Delhi, India. January 2014

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January 19, 2014 Sunil and I left Mandawa in the morning, shortly after the breakfast. After 16 days in Rajasthan and 35 days in India, it was my final road trip before reaching Delhi. Despite all the extremes that happened to me in Rajasthan, I made a right decision to come there and see with my own eyes this beautiful land of incredible scenery and rich history, learn about half-dozen of ancient kingdoms still co-existing within the Union of India, visit extravagant palaces and hear the secrets of zenana, witness the sunrises in Thar desert and spend a night on camel safari. At times, I felt exhausted to constantly look over my shoulder and …

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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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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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Chittorgarh, India. January 2014

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January 8, 2014 After observing the early morning rituals by the holy Pushkar lake, Sunil and I continued our car journey through Rajasthan  and proceeded to another spectacular site, usually skipped by most travelers, Chittorgarh Fort.  Located about 180 kms from Pushkar, Chittorgarh is the largest fort complex in India regarded as the epitome of Chattari Rajput pride, romance, spirit and tragedy, for the people of Chittorgarh  on three occasions chose definite death (jauhar) before surrender. Even though, it is presently nothing more than a ruined citadel, for people of Rajasthan, it remains a symbol of all that was brave, true and noble in glorious Rajput tradition. They say, Chittor, …

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Ajmer and Pushkar, India. January 2014.

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January 7, 2014 After 3 fantastic days in Jaipur, I had to abandon the world of luxuries and start a real road-trip around Rajasthan.  On January 7, I planned to pay a visit to two most important religious sites in Rajasthan – Ajmer and its Dargah of the Sufi’s saint Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti  and an ancient Hindu  pilgrimage town of Pushkar. It is a very common itinerary since Pushkar is a huge touristic hub for both, hippies and spirituality seekers. Sadly, Ajmer always stays in a shadow, however, it was my favorite place out of two. Ajmer, the Rajasthan’s most important site in terms of Islamic history and heritage, was founded …

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Jaipur, India. January 2014

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A drive from Kushalnagar to Bangalore’s airport took 6 hours and, because our car broke in the middle of the city, we sadly weren’t able to meet up with Kunal, our Oxford classmate. We arrived just in time to catch our flights; I was going to Jaipur and Dimitris was heading back to Delhi. After spending 2 weeks together, exploring, learning and struggling through India, it was time for us to say goodbyes. I knew, Dimitris didn’t like India because of many reasons, but I also knew that my own trials and tribulations were about to begin. Traveling in India alone is equal to being in a war zone, where …

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