Udairpur to Jodhpur
Trip Start May 04, 2009
13Trip End Jul 30, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The driver was a young guy called Shandir who, as somehow every Indian person I've spoken with so far has, had an impossibly positive outlook on life. As an autorickshaw swerved to miss a cow lying in the road, missing our car by inches and punching his horn frantically, he laughed heartily and said with brimming pride - "this is Indian driving - horn and no sight"
As we left the city of Udaipur, I watched the beautiful landscape of Rajasthan unfold. We passed through numerous farming villages, where the residents made their money by planting and harvesting grain. Needless to say these people were living in absolutely dire conditions, but nevertheless as we drove past with our windows open, seldom would I not hear a "Namaste" or see a grinning face and friendly wave.
We came to our first stop at around midday - Kumbhalgarh fort. This stunning 15th century fortress is home to 52 temples and the "Palace of Cloud". The driver opted to stay in the car while I made my way around, and between climbing to the very top of the Palace of Cloud and visiting just a handful of the temples scattered around, I realised I had spent over 2 hours exploring the fort and hastily made my way back to the car. Being almost 2000m above sea level, the views from Kumbhalgarh fort were absolutely amazing - being on top of this huge fortress built hundreds of years ago, viewing the surrounding mountains was a truly memorable experience.
We continued towards Jodhpur, and shortly after we stopped for some lunch and tea, we visited the largest Jain temple in India - Adinath. I couldn't help but laugh as the temple came into view - I was comlpetely gobsmacked. Inside was a beautiful maze of pillars, all intricately carved with different patterns and stories. I spent an hour simply walking around and gawping at the mesmerising detail and artwork, before taking a few photos and returning to the car.
The driver seemed happy with my reaction to Adinath Temple and, as always brimming with pride, claimed that it was "The most beautiful temple in the world"
We arrived in Jodhpur and I knew at once that it was completely different to Udaipur. Bustling markets, beggars lying in the streets, cow manure freckled onto every square inch of pavement; this certainly was the India I had pictured when starting my travels!
I've yet to explore Jodhpur as unfortunately I've been unwell (my finger remains pointed at the rather dubious "Special egg curry") but as soon as I sort myself out I will hit the sights and let you know what I find. I'm already looking forward to exploring the Meranghar fort, which looms over the city and can be seen from my humble hotel room.