The Seventh Tale from Karnataka and Rajasthan – Udaipur and Jodhpur

By Nick Goslett
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

I went back to the Mall and had a McDonalds Spicy Veggie Burger which tasted of plastic then saw Gravity which I found an enormous disappointment.

The next day was pretty much a write-off, apart from yoga with Prakash, this time putting myself where I could see a clock and gauge how much torture was left and found it really exhilarating. I had seen a glowing write-up of a temple 40 kms from Udaipur with wonderful erotic carvings to match those at Khujuraho, though on a smaller scale. Well, first the driver got lost, ending up on a dreadful cart track and adding an hour to the outward trip (so 2.5 hours and lots of extra petrol) which did not impress him or me, and then the temple was like ordering a vindaloo and getting a korma. I was really pushed to spend 30 minutes there: tiny and not an erotic carving in sight. Ah well, Indian hype. So I thought I would go to the Sunset Point in Udaipur and there spied The Rope which was three little cable car bubbles to take you to the top of the hill. So I bought a ticket and was assured that I would be up in 20 minutes. Each bubble could take about 4 people, there were 100 milling around in front of me and what I had not spotted was that if you paid double you jumped the queue and hence screwed the cheapos like us. I demanded my 75p back and to my surprise got it!

Friends in Jodhpur

Booking a room in Jodhpur proved difficult because some music festival was on. I caught the 6 am bus … along with Chris and Loos who I had met in Ranthambore and a guy who did the expensive Rope just in front of me. A terrifying bus trip (I saw a smashed cow, Chris and Loos saw another bus which had just gone off the road!) and at the station the three lots of us set off on our different ways in three tuktuks … and 15 minutes later were all in the Cosy Guest House up a tiny back street in the Old City. This was excellent because I met a whole load of English speakers with whom I have spent quite a bit of time. Well, the music festival is one of the top 25 in the world, held in the Jodhpur Fort. Wonderful venues in spectacular courtyards and I have seen some exceptional music: a fantastic Sufi singer, wonderful Indian local music, dancing to Manu Chao La Ventura until 1 am, last night a quite sublime improvisation set with six Indian musicians (actually one was Australian and I told him to come to the Brighton Festival and stay with me) with weird instruments during which I thought I had gone to heaven, and a group made up from a four person Gaelic group and six Indian musicians which worked wonderfully and today a three hour interactive session with an Indian percussion player. The organiser knew I had played the drums so called me up to the front to tell the audience what the difference was in the way that they held their sticks, and what I thought of the sticks themselves to which I replied that they looked like they had been found on the sea shore as flotsam … and they really did but actually had had a lot of work done on them!

Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

There is a way up to the Fort from the Old City (which is where the Cosy is) so I thought I would walk down (and it’s a long way down) after the concert last night at about midnight (I left early because some Bollywood Group I found rather tedious were playing) and upon getting to the bottom found vast chains and padlocks on impenetrable gates. The thought of the climb back up was so awful that I let out a heartfelt groan .. and out from a cubby hole came a sleepy guard who smiled and let me out ..only to encounter a pack of dogs one of which was rather aggressive and I had to chase it off with my rabid heart pumping. Some locals assured me that there is no rabies here.

I have at last been shown how to safely buy and eat samosas on the street and delicious they are with no side effects! Better late than never.

Tomorrow is Jaisalmer and probably a two night camel safari and the whole crowd here seem to be following in my footsteps.

Love and kisses. I am not looking forward to winter in England!


Photos from my Trip to Udaipur and Jodhpur

Wonderful Sufi singer


Water lilies

They should learn to spell!

They love their cricket

The Fort

The Blue City

My Cosy lodging


Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Inside the Fort

Drumming workshop

A view of Jodhpur

A door

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