Maharani Ankles

Palanquin in Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Interestingly, in a country that produces one suggestive Bollywood movie after another, men and women don’t mingle much at all. I imagine this being a remnant of the purdah custom in which women were kept in seclusion, shielded from the eyes of men. To many of us this seems ridiculous. But just how seriously this was taken by the royal family is described in this anecdote we came across while visiting the fort in Jodhpur. Continue…

Meherangarh Fortress

Phool Mahal in Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Rigid and thoughtless organization is a highly developed art form in India – logical, common-sense organization is not. I have spent enough time traveling here that I can comfortably make this claim.

Imagine my surprise when we walked into the fort in Jodhpur and were greeted by a well-groomed young man in a clean uniform, “Welcome to Meherangarh Fort. After you get your entry ticket, I’ll be handing you the audioguide and a site map with all the stops.” I turned to Tony and whispered, “Where are we?” The welcome committee also handed us an evaluation form which turned out to be Continue…

The Omelette Man of Jodhpur

Omelette Shop in Jodhpur

Of course, visitors to Rajasthan have all come here in search of the celebrated, the legendary, the world famous… Omelette Man of Jodhpur. OK, he might not be a household name in Europe or the States, but he has found his way into every guidebook from the US to Japan to France. (And if the French dig his omelettes, you know they have to be good!)

The Omelette Man is such a hit that, in the land of scams and rip-offs, his success has spawned a series of fake Omelette Men, all claiming to be the legendary original. So our first challenge was to locate the real artiste des omelettes. Continue…

Chillin’ in the Blue City

Jaswant Thada Cenotaph and Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Thomas and I have made our way to the walled city of Jodhpur, known throughout Rajasthan as “the Blue City,” to explore its unique blue washed lanes, its colorful markets, and its incredible Meherangarh fortress, a sight straight out an ancient Indian fable. Jodhpur is the first place we have been that really lives up to my visions of Rajasthan. Continue…

Should We Stay, or Should We Go Now?

That is the question.

After the rather bizarre Holi Day attack we posted about yesterday, Thomas and I have spent the last 24 hours seriously debating whether it is time to pack up and leave India, or whether we should keep going.

I find it rather ironic that we only recently posted our April Fool’s Day joke that India had pushed us to the limits, and that we had decided to flee the country. And here we are, not long afterwards, actually debating whether the joke should become reality.

Thomas, who has a welt on the back of his head, has seriously been affected by the attack. Continue…

Pushkar

Holy Lake of Pushkar

According to Hindu legend, long ago Brahma dropped a lotus flower and when the petals hit the earth the holy lake of Pushkar rose to the surface. Devout Hindus constructed a series of ghats backed with beautiful white-washed architecture including several temples, one of which was dedicated to Brahma (very unusual as there are few temples dedicated to Brahma). The area is so sacred that Ghandi’s ashes were sprinkled here after his death.

Years later, travelers discovered the city and the streets magically filled with chocolate bars, banana pancakes, and hundreds of souvenir shops. Ah, great mysteries of the universe.

Actually, we both quite like Pushkar. The town is laid back, and we are staying in a great little hotel with a huge walled garden fronted by the the family’s palacial house with a sizable temple right next door. Mostly, we spend our time just sitting out the heat of the day sipping drinks – life can be such a bitch.