Rann of Kutch- The White desert of India!

We all have had Amitabh Bachchan on our TV screens promoting Gujarat tourism and saying Kutch nahi dekha to kuch nahi dekha. After spending a weekend at the Rann of Kutch or the Little Rann, i know the truth of the statement.

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Although visiting Little Rann during Rann Utsav had always been something i had on my bucket list, i never tried too hard to make it happen. So when a friend suggested to accompany her to Kutch, during the last full moon weekend of rann Utsav, i literally jumped at it.

After reaching Bhuj and sleeping through the bumpy bus ride to Rann of Kutch, i was happy at the first sight of our tent. But soon happiness changed into concern. It was getting hotter, and the tent city looked like a dilapidated city that has been abandoned by people after a major catastrophic event. Lunch came to rescue and even though the buffet was completely veg, food was delicious.

Post lunch we decided to check out the handicrafts section of the city. After the initial excitement of shopping died, we realized how hot it became by 2 pm and decided to return to our tents. Even that did not prove to be very comforting, the ac seemed feeble and the loo raged like a monster. We chained down the tent completely and lay on the ground in front of the full blown ac for an afternoon nap.

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4 pm is time for high tea and with most of the day over, i was wondering if coming here was a great idea in the first place. We set out for the desert on camel carts and that is when the excitement began again. The ride was fun and when we approached the salt flats, it was a beauty i haven’t experienced in my life before. All around it was just stretches of white salt and you cannot just make out where the sky meets the land. The only colorful thing was the huge orange disc of sun which was about to set.

 

Tourists are allowed only in the little Rann of Kutch, the Great Rann of kutch is only accessible to the armed forces as it shares border with Pakistan.

The tent city comes alive in the evening. There are lights everywhere. People are shopping, moving around. There’s a cultural event going on.

 

We went back to the Rann again at midnight. The white salt flats were flooded by the light from the full moon. At night under that moonlight, it was tough to saysif it was salt or snow all around. Nature presents itself to you in such myriad forms!

We spent a good one hour there before returning to our tents.

 

It was a short sweet stay with friends at the tent city. Time just flew by. I would not recommend for a solo trip just based on the fact that you might have to share tent with a stranger plus most part of the day is devoid of any activity.

 

When to visit :

Rann Utsav typically starts by November and ends by Feb. Look up at the Gujarat Tourism site for the dates. Try to visit on a full moon weekend.

 

How to reach :

The most convenient and time saving way to reach Rann of Kutch is to take  a flight to Bhuj. Our flight from Mumbai took only about 1.5 hours. The airport is small and not many transport options are available, so make sure you have taken care of that in advance. Since we stayed at tent city, we got a airport pick up and drop included in our package.

Where to stay

You can either stay at Bhuj city (if you have your own transport) which is about 2 hrs away from the Rann or you can stay in the resorts/tents that are located closer to Rann. i would definitely suggest the latter. So we booked our stay at the Rann Utsav tent city which is like a makeshift city built to accomodate the Rann Utsav tourists that come from all over the world. The tents can be booked through Gujarat Tourism site for Rann Utsav. They are spacious luxury tents witch attached bath and ac. There are various package options available and the one we opted for had stay, 3 meals , 2 rides to the desert and sightseeing on the second day included. It amounted to 6k per person, but given the kind of comfort, service and discipline they follow, it was totally worth the money.

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What to do at the Rann

Well if you have not read or heard about it before, this seems like a valid question. Why do people visit the desert? what is Rann Utsav? What all can you do?

Well the first and foremost reason why people visit during Rann Utsav, which starts at November and ends by Feb/Mar is to the experience the beauty of the salt flats during the sunset and under a full moon sky. Since we stayed at the tent city, these trips to the desert were organised by them. You can also shop for kutch handicrafts inside the tent city or just chill with your friends in the beautiful tents.

What to pack

  • Dress as colorful as you can. It photographs well against the white desert.
  • Sun gears like sunscreen, sun glasses, stoles , hats etc are a must.
  • A woolen stole/jacket for the night.
  • Enough cash (hardly any machines or even ATMs )
  • A good camera ( even if you aren’t a photographer)
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Ending the year in Vibrant Jaipur!

Rajasthan has always fascinated me because of its old world charm. When I think about the Royal Heritage every city of Rajasthan carries and the days of war and valor and sacrifice that each have seen, i feel both intrigued and proud.

History is fascinating and so is travel. While having breakfast at my hostel, I overheard a group of Americans discussing that they are interested in finding out how the Mughal architecture (seen mostly in Delhi/Agra) is different from Rajputana architecture and what might be the possible influences. They catch me eavesdropping and invite an embarrassed me to join their discussion. This was such an amazing start to the weekend I was going to spend in the beautiful city of Jaipur.

I reached Jaipur on Saturday morning taking a direct flight from Pune. The airport is small and it is best to book an Uber. (Uber has a 2 wheeler option in case you would like to take a ride yourself). I stayed at the Joey’s hostel and location wise i could not have asked for a better option. It is outside Jaipur city , on Amer Road but is situated in optimal distance from all touristy places which essentially means that you save on a lot of cab money. Joey’s is also the most spacious dorm i have stayed at with ample common space and hence you do not feel claustrophobic! The beautiful blue and white Santorini like decor throughout the hostel (or is it Jodhpur like?) immediately won my heart!

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Pic 1 : The beautiful Joey’s Hostel

Day 1 :

Tired and groggy eyed from a sleepless Friday night, thanks to my job. i decide to start the day with the obvious and the most famous landmark of the city, the Hawa Mahal. But even before i could enter the gates, i was attracted to the shops selling beautiful colourful jootis. Well there is not much to say about Hawa Mahal, the interiors do not display great architecture and I would call it mediocre compared to what we see in most of India. The textbook picture that we see of the palace is just one side of it which over looks the famous Bapu bazaar.

Pic 2 : (L) The view of Hawa Mahal from outside. (R) One corner inside Hawa Mahal.

Bapu Bazaar of Jaipur is one of the most vibrant markets of India that i have been to , it is bustling with crowd and shops that sell all sorts of stuff from dresses to bangles to copper vessels to bedsheets to colorful lamps. If you are a shopaholic and take pride in your collectibles, look out for the blue pottery of Jaipur, the block print dresses, the patch work bedsheets, the bandhnis and lehariyaas, the leather jootis and the jaipur razaai.

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Pic 3 : A shop selling lamps at Bapu Bazar.

After spending the Saturday afternoon haggling with the shopkeepers of bapu bazar, I decide to retire early as tomorrow I plan to  head to the 2 forts of Jaipur

Day 2 :

After a sumptuous complimentary breakfast at the Joey’s , i head off to my neighborhood palace, the jal mahal. But to my disappointment(again), i got to know that it is only to be admired from a distance and hence no boat ride/walks et al.

From Jal Mahal, i took an Auto to Amer Fort which is about 6-7 kms and to my surprise he charged me only 80 bucks! Amer Fort amazed me in more ways than I thought it would. Most of the fort was intact, had no modern patched up walls and was squeaky clean. It is on the top of a hillock and hence the way up can get a little tiring. So make sure to wear comfy shoes or try the alternative modes like elephants/ electric cars.

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Pic 4 : Elephant ride at Amer Fort for 1500 INR

The main gate of the fort opens to a huge courtyard. The fort houses the  Raja Maan Singh palace and it goes without saying that the view of the city from the top of the fort is mesmerizing unless you are there at noon when the sun rays can blind your sight.

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Pic 5 : Main Gate of Amer Fort

I had reserved the sunset spot for Nahargarh fort which is on the top of the mountain. The fort itself isn’t that great but the grounds have modern amenities that can keep tourists entertained. The major highlight of this visit was the view of the city from the top of the fort . The sun had just set and the city lights have started gleaming. From up there it almost felt like we are looking down at a star studded sky!

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Pic 6 :Inside Nahargarh Fort

What I missed – Amer Fort, Nahargarh and Jaigarh are in the same locality, so keep an entire day for these 3 and make sure you book a cab for the entire day. I could not visit Jaigarh fort.

I deliberately left out City Palace and Jantar Mantar. I wished to visit the Great Albert Hall Museum but again there was hardly any time left.

If you area foodie and would love to eat around a bit, here are few places you could try –

  • Oven, The Bakery – This is on top of my list and was such a discovery!We had some tea and waffles but they had a wide range of cake/pastry options. And since it was just after Christmas, they had loads of hand crafted chocolates wrapped as gifts (needless to say that I picked some!)
  • Talk of the town – It is a take away counter but if you are craving some non veg food, this is where you should go! The spiciest and juiciest of kebabs that are truly the talk of the town.
  • Tattoo Cafe – It is bang opposite hawa mahal. The USP is that it gives you the best view of hawa mahal and if you are into photography and obsessed with getting the best angles then this place is a must visit. The place is tiny(although they have plans to expand) and the menu is curated to cater to the taste buds and likes of foreigners!
  • Shri Balaji Pure Veg Restaurant – Well usually veg places do not feature in my food recommendations but if you are in Jaipur, at least 1 meal should be a pure veg Rajasthani thali. You get thalis from other states as well here.
  • Tapri – The coolest cafe in town where all the cool kids hang out. What I like about it the most is the colorful quirky interiors.27164452_10208511205937304_4298609201553584146_o

Pic 7 : Goodies as Oven, The Bakery

P.S – All pictures have been clicked by me and i reserve the sole right to use them. 🙂

The not-so-rosy side of travel.

In the age of social media, a picture not only speaks a thousand words, it speaks a million words. Our life is not just about having great experiences but is more of documenting them for the voyeurs on social media that we refer as friends/followers.

The advent of social media has also given rise to mini celebrities whose perfect lives, on point sense of humor, envious travel itineraries, fancy fashion choices are all a scroll away.

India has immensely grown post 2000, i am sure all nineties kid would agree that India in our childhood was way different than the India that we live in today. Well paid private jobs, plush apartments, fancy restaurants, pubs , breweries, malls , eating without looking at the right side of the menu or not checking for the price tag while buying something weren’t things/luxuries we enjoyed in our childhood.While our jobs have made all our desires come true, it has also made us increasingly dissatisfied of our mundane lives and crave for experiences that would make us forget our stressful jobs even though that means only for a little while. Social media has only increased this misery. There are actually people who have been able to do that, break from there routine lives, pursue their passion for travel and even get paid for it.

Our Instagram feeds are full of such people, who find the perfect location, the perfect angle, the perfect dress, the perfect smiles and as we sit in our cubicles and scroll through our phones, our lives become a little more miserable with every scroll, our longing to quit everything and just travel increases a little more.

I think travel and photography are the drugs that our generation is most addicted to. Almost every other person owns a DSLR , they might not know how to click good pictures but they sure as hell know how to over edit them, add their signature watermark and post on Facebook. Travel is becoming less about passion and more about proving a point or a race where I have to run ahead of others. Not to say articles like, solo woman traveler who is traveling so many countries on bike, or a family that took a road trip to so many countries, this couple quit their job to travel the world, how to make money while traveling, why our generation is investing more on experiences rather than material needs,are just messing us up more. If they can do it, why can’t I?

But there is a not so rosy side of travel that neither the travelers nor these travel blogs/sites tell you about. And i think it is time we address the elephant in the room.

  • Nothing in this world is free – Yes, no matter how many stories you read of people traveling on shoe string budgets, earning while traveling etc, please know travel isn’t free, the food on your plate isn’t free, your clothes, your shoes everything comes with a price. So people with all those wonderful pictures on Instagram have actually paid to travel to that place, to buy expensive gadgets to document it perfectly, to  wear fancy clothes. Now some do find that way to gather followers, get sponsored trips or clothes and actually get paid but it’s a long tedious road and not all can make it till the end. I came across a you tube video of an Indian woman, where she is traveling in Kasol for 5 days without money. How is she achieving that? Well she is staying in tents and hitching rides from ‘kind’ strangers and also getting strangers to pay for her food. Asking someone to pay for my food, when I can easily earn it myself, is something I would never do!

 

  • Is solo travel really that liberating? –  I have made a couple of trips all on my own and i really do not understand this desire some people have to travel solo. Honestly! To me it was a forced one, as i wanted to travel and I did not have friends/ partner or a group i could tag along with. So i went solo. Much like my relationship status, I would like to come back home to someone, eat dinner together and just talk about my day, but since i do not have a befitting partner i choose to stay alone , lead a single life. Does not mean i want that or have chosen that!

 

  • Safety for women travelers – while we all romanticize and applaud how woman travelers are going solo exploring places, what we do not talk about is the risks involved. Every woman traveler will tell you stories about how she has been followed, passed lewd comments, been groped in crowd or public transport or even been sexually assaulted. I recently heard of a solo woman biker, who is exploring the mountains on bikes and never spends a single penny on stays. She sometimes pitches her tent on green grass, under a star studded sky, inside lush green forests, by the riverside. Dreamy right? Well she also sleeps with a pepper spray in one hand and a paper knife in the other! Travel blogs never tell you the full story, and this same woman will only post her selfies by the adventurous highways she has traveled on!

 

  • This is not for ever! – We all know it right, it is just that our generation has not been conditioned to think about 10 years or 20 years down the line. We have not learnt to save for a rainy day like our parents because we haven’t seen one! We did not deal with the post independence struggle in fifties and sixties like our parents did, where there were  no jobs, no luxury, everyone just survived. So finally in seventies and eighties, when people started seeing some money they also made sure they saved it for a future that was unknown. Travel blogs tell you how it is okay, to have 0 savings, to not buy a house and travel the world, which all seems perfectly okay now but what about the future? Maybe 20 years down the line we will be talking about how some in our generation had a misguided conception about a dreamy life and ended up losing all their money. They have seen the world, but in their sixties when they can no longer work, they have to do temporary jobs to make ends meet. I recently read about a couple who quit their jobs to travel for 8 years , used up all their savings , sold their house and car and are now scrubbing toilets to put food on their plate.

 

Everything in life needs balance. You could invest your money in a fixed deposit or a house  that has guaranteed returns , or take risky chances in share market that can make you extremely rich or extremely poor. The choice is definitely yours but just make sure it is a well thought one!

 

 

5 relationship advice I would give my 25 year old self!

We learn through failures and experiences. We have had our hearts broken, have learnt lessons and moved on with life, sometimes vowing never to love again and at times desperate to find love again. But here are 5 things i wish i knew when I was in my twenties.

  •  The one – Stop believing that he was the one for you and you aren’t going to find anyone better or as good. He was definitely not the one which is why you did not actually end up with him.
  • Do not generalize – Once you have had your heart broken, you decide that every man who comes along is going to do the same. Don’t enter this sphere of negativity, it takes away lot of good years of your life.Not everyone is same!
  • Do not try too hard – Do not go out of your way to do things for him . If he loves you, he will stay no matter what.
  • Do not get obsessed – Do not read between the lines, do not imagine why he did not text you back, do not assume reasons behind his silence and definitely do not day dream about what he is doing when he is not with you.
  • Do not expect – This is tough, to stop expecting , to be only at the giving end, but expectations destroy our peace of mind because more often than not, they won’t be met. If you do not want your world to come crashing down every two days, just stop having unrealistic expectations.

 

It’s actually kind of funny, that I could write those 5 points having been guilty myself of doing some of them at some point. But I wish my 25 year old self could take life and relationship a little less seriously, and just let Universe unfold its plans.

Yes! Me too!

Yes Me too and I know maybe you too but you won’t say, you won’t open up or even stand up with the others. We still live in a society where a woman is believed to bring sexual harassment upon herself, where victim shaming is easier than punishing the perpetrator, where most women live in denial that they have been harassed sexually or otherwise, where most men do not even realize when they are sexually harassing a woman!

Yes, you read that last thing right. So when recently social media was abuzz with Me Too hashtag, I too went ahead and posted it because yes why not! I too have been subjected to sexual harassment infinite number of times. Be it while using public transport, or in a crowded marketplace or the lecherous eyes of a boss. It’s everywhere!  I was also expecting some nincompoops to question me about this. And yes, one afternoon at work, the day after i posted me too, pops a screenshot of my post on whatsapp and a male colleague’s one word text, Really?

In my head, i am like yes Really! Why is it so hard to believe? But sensing a tensed conversation ahead, i just write a yes! He goes a step further and asks me ‘on a serious note’ whether someone has really ‘Forced himself’ on me! i can feel the anger slowly rising in me but i keep calm and ask, what do you think is sexual harassment? He sends some dumb reply and in a bid to educate him( who btw is a software engineer in a reputed firm and already in his thirties) i tell him , if he ever made a lewd comment on a woman’s body that makes her feel uncomfortable , even that can be termed as sexual harassment, he need not ‘Force’ himself on her. Like Akshay Kumar just had to say one thing that he thought was funny to actually make Mallika Dua come out and question others if she was the only one who found it offensive. Yes that is what we are taught to do, doubt ourselves before we blame the man. I ask him to go back home and ask his wife, if while growing up and living in India, she has never been inappropriately touched by a random man in a crowded public place/transport, if yes then she can go ahead and post me too as well. He finally gets my point and says Kudos for your bravery! And i am like really?!!

And then came the group that questioned what will posting Me too do? Valid. Well to just give one example, it will educate people and raise awareness that how many women are actually harassed everyday! And that awareness itself can make such positive change in our lives. Big revolutions do not happen one fine day, small steps lead to it. For example, within just a few days of this campaign I came across an article where Kolkata police said it was overwhelmed by the number of women posting stories about harassment and requested women to shed all fears and start filing complaints about such offenders and that they wouldn’t go unpunished. Yes, that is the power of social media now! And I am sure many such small and significant changes have happened elsewhere in the world.

Then comes the group of women, who think women put themselves in that zone where they can be harassed. What Vidya Balan said when she claimed that she has never ever been sexually harassed at work, is a classic example of victim shaming! Making the victim believe that she brought it upon herself, that somehow she caused it to happen, that she could have walked away from it but she chose not to! Hello, if a woman chooses it, its not harassment and if she is calling it harassment, she did not want or invite this to happen to her. You know what, I have had enough of this privileged self proclaimed feminists! All words, no action! When you doubt not one but hundreds of women who are coming out to share horribly unpleasant stories of their lives, you are shattering the very base of a sisterhood that this society needs to battle such evils.If a woman cannot even stand for another woman, why do you even expect the men to?!

Just couple of days back, i went out for post work dinner with a friend. It was a small roadside joint and halfway through the meal, she tells me that a guy is sitting in an auto right outside ad shagging while looking at her. i turned my head in disbelief , yes there was a guy and there was an auto but he was just sitting there. I smiled at her and tell her she’s getting paranoid, and in just 2 secs i realize i was doubting the victim without full knowledge of what was happening! i turned again and then i saw the thing between his legs, hard and erect. He was not in his senses obviously or who would indulge in such an act in front of other people. But my friend was traumatized through this episode , the guy kept circling the restaurant for us to walk out. Who knows what he wanted to do next, maybe follow us , come up and feel our boobs. I keep my calm and tell my friend to finish the food, who by then had lost her appetite. By the time we pay the bill, the guy had returned for the 4th time. I get up and quickly check the alley and i see no signs of an auto, and I tell my friend that we have to flee before he comes back for the 5th round This is how we finally dodged him and reached home safely. The stories are endless, in Udaipur a drunk uncle groped me when the crowd was out in the streets celebrating Holi. Ever since, i tell women that solo trips are not as romantic as travel blogs will make you believe, there are risks and dangers lurking everywhere. Not all scars need to be physical, the emotional ones are deeper. So yes, to the uninitiated men and women, it can happen in a new city, in your neighborhood, workplace or even home and which is why we need a me too hash tag and we need more women to come out and talk about their experiences.

 

 

My first river rafting experience at the Kundalika river, Kolad, Maharashtra.

I am nowhere close to what can be termed as an adventurous person. So when my friends wanted to go for a Rafting trip, I was still quite unsure whether I should go or not. Next day at work, I googled ‘Kundalika river Rafting pics’ and what showed up was quite scary for me. I was still dwindling between should I or should I not because by then it had started raining heavily in Pune.

Finally the D Day arrived and with groggy eyes at 5 am in the morning we started for Kolad, Maharashtra in a car. It was going to be a 140 km ride.

So, there are 2 batches on Saturday and Sunday , one at 9 am and another at 2 pm. I would suggest taking the morning batch as that looked less crowded and also the sun is not that strong. The rafting charges are 1400 of which 50% you have to pay online and 50% on reaching there.

One raft typically carries 9-10 people plus the lead. Depending on the number of people in your group , you might have to team up with others who are there. Once you are done with the registration, you are led to a place that has a pile of helmets, shafts and life jackets. Pick one of your choice and you are set for the 15 minute instruction by a Nepali guide who can barely speak English.

Once you have been ‘trained’ on the basic rules, it’s time to push your own raft down the river. I have Aqua phobia by the way, fear of deep/rapidly moving water. And there I was in an open raft, holding a shaft on one hand and a plastic rope tied to the raft on the other. The first few minutes was terrifying and I did not know what to expect, I even fell over the person sitting opposite to me once. In the next 10 minutes that followed, I learnt how to shift between following the guide’s instructions and holding on to the raft, basically how to keep myself glued to the raft and not go flying up in the air!!!

The Rafting stretch is about 12 kms and took us around 2 hours to cover that stretch. There are stretches when it was like the lazy river ride I took in an amusement park as a kid, where you just sit or lie down on the raft looking up at the sky and the slow moving current of the river just pushes the boat forward. But there were also places where the currents were scary and at one point( which the guides have amusingly named ‘double fucker’) , you have to duck down inside the raft while water splashes on top of you. The two hours of rafting had alternate periods of heavy rain, light drizzle and sun shining hard on us, nature and its weird ways of enthralling its lovers!

We ended the journey with a hot cup of tea and onion fritters from a dhaba at the finishing point.

Rafting tips! (Preparation for first timers/ amateurs like me :))

  • Do not drink the night before. You need your muscles strong and awake if you actually intend to raft.
  • Wear clothes that would dry off easily.
  • Wear shoes that are water proof. Slippers might flung off .
  • Carry a change of clothes as of course you’re going to be drenched at the end of it.
  • Last but not the least, let go off your fear! You’ll survive this one!

Facebook : KundalikaRafting

 

 

 

 

Whirlwind Trip of Udaipur in 2 days

I sometimes think that it’s kinda sad that being an Indian and having lived in India all through,I have seen very little of it. It was couple of my foreigner friends who would not stop telling me how much they loved Udaipur! With a long weekend in hand, I was sure which place I wanted to spend it at.

In a new place, I start the day early. Nothing like a morning stroll to know the streets, the places to eat, the things to do.

After a sumptuous breakfast at Grass root cafe, I started my first day at Udaipur.

Day 1 : The city has mainly developed it’s touristy areas around 2 lakes, Pichola and Fateh Sagar. S since I opted to stay around Pichola (you should too!), i started my day at Fateh Sagar. Bad decision if you want to go for a boat ride. Just opposite the lake is a maharana Pratap Garden that they’re still developing but I chose to have a look around. You can give this one  a miss!

Saheliyon Ki Bari – My first brush with Royal Architecture. This is a well maintained garden with a complex that houses a beautiful fountain. It provided me the relief I needed from the morning sun.

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Vintage Car Museum- 

Although I do not have much interest in cars, let alone have any knowledge on vintage cars, I still decided to check this place out. What’s a royal kingdom that can’t take pride in it’s collection of old cars and jewellery?!

Well this one is a treasure and also a lesson on the evolution of automobile!

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The City Palace, Udaipur

The main palace of Udaipur, this one is going to take a lot of time to explore if you are really interested in history or if old palaces charm you. Do not make the mistake of taking a guide as they are usually crap. They were my source of entertainment, as I moved through the narrow lanes that sometimes echoed what the guide said to unsuspecting foreigners eager to know Indian history.

The view of Lake Pichola from the top of the palace is drool worthy, so if you can time your visit with sunset then nothing like it. Also you can see almost the whole of Udaipur and it’s matchbox like houses from the top.

There is an ATM right outside if you run out of cash. And if you have to take  a few gifts back home try the shops outside but make sure you bargain well.

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Gangaur Ghat – I ended the day watching the sun set from Gangaur Ghat and let me tell you there are very few places that have such a calming effect on you despite the crowd. I strolled back towards my hostel and decided to sit and sip coffee at one of the cafes by the canal and sink in the feeling of this beautiful city.

Day 2 :

I started the day by taking a walk again till Jagdish Chowk( the main chowk near Lal Ghaat). By now I have started exploring lot of different Cafes. Funnily enough, it’s tough to find Indian cuisine because these cafes cater to people from other countries mostly.

Monsoon Palace

I decide to start the day with the Monsoon palace which is quite far from the city. The auto rickshaw guy charged me 300 bucks for the to and fro ride. I have no clue if he charged me more because I had no other option. The challenge is that you will have to wait for a ride to take you up to the palace which is on top of a mountain and usually there is a long queue. I managed to escape the queue as I was alone and got a seat next to the driver. The uphill ride could have been nice but the dry winters haven’t been very kind to the trees on the hill and so we made our way up through crude nature devoid of any greenery. 17201079_10206655479385300_6521417622717378922_n

As beautiful as the Sajjangarh Fort or the monsoon palace is from outside, it is as disappointing on the inside. Going by its name, I am hoping this ride or the view from the palace will be totally different during the monsoons.

Tired from the Fort visit, I settled for a sumptuous lunch and a quick afternoon nap at my hostel before venturing out again.

Bagore ki Haveli – An old palace by Gangaur Ghat turned to a museum. I did not waste my time going through the various rooms as most of them had scary puppets. I strolled through the porches, the backyard, rested under a tree in the courtyard. This place has a dance show in the evening but I decided to give that a miss.

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I ended the day, dancing to Bollywood Holi numbers on the streets of Udaipur with mates from Backpacker’s Panda (yes, that’s where I stayed and maybe you should check it out too!)

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(All photographs have been clicked by me)