Monday, June 30, 2008

Fashionably luxurious desert


Tracing steps forward, I headed for a drive to Luni. Ramesh, my driver, proved to be a real blessing. He was my sole entertainer while I hopped places in Rajasthan. On my way to Luni, I was greeted by kids waving goodbye with big smiles on their faces. The horns blown by a never ending stream of buses passing by made the highway too chaotic to hear the music being played in the taxi.
Continuing through Luni, I reached its most striking sight – Fort Chanwa. I decided not to stay overnight at the fort, now a luxury hotel. But I wanted to see every inch of this refined marvel of Indian architecture. So I decided to stay there till the evening. Carved in red sandstone of Jodhpur, the fort was massive. Immaculate paintings that adorned its walls transported me into the bygone era. I spent an hour at the beautiful garden. Yet another mesmerizing sight, yet another picturesque setting and yet another perfect sunset marked the end of my tour to Luni.
After spending a relaxed evening at this peaceful haven, I was scheduled to visit the most enigmatic city of Rajasthan – Jodhpur. Umaid Bhawan Palace was my home during this Jodhpur holiday. Every corner of the hotel was immersed in sheer elegance. It charmed my soul in the very first glimpse.
I dumped my bags in the hotel room and headed out for a guided tour to see the major attractions that dot the blue city. Blue is the colour dominating the city cape. We were a bunch of tourists visiting the Mehrangarh Fort situated on a hilltop. As we walked up, we realized how huge the structure actually was. We were told by the guide that despite several efforts of the enemies this imposing fort had never been attacked. Other palaces that the fort houses Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Phool Mahal were ultimate delights. Paintings and carvings that embellished the walls were exquisite. An audio played in all the chambers informed us of the brief history linked with the fort.
We then proceeded towards the museum packed with loads of regal charm. The royal cradles, miniature paintings, howdas, music instruments, palanquins brought alive the bygone era before my eyes. Swords in silver and jade, shields with rubies and pearls engraved and barrels with gold and silver work were objects rarest of all. Incredibly luxurious ! This was probably one of the finest forts I had seen during my trip so far.
Later in the evening, we were taken into the old city. Far from the hustle bustle of the modern city, I spent the evening at a desired pace here. Really a nice and peaceful place. My camera worked breathlessly to capture all that was beautiful. I am enjoying so much so that I myself do not know when will I be moving to another destination. I simply love the colours of this desert.

Jodhpur,Sheesh Mahal,Phool Mahal,Mehrangarh Fort,Fort Chanwa

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