Jewels of Northern India Tour 2014
February 19th - March 3rd, 2014



This morning after breakfast we leave for Jodhpur. It will be a day to sit back and relax as we travel by coach through the countryside. This is a wonderful way to see it. We will stop in route for lunch and continue on driving until we reach Jodhpur. From the tour in 2012 ‘ 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 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.
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. The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year. It is also referred to as the "Blue City" due to the blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort.

Taj Hari Mahal Hotel
Spread over six acres of 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. Located close to the city markets, nearby guests can find much to see and experience. Swimming Pool and Spa. On the 2012 GOLD List by Conde Naste


DSC07571 - 7605