Incredible Northern India
March 14th - March 26th, 2012
 



March 22nd, 2012

Our drive to Jodhpur was full of things to see along the way. The countryside was quickly becoming very dry and almost desert like. The highway was quite busy with trucks in bright colours and all had these black tassles protecting them from evil blowing in the wind as they drove. Smaller trucks were full of people going somewhere and when they saw us most waved. Going through a few of the villages made you wonder how all the cattle and dogs wandering survive but I am sure that there is someone watching out over them. There is a religion that looks after the stray cattle by feeding them food rather than them eating plastic.

We see a male blackbuck with tremendous long curled horns and a small herd of blue bull antelope – the females.

We make a lunch stop at Nimaj Palace in Nimaj and get dropped off on a main street of this village to walk down a road with brightly coloured houses and shops on either side and many faces staring at us. We are all used to the stares now and smile as we pass people. Some want their pictures taken as we ask permission. It is really a wonderful experience. The buildings in wild colours of shocking pink, lavender, blue and fuchsia are in stark contrast to the surroundings….a picture to remember for sure…the ladies in equally bright colours and the men wearing turbans in bright mixes of colour. Then we arrived at our restaurant. This was an old building that was turned into a hotel and their renovations were fantastic. The ceilings and walls had all been hand painted in bright flowers, people and strips of colour. Pure magic! We sat at a long table sipping our drinks while the fan turned above us…happy at being in this cool room. Then came lunch and soon we were on our way again. Back down the street that was much quieter now as it seemed they were all taking a siesta in the heat of the day. But there is a lady sitting on a step with a very young child. The child looks at us and starts crying. We wonder why. Perhaps she has never seen white people with white hair before….pretty scary or ghostly? All the children have black soot around their eyes protecting them from the evil eye.

We pass a pilgrimage along the highway. All men and many carrying wooden pitchforks that looked brand new. We ask what this is about and find out that they are all on their way to a temple to ask for blessings on next years crops. Such faith they have as they have walked miles to get there. Such hope they have that their needs will be met.

Fields are still being harvested with many doing it by hand. Such hard work gathering lentils and wheat. Hand thrashing the lentils to leave the stalks tied in bundles. Wheat cut and tied and you can see some machines separating the grain in a wash of dust.

Further down this same highway we come to hills and mini mountains full of the strangest looking rocks we have ever seen. Kind of like grey ice cream with scoops taken out of them. Smooth rock mostly but there are others at the tops of higher hills standing in peaks. With the grey rocks and the brown dry sand we feel in another world. Trees are showing colours as well. Bright orange flowers standing proudly against all this background…again pure magic.

Jodhpur, A valiant sentinel in the desert, on the eastern fringe of the Thar Desert, it has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar Desert nor out of it. At best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. It is the home of the Rathors - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan, who conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.

In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stonewall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10 km in length and has eight gates facing various directions. Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! and dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort.

Our hotel, the Taj Hari Mahal is in lush, landscaped gardens. This palace of the 21st century offers luxurious refinement. With its Marwar style architecture and Moghul-inspired domes, enameled murals, slender columns, and grand interiors, this is design that lives up to the fantasy.

 

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
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