Rajasthan Adventure: 28 March - 18 April 2005
Trip Start Mar 28, 2005
17Trip End Feb 02, 2006
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Here I am finally: at midnight I arrive in New Delhi and spend my first night in a very basic hotel where the staff is sleeping in the corridor. It will not be the last time to see this, India is heavily overpopulated, people are very poor and they sleep and live wherever there is space, be it on the corridor, on the roof, in the shop or in the street. Although it“s late, I am excited, walk up to the “roof-terrace“ and inhale the city“s pollution. There is a smog in the air that you can feel and breath even in the middle of the night. My room is ok and I know that this will be my world for the next months.
The next day I meet up with my group from 'Intrepid'. Intrepid is an Australian tour organizer that offers a great variety of tours worldwide
Our tour is basically a loop through Northern India ... through the desert of Rajasthan. Most of the villages and cities we visit were situated along the former trading route from Afghanistan to South-East-Asia. We see many 'Havelis', beautifully decorated houses formerly owned by trading families, most of which are now deserted as the trading families have moved to modern days' trading centers along the coast, such as Bombay and Calcutta. Most famous in Rajasthan are the forts and palaces of their former warriors, the Rajput's. Some of their 'Maharadjas' (“great kings“) still live in their palaces, many of them are now housing a museum or hotel in order to be able to maintain this impressive heritage.
For our travel through the country we use all possible kinds of transportation, starting from comfortable trains to over-filled and speedy buses, noisy and polluting tuk-tuks, bicycles without breaks, farting camels and huge elephants. Vehicles might be as old as the empire but you can be sure that there is one part that always works ...
My highlights during the 3 weeks were:
Taj Mahal: entering the beautiful and peaceful park surrounding the Taj Mahal and spotting this building early in the morning was just breathtaking.
Lake Palace in Udaipur (despite the fact that the lake is presently dry due to the long lasting draught in Rajasthan).