White wall with a painting of the god Ganesh and a blue door
CMMC,  Rajasthan,  Travel galleries

Gallery: intriguingly incomparable India

Picture India, and you are quite likely picturing Rajasthan. A land of ruined fortresses and long-abandoned palaces whose stones speak evocatively of past maharajas. A desert land where rural life is tough and little-changed over the centuries, yet vibrant and full of colour. A land whose people know how to celebrate and how to welcome strangers.

Many of those old forts and palaces have been converted into hotels, ranging from the rather special to downright luxurious. The cuisine is varied and excellent, there is music and dance wherever you go and people are friendly and keen to engage with you.

Rural Rajasthan

While Rajasthan is blessed with some beautiful cities, I was equally captivated by its countryside. Life is tough in many parts of this largely desert state. Families do manage to grow some crops but it is hard work, especially as many have to manage without modern machinery. We saw them ploughing their fields with oxen or buffalo, irrigating those same fields with an ox-driven waterwheel, cutting and threshing by hand, transporting the crops on a camel cart.

But wherever we stopped to take photos we got smiles and waves. People were sometimes amused by our interest but never offended by it. Where we got especially good photos we offered a few rupees in thanks, which were usually received with a smile. We got some great photos, and they got something which we hoped was of use to them in return.

For Cee’s CMMC May alphabet challenge, any word with an ‘I’, let me transport you for a brief while to the India I fell in love with. This is just a tiny sample of my favourite images from that trip!

The photos are presented chronologically, following our route. Where I have already written a full post about a destination I’ve included a link in case you’d like to see more.

Lake reflecting a stone fort on a hillside

A view of Amber Fort near Jaipur

Man in white with a red turban, holding a string bow

Musician at Amber Fort

Woman in orange sari with a broom

Sweeper at Amber Fort (one of the people I paid to pose for me)

Mosaic wall decoration with image of Ganesh

Ganesh mosaic on a wall in Amber Fort

Men, boys and a cow outside a simple shop

Locals in Khimsar

Stone fort on a hill top with views of a town and fields

Jaisalmer Fort and the town below

Sign promoting camel safaris

Sign advertising tours for tourists in Jaisalmer

Havelis in Jaisalmer, once home to the city’s rich merchants

Building with ornately carved stone balconies

Figures carved in stone

A Jain temple in Jaisalmer

Man with curling moustache and red turban

Jain temple security guard

Man with a white beard in a turban

Musician at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Simple building painted vivid pink

A shopkeeper painting his shop in Jodhpur

White stone building with lots of domes and spires set among trees

The Jain temple of Ranakpur

A visitor making an offering in the Jain temple, Ranakpur

Lady dressed in white bowing in front of a carving

Corner of a room covered with mirrored tiles

A room in the City Palace, Udaipur

Puppets for sale in Udaipur

Puppets in colourful costumes hanging in a cluster

Smiling young woman in bright sari
Man in orange robes with long hair and a beard

On City Palace Road, Udaipur

Two women in bright saris, one with a large basket on her head

Gardeners in Sahelion Ki Bari, Udaipur, pause to pose for me

Harvester spontaneously posing for my camera (when I’d hoped to grab some candid shots!)

Girl in purple sari holding a sheaf of grain

Woman in a sari with two cows harnessed to a series of wheels

Using oxen to draw water to irrigate fields (I tipped this lady as I took a number of photos and also shot a short video)

Stone walls and domed buildings with water in front

Locals washing clothes in the reservoir in front of the Shiva Temple in the sprawling hill-top fort of Chittaurgarh

Warm coloured stone carved with figures

A Jain Temple within the fort of Chittaurgarh

White buildings with a moat

Padmini Palace and Jal Mahal, Chittaurgarh

Lake with a palace on a hill behind

View of Bundi Palace from Nawal Sagar

I visited Rajasthan in 2015


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