India From Top to Bottom 2005:  From Kannyikumari to Kashmir

Rajasthan - Page 1


Lisa and I flew to Bombay, where we sadly parted ways until I returned home next month.

I was to take a train from Bombay to Jaipur to start the second part of my trip. 

Unfortunately, torrential rains flooded Bombay, causing my train to be delayed until the next morning. 

When I returned to the station the following morning at 4:00 in the morning, I saw quite a few people camped out on the station floor, awaiting delayed trains to other destinations.

Luckily, my train arrived.  I was on my way to Rajasthan to see Jaipur, Pushkar (including what was to be a camel safar with a runaway camel!), and Jodhpur.

Two days after I left Bombay, the city was deluged with a record-breaking 94 cm (37 inches) of rain - in one day!!  This shattered all rain records in India, even breaking the amount of rainfall recorded in one day in 1910 at Cherripungee, the "wettest place in the world."

I was happy to arrive in Jaipur and escape the deluge in Bombay, even if I did arrive at 12:30 in the morning.

The next morning, while getting breakfast, I saw this fascinating procession of orange-clothed people.

A policeman told me that this is the water festival for Shankar.  The procession in the streets of Jaipur included ecstatic dancing to accompanying bells, clarinets and drums and women carrying water vases on their head.

They waved me over to photograph them and smeared orange sandalwood paste on my forehead.

Women carrying water vases in the Jaipur heat of the morning.



The Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), built in 1799, Jaipur.
Another view of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), built in 1799, Jaipur.

The wall is made of pink honeycombed sandstone.  953 windows were originally built to enable women of the royal household to view everyday life of the city of Jaipur.



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