A Travellerspoint blog

Bundi

We stayed at another of Malcolm and Linda's recommendations in Bundi - a much less touristy town than others we've been to. Hadee Rani is a 450 year old house, or Haveli as it's know here, with just 3 rooms so more like a homestay than a guesthouse. It had a nice rooftop restaurant with great views over the town to the palace and fort on top of the hill - we even had a candlelit dinner one night. The roof was off limits for breakfast though - the local monkeys took charge of it and had to be scared off with sticks or even an air rifle, which apparently didn't hurt them - just 'frightened' them! They had to be careful when shooting as the rooftops are in use all the time for morning exercises, hanging out washing, eating, doing homework and especially for kite flying - unfortunately we were there too early for the annual kite festival when everybody joins in.

Hadee Rani

Hadee Rani

Monkey defences

Monkey defences

Bundi town

Bundi town

White horse temple

White horse temple

We spent one day doing some obligatory sightseeing - the old palace, including the Chitrasala, the fort and a stepwell. Stepwells, or baori, are huge ornate wells dug into the ground with steps leading down to the water - used in their heyday for both water and a cool place to gather and socialise in the heat of the summer - the biggest in Bundi is 45 meters deep.

Old Palace

Old Palace

Old Palace - Elephant Gate

Old Palace - Elephant Gate

Chitrasala

Chitrasala

Chitrasala painting

Chitrasala painting

Chitrasala painting

Chitrasala painting

Fortress gate

Fortress gate

Queen's Baori (stepwell)

Queen's Baori (stepwell)

We also had a trip out to a waterfall - 20km along a very bumpy road in a rickshaw. We were a bit disappointed when we arrived to see a couple of small streams heading over a cliff, although it looked a bit more impressive after we crossed the streams on two small bridges and looked over the edge. We walked down to a small temple and then to the bottom of the falls, where the flow looked much more impressive. After a few minutes we saw our rickshaw driver at the top of the cliff waving at us - looking like he wanted us to come back up, even though we hadn't been as long as we'd agreed with him. So we took our time and didn't rush back. When we climbed back up nothing looked at all familiar - there seemed to be a lot less rock and a lot more water than when we started - we could see our driver in the distance waving at us but couldn't work out how to get to him. It transpired that the river was dammed further upstream and that extra water had been released for irrigation, raising the level by a couple of feet. Four boys were obviously amused by our plight, but showed us the best route to get across - including the two bridges which were now underwater - they were really pleased to get a small tip each.

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall at the start

Waterfall at the start

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall - after the waters rose

Waterfall - after the waters rose

After the waters rose

After the waters rose

Posted by armrig 18:10 Archived in India Comments (1)

Ranthambore National Park

Tiger Tiger

The official subtitle of the blog can now be changed to "Temples, Teahouses and a tiger" - because we saw one!! We spent nine hours in three separate safaris and only saw one quite distant but still impressively big tiger but we saw it.

Ranthambore was very relaxing apart from more dawn starts (sorry John but you never promised us tigers either - see John's comment about us not getting up early to go walking with him - even though 10am is early). We are temporarily following in the footsteps of our friends Malcolm and Linda staying at the places they recommended in both Ranthambore and later Bundi - and both very nice too. We don't want to follow them too literally as they are now unexpectedly in Goa for a month having a break from serious travelling whilst Linda's broken wrist (fell over in a cave) mends. Vatika Resort in Ranthambore especially was great - a lovely garden, with great service and very good food.

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So we had three safari tours - two at dawn in a "canter", a truck converted to carry 20 passengers, and an afternoon tour in a jeep. The park has 5 zones and we went in a different one each time so saw lots of beautiful scenery - a forested arid landscape with some lakes and tall grass at the moment making it harder to see animals. Our tiger spot was on an spit of land into a lake - the tiger was first lying down and then stood up revealing its full magnificent stripy self - unfortunately it was already 5.30pm when the park closes so we could only watch for a couple of minutes. We had to race out following another jeep getting to the park gates entirely coated in red dust - a small price to pay.

Canter

Canter

Jeep Langurs

Jeep Langurs

Park ranger

Park ranger

Pugmarks

Pugmarks

Tiger in the distance

Tiger in the distance



Although tigers are the main draw, we were very lucky to see a jungle cat (spotted by Colin) and a hyena (spotted by another tourist) - the guides aren't the best - and apparently these are both rarer than tigers. The owner of Vatika who also guides had never seen a hyena. We saw lots of other animals and birds too including spotted deer, sambars (large deer), antelope, wild boar, langurs, a red faced monkey, crocodiles, upfront treepies, spotted and fish owls, a serpent eagle, peacocks, storks and ibis. At one time we were looking at a wooded glade with spotted deer and langurs happily feeding together and it could have been a scene from a Disney film - very idyllic.

Ranthambhore scene

Ranthambhore scene

Summer pavillion

Summer pavillion

Spotted deer

Spotted deer

Langurs

Langurs

Antelope

Antelope

Owls

Owls

Crocodile lake

Crocodile lake

Jungle cat

Jungle cat

Treepie

Treepie

Wild boar

Wild boar

Sunset

Sunset

Posted by armrig 16:45 Archived in India Comments (3)

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