The Third Tale from Karnataka and Rajasthan – Hampi and Jaipur

By Nick Goslett
The boys in the temple
The boys in the temple in Hampi

The last two days in Hampi were gorgeous: cycling, revisiting ruins, watching sunsets and a very odd coincidence.I decided to take a one and a half hour yoga course and being the only one, the teacher and I got chatting. He mentioned “John” so I said “Stirk?” and he said “Yes, I used to teach him”! Penny especially, and perhaps Liza, will recall the yoga lessons we had with John Stirk in Hampstead. I am sure it is the same and have emailed him. Apparently he is famous in Hampi. It must have been a long time ago that Yogananda taught him because he was now portly and had great difficulty in demonstrating some of the moves! Still, he was a good teacher. My lovely lady masseuse said he was much too fat to be any use! Village politics methinks.

Ms Yoga America was at the Guest House for my last evening but I ate there anyway. When she left for Hospet mine host said “My God she talked a lot!” My one and only dinner there and I regretted it because once again on an overnight coach sleeper (and it was comfortable and the roads were OK and I could have slept) my nether regions growled and grumbled all night and I did not dare to sleep. Thus I arrived in Hyderabad more dead than alive and procured a hotel room stating specifically that I would sleep now and be gone by 3pm. Hoping to soon be off to the Land of Nod, the builders decided to demolish the room next to mine. I attempted to get a refund but not surprisingly they then pretended that they spoke no English.

The Ramayana in the Hazara Rama Temple

Where the Israelis get stoned

The Monoliths of Hampi

The fishermen return

Mending their nets

Coracles Hampi

Collecting wood for the fire

Beautiful shapes

Another butterfly

An aqueduct

A step-well

Here I am in Jaipur. Yesterday I took a nine hour guided tour. I duly clocked in and got talking to two vets (Aussie and English) who had been advising on a huge India-wide project to inoculate all the plethora of dogs roaming the streets against rabies. 22,000 Indians die of it each year, mostly children. I was therefore disheartened when told that they were on another bus .. and I was with a couple of NZ youths and many Indians. The trip got off to a bad start because the tour guide was useless and the poor chap had to speak in English and Hindi. After one visit I lost them (and stupidly had not taken the guide’s mobile number) whereupon an ancient toothy bicycle rickshaw driver told me it was my fault, my bus had gone but he knew where so hop in. Which I did and the venue was an emporium from which the guide no doubt got a backhander. But, my coach wasn’t there and they were still waiting for me! The Indians were all very kind to me throughout the trip which in the end turned out to be excellent after we decided to ignore the guide. Whilst sitting outside the emporium, one of the party, a very good looking young man sat down and we spent the rest of the trip together. An Egyptian Evangelical Christian, John, and a bright boy on an internship in Bangalore. And it did not end there … the two NZ guys (who abandoned ship very quickly) were in Jaipur for the Champions League 20-20 cricket and they were playing the Rajasthan Royals that night in the quarter finals. So, we decided to go. John, who had never seen a cricket match, had no idea about the game. Getting in to the ground was extraordinary: the booking office was a two foot long hole in the wall four feet up the wall, about eight inches high and one could see a face at the end of it. Two tickets purchased and off we went to the North stand. But, getting in for me was strictly forbidden: I had my bag – forbidden; I had a camera – forbidden; I had some coins in my pocket – forbidden. So after telling me it was all impossible they took the coins and waved us in! I told John that the rules of the game were simple and proceeded to explain them … but soon realised that they are not that simple! The Rajasthan Royals won in the last over which made them hysterical with joy. John will be able to show off his knowledge of cricket to his fellow workers and was thrilled.

Got up this morning, had an “accident” and went back to bed for the morning. A dodgy chicken pulao in one of the hill forts!

That’s it for now.

Love to all


The Floating Garden, Amer Fort, Jaipur

Rooftops of the Amber Fort

Mosaics II, Amer Fort, Jaipur

Mosaics I

Looking down on the Amber Fort

Jantar Mantar Observatory

Inside the City Palace

Inside the Amber Fort

Entry to the City Palace

Entry to the City Palace

Egyptian John

Amber Garden

A Single-stringed instrument player

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