Rajasthan – Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Jodhpur, the blue city of Rajasthan, so aptly named after the blue painted homes dotting the rustic landscape of Jodhpur. I for one, was very excited and was eagerly waiting to visit the Mehrangarh Fort for many reasons – this was where “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed! Remember the epic Pit Climb scene with Christian Bale? and the sweeping shot of him standing on the edge of the pit set in front of a massive fort? Yep. That is Mehrangarh Fort, one of the best preserved and colossal forts in all of India, built by King Rao Jodha (of the Rajput clan) 400 feet above the city on a cliff structure composed of igneous rock (the cliff was declared a National Geographic Monument by the Geological Survey of India)

Mehrangarh translates into ‘fort of the Sun’ – trust me. They weren’t kidding, one must visit the fort during twilight or at dusk (as I did, breathtaking to say the least) – Click on images to expand

But it wasn’t just a fort or a military base, it also housed several palaces and was a thriving center for art and culture. Within the fort are well-preserved galleries for public display –

Elephant Howdah (seats used on Elephants)

Palanquin Gallery (typically carried by 2 – 8 persons)

Royal Rooms

View of Jodhpur from the Fort

I was also able to satisfy my fan-boy antics by doing this –

Lastly, the Flying Fox Zipline at the Fort is NOT to be missed! Extreme fun and amazing views of the fort, rocky landscape and the blue city!

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Rajasthan – Abandoned Village of Khaba, Jaisalmer

80 families, deserted an entire village over-night almost 200 years ago. No one knows why. Do I have your attention? I hope so.

This is the eerie story of the Paliwal Brahmin community, who lived in and around Kuldhara (the famous MAIN haunted abandoned village), who packed up and vanished one fine day in the face of a grave danger. Multiple stories claim that the Paliwal village chiefs of 84 villages wanted to protect the honor of their community when the local Mughal ruler wanted the hand of a Paliwal brahmin’s daughter in marriage.

I have seen abandoned houses, but villages? No. Overlooking the Khaba village is a fort (from where these pictures were taken) and surprisingly, one can find many peacocks surrounding the area.

Kabha is about 18Km from Jaisalmer, definitely a place I wouldn’t want to visit once the sun sets. What do you think?

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Rajasthan – Amer Fort, Jaipur

Amer Fort or Amber Fort is one of the 6 Hill Forts of Rajasthan that were recently included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I, one of the war chiefs of Emperor Akbar in the 16th Century, Amer Fort is known for its Hindu and Rajput styles of architecture and is one of the important tourist attractions in and around Jaipur. The Fort is in Amer town, which was once the capital of the Kacchawas, who later shifted the capital to Jaipur.

While we had less than 3 hours to cover most parts of the fort, we were able to see the Jaleb Chowk (place for soldiers to assemble), the Sheesh Mahal (a stunning mirror palace), Diwan-i-Aam (Public audience hall), Diwan-i-Khas (Private audience hall) and the magic flower fresco.

Amer Fort, Jaipur:

Amer Fort, Sheesh Mahal:

Apparently, the Queen was not allowed to sleep out in the open. And so to recreate the effect of a starry night, this mirror palace was built! One candle of light was sufficient to illuminate the entire palace, pretty amazing right?

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Rajasthan – Sunsets

Watching a sunset in Rajasthan’s many picturesque locations is something every traveler has to do. There is something extremely beautiful about these sunsets that I have never experienced anywhere else in my limited travels. Perhaps, it is the setting – large rustic forts, calm lakes, palaces, arid deserts or even the architecture of the cities in itself. The sunset just enhances the overall experience. (click on images to expand)

Sunset at Thar Desert, sand dunes near Jaisalmer:

Sunset at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur:

Sunset at Lake Pichola, Udaipur:

Sigh.

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Rajasthan – Tigers of Ranthambore!

I just came back from a 8 day long vacation in Rajasthan. And what a vacation it was!! Our group traveled over 5000 KM across Jaipur, Ranthambore, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Doesn’t matter if your Indian or not – one just cannot leave Rajasthan without a sense of awe. I have thus decided to share some of the best pictures from the trip as part of a series of posts on Rajasthan. First of which is from the Ranthambore National Park. We were super lucky to spot a tiger in our very first safari ! I was even luckier to have a 75mm-300mm lens handy to take decent pictures from the canter.

Folks, I present to you – Krishna (T-19) Isn’t he a beauty? (Click to enlarge in full-screen)

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Time Lapse – Thar Desert Sunset!

Time Lapse #2 – Thar Desert Sunset from Jayanth Kashyap on Vimeo.

Had a wonderful time watching the sunset from the desert dunes near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Mesmerizing.

Software: Adobe Lightroom, LRTimeLapse, Adobe Premiere Pro

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