Gangaur Ghat gleams under a crescent moon over Lake Pichola, taken from the best spot for a visit or a meal 😀 I’m a bit biased, I admit. But seriously, this view is ever changing and yet constantly mesmerizing and beautiful.
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The Ahar cenotaphs. I learned the word “cenotaph” when I was 14. It means a “monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere” — a place holder for veneration, if you will.
I don’t think the folks who put together that dictionary ever dreamed of the way they’re done in Rajasthan, over acres and acres of land. The yellow stone Bada Bagh outside Jaisalmer might be the most famous, but near the old Pratap Nagar railway station in Udaipur is a huge tract of Chhatris in white.
Sadly, the grounds are unkempt and some structures are in disrepair (plus the caretaker is more than happy to take a bribe to break the posted rules.) Still, it’s serene and rather imposing in the early morning and I’m glad to have visited.
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Earlier this month, I went overlanding for the first time. What’s that? It’s defined like this: “Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.”
Seven of us got on a modified truck (called Bonnie, a beautiful orange BharatBenz), while her twin (Clyde, of course!) followed us (tricked out with loos, showers, hot water on one side and a kitchen on the other) and went from Jaipur to Gurgaon (where we were stopped by curious cops at every intersection, it seemed), on to Rishikesh, where we stayed in a room by the Ganges, then further up the mountains, following the Alaknanda river past Rudraprayag and Devprayag to Chopta, Uttarakhand. Here we stopped for two nights and camped amidst rhododendron trees, (more…)
I spent an afternoon poking around the sheds with the engineers while researching a story on the Indian Railways’ mandate to switch from the very unsanitary drop-chute toilets we inherited from the British to zero-waste bio-toilets. It was totally fascinating. I was fully enthralled by all the various maintenance sections and tasks — rakes on elevated tracks, being painted, welded, shunted. All very cool.
And everyone at the Central Railways was delightful. I’ve never dealt with a branch of the government so efficient and eager to help. I’ve come away not only equipped with more respect and understanding for what they do (and how uphill a task it is to cater to our great unwashed junta) but also impressed with the engineers and the CPRO. Ask me about my contrasting *other* experience to really get why I’m so floored. 😉
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Classic! I love that they managed to spell the hardest word right, but not the rest 🙂
I know, I know, the guy stenciling it on is probably illiterate, but the lettering is still funny. Thanks for the entertainment Delhi ‘govrment’!