Incredible Northern India
March 14th - March 26th, 2012
Mar 14, 2012
Mar 15, 2012
Mar 16, 2012
Mar 17, 2012
Mar 18, 2012
Mar 19, 2012
Mar 20, 2012
Mar 21, 2012
Mar 22, 2012
Mar 23, 2012
Mar 24, 2012
Mar 25, 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
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.