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Friday, 22 January 2010

Rajasthan and the ‘Golden Triangle’ - Page 6

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.

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 also went on the boat ride to Jag Mandir Palace. I actually liked the boat ride better than the palace, because we passed women in colorful sari’s doing laundry on the waterfront and got to see the City Palace from the lake which is worth it. Jag Mandir itself though isn’t a place to spend a lot of time since most areas are off limits to non guests (there is another very expensive hotel here) and there’s only so long you can wander around the courtyard or the garden, after 15 minutes we were itching to get the next boat back. You could choose to skip this and just take a joy boat ride around the lake from many docks (sometimes at sunset).

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 BoltonNext, we went to an artist village on the outskirts of the city called Shilpgram. While not a place many people go, it was recommended to us by another traveler who really liked it and we left feeling the same. Shilpgram is basically a representation of what houses and culture are like in four different Indian states: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, and Maharashtra. They have typical houses built that farmers, fisherman, businessmen, etc would live in with the usual materials of the area whether it is wood, mud, or thatch. They also have folk dances, puppet shows, or music from each of the areas by very good performers.

 

 

 

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 took a camel ride around the place and the Rajasthani camel driver was very kind and explained about each house to us in his limited English. Riding the camel around was fun; we sashayed easily back and forth as it walked. We got off many times to see the various things; you really have to hold on when the camel sits down, though, as it brings its front legs down you catapult forward and then as its rear comes down you swing back, but by the end we’d got the hang of it. There are many artists here and some are quite good. We ended up buying some miniature paintings. Also, the prices they initially ask for are not extravagant, though there still is room for bargaining.

 

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

 

We went back to town in time for our massages— there are many places offering Ayurvedic massage in town and we’d booked at Ayurvedic Body Care. As usual, my partner’s massage therapist was pretty good while mine wasn’t that great, but at least I got a good facial out of it and found some new skin care products that I like: Biotique.

We’d made reservations for the best table at Jagat Niwas Palace for our last dinner. We sat in a window seat cross-legged at a low romantic table with a gorgeous lake view and magical classical Indian live musicians next to us. They played the Tamboura (string instrument) and Tabla (drums) as we ate delicious mutton in cashew nut sauce, vegetable curry, biriyani and naan. It was such a special night.

On our final morning we had a traditional Rajasthani breakfast (rice flakes with peas, onions, and pomegranate seeds) at our hotel and did a little shopping before Nirmal picked us up to drive us to the airport just outside Udaipur.

We left feeling we’d seen some of the best sights in the world, experienced an incredible culture, made some new friends, and even had time to relax. We’ll be back.

©Christina Kay Bolton


Details:

Tours and drivers: SITA: www.sita.in , email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Exchange Rate is approx. 46 Indian Rs per US dollar at press time, please check current rates.

Hotels:

Delhi: Metropolitan http://hotelmetdelhi.com/ , Room rates are quite high, but you can find specials on their website for around 7,000 Rs, or check skyauction.com where you can sometimes find rooms for around $100 US.

Agra: Dayal Lodge http://www.dayallodge.com/index.htm, 600-750 Rs per room.

Jaipur: Hotel Pearl Palace http://www.hotelpearlpalace.com/ , 300-1100 Rs per room.

Pushkar: Hotel Kishan Palace http://www.kishanpalacepushkar.com/ , $50-150 US depending if during camel fair or not.

Shahpura Bagh: http://www.shahpurabagh.com/, 5,000 -10,000 Rs per room inclusive of breakfast and activities.

Udaipur: http://jaiwanahaveli.com/ , 1,000 – 1,750 Rs per room.

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

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