Sardargarh to Manvar

23rd February 2014 (Day 15) Sardargarh to Manvar, Rajasthan, India

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This morning we piled into the bus for a journey to Manvar Desert Camp.  Before too long we had come up behind an elephant, though it was riding in the back of the truck.

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The roads are quite often narrow.

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Perhaps this was even the same elephant we saw from the train two posts ago.

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The strips are for the woven base of beds, such as the ones in front.

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We stopped at a small family business making rugs, a skill passed down from one generation to another.

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We purchased a smaller one similar to the large one in the middle.  Raj, our driver, is on the right.

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Back on the road again … (though not so much heat, canned or otherwise).

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Indian driving.  A truck is overtaking a tanker and a bend is coming up.  There is a cow on the road on the bend and another truck behind it.  Click image if you want to see this more clearly in a larger view.

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Sardargarh People

22nd February 2014 (Day 14) Sardargarh, Rajasthan, India

 

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In the afternoon, the Maharaja took us on a tour of the township, where we met some of the people.

This woman, sitting in a doorway and wearing the traditional nose ring of the region,  was most amused by my appearance – a Westerner with a long and somewhat disreputable beard.

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This is a Nilgai or Blue Bull, a large, heavy antelope.  It prefers the plains with low hills and scrubs rather than dense rainforest, and is often considered a pest by farmers.

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Here is a local hermit.  He had a falling out with his family thirty years ago and has been living alone since, choosing never to speak.  When we arrived he was sitting on the ground surrounded by small birds.

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As you can see, he has extraordinarily long hair and beard.

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We are still in the same place, as an ox cart approaches.

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Our next stop was an ancient and sacred Neem tree.

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There are many fruit bats roosting here.  I don’t think you can see any in this image, though.

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A holy man from the Himlayas comes to visit from time to time and the locals built him a small house under the tree.

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Next we visited the houses of some of the villagers.

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Kitchen with stove in operation.

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Local woman wearing the traditional nose ring.

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Goats on the road.

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Young girls posing for a photograph.

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A kingfisher, probably a white-throated kingfisher.  This isn’t taken from a moving vehicle but I didn’t have a suitable lens and image quality is not so good because it’s just too far away.

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Later, we went to the lake for the sunset.  You can see the fort here in the distance on the horizon at the left.

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Sardargarh Train Ride

22nd February 2014 (Day 14) Sardargarh, Rajasthan, India

 

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In the morning after breakfast, we boarded a train for a journey from a village near Sardargarh to the town of Phulad 44 kilometres to the north.

All images are as viewed from the train, or within the train, except for the last two where we have disembarked at the final station.

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We were in the end car and a large group of people joined us at one station, mainly young women.  They were very friendly and great fun and very happy to have their photograph taken.

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My partner Jools tells me that they were mainly daughters of working men, on an outing for the day.

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“The track passes through a breath taking scenery of Ravli Sanctuary, with 100 feet high bridges, two long tunnels, waterfalls, thick jungle, and above all an unchanged ambience of a bygone era. The track is cut on a cliff side and one comes down by almost one thousand feet. All along one can only appreciate the Herculean effort by the engineers in 1928.”

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This is at the stop where our fellow travellers left the train.

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Viewed from above in a small town, but still from the train.

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Now we have disembarked and are about to board the bus at the right for our return journey to Sardargarh.

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This is the ticket office at Phulad, with its curious sign.

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Sardargarh Fort

21st to 23rd February 2014 (Day 13 to 15) Sardargarh, Rajasthan, India

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We arrived at Sardargarh Heritage Hotel in the late afternoon and this was our welcoming party.

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We had arrived at a modern hotel inside a massive ancient fort, built by Sardar Singh from 1738 to 1743.  He also built the Lake Palace in Udaipur.  I have been able to find little of the fort’s history but at one time it was severely damaged by the explosion of a powder magazine and at another was besieged by the Holkars of Indore, about 500 kilometres south-east.

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Multi-image panorama: Click for much larger image

This is a view from high on the wall of the fort looking NNW across what must be a flood plain.  The fort clearly occupies a strategic location with no high land for many miles in this direction.  Had we chosen a different room, this might have been the view out our window.

This is a multi-image panorama that will appear quite small on the page.  However, if you click it, you will find yourself in a huge image that you can zoom right into and observe the detail.

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In the other direction is Sardargarh town.

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Sunset looking about WSW.  The next few images are in the low evening light after sunset.  At least some are time exposures that must have been taken from a tripod.

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Next morning I arose very early to photograph before dawn.  This is looking south from the northern end of the fort.  .

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There are roads beside the interior walls on both sides of the fort.

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It is now well past sunrise and this is at the south end of the fort.

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Back now at the north end of the fort, looking towards some small temples on top of the ridge.

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This is a lone shot from that night.

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The next morning, as we were about to leave, I scurried around for some final images.

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These last two are infrared.

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Staying at this historic fort as guests of the maharaja and maharani was definitely a highlight of our trip.

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