Saturday, November 12, 2011

News from Rajasthan

Our trip through Rajasthan continues, through desert, many towns, mountains and beautiful scenery. Three flat tires later, we have finally arrived in Udaipur, after 8 hours on the road from Jodphur.....remember the pants, all you anglos out there who grew up wearing jodphurs? Well originally they come from this town where the local princes (marahajas) wore them to play polo with their English chums! These princely types still live in each town we have visited, but since 1971 when Indira Ghandi removed their titles and their state pensions , they have been relegated to the status of ordinary citizen. So in order to pay for the upkeep of their beautiful palaces, they have converted many of them into hotels or museums.They head princely foundations to support the upkeep of the beautiful forts and palaces found throughout Rajasthan. In fact, today we are in Udaipur, apparently called the Venice of the East and the number one destination for romance...imagine!! The Lake Palace here was used in the James Bond film Octopussy as was one of the Maharaja's antique cadillacs that is on display in the antique car show sponsored by the present day Maharaja himself.
One of the unusual practices seen here is the piles of dried cattle dung patted into round pancakes mixed with hay and then dried. These cakes are then stacked  into elaborate piles along the roadside where women buy them, place them into large metal pans or baskets which they carry on their heads  back to their homes. This fuel is reportedly very good for cooking fires, giving a pleasant odour and pungent flavour to the food. The cows are strictly vegetarian with a little garbage thrown into their diet, thus the smell of their excrement is not that of a meat-eating animal.
                                           Cow patties for sale
                                           Camel-man, camels and Canadian tourists
                                          Sunrise in the Thar desert, luxury accomodation

                                           J&P with Jodhpur fort in the background

Children on the way to school via Tuk-Tuk

1 comment:

  1. You both still look pretty clean, considering all the dust! I love the shot of the dried cow patties.