Asia 2009 - Facts and Information
Day by Day 4: Rajasthan
A few days exploring the towns, forts and temples
ASIA 2009


 To Paro
 Paro 1
 Paro 2
 Paro 3
 To Thimphu
 Thimphu 1
 Thimphu 2
 Thimphu 3
 Thimphu 4
 To Punakha
 To Phobjika

 To Trongsa
 To Jakar
 Around Ura
 To Mongar
 To Tashigang
 Tashigang 1
 Tashigang 2
 Tashigang 3

 Delhi 1
 Delhi 2
 Delhi 3
 Delhi 4
 Delhi 5

 Mount Abu
 To Narlai
 Narlai 1
 Narlai 2
 Narlai 3
 Narlai 4
 To Udaipur
 Train across India


10 November
Arrival at Abu Road a bit late, met by driver at barrier. Interesting drive up to Mount Abu complete with monkeys. Eleanor deemed it wiser to spend morning in room. Michael (also bit rough) had wander in grounds. Both went for wander in afternoon. Went down past school and got surrounded by about 25 kids all wanting to talk. Intrigued by foreign currency, wanted to see coins too which we hadn't got. Exercise books shown to Eleanor on hearing she had been a teacher. Sir came out and didn't seem overimpressed by activity. Palace Hotel, Mount Abu. A very pleasant hotel in an old hunting lodge of local royalty. Very quiet in extensive grounds. Large, pleasant bedroom, good food and very attentive (if rather slow) service from very friendly staff.

11 November
Day with guide. First at our request to Achalgarh, went in Shiva temple (interesting), wandered round village full of stalls for local pilgrims, good drive. Mount Abu, lake, gardens (excellent young magician and guy trying to sell fragrances), had wander round markets and old town. Then Dilwara temples, really excellent which were quite busy - pity photos not allowed. Afternoon back to school with some UK coins and pictures of home, both going down well with kids who were mortified to learn we wouldn't be going to see them the next day. No sign of Sir.

12 November
Drive to Narlai on very cold, wet day part along new dual carriageway on which people ignored one-way concept at will. Stopped at various small villages including visit to farmyard and school. Went to dhurrie maker and had tea (suspect was shopping stop but interesting). Walked round Sadri - interesting town and nice because nobody asked us for anything. Rawla Fort, Narlai. Originally a C17th fort and now an exceptionally pleasant hotel. Very stylish (and large) bedroom with lovely gardens. Excellent food and service from staff who became friends.

13 November
Nice drive to Kumbalgarh which was mind-blowing. Spent a lot of time in temples then up hill to palaces. Little Kumbha Palace very interesting and worth finding as not immediately obvious. On to main palace which impressive but plain with good views over Rajasthan Plain. On way back stopped in village for wander and got taken into house by local (who worked in hotel elsewhere) to see hand quern and potter's wheel which in themselves weren't of much interest to us but the rest of the place was fascinating. Walked round Narlai, pestered by kids for 'ballpens', on quiet street had stone thrown at our departing backs. Kids surprised and beat rapid retreat when Michael turned and started striding towards them. Obviously we had forgotten the lesson from Purana Qila.

14 November
Stopped at Ghanerao to look for old Jain houses, found huge step well and got taken by local to see another we had walked past without seeing. Stopped to see fields and got invited into farmyard for tea. Ranakpur temples amazing (and photos allowed except of gods). Site initially busy, quietened later. Wandered in Narlai on return.

15 November
Drive to Udaipur for train to Delhi. Stopped at Kelashpuri for C8th temple complex (no shoes, socks or cameras) which very good. Offered free services of very good local guide who was worth his tip. Stopped at Lake Bagela near Nagda for Sas Bahu temples which were worthwhile, quiet, and had decent loos. Drove past mile after mile of marble quarries on way to Udaipur. Taken round lakes, to Royal Rose Garden (good), Palace Motor Museum (not really worthwhile). Went to meet driver's family and his elder brother and family. At station in good time for train.

Train 2964 Udaipur City to H Nizamuddin (Mewar Express)
Shared compartment with silent fellow travellers in newish but very tired stock - a composite AC1/AC2 car. We appeared to have been given lower bunks on account of age. Toilets unpleasant. No meal included (apparently) although chai often offered up and down corridor and at one point someone came to door apparently proffering food for sale but English not available and as we weren't hungry we stuck to some biscuits we had. Very rough riding on occasions (probably due to track, not stock). Air conditoning bit ineffective. Had MP in next compartment whose supporters were very vocal when he joined train in small hours. Arrival 150 minutes down. A trip we would have preferred to make by other means.

16 November
Late arrival in Delhi and heavy traffic to hotel. Had intended to hire car for afternoon but Michael on Imodium and both feeling tired so chilled out in hotel for rest of day.

17 November
Morning pickup for airport and flight home to London. Picked up car and to Premier Inn at Hayes.

18 November
On road 0415 to beat traffic, home 0830.

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