Posts Tagged ‘Rajastan’

  • Evergreen Lodge in Udaipur


    The Evergreen Lodge and its attached Natural View Restaurant have been some of the best we have found so far in India, first of all because of the good time we had during our stay. Our room was simple and cheap and the food was delicious. The staff were friendly and helpful and some of them could speak really good English, what favoured communication and inter action with them. The peaceful atmosphere by Udaipur’s Lake made from this hostel a wonderful place to stay, rest and update our travel blog, and the sunny terrace and the small green courtyard were very practical to lay down, read a book, meet other travellers or just do nothing. Definitely, Evergreen Lodge is a good choice to stay in Udaipur, at low prices and with a very good quality.

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  • Resting in Udaipur


    Our trip is being quite good so far. Since we don’t have any time limit (we are travelling until we run out of money), we can allow us to take things easy and stay as long as we feel like in any place, so if we like Udaipur, we stay until we get bored of it. It is also nice to settle down in a place after so long travelling, unpack your bag, get to know your neighbours, the hostel staff, the people in the surrounding shops and restaurants… It is great to walk around and greet people on your way, but not like on the first days when sellers greet you continuously to pick your attention to their shops. It’s a different feeling when you have been staying in the same place for while, you know the people, you know the streets, you know this lovely place to eat, you feel as a local. After a while travelling your body and mind need a rest. If you find the right place to do it, it becomes a delightful experience to just sit down, relax and enjoy as the time passes by.


  • Udaipur


    Udaipur is Rajasthan’s most romantic city and a perfect example of the Rajput’s (a maharaja dynasty) passion for the fantastical and fairy tale. The streets are full of intricate havelis, gorgeous palaces and misty temples. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake compliments the palace along with the Monsoon Palace on the hill above, where Maharajas used to spend the rainy season when the Lake grew high. But the most remarkable building is the Lake Palace, one of the sceneries used in the James Bond movie Octopussy. People in Udaipur are so proud of it that every hotel offers screenings of the film daily.


    Backpackers concentrate on the Lake Pichola shore, either in Lal Ghat or Hanuman Ghat, two areas full of narrow lanes paved with tales of a heroic past, and from where sunset and sunrise views are amazing. We found a very quiet hotel in the Lal Ghat, away from the noisy main streets and we felt so comfortable on it. As the time passed by we couldn’t scape to the magic of this wonderful city, so we surrendered and stayed longer than expected


  • Jodhpur


    A brief visit to Jodhpur was enough for us to realise once more that we prefer small cities or towns rather than big, noisy and traffic-packed cities. We arrived early in the morning and left again in the evening towards Udaipur, so we spent just the day walking around the city. As other times, we left our luggage in the train station cloak room, so we were free to climb the steep streets that lead to Meherangarh Fort on the top of the city.


    From up there, there were amazing views and we could understand why they call it the blue city, since all the houses are painted in sky-blue colour (traditionally blue signified the home of a Brahmin and the colour is also thought to repel insects).


  • Camel safari in the Thar desert


    One of the major attractions of Jaisalmer for backpackers is to go on a camel safari to the Thar desert. As in any other tourist place, there are many agencies offering similar services. It lays on the hands of the backpackers to choose one of them. As before, we recommend to shop around and get informed properly before to decide which safari suits you better.


    We took the offer of an agency with good reviews and were very little satisfied in the end, although the experience of riding a camel through the desert and sleeping under the stars is completely recommendable. It was good fun and we met nice people on the safari, which made it even better. It turn out that Julia is a natural born camel rider and even made her camel to run!!!


  • Simla hotel in Jaisalmer


    On the train to Jaisalmer we met an Indian guy who kept trying to convince all the backpackers in the carriage to go to his hotel, offering a free ride from the station and cheap accommodation. After many months travelling we are so aware of the amount of touts looking for a commission, so we just told him that we would go and check the rooms with no compromise. This way we got a ride to town for free and looked for another hotel. Good that we took that decision because we found a very nice hotel inside the fort. The Simla Hotel was like a palace, a 500 years old building completely constructed in yellow sandstone, in which everything was well looked after. Our room was the best room we have had so far, being the cheapest of the hotel, so imagine the others! It had also a beautiful open air roof top, where you could lay down and admire the sunsets. And the staff were very friendly and helpful and made us feel like at home. We had such a good time there!


  • Jaisalmer


    From Jaipur we took a sleeper train to Jaisalmer, the closest city to the Great Thar Desert and just 70 kilometres away from the Pakistan border. Jaisalmer, the Golden City, has a sandstone fort which seems to be taken from a fairytale, placed on the top of a hill from where the views of the surrounding area are splendid.


    Jaisalmer fort is still inhabited and encircles many narrow alleys and streets full of houses, hotels, shops and havelis (the traditional Rajasthan’s houses for wealthy merchants), as well as the beautiful old palace of the former ruler. We were delighted from the peaceful and magic atmosphere of the city. In addition to that, real camel men with their turbans and big mustaches and women dressed in old traditional costumes evoked ancient desert splendor and exotic trade routes.

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  • Jaipur surroundings


    There is much more to see around Jaipur than in the city itself, just few kilometers away you can find several forts, palaces, cenotaphs and temples. Rickshaw-wallahs and tour operators offer one day tours to all of these attractions for a high price and entrance fees are not included in the package. Instead, we found out that we could catch a local bus for 5-10 rupees to any of the locations and the only inconvenience was to wait for the buses to come.


  • Jaipur


    We got to Jaipur after six hours sitting in a bus and found a crappy hotel outside the walled city, which was the only cheap option that we could find arriving at night. Jaipur is Rajasthan’s capital and the state’s most polluted and hassle-loaded city. It’s also known as the pink city because the city walls and main buildings were painted in dusty pink to welcome Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, on his visit in 1876 and remained pink since then.


    There are several places to visit in Jaipur: the main bazaars in the old city (encircled by the wall), the City Palace, the Hawa Mahal (a pink sandstone five-storey building constructed to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city through its pierced screen windows) or the Jantar Mantar (an observatory begun by the Maharaja Jai Singh II). We didn’t like much the city’s sightseeing but enjoyed the best lassi (typical indian yogurt drink) ever in a place called The Lassiwallah, on MI Road.