Discovering Majestic Rajasthan, India, 3 Cities, Jaisalmere Known as the Golden City, Bikaner and Jodphur Know as the Blue City

IMG_0111IMG_0137Here I am on a road trip, discovering majestic Rajasthan. My travel itinerary was to discover 3 cities, jaisalmere know as the golden city, Bikaner and jodphur know as the blue city. The three small Rajasthan cities were of interest because of their rich history, picturesque sites, interesting people, food, and hand made crafts, which I was looking forward to discovering.

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Jaisalmere, being the first stop on the road trip, we found ourselves staying in a dessert cabin. The little run place, had a nice friendly atmosphere and was a stones throw away from the the Thar dessert national park. We organised camel rides with the local tribes men to take us to the edge of the dessert. Having never ridden a camel before I found out it was quite a bumpy mode of transport, having spent a little less then an hour getting to know my camel ride. We found ourselves ascending into the dessert, after a short climb and reaching the top, it was worth the effort. A undisturbed clear view all the way to the horizon. A very peaceful place to watch the sun set from. Sitting in the dessert sand, watching the sun go down, and enjoying the undisturbed view. The sky, changed to a range of different soft red and pink colours as the sun slowly dipped into the horizon and disappeared out of sight.

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A fresh start in the morning and we were on our way back to the main town of jaisalmere. Our guide Named Nattu, was a friendly and knowledgeable guide. The tour began with the Sonar Quila fort, an imposing structure which is quite visible as you approach the city from the dessert. The fort is a living working place where the residents some of whom are the original descendants of families who built many of the havelis inside the fort. You can spend a good few hours wandering the many narrow lanes, filled with wonderful architectural buildings, havelis, temples, small shops, stalls and bazaars.

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The next stop on the Rajasthan tour was Bikaner. A modern city based in the Rajasthan dessert. The Junagarh fort based in the centre of the city is one of the major forts of Rajasthan India. The fort is a multistory impressive palace which was built on the order of Raja Raj Singh, between 1588 and 1594. There has been a intense level of building work due many rulers over 4 the centuries which is clear by the different types of architectural styles from Rajput, Mughal and Gujarati style. The fort has many impressive interiors, pavilions and temples, and large collection of artifacts on display from the rajas collection, which include interior palace furniture, a large armory display and many old photos of the past, which is a interesting glimpse into the how the royal residence lived.

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The final part of the Rajasthan India road trip took us from Bikaner to Jodphur, and our first stop was at Umaid Bhavan Palace. Home to to the Royal king and his family. The palace is visible from most places in Jodphur, as its perched high up on a hill. The palace is a impressive structure from the outside, and inside the palace has an interesting museum which holds the kings personal collection of palace life.

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Jaswant Thada, located half way up the high road leading to the fort, is the cremation ground of the past rulers who ruled Jodohur. The central interesting structure within the well maintained garden is of the white marble memorial to Jaswant Singh, built in 1899. There are many other cenotaphs of past rulers, which are however more simpler.

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Mehrangarh Fort, at the top of the hill, is a imposing structure, from the high fort walls, you have undisturbed stunning views of the blue city, named because of the Indian brahmin cast who live within the blue houses. Inside the fort and palace has beautiful rooms each with intricate carvings, painted walls and gold inlays, of which the rooms housed the maharaja, queens, and the rest of the royal family who lived there between 1500 and 1700 century. You will find many balconies within the fort and palace, a throne room and boudoir for his many wives. A great end to the Rajasthan road trip.