A Travellerspoint blog

In Udaipur

Colds seize us all

sunny 28 °C

Jeni had just about finished with her cold and now it time for our colds to get into full swing. I decided to take the morning off to help recovery. At lunchtime I joined Dee and Jeni at the lakeside terrace of the Lake Pichola Hotel, had a Russian Salad and a Marsala Chai, enjoyed the great lake views and by the time we got back to our hotel I was feeling much better. In the evening we all went to the beautiful lakeside garden of the Amet Haveli and once again had great lake views

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Posted by kforge 03:23 Archived in India Comments (0)

Pushkar to Udaipur

via Ranakpur Jain Temple

sunny 25 °C

Our van did arrive and looked pretty good. The driver spoke very good English and all seemed well - then the driver told us we only had him for one day and would get yet another driver in Udaipur. Had someone told us just how bad and just how slow the road was (ie Emma Horne Travel) then we definitely wouldn't have gone here

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Checked into the Udai Kothi Hotel at around 6:30pm after another transport debacle

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Posted by kforge 07:10 Archived in India Comments (1)

Jaipur Forts

Nahagarh, Jaigarh and Amber

Sunday was a rest day except for Jeni who went to the festival

For Monday's excursion to the forts around Jaipur we were supposed get the van that we would be have for the big trip. Instead they sent us a van that we wouldn't have the the trip - it was OK but not a recent model. However the driver was good and we were soon out of the city, climbing the winding road to Nahagarh (Tiger) Fort in it's in a wonderful setting among the hills, high (and steeply) above Jaipur.

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A fort from around the 11th century, Madho Singh II added a palace for his nine queens in the 18th century; we were given an impromptu tour of the rooms but apart from a few painted, plaster walls there was not much to see. There was also an enormous step-well, literally a huge well/dam with a great flights of steps leading down to the water on three sides

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From there it was a short drive to Jaigarh Fort which stretches 3km along a ridge directly above the Amber Fort (which itself is enormous) - a fort guarding a fort!

Within the fort is of the world's few remaining canon foundries and on display is the world's largest wheeled cannon, cast in 1726 with a 6-metre barrel; it was fired only once during testing

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Most of the place area was pretty uninteresting apart from an exceptional walled-garden that we could see from the ramparts as we walked around - no-one was allowed in without special permission and sure enough there was no-one in there. Somehow, Greg persuaded a palace official to let us in - just for 2 or 3 minutes and it really was stunning

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When we arrived in Amber, the traffic was absolute bedlam and after sitting in traffic for 30 minutes (and this is a tiny, horrible village), we were informed by our driver that he wasn't allowed to drive up to the fort and that the walk up took 1/2 an hour; we were running out of time and the only other way up was by jeep. We paid our 350 Rupees for the jeep ride and of course, it took about 30 minutes to get up there. By this time we only had 1 hour left, so we decided just to look around the first courtyard and not bother with anything else. Perhaps, it would be more pleasant early in the day but I doubt it and would not recommend going there. The first two forts had been a delight and were not crowded with hardly a foreign tourist to be seen

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On the way back to Jaipur we stopped for a few minutes beside the Sagar Lake to see the Jai Mahal (water palace) and stroll along the promenade among hundreds of India Day visitors. The promenade was pretty clean, the lake looked OK but the fenced, 3-metre shoreline was covered in tons of rubbish

Posted by kforge 02:17 Archived in India Comments (0)

In Jaipur

Health Day

sunny 22 °C

To try and give our lungs some respite from the awful pollution, we all decided to stay in the hotel and do nothing today - all except Jeni who took yet another tuk-tuk ride to the festival and has now developed a nasty cough

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Posted by kforge 02:06 Archived in India Comments (0)

Pushkar

sunny 23 °C

Not a great start to our mini-tour of Rajasthan. We had been promised a recent 9-seater van by Emma Horn Travel (by Emma herself and by Moumita) but the thing that arrived was old and it seemed the driver did not speak English very well. We reluctantly set off down the road by after just a couple of kilometers, it was obvious that the bus really was terrible and that the driver really didn't speak English. Back we went to the hotel and after an hour of heated telephone calls, the best they could come up with was to provide 2 Toyota Innova MVPs down to Puskar when we would be met the following day by a "good" van which was being driven up to us from Udaipur!

Because of all the problems getting a decent van, we arrived in at our hotel The Aarum Baag later than we hoped but we still had time to drive the 8km down to Pushkar town and spend a very nice hour in a lakeside hotel overlooking the palaces and ghats

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Do have a look at the Aarum Baag link; it's a totally bizarre place but we all had a very good stay

The drive from Jaipur to Pushkar was completely uninspiring, pretty much all the way on a very good motorway

Posted by kforge 08:41 Archived in India Comments (1)

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