Mandawa, India. January 2014

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January 18, 2014 Pictures of Mandawa Before an incident in Jodhpur, I planned to leave Bikaner for Amritsar, but after spending a month in India and witnessing first handedly the attitude of Indian men and dangers that traveling alone presented, I decided not to part with Sunil and my car and have him drive me back to Delhi, where I could spend the rest of my trip in the company of my Oxonian friends. After I finished a delicious breakfast at Hotel Harasar Haveli and said sad goodbyes to my travel partner Shu and the owner of the Haveli Mr. Bubbles (Mr. Vishwajit Singh Harasar) Sunil and I left for yet …

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Bikaner, India. January 2014

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January 16, 2014 Pictures from Bikaner Having been told a day prior that Bikaner, a city about 330 kms away from Jaisalmer, was having a yearly Bikaner Camel Festival, Shu and I decided to drive there as soon as possible. Against Sunil’s pleas to leave at the later hour, we embarked on the trip at 6.30 am and witnessed another beautiful sunrise in Thar desert. Along the way we stopped at the restaurant/gift-shop road-stop so that I could in n-th time be ripped off. My advice – never stop at the road stop even if it is recommended by your driver. I ended up buying a box of cookies that …

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Jaisalmer, India. January 2014

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January 13, 2014 Pictures of Sam Sands Dunes and Jaisalmer.  Sunil and I left Jodhpur at 6 am because I have booked an overnight camel safari out of Jaisalmer (280 kms away) and had to be there by 1 pm to register and check-in. Nico has decided to come with me on the safari, since he was planning to do it anyway, but he left Jodhpur by bus a day before. Jodhpur stands on the border of Thar Desert and we were about to enter one of the deadliest places in India. Jaisalmer, the India’s most western outpost is located in the middle of Thar desert and offers one of …

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Jodhpur, India. January 2014

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January 11, 2014. Pictures from Jodhpur. After spending 5 days in the old Mewar kingdom (Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh), it was time to move on and get acquainted with Mewar’s arch-enemy – the Marwar dynasty and its capital Jodhpur. Second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur has a few names and all of them are correct. It is called the “Gateway to Thar”, implying city’s strategic location on the border with the Thar desert; it is referred to as “Sun City” for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all year around. But the most obvious name, which I could witness with my own eyes, is “Blue City”, a name given because most …

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Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur, India. January 2014

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January 11, 2014 Pictures. The great advantage of having a chauffeured car in India is freedom – freedom to drive anywhere, stop for as long as you wish and more importantly, flexibility to come up with a new destination a few days or hours prior, pointed it to your driver and have him get you there. After spending two full days in Udaipur, Sunil and I left for Jodhpur, however, on the way, I had instructed him to stop by two places that were recommended by every travel guide: romantic fort Kumbhalgarh and the largest Jain temple in India – Ranakpur. We left at 7 am and 2 hours later reached Kumbhalgarh, …

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Udaipur, India. January 2014

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Pictures. January 9, 2014 After a good and warm night of rest, delicious home-cooked breakfast and a thoughtful present from an affectionate and beautiful Parvati’s daughter, it was time to say goodbyes to the magnificent Chittorgarh fort and follow the steps of Maharana Udai Singh II, who in 1568 abandoned the fort for good and moved the Mewar dynasty capital 118 kms west to a place he called Udaipur. Legend has it that Udai Singh II came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on that spot, assuring him that it would be …

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