Rajasthan - February 15th to March 1st 2017

As we told you before, as we reached Delhi our discovery of India turned to be focusing more on places. Our defensive instinct was “on” in order to protect ourselves from scams. We met some nice people but overall we were disappointed by some behaviours after having been so welcomed in Pakistan and Amritsar. As we plunged into Rajasthan, the most touristic region of India, we captured beautiful sights but only had a few genuine encounters compared to what we had lived during the last months of our trip.

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Rajasthan! The region of maharajas and princesses! The name itself made us dream about some exotic atmosphere. Our first stop was Jaipur, also called the pink city. We were not really seduced by the city itself. The large roads, full of traffic were replacing the tiny romantic roads that we expected from a Rajasthani capital. However, we enjoyed visiting the Palace of Winds, Hawa Mahal, built for the wives of the maharaja to look at the street outside without being spotted from the people in the street. We also went to the nearby city of Amber and discovered a superb Fort, Amer Fort, built on the top of a hill and magnifically decorated. To immerse ourselves in the Rajasthan atmosphere, we had found a room in a hotel which was a former Rajasthani palace. It was a beautiful palace, with outside labyrinthic corridors and nice terraces.

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Hawa Mahal
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Amer Fort
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After Jaipur, we went west. Having heard it’s a holy city like Varanasi, we wanted to make a stop in Pushkar to enjoy again a spiritual atmosphere. Pushkar is quite small but quite touristic. In the middle of the city centre, there is a beautiful sacred lake where Hindus go bathing. The legend says that this lake formed itself where Bhrama left a lotus flower. As a consequence, the city also hosts the only temple devoted to Bhrama. We were also surprised to see in Pushkar lots of healthy restaurants. All kind of meat is prohibited in Pushkar, and so is alcohol. We had a special delight eating the delicious and healthy mueslis by Honey and Spice.
Finally, our stay would not have been complete without visiting the Sikh temple of Pushkar. We went to this beautiful temple and like in Amritsar we were once again invited to eat the lunch at the temple. In this touristic city, it was a pleasure to be welcomed by Sikhs, not as tourists but as everyone else.

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The Sikh temple of Pushkar

After Pushkar, it was time to feed our wish for blue. The blue city of Jodhpur had made me dream for quite a long time. I was eager to wander in the tiny azure streets. And I was not disappointed, the colors creating a whole range of blue were such a pleasure for the eye. And actually we started to reconnect again with the people. In the old city where we stayed, lovely people would greet us in the street.
We knew Jodhpur for its blue houses, but its Fort was also super impressive. To visit Merangarh Fort, it was mandatory to take an audioguide and we didn’t regret it. The comments about the different sights were truly interesting. We finished the visit full of understanding about the story of Rajasthan!

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Merangarh Fort
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Our last stop in Rajasthan and a deep breath of fresh air, Udaipur was a great place to visit. It is known to be the most romantic city in India! We stayed in the old town, just next to the stunning Pichola Lake. We had a great time wandering around the lake and discovering the beautiful Jagdish Temple. I also took my first Indian cooking class! Like in Pushkar, there were a lot of restaurants promoting healthy ingredients. Every morning we would go to our favorite fruit juice spot to have delicious juice and muesli. Udaipur was like a renewal for us. Even if it was a touristic city, we created genuine connections with the Indian people we met. We were back on the human track!

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Pichola Lake
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Everyone in the street!
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Jagdish Temple
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Romantic Udaipur

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Where to sleep?
    In Jaipur: Rawla Mrignayani Palace – 1000 Rp for a double room with attached bathroom – breakfast not included. A great place to stay if you want to get the Rajasthani atmosphere, 15 minutes far from Jaipur attractions by foot.
    In Pushkar: Hotel Everest – 725 Rp for a double room with attached bathroom – breakfast not included but great rooftop restaurant with super good food. Our room had the light of the sun and the breeze of a calm street. The best price/quality hotel we ever stayed at during our trip!
    In Jodhpur: Jaswant Bhavan Home Stay – 705 Rp for a double room with private bathroom but on the other side of the corridor. Nice rooftop restaurant and good location in the quiet blue streets.
    In Udaipur: Moustache Hotel – 850 Rp for a double room with attached bathroom – breakfast not included. Very friendly place and super well located.
  • Where to eat?
    In Jaipur: we had a great experience at Niro’s eating a super delicious grilled mutton in tomato sauce.
    In Pushkar: we loved Honey and Spice for their delicious muesli.
  • Not to miss?
    In Jaipur: you must go to Amer Fort only a few kilometers away and reachable by a public bus (departing from next to Hawa Mahal).
    In Pushkar: walk up to the nearby hill to have an amazing view of the city.
    In Jodhpur: the Merangah Fort is the most magnificent fort we visited in Rajasthan. With the audioguide, it made our visit super interesting.
    In Udaipur: again walk up to the hill overlooking the city. It’s steep but the views are really worth it.

3 thoughts on “Rajasthan - February 15th to March 1st 2017

  1. Ah ça c’est drôle, à Udaipur, j’ai discuté plus d’une demi-heure avec le gars qui est en photo avec vous deux, exactement au même endroit. Après lui avoir fait comprendre gentiment que je n’étais pas dupe de son histoire qu’il n’est pas guide et patati et patata, il s’est avéré qu’il était très sympa.

    1. Laurent ! Alors ça c’est vraiment très marrant ! C’est ce qu’on a ressenti aussi. On l’a rencontré juste en arrivant, là où le bus nous a laissé il nous a aidé à trouver un tuktuk. Et on l’a revu par hasard au bord du lac le lendemain. Il nous a dit qu’il pouvait être notre guide mais au final on a juste papoté au bord du lac pendant quelques temps. Quelle coïncidence que tu sois aussi tombé sur lui !

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