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Friday, 22 January 2010

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’ - Page 4

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’ are exotic and amazing; its forts, palaces, natural wonders, culture and cuisine entice you at the same time that its poverty and pollution repulse you. All its contrasts create a vivid impression and an elixir for living vibrantly.

Jaipur

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay BoltonWe arrived at Jaipur, ‘The Pink City’, in early evening to find a clean, modern, well-kept city. There was not the typical trash strewn on the sides of the road here and the air was relatively clear and clean. We felt optimistic just at being in a clean place after Agra. We checked into Hotel Pearl Palace and it was very nicely decorated with all kinds of Rajasthani art like textiles & puppets, intricately painted ceilings, and nice furniture. It was also very clean, had a friendly staff, and a silver shop with fair prices and no haggling. Our favorite part was its rooftop restaurant filled with plants that had very good fresh food. It took a little while to get each order, but the smell of ginger being grated and onions simmering wafted out of the kitchen and made the wait worthwhile. We ate here both nights of our stay as well as our breakfasts. The problem we had here was sleeping, not because of street noise, but because the AC unit in our room was so loud, so maybe test the AC units before you choose your room.

 

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay Bolton

 

In the morning, we stopped at Jaipur’s famous Hawa Mahal—the ultimate pink sandstone landmark on the way to Amer Fort, which is really spectacular. Most people ride elephants up the hill to the fort, but the line was over an hour long, so we just walked up. This fort is of a different style than the one at Agra—it’s more focused on elaborate paintings than Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay Boltoninlaid stones and it also has a large area of mosaic with inlaid mirrors. It was the best restored fort we saw and like all the forts we went to, goes on endlessly. Beware of the hackers that surround you as you leave, they sell things for many times the actual cost. If you are interested in buying anything, it’s safe to offer them about 1/10th the price they initially ask for, but you’re better off just waiting until you’re in town to avoid the hassle.

 

We made a quick stop at the Astronomical Observatory, which was preserved much better than Delhi’s and then went to The City Palace Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay Boltonwhich was incredible. It has a tapestry museum, an armory, and a beautiful palace in the center with a huge chandelier and two immense silver pots which were used to carry water from the Ganges River for the Maharaja. They are still the largest silver objects in the world. There is much to see here so you should devote at least three hours to explore.

 

 

 

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay BoltonIn Jaipur you really get the idea that whoever is in charge of tourism is making the right decisions with beautifully restored monuments, a clean city, and a good infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay Bolton

 

Pushkar

We drove to Pushkar the next morning to see its famous camel fair for one night. The road was good to begin with and then turned into a crowded one lane road as we got closer. We stayed at Hotel Kishan Palace which was run by brothers Kuldeep and Gajendra Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay BoltonSingh who were helpful and friendly. The room was clean and well decorated and the restaurant has nice round seating areas that offered a view over the city. The downsides were the smell of mothballs in the bathroom and tiny rolls of toilet paper, but the hospitality of these brothers made up for that.

 

 

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay BoltonPushkar was a mixed bag. It is a great place to take pictures during the camel fair. It’s also a pilgrimage site because it contains the lone Brahma temple in India and the small town surrounds a lake that is considered holy. Unfortunately, when we were there the lake was empty due to a fairly dry rainy season, so there was only a little water in the ghats (baths) surrounding it. We walked around the lake area and there were many sadhu’s (holy men) in their white or saffron robes from all over India and shopkeepers that kept trying to give us marigolds to put in the ghats as a blessing. We decided to try it after they assured us there was no money involved and were taught an elaborate yet quick ritual which ended in them tying a blessing cord around our wrists and asking for a donation for charity. We did go over and give our ‘donation’ (though it’s unclear if it actually made it to said charity) and started to leave when they came and asked my fiancé for another ‘donation’. We said that mine was for both of us and their demeanor changed from ‘spiritual’ to angry pretty quickly as they shouted after us, “Karma is not shared.”

We got to the dusty fairgrounds where the camels, horses, and tents were and people approached us about camel rides and camel carts to take us all over the large fairgrounds. While speaking to one owner, my fiancé was standing too close to a camel and it suddenly swiped down and tried to bite the top of his head! Fortunately, all it got was his ugly tourist sunhat we’d picked up in Jaipur the previous day. Still, the day didn’t seem Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’, travel Golden Triangle, travel Rajasthan, SITA India, travel india, Shapura Bagh, Jaipur, Pushkar, Shapura, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Jama Masjid Mosque, Red Fort, New Delhi, Humayan’s Tomb, Astronomical Observatory, Qutab Minar, Baha’i Lotus Temple, ISKON, Gandi Raj, Akshardham, Banana Leaf, Taj Mahal, Dayal Lodge, Bikaner Mela, Agra Fort, Fatepur Sikri, Hotel Pearl Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jaipur City Palace, Hotel Kishan Palace, Pushkar fair, Jaiwana Haveli, Udaipur City Palace Museum, Jag Mandir Palace, Shilpgram, Jagat Niwas Palace, Christina Kay Boltonto be going too well so we skipped our walk around the fairgrounds and just went to the main stadium to watch some camel races then slowly headed back to our hotel, stopping at a number of shops along the way.


We dined on lentil soup, eggplant with spinach, jeera rice and naan which was all quite good. Our hotel’s restaurant also shows Bollywood movies at night if you like those. Though it was not as noisy as downtown, during the camel fair there is drumming and activity all night long in Pushkar, so don’t expect to sleep too soundly.

(Page 4 of 6)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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