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Rajasthan (cont.)

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Day 4 - Jodhpur

 

The Mausoleum

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Our Home with the Jodhpur fort in the distance

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The fort

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Looking through the windows built for the ladies of the harem! 

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The stonework was beautiful, but we're not sure how well they could see through them.

 

 

ZE2G9257.jpgIMG_9182.jpg Milligan's day!

 

Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City.

ZE2G9165.jpg Most of the houses are painted blue since it's a color that bugs dislike.

 

Our Lunch Hotel

During the 1930s the Maharaja of Jodhpur built this palace as a public works project.  It is now a beautiful 5 star hotel, still run by the royal family.  In fact, we met the current maharaja's great-auntie while we were there!  She works as a greeter in the hotel, at the age of 91! 

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Day 5 a.m. - Sawai Madhopur   

(Ranthambhore National Park)

 

This is a national park set aside for tigers.  We arose at an unreasonably early hour, bundled ourselves in all the clothes we had (nobody warned us we needed winter clothes in India!).  Then we packed ourselves into our safari vehicles - open topped buses - in the pitch dark for a ride through the park in search of a tiger.  Our group was particularly lucky - we saw 7 tigers!!!  Ranging from "way off in the distance - see that speck" to between our car and another one 20m away.   

 

Mouse over this one, for some fun!  ZE2G9395.jpg

 

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A strangler fig, and a peacock pretending to be a pigeon! 

 

Some of the other wildlife and scenery in the park.

ZE2G9315.jpg ZE2G9317.jpg A stork silhouette

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Back at our rolling home.

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Day 5 midday - On the Way to Chittorgah

There were very few times when we could sit and look at India riding by.  This was one of them, and Yannis took full advantage of the opportunity! 

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Studying on the train

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Day 5 p.m. - Chittorgarh

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IMG_9296.jpg On the steps down from the building on the left is where a queen exposed her face to an invader who had laid siege to the castle for months in an effort to save the realm.  The invading king could only glance at her in a mirror mounted on the ceiling.  After seeing her, he was unable to keep this promise of breaking the siege of the castle, and a war resulted. 

IMG_9302.jpg IMG_9317.jpg The Victory Tower

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Outside of every temple to Shiva sits a cow.   Here's one. 

 

IMG_9315.jpg The castle walls. 

 

 

Udaipur

 

A Garden

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The garden through Anika's eyes. 

 

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Tea Time Again

This time we visited a famous art studio.  The artists range from apprentice to master and they all spent most of their lives replicating the great works found in the

city palace. 

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The Lake Palace

This is now a hotel, owned by the current Maharani of Udaipur, though it is leased out.  He owns several luxury hotels under the name of HRH. 

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The City Palace

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IMG_9400ca.jpg <<< mouse over this photo for some fun! 

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Around Town

ZE2G9563.jpg ZE2G9574.jpg local restaurant and shoe shop.

ZE2G9676.jpg ZE2G9687.jpg washer women

ZE2G9690.jpg ZE2G9702.jpg Coot running on the water! 

Elephant loading zone?

 

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Day 6 a.m. - Bharatpur

(Ghana Bird Sanctuary)

Once again, hustled out of bed before dawn.  This time we tour on rickshaw, leaving the kids behind to sleep.  It was freezing cold and this time there wasn't even a blanket!  The personnel on the train are all very disappointed in the bird sanctuary since the monsoons the last three years have been weak, and most of the pools within the park are dry.  Consequently, there are only 60 odd varieties of bird to be found in the park today, whereas 3 years ago there were over 200.  We were still enthralled, however...look at those storks!  And there was a fishing kingfisher, and great ducks and ibis and spoonbill.  The only complaints: (a) not enough time there and (b) poor lighting since it was an overcast morning.

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ZE2G9749.jpg ZE2G9769.jpg Saros Crane

ZE2G9795.jpg ZE2G9778.jpg Eurasian Spoonbill

Isn't the red debris on the water fascinating?  It looks like it's solid ground until you notice that the birds' legs are sunk in it.

 

ZE2G9815.jpg ZE2G9781.jpg Spoonbill and Grey Heron

ZE2G9813.jpg ZE2G9812.jpg Intermediate Egret and Black-headed Ibis

ZE2G9823.jpg ZE2G9811.jpg Common Kingfisher, Blue Bull Antelope

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?                                                                                                   Spot-billed Duck                                        Black shouldered kite (?)

 

Agra

 

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built for Mumtaj Mahal, the favorite wife of Shah Jahan, the mogul ruler of what is now India, Pakistan and large parts of Afghanistan.  He was the last religiously tolerant Muslim emperor, and the great-grandson of the Akbar the Great.  His third son imprisoned him in the Red Fort in Agra until his death some 8 years later.  The third son killed the first two sons in order to be next in line for throne.

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ZE2G9907.jpg The entrance gate

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ZE2G9963.jpg <<< The mosque next to the Taj.IMG_9524.jpg

IMG_9500ca.jpg IMG_9682ca.jpg The "Pinkies" (our bus group)

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On the Street

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ZE2G9990.jpg This one reminded Yannis of the "Beverly Hillbillies" sitcom.

 

The Red Fort

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Another shopping opportunity

This time for inlaid stone table tops.

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A Last Look at our Train

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Laxman and Shivran - our coach attendants.  Anika loved the ceilings

 

From the Palace on Wheels we headed off to Varanasi to see the Ganges

 

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Last modified: 06/13/08