October 30. Khumbalgarh-Pushkar.

On our way to the bus we walked a short distance through the village and the locals were friendly and interested.

The hotel close to Pushkar was really good. two-story buildings around a nice courtyard.

And of course it was a “band” in the evening.

 

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Kumbalgarh.

Kumbalgarh is a medival castle/fort on the top of a hill.DSCF2744

I sat and waited by the gate while the group climbed to the top. It was very crowded and I was clearly exotic, I don’t think I ever have been photographed so much before, and I also took pictures.

Before sunset we went on a place with a good view towards the castle and waited for 10000 lights to be turned on. And that was great.

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October 28. Udaipur-Sardargarh

We drove from Udaipur to Sardargarh and that was a rather short drive. We stopped on the way at a temple. I don’t remember the name, but the carvings were probably the most detailed I saw.

 

Sardargarh was another hotel based on an old mansion on  hilltop. We were welcomed by three sari-dressed women.DSCF2672

 

It was a beautiful place with lawns, flowers and decorations.

 

My room is in the corner in the last picture and I had a nice view over the flooded plain.

 

I was lucky enough to have a longer talk over a cup of coffee with the owner’s wife about the building and the reconstruction.DSCF2666

She told me it all started in 2004 when a wall suddenly collapsed. Then they had to decide what to do and they decided to upgrade. So far they had finished about one third of the castle and had a lot of new projects.

I met a couple of Australians and we went on a tour in the non-reconstructed part of the building and that was a strange experience. There were narrow stairs, small rooms, open verandas. But the view was great.

 

We had a good view to the rooftops in the village, and they are actually living rooms.

Fort Jaisalmer. October 22.-23.

Jaisalmer is a city in the middle of the Thar desert not far from the Pakistani border. The city is dominated by a fort built several hundred years ago. It is a huge collection of buildings and still is about a quarter of the city’s inhabitants living inside the fort’s walls.DSCF2179DSCF2202

The fort was a maze of “streets”, steps and buildings.DSCF2209DSCF2225DSCF2227

The view from the top was great.

The most impressive buildings we saw was a Jain temple with magnificent carvings.

I saw two signs that I think are interesting, even if they are about very different things.

Of course I also took pictures of people.

 

Gajner Palace Hotel, Bikaner.

Gajner Palace was mainly a hunting resort during the British rule. It is situated by lake Ganjer and consists of many buildings. One main building around a courtyard with the rooms. The restaurant was in a separate building and addition there are several pavilions and smaller buildings.DSCF2130DSCF2134DSCF2135

For the first time we experienced a “band” with musicians that performed traditional Rajasthan music and dance. They were always sitting on a carpet and seemed always to have 4-5 men and two women.DSCF2090

I was curious so I moved closer and was able to communicate with the women. I was even invited to join the rhythm section of the band, but that was no success. But I got close to them and was able to take some pictures of them.

As can be seen one dance was with jars balancing on the head and even standing on sharp knives. I can confirm they were very sharp as I tested them!

 

21. October, Mandawa-Bikaner.

The trip from Mandawa to Bikaner was not very interesting. the nature was quite monotonous. In Bikaner we visited the fort Junegarh, a big building complex. Through the history it has been attacked many times, but never conquered.

It was clearly a popular place to visit, and frankly I found the people more intersting than the fort.

The wealth of the owners was shown in decorations in addition the the size.

Haveli in Mandawa.

A haveli is a mansion  built by merchants and other rich people. They are often large and decorated to show status and wealth. Today they are often in decay, but some are well preserved. Mandawa has a number of these and we made a tour to visit  some of them and they were i different condition. Some pictures: (Some are from the hotel we stayed in)