Exploring Rajasthan, India

17 05 2009

Travelling through India can at times feel like a whirlwind. For the past week, we’ve been in “travel mode” – every day, it’s a new city. Every night, it’s back on the bus or a train or whatever mode of transportation is available to take us to the next destination.

Since over the course of the last four months, I’ve primarily spent large chunks of time stationed in specific locations, we decided to take a different approach this month and visit as many different places as possible. It’s not always the ideal form of travel, as I think you get to know a place much better when you stay there for a month or two, but it certainly keeps things dynamic and interesting.

Since the distances are far (and we are cheap), we structured our itinerary in a way that allows us to spend most nights travelling, while arriving to our destinations by morning.  India is known for its excellent network of railroads, which are commonly used by the locals (and tourists) to travel across the country. And when the trains are not available, there is also the option of using one of the most unique modes of transportation I’ve even been on – sleeper bus. They are just plain brilliant! From the outside, they may look like a regular coach bus, but inside, there are sleeper bunks within self-enclosed containers. It’s almost as if you have your own room on a bus separated either by a curtain or a sliding door. Not for claustrophobics, though. 

The buses are wonderful - especially if you travel with a friend. Otherwise, expect to share a bed with a stranger :)

The buses are wonderful - especially if you travel with a friend. Otherwise, expect to share a bed with a stranger🙂

People waiting for trains at a station.

People waiting for trains at a station.

Below are the top pictures from the last week travels:

 13 Photos from Rajasthan – Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer

Rajasthan is known for its extravagant palaces and temples. This palace is still occupied by its king, although a portion of it has been "pimped" out as a hotel.

Rajasthan is known for its extravagant palaces and temples. This lake palace is still occupied by its king, although a portion of it has been "pimped" out as a hotel.

This royal residence has been built as a part of a famine relief effort by the local maharaja (king). 3,000 men spent 15 years building it. Nice act of philanthropy, eh?

This royal residence has been built as a part of a famine relief effort by the local maharaja (king). 3,000 men spent 15 years building it. Nice act of philanthropy, eh?

After a long day of exploring, nothing beats climbing a hill and enjoying the city views at sunset.

After a long day of exploring, nothing beats climbing a hill and enjoying the city views at sunset.

Tolik is not satisfied with simply climbing the hill...

Tolik is not satisfied with simply climbing the hill...

As the sun comes down, the locals come out on the roof to welcome the relief from the heat. Slowly, but surely, every roof is occupied with activity.

As the sun comes down, the locals come out on the roof to welcome the relief from the heat. Slowly, but surely, every roof is occupied with activity.

I wonder if the "cyber" cafes were popular in the 12th century when the fort was built.

I wonder if the "cyber" cafes were popular in the 12th century when the fort was built.

Exploring the local markets is always a joy because you never know what you're going to find. We can only hope that the boxes were empty :)

Exploring the local markets is always a joy because you never know what you're going to find. We can only hope that the boxes were empty🙂

Since it's the off-season and there aren't a lot of tourists, we wind up attracting a lot of attention from the locals (although we try to fit in!). Sometimes, when every 2nd  person says Hello to you, it's difficult to tell apart between genuine friendliness or trying to get you to buy something. But quite often, people really do seem just happy to say Hello... and ask for a picture.

Since it's the off-season and there aren't a lot of tourists, we wind up attracting a lot of attention from the locals. Sometimes, when every 2nd person says Hello to you, it's difficult to tell apart between genuine friendliness or trying to get you to buy something. But quite often, people really do seem just happy to say Hello and ask for a picture.

Cows are very common on the streets of villages and even cities. They wander around unwatched, enjoying their freedom and high status in the society, causing occasional traffic jams and potential “dung” mines on the road. But all in all, they are pretty laid back and relaxed.

Cows are very common on the streets of villages and even cities. They wander around unwatched, enjoying their freedom and high status in the society, causing occasional traffic jams and potential “dung” mines on the road. But all in all, they are pretty laid back and relaxed.

As you wonder around the small cities, you get to watch in on many various rituals that take place. Whether it's a morning prayer or a ritual asking the gods to bring children to the family, they would not be complete without a musical soundtrack.

As you wonder around the small cities, you get to watch in on many various rituals that take place. Whether it's a morning prayer or a ritual asking the gods to bring children to the family, they would not be complete without a musical soundtrack.

A short drive from Jaisalmer, you have the desert dunes begin.

A short drive from Jaisalmer, you have the desert dunes begin.

We skipped the camels and decided to take our chances on foot.

We skipped the camels and decided to take our chances on foot.

When the heat got too strong, Tolik decided to wrap himself in a foil blanket to stay cool. Good idea in theory... not so much in practice.

When the heat got too strong, Tolik decided to wrap himself in a foil blanket to stay cool. Good idea in theory... not so much in practice.

OK, wish I had time to post more, but we got to run to the train station to figure out where we’re going to next! More to come!


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One response

17 05 2009
Andrey

Nice hats guys😉 You two look like Indiana Jones’

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