India
Rajasthan

Here you’ll find travel reports about Rajasthan. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

183 travelers at this place:

  • Day203

    Jaipur

    March 19 in India ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Lara managed to find a decent cup of coffee at the Indian Coffee House. This is a worker-owned cooperative that emerged in the 1940s and now has over 400 shops across India. Malcolm and Lara are still not at 100% health, so Chloë and Dale and I took to the streets of Jaipur to see what we could see. We started with an hour long Uber ride that should have taken 10 minutes. After narrowly missing several family laden motorbikes and speeding tuk-tuks on the main road, our driver opted for a narrow alley that was never intended for cars. We crawled along while streams of frustrated motorbikes and pedestrians squeezed past us in both directions. No matter how inexperienced or timid this driver was, he still managed to navigate the Indian roads and traffic far more effectively than I ever will. We left our driver still negotiating with the alleyway congestion to visit Hawa Mahall and a collection of early astronomical measurement tools at Janter Munter.

    The following days, with everyone on the team more or less back to normal, we managed visits to the Amer Fort and Galtaji (or colloquially, The Monkey Temple).
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  • Day14

    The Blue City - Jodhpur

    December 2, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Although we had a bit of a rough early morning Will slept well after his last fever episode. He was much perkier especially after I jubilated "it's a hot shower". After grabbing our leftover pizza and topping up our water bottles we jumped in the car and was soon on our way to Jodhpur.

    So why is known as the blue city? Well a lot of the buildings are painted blue. But why? There isn't actually any historical reasoning for the blue colour but their are various guesses including the Blue color was associated with Lord Shiva and there were lot of Brahmin followers of Shiva , they consider blue color to be sacred, or because blue color reflects most of the heat and because Jodhpur is known as suncity as it has sun all year round. And I can believe it. The scenery was completely different along the way. It was even drier, very little trees, flat and possibly the most real India we have seen. Although Rajasthan is seen as the Kings Home the poverty in Rajasthan is unbelievable. Ajay told us that the residents were given only 100 days work through the government and so it's very normal for families to go without food for days and weeks. Also the roads were basically rocky dust tracks that were just full of bulls and oxen. They would come about an inch away from our moving car without a care in the world of our drivers manic beeping. I must admit it gave me a few heart attacks along the way!

    We soon arrived in Jodhpur and our first stop Umaid Bawan, but it was closed. Now I believe it has made international news of a famous bollywood actress getting married. That's here in Jodhpur!

    Next was the famous Mehrangarh Fort. I think out of the many forts we have done (and let's be honest it's been daily in Rajasthan) it's my favourite. You get a free audio guide with your ticket and the views of the blue city and along the Fort walls were just stunning. I think we must have spent about 3 hours going round!

    It was now well after 2pm and I was getting grumpy with hunger so we went to our hotel, checked in, had a quick half an hour chill time and then walked out into the chaos of the bazaar. And it really was chaos! I had to bang on a rickshaw that nearly ran me over! It was a bit of an odd time for eating so we decided to just have some small street food and have dinner later. We had a bite to eat, bought some bananas from the market, feared for our lives a bit on the streets and could barely breathe because of the dust. However, I must admit it is one of the most real cities we have been to. Some of the others feel quite touristy, maybe it's the location of our homestay but everyone is just getting on with their lives. There's no tourist prices, everyone just pays the same. So although there's not much to see here it's just a really good city to sit have chai and people watch and this is exactly what we did. In the evening we had chai, went to the famous omelette man (omelette sandwiches an obvious winner), had another chai, bought snacks and then had a simple dhal and rice for dinner.

    Luckily Will is on the mend but now I'm getting a cold! Typical!
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  • Day9

    Pushkar

    November 27, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    In the morning we set off for Pushkar which is a smaller, quieter town centered around a lake where devout Hindus pilgrimage towards due to the abundance of temples, 300. The lake is considered the most sacred lake in Hindu mythology and many Hindus come to wash in the holy water particularly during the month of Kartika, Oct - Nov. Pushkar is also one of five places in the world that has a Brahma Temple.

    Along the way we asked Ajay to stop and help is get fruit fo breakfast to which he happily did. When asking how much the fruit should be he said he will come with us. Just as Will was about to get out he said "oh no you should stay in the car otherwise he will see you are white and make you pay a lot!". I'm loving having Ajay here. Although overall we probably wish we hadn't booked the car Ajay is really understanding with our very low budget.

    When we arrived Ajay said he has us accomodation for cheap and it was in the end very nice and a good location but at first I must admit I did feel pressured staying where he wanted us to stay, which was technically not part of the agreement. This begun to set me off in my down hill thoughts again. I've realised the main reason I don't like having a driver (although I would recommend Ajay to anyone who requires him), is that I feel a bit trapped and compelled to agree and say yes to what they want even if it means I compromise my needs.

    Once checked in we wandered around the lake and I broke. Will was saying hello to everyone under the sun and doing all the 101 Things Not To Do in India. He suddenly had a big crowd around him of people of all ages. Let's face it he's white and therefore rare in India, but he's also just seen as a dollar sign and even more when they find out he is British! I must admit I walked away and sat down by the lake as I couldn't stand it anymore as I knew exactly what all the people wanted, but he just kept thinking everyone was being nice. Some of the kids got bored with Will and then came to sit with me. Again with only one need, money money money money. With me they weren't as subtle and I got quite angry inside. In the end I grabbed Will and we just walked away from the crowd.

    This is when I broke down. I've not mentioned it yet but I've been struggling. Being in India is making me really homesick and really miss my dad. When things go wrong I just keep thinking, "if dad was here I'd be safe and fine". It's a horrible thought but if I wasn't here with Will I would probably be ignored and left alone because I look Indian. But I'm not, so I just have to get stronger and educate Will more from this craziness. We were both now super low, upset and felt trapped. Again we still had barely any breakfast or lunch so we decided to go for a shake at Sonu Shake Shop where I had a Banana, date and coconut shake and Will had a pineapple, lemon and lime juice. Then we had lunch at Ganga Falafel which I read about in a blog, where we met a mother and daughter and they made us feel 1000 times better. They said we got an amazing deal for our car and should be proud of our haggling, that we need to be more blunt on exactly where we want to go and see and they really made us feel more empowered. Phew, I think we just needed some outside perspective.

    It was now late in the afternoon and so we went to see the Brahma temple which was really nice and peaceful and then we went to the lake to watch the little sunset there was and listened to to the temples playing music. For dinner we had our first try at Indian Street food, including Bhel Puri, potato balls with chana dhaal and puri with dhaal. For dessert we even found Gulab Jamun and a cup of hot milk. Perfect end to a not so perfect day.

    It's time we forget about the money and feeling sorry for us and just enjoy it. We are so privelliged and it's sometimes easy to forget how fortunate we are to even be here never mind to have been able to book a driver for 2 weeks! Tomorrow is a new chapter.
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  • Day3

    36 Hours Later

    December 7, 2018 in India ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    A day and a half later and we've flown halfway around the world, met up with Augie, driven six hours through Delhi area traffic, checked into our hotel, and taken a rickshaw tour through Keoladeo bird sanctuary.

    India appears to be much as I remember it from 45 years ago although I'm sure that this perception will change over the coming days. There's a winter haze hanging in the air from the burning of the fields following the harvest. Today the air particulate matter is hovering around a toxic 600. Beautiful green fields followed closely by sanitation nightmares. Ox carts, scooters, runaway buses, dogs, cows, diesel semis, and speeding cars all working incessantly toward sharing as little of the road as they can get away with while driving as fast as possible. Colorful clothes, inquisitive children and lots of people with laughter in their eyes.

    A couple of hours at the bird sanctuary this afternoon netted about 40 bird identifications. The four of us had a wonderful time. Here's a link to a photo album that I put together on the experience.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/khicknZBQ3jXnHd8A

    Tonight we eat late and hit the sack early. Our jetlag is not too bad all considering. I am a bit fatigued so I'll cut this short. Tomorrow we're off to Chand Baori stepwell.
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  • Day44

    Udaipur

    January 17 in India ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Udaipur is a sprawling city set in a beautiful landscape. A series of ridges surround lovely lakes. It is considered to be the most romantic city in all of India. It's the site of numerous films, one of which was the Roger Moore as James Bond film Octopussy. It is also notorious as one of the places on the planet that middle-aged women go to experience another culture and let their hair down. We enjoyed our time here. Lovely sunsets and good food.

    Here's a link to a panoramic photo of the city. https://photos.app.goo.gl/BmyYQNENM7K6shw57

    We were able to take care of some business while we were here. Laundry, ATM, and a haircut. Nancy chatted with the proprietor while his son gave me a post haircut head massage.

    Later, as we were on one of our walks, we were commenting on how Sri Lanka and India are so similar in that it is hard to strike up a natural conversation that doesn't end in a pitch to visit a shop, or go to a cousin's restaurant, or see an art gallery, or get one's photo taken with a camel, or pay to have a prayer said by a priest, or be asked if we need a ride by a Tuk Tuk driver. In many places we've been in Rajasthan the barrage is almost constant. It has become another one of the things that we gird up for when leaving our hotel room; like seeing a person with a crippling malady begging, or copious amounts of trash, or incessant honking, or being cut off by pretty much anyone and everyone. Just as we'd reached the conclusion of our discussion, we walked by an older woman drying pappadam in the walkway of her home. She smiled and called out to us. Next thing we knew it we were being asked in for tea and biscuits. Her whole family joined us and we spent the better part of an hour talking politics, recipes, California, and family connections. It was great. India, if nothing else is a place of contradictions which shakes my convictions each time I come close to any sort of understanding.

    Here's a video from a wedding procession in the street below our hotel room this evening. https://photos.app.goo.gl/zb1gp6ext89FBzQw7

    Tomorrow we fly to Varanasi and some other new way of almost understanding...
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  • Day10

    Lake City - Udaipur

    November 28, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    The pollution has finally caught on and I have fully swollen glands. But I'm not going to let that stop us enjoying. We got up first thing ready for our long journey to Udaipur which actually did take a very long time. I fell asleep for most of the journey and woke up about 3pm...wups!

    We tried to go to a famous temple along the way but unfortunately it was closed till the evening. Then we visited the Palace Gardens which was a very welcomed break from not stopping for 4 hours. Then we just went straight to our hostel in Udaipur. Wow wow wow! Two friends from Udaipur worked, lived and travelled to various countries around the world and during their travels they came up with the idea of creating a hostel. They have a hostel in Goa which is in its 2nd year and then due to its success they decided to have one in Udaipur. They decided as its their home town they would buy a castle. And that they did! The hostel is in the grounds of the old Fort and has possibly one of the best views of the city. It's really beautiful. The ground of the hostel is humongous and there are just 4 of them working on it so I think it will take years! It's truly a beautiful sight though it would be amazing to come back when it's done. For now we are honoured to see it from the beginning.

    We went for a late lunch at Millets Mewar and had Bhindi Masala and Sev chhana daal and chapattis, which was really different from other dishes we've been having. We then Skyped with Will's parents before heading out again for more food. Seriously we haven't eaten all day and even though we don't feel hungry we are definitely both loosing weight so it's not good! We found a man on the street selling Pani Puri and then found a masala chai stall. So we sat, people watched and chatted with the locals. They recommended a cheap but fantastic thali restaurant so we couldn't not go. We were definitely full now!!

    We walked around the town at night for a bit before heading back to the hostel as it was beginning to get quite cold.

    The night was really cold. It dropped down to 13 degrees Celsius from 28, so it was quite a difference. I think I might have to wear all my clothes tomorrow night including a coat!
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  • Day11

    Venice of the East

    November 29, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Up I got and Will wasn't in the dorm room... Uh oh I've lost him again. Luckily he messaged me this time. He'd moved to an empty dorm due to a snorer in ours! As I was awake I decided to get up and shower. It was absolutely freezing! I couldn't get warm (even in the 26 degree heat) for hours!

    Although I've had a few moments of worry I've overall been enjoying my life of luxury in Rajasthan, but Will has been worrying the whole time. Maybe we should have taken the cheaper options of trains but meh it's done and there's nothing we can do. It's time to enjoy!!

    Today was a day of no travelling, to just enjoy the beautiful city of Udaipur. In the morning we sat on the rooftop for a while to enjoy the beautiful views from the hostel Fort. We then took our trousers and my backpack to a lovely old man for repair. He didn't care how much we gave him which was really sweet and then we had our morning Chai. Then it was time to sight see. We wandered around the town visiting various temples including the Jagdish temple which had prayers happening and we even bumped into some people we met in Pushkar which was nice. For lunch we had Kachori which is spinach and peas encased in a samosa like round casing. Yum. Will is doing amazingly well with the spicy food, I'm actually super impressed. Even if it might take him a while yo eat it he finishes every dish! I must admit I'm absolutely loving the food, I'm in heaven!

    In the afternoon we visited the City Palace which was beautiful and then a tibetan market where we had some shakes.

    Now the thing we've been waiting for the boat ride along Lake Pichola. A tip for anyone who comes here, go to the port near Natural View Restaurant. Here is the government run boat and for a sunset tour it is only Rs300 instead of Rs 600 which other companies charge. As we were a bit early we went to a cafe to get a cake as a trear and spoke to Simran the owner of the cafe who gave us some amazing tips for the rest of our travels in India. Finally it was time for the boat ride and finally we got to see the sunset in all its glory. It was so relaxing and really romantic. We were both finally fully relaxed and able to enjoy the luxury of the car. In the words of Will's mum "Just enjoy the luxury and it is the duty of the rich man to".

    After the boat ride we went to Natural View Restaurant which had an amazing view of the lake and sunset. We sat and drank mint tea and it couldn't have been more perfect. I'm so glad to see Will finally relaxed.

    We then rushed back to to the tailor to pick up our trousers and my backpack which needed fixing and the lovely old man did a fantastic job too!

    For dinner we went back for Thali (for those that don't know Thali is one of my fave things to have. It's a metal tray full of small dishes of Dhal, Aloo Gobi, Raita, Rice, Chapattis and Papad). Its delicious! My funniest moment of the day happened over dinner. I forgot to ask for Will's Thali to be a bit less spicy as he wasn't feeling well. Half way through the dinner Will said jeeze I just can't cope with the spiciness of this Papad. Papad is a papaddom!! It's possibly the plainest thing on the Thali 😂

    After dinner wandered to HatiPole Market which is clearly where all the locals really dine! What a shame we had already eaten! They had some amazing looking street food and although full I could not resist a Gulab Jamun. According to Will it is the Indian version of Treacle Tart without the tart and for me and in fact most Indians its a memory of childhood.

    A perfect day of finally eating 3 meals in a day and seeing the beautiful sights and views of Udaipur.
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  • Day12

    Peace And Quiet - Ranakpur

    November 30, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Ajay has recommended that we go to Ranakpur for 2 days of peace and quiet in the mountains. So we got up, had one last look at our gorgeous view from the castle, picked up some somosas for breakfast and off we went in the car. Will has been getting really bad stomach cramps again in the last couple of days so I'm really hoping some R&R will get him back to normal.

    The journey was really lovely through the mountains, seeing the locals and watching everyone get on with their daily lives. The best part was that I could feel it becoming more peaceful. I was excited to arrive and when we did I was even more excited. We arrived just before lunch so we checked in, did a quick wash and then headed out in the car to see the Jain Temple. If I'm honest I have done zero research about Ranakpur and just went along with whatever Ajay recommended. Wow wow wow, I wasn't expecting the spectacle that I saw. Firstly it was enormous, I was expecting a small one room temple and its was just stunning both in its surroundings and the temple itself. We must have been there for about 2 hours around the temple, its outer temples and the grounds. It was really lovely. The only problem once again was all the disrespectful Chinese tourists who were screaming for each other around the temple. I had to shush them at one point as it was just crazy. Luckily I was able to find a lot of hidden corners for peace and quiet.

    We then visited the sun temple which was very small compared but with no one apart from us there, which was really nice. I sat in the prayer room and listened to the world around me. The rustle of trees in the wind, all sorts of birds chirping, bliss.

    Our final stop was to see the big lake full of crocodiles! A local boy at the hotel took us along a dry and baron path to the lake. As Monsoon didn't hit Rajasthan all the mountains are duty baron mounds. The lake was really low of water but this meant you could see the crocodiles in all their glory. We only saw a couple but were told there are thousands in just that one lake! We sat, bird watched and just enjoyed the sunset. There are so many different types of birds in India its so fun to just sit with the binoculars and spot the exotic birds. After a while the boy had to go back so we tipped him and let him go without us in hope we will be fine finding our way back and we did 😊 I must admit I was a bit worried about walking back as there are leopards, grey langurs, buffalo's, sloth bears, cobras and much much more.

    When we got back to the hotel Ajay was sat waiting for us in his car in the car park. He waved us over and said it's whiskey time. Haha it was so funny, we all jumped in the car, Ajay asked one of the boy waiters to bring some glasses and we sat enjoying the local whiskey. I don't actually like whiskey but this was a super smooth, white whiskey. It was yummy! First we tried it with lemonade and then with lime and soda. Ajay was using the front seat as his little bar, it was fun. He even brought us papad and snacks! We soon finished 4 little bottles of whiskey and realised it was very strong so insisted we have dinner! After dinner Will was feeling really ill again, I don't think the alcohol helped but he had a horrific fever and bad stomach. So we went to bed and drugged him up.
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  • Day13

    Can we stay here?

    December 1, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    It's so peaceful here! Sure there were dogs barking at night but hey we can't have it all! Not waking up to constant beeping and call to prayer was just luxury. But.. Will really wasn't feeling very well and unfortunately had quite an unsettled sleep with his fever, so we had a lie in for once and stayed in bed till about 9am. We then got up and went for a little walk around the dam and found a trail. We'll obviously we had to follow it and that we did! It took us to a really small lake, normally it would have been huge, where we sat, meditated, bird watched and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Realising it was quite late we walked back as I'm sure Ajay thought we would only be half an hour. We've definitely been gone two!

    When we got back Will was feeling worse so we just chilled out as we weren't sure where Ajay had gone. We had only eaten a banana and orange today so we had a quick stuffed paratha to settle our rumbling stomachs and then around 4pm another guest Iver took us on a little hike around the lakes and villages and up a small hill to watch sunset. We saw a couple of King Fishers including the Indian Blue Kingfisher and a black and white kingfisher and we saw plum headed parakeets. It was really beautiful and so peaceful.

    In the evening, as Will wasn't feeling very well still, we decided it was a day to have our traditional pizza night. Even though we were in the middle of nowhere and it wasn't very touristic there was a local pizzeria with a clay oven. The pizza was really yummy, but all of a sudden Will got really ill. He's had a really bad fever, stomach cramps and is now having acid flux. We rang Ajay and he came to the rescue and picked us up. Will's hands were freezing. It was a bit chilly but with my coat I was snuggly so I began to get worried. I got lots of hot water and lots of blankets, we watched a bit of friends, he took night nurse and fell asleep. Unfortunately at about 2am he woke up really ill again so we topped up on medicine and all I could do was warm him with my body heat as he was just so cold. He soo fell asleep again and was fine till the morning. I think it'll be a doctors visit tomorrow.
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  • Day15

    Our First Desert - Khuri

    December 3, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Today is going to be super exciting! We are having our very first desert experience. We are off to Jaisalmer were we will ride a camel into the desert and then decide whether we want to camp underneath the stars or stay in a hut (it's supposed to be absolutely freezing at night and they don't provide proper warmth, so we will decide later!).

    After very little sleep (attempting to sleep in any of these city's seems near impossible, it's just so loud throughout the night) we got up, had a chai and aloo paratha and then headed off on our next adventure. Oh and an update on Will, his temperature is back to normal and his tummy is on the mend too. Phew!

    For about 5 hours the journey was a single road, with barely any sign of the living. There were a few trees dotted around, the odd herd of cattle or goats, a wind farm but that's it. As far as the eye could see was dry, sandy desert land with maybe an hand full of people along the way.

    It's been a really odd feeling being away at this time of year. I've seen so many posts about Christmas, advent and that wintery feeling and although we have felt cold in parts there isn't a single feeling of Christmas. Especially now that we are in a desert!

    When we arrived at our resort we were able to have a little rest before our camel ride. The last time I was on the back of an animal was when I rode a horse in the mountains of India 19 years ago. Now I must admit there is a reason I haven't done anything like it since, it was terrifying. I had an absolutely barking mad horse that would just keep rearing. So let's just say I was feeling nervous. At 4pm we all came out and each got on our camels. Eeek!! Getting up on top of the camel was fine, but when the camel stood it did make me squeal a bit inside. After a couple of minutes I soon got used to it and maybe because I'm used to being thrown around as the 3rd person on a scooter was why I felt much more comfortable than expected. It was a really fun experience. Now, is this cruel for the camels I'm not sure. So apologies to all my anti animal cruelty friends out there and I wouldn't do it again but it was pretty fun. I've never done anything like this before and it was just super exciting, romantic and just amazing. The camels took us to to the top of the sand dunes where we watched the most beautiful sunset and then we rode back. Wow the temperature difference was crazy. At one point it was 30 degrees and then all of a sudden it must have gone down to 12!

    In the evening we were showered in entertainment from the classical musicians, the dancer, a huge fire pit and ate from their buffet. It was good fun!!

    Once it started to quieten down a few of us chose to camp under the stars in the desert so off we went in a jeep to our romantic spot. I was worried about being cold and I shouldn't have. They had humongous multiple layered thick blankets that they laid outside the tent for us to lie under the stars on. Unfortunately there were a few lights around so it wasn't perfect but it was truly a spectacular night under the stars until we decided to get into our tents.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Rājasthān, State of Rajasthan, Rajasthan, راجستان, ৰাজস্থান, Раджастхан, Раджастан, राजस्थान, রাজস্থান, Rádžasthán, Racastan, ރާޖަސްތާން, Ρατζαστάν, Raĝastano, Rajastán, Rajastan, રાજસ્થાન, ראגסטאן, Radźastan, Rádzsasztán, ラージャスターン州, რაჯასტანი, ರಾಜಸ್ಥಾನ, 라자스탄 주, Rajasthana, Radžasthanas, Rādžastāna, Раџастан, രാജസ്ഥാൻ, ରାଜସ୍ଥାନ, ਰਾਜਸਥਾਨ, Radżastan, راجستھان, Rajastão, राजस्थानराज्यम्, Radžastan, இராசத்தான், రాజస్థాన్, Роҷистон, รัฐราชสถาน, Rojasthon, ראדזשאסטהאן, 拉贾斯坦邦

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