Rajasthan: Jaisalmer, deserts and camel safaris

jaisalmer

 

When we arrived, Kul took us to our hotel to drop our bags. The place was clean, but bland and soul-less. A standard non-descript budget hotel.

There were three twin -sized beds spaced out in the room. Lame.

I gave up my bed to Kul and decided to stay with Regina, instead. She wasn’t officially on the tour and only paying for the driver, so she had our original reservation booking at Shahi Palace. Sure, I’d spend a night paying for an extra hotel, while Margaret and Dan stayed at the hotel the tour had booked; but I really liked what I’d seen in Shahi’s website pictures. I had a good feeling about them from my correspondences too (more…)

VIDEO: Worshipping rats at the Karni Mata Rat Temple , Bikaner India


Karni Mata ”Rat Temple”, Deshnok, India  (watch 2 min video above)

Who else can say they got a chance to walk barefoot over sacred rat pee and poop?

It’s customary to remove your shoes, when entering a temple in India and at the Karni Marta Rat Temple in Deshnok (a little outside the desert town of Bikaner), as uneasy as it was, I had no option but do so.  Karni Mata (‘mata’ aka mother) is a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Durga, and she’s also known as the ‘Rat Goddess’. She is the overseeing deity of this temple, where you’ll witness millions of rats nest and occupy free reign. Some rats nestle (more…)

Top 5 Things to do in Jaipur and the Dangers of Driving on an Indian Highway


Jaipur’s Red Fort

 

What is there to see in Jaipur’s Pink City?

In Jaipur, “the Pink City”, is the once capital of Rajasthan and home of maharajas and Rajput Royals.  It got its nickname due to its coral sand architecture. Today, elephants are more of the preoccupation for me.

Our sightseeing itinerary took us to all the well-oiled tourist joints. Can you blow through Jaipur in a day?

Apparently.

 

1.  Visit the historical sites

We hiked up to the Red Fort, then visited the Hawa Mahal (aka “Palace of the Winds”), which stood a block long and covers part of the City Palace, but is almost literally a like a movie set facade. There’s no real back to the front.  After doing the historical tour of Jaipur, we were whisked (more…)

Drive by shootings in Rajasthan: Driving in India under a blaze from Delhi to Jaipur

road rules india

 

Seeing the Rajasthan region through a plate of glass while flying itinerary-speed across the highway is a blur. It’s as romantic as the music in our  driver, Kul’s car.

Drive by shootings in India : wishing I took the train

So you didn’t know India has drive by shootings? Well, it all depends on your ride and style of travel.

Our itinerary will be like a race. For photography, it meant doing drive by shoots. Bang-bang-bang-bang…

Delhi- Jaipur- Bikaner- Deshnok- Bikaner – Jaisalmer- Jodhpur !

We’ll be blowing through Rajasthan in a little under a week. It’s crazy. But that’s our schedule. It’s so that we can squeeze in some time in Nepal.

The desert landscape and passing villages are a blur and while I am excited about the newness of this all, I DO spend half of the time sleeping sandwiched between another body and the door, with my ass pinched tight into the back of a little Tata car.

Shitty idea to take this tour. I can’t help but feel annoyance and regret for not having voiced my dislike in a stronger way. It grates on me. Lesson learned.

No one wants to outright admit it for fear of feeling stupid, but we’ve been scammed into taking an Indian tour we didn’t want or need. We bought a tour from one of those scam tour agencies you read about in traveler forums. Having a driver was supposed to lend more time and freedom to our sightseeing. It doesn’t feel that way. Four people in a small Tata car is not comfortable. Myself, Regina and Dan (the biggest and tallest of the group) co-mingle sweat in a cramped backseat, while tiny Margaret assigns the luxury of the front seat with the air-conditioner. Time and freedom was Margaret and Dan’s push for the tour package over the local trains we planned to take. No freedom. No breathing room to roam.

Time? It’s been hours and I’ve been my ass has been welded one position. Why don’t we rotate? No one speaks up. I infuriate myself further by not speaking up… a truly useless Asian habit.

Don’t ask me the logic…

Either way, Margaret is Kul’s favorite, so it feels a little safe to keep her there, as we don’t know if Kul is trustworthy or if he’ll be the future aid to more scams . I certainly don’t trust him right now.

Drive by India

North Indian highways have all types of traffic

Rajasthan, being Northern India, is shrouded mostly in desert.

Sand, dry heat, arid landscape,  farming … and camels.

The Indian highway is more interesting than western highways. There doesn’t seem to be any rules as to what can be on it. Bicycles, farm carts and (more…)

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5 Top Historical Sites to Visit in Delhi

Top 5 Places to Visit in Delhi

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Getting Scammed in Delhi

Day 2- Delhi. We are already suckered into taking a tour.

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Namaste Delhi! I can tell you’re gonna give me culture shock.

Arriving into India for the first time! Namaste Delhi!

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