
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    • Day 9

      Sawai Madhopur

      March 6, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

      Uns gefällt es hier in Sawai Madhopur so sehr, dass wir gleich drei Nächte bleiben. Viele (vor allem Deutsche und Inder)kommen in das Hostel nur für eine Nacht um an einer Tigersafari teil zu nehmen. Wir nahmen gestern ebenso an einer Safari in einem Jeep teil. Das war richtig aufregend. Wir saßen mit einer indischen Familie in dem Jeep zusammen, diese buchten die Tour in Zone 9 von dem riesigen Nationalpark Ranthambore. Das hatte aufgrund der langen Anreise eine Fahrt von fünf statt drei Stunden zur Folge. Diese war schon genauso spannend und interessant wie die Safari an sich. Das Indien so unterschiedliche Landschaftsbilder bereit hält hätten wir nicht gedacht. Wirklich wunder schön. Außerdem war es auch sehr interessant Dörfer zu durchqueren, denn diese leben schon noch einmal anders. Einfache Feldarbeit und generelle Landwirtschaft steht dort sichtlich im Vordergund. Während der Tour durch die Zonen des Nationalparks sahen wir viele riesige Antilopen, Rehe und Pfauen. Leider jedoch keine Tiger, Leoparden oder Bären :-( nur ihre Spuren im Sand. So ist das mit den freien Tieren, man kann es nicht erzwingen, auch wenn es sehr Schade ist sie nicht gesehen zu haben. Heute waren wir in einer Tempelanlage in dem Nationalpark, die wirklich traumhaft war. Emely konnte dort sogar schon ihren ersten Traum verwirklichen und einen riesigen Verwurzelten Baum anfassen. :-)

      Morgen geht es weiter mit dem Zug nach Jaipur.

      Bis dahin :-)
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Sawāi Mādhopur, Sawai Madhopur

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