With Udaipur disappearing behind us I was excited to be on our way to see one of the largest Forts in Rajasthan and therefore in India, Chittaugarth Fort. With all the problems surrounding the controversial film doing the rounds we were not sure if the fort would be open but our driver had got news we should be ok, so off we jolly well went.
The fortress is set high and encompasses a whole town complete with Temple, Palace and Gardens covering an enormous area and we knew we would not see all of it
This had to be the first fortress we were able to bring the car right inside without any payment other than a few Rupee for car parking and of course the first stop as in any Indian enclave is the temple.
from here we proceeded to short drive to what was a palace where the gardens were still being maintained and another photo shoot.
Our final stop was for me to quickly scope out a Hindu Temple where worshippers were active in prayer and so a short climb through the monkeys and chickens and a quick prayer and armed with my photo collection we headed out for a well earned meal
On the way down we passed the demonstration and the three hanging scarecrows that were meant to represent the Director and producers
they don't mince words in India boys!!!!!
We had a really basic but good meal at the base of the fort for about 3 € each and I made friends with a couple of Indian boys who wanted to practice their English which I must say was better than some native English speakers Ha Ha.
We now settled back for the long journey to Bundi which was along roads that were laughably called highways and we eventually arrived in a town that even at 7 at night was a hive of market activity which proved a challenge for our driver Shakir to navigate but with the help of his trusty navigator ( that would be me) we stumbled our way along a half made road and came to our accommodation for two nights that was in an excellent location, with a lawn on the banks of a man made lake, in the shadow of a Fort/ Palace and well worth the journey.
The next day while some of the group went to visit the Fort I decided I needed to try and book my onward train to varanasi that I was afraid I had left too late and would be unable to secure. I also wanted to wander the streets and meet and take pics of the streets and India.
After lunch we took to the car and after a visit to the nearby Stepwell of Ranigi ( have I mentioned Denise has a thing about Stepwells?)
We then headed out to a surprise location, a village outside Bundi to a Potters House where we were destined to have a go at making a pot, however, bad luck or good luck depending on how you view it, meant the electricity was down and we could only view life in the pottery of an Indian village with most of the girls breathing a sigh of relief.
Heading back to the city we called in to see Sukh Mahal where Rudyard Kipling had stayed but it was a very different proposition then, than today
And on to our last stop of the day The Eighty Four Pillar Cenotaph where we arrived simultaneously with a coach full of school children who love the English ( anyone white is English in India, ok)! And while the majority of the group settled in to an abundance of selfies I made the climb to the top of the cenotaph where I was later joined by Jon and Denise.
On our return June and John went for a siesta and we climbed to the rooftop of a local cafe for a late late lunch and a cold beer
Of course the girls went off for the obligatory shopping trip and I retired to catch up on my blog until some time later when I got a summons to attend the Pink Panther Cafe to join the girls who had managed to charm the owner of the cafe into taking Denise to a beer and wine shop to buy wine and drink in his cafe. It was a good venue and after a beer and the girls posed for pictures with the owner we headed bank to our hotel
The next stage of our journey is to Ranthambore and our Tiger Safaris !!!!!!!!!!!!