Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So we (Liz, Laura and I) got on the sleeper bus in Udaipur and headed for Jodhpur. The sleeper bus was not nearly as restful as the train but at least the sleeper bus allowed us to lay flat. We arrived on the outskirts of Jodhpur at 4:00 in the morning and we were hurried off the bus onto a dark almost deserted road in a place we had never been. We hopped in the only Auto (auto-rickshaw) available and headed for the guesthouse we had booked. After some knocking and a phone call a kind, sleepy old woman opened the door for us and showed us in. We slept until 10am when we went up to the rooftop restaurant to see this!

The view of the Jodhpur Fort and "Blue City" from the rooftop restaurant of our our guesthouse
(I might have let out some expletives at the amazing sight since we had arrived in the pitch black and I had no idea what awaited me!)

We had breakfast on the roof and then headed through the blue streets up the hill to the fort. Although we tried to resist the audio-tour of the fort it proved to be really well done and very informative. Since it was included in the foreigners ticket price, what could we do.

Just as you enter the gates of the fort you will see these hands. The wives of the Raja (King) dipped there hands in vermilion (red color) and left a print on this wall when they left the fort for the last time to jump onto there husbands burning funeral pyre.

The royal chamber of the fort.

Rajasthan is known for its miniature paintings. This one, exhibited inside the fort, reminded me of the artwork of my cousins Jake and Aaron.

The top of the fort offers amazing views of the "Blue City," but you really have to be there.

We made many unsolicited friends on the tour of the fort as well.

Many people thought Laura was Punjabi (can you tell which one is the videshi (foreigner))?

The temple on top of the fort.

We spent the rest of the day exploring Jodhpur and had one last meal on the rooftop of our guest house before heading to the train station to leave Jodhpur for Delhi less then 24 hours from the time we arrived.

I have to give a shout out to the Jodhpur train station. It is by far my favorite train station in India. I didn't want to ruin the mood by taking a picture, sorry. But it has a fantastic atmosphere. It is also featured in the movie Darjeeling Limited.

Thanks to Liz and Laura for some of the pictures.

Monday, February 2, 2009


After Christmas I met up with Liz (a SALTER cum Service Worker) and Laura (a SALTER) to start are adventures in Rajasthan. We took an overnight train to our first stop, Udaipur, which is known as the "Venice of India," "the Lake Palace City" and some even say "the most beautiful city in India." In any case it lived up to our expectations and some of us may have even had the best days of our lives.

View from the rooftop of our guest house.

Groggy and tired from the cold night in sleeper class on the train we recuperated on the rooftop with a cup of chai and the sunrise before exploring the city.

Our guest house also offered an amazing view of the Lake Palace that Udaipur is famous for.

This is Liz doing one of the things she is usually doing (buying bananas, thinking about buying bananas, eating bananas or carrying large bunches of bananas).

And here is Laura doing one of the things she enjoys (Drinking tea or coffee)

We spent the next two days exploring the city and admiring the miniature paintings that Udaipur is also known for. View from the City Palace

Basically every hotel has a rooftop restaurant and most show the James Bond movie Octopusy every night. (Apparently part of the movie was filmed in Udaipur)

After heading over to the Ghat to shanti-out and accidentally making some friends...

...we attended a cultural program at the museum where we enjoined Rajasthani dancing, puppetering and even a woman dancing with 14 pots balanced her head.

Then off to yet another rooftop restaurant for dinner.

Lake Palace at night.

The next day we took an Auto-rickshaw all the way up the mountain to the Monsoon Palace built on a cliff overlooking the city.

We watched the sunset from the Monsoon Palace before catching our overnight bus to Jodhpur "the Blue city."

Thanks to Liz and Laura for the photo contributions.