India: Rajasthan

Bharatpur, Deeg: "Birding at The Bagh"

Bharatpur, Rajasthan


February 17, 2007


Dear Friends and Fellow Bird Watchers,

One chilly, shivering evening last week at the open-air rooftop restaurant of my hotel, the Hotel Sri Nanak Continental (don't let the name fool you), smack in the middle of the incessantly beeping - beeping - honking - honking - beeping - honking - beeping - beeping - beeping and barking! automotive parts supply shop district of New Delhi, I met Penny and John, travelers from England who were pleased to sell me their guidebook Special Places To Stay - India.

Jaipur, Amber Fort: "It Keeps Getting Better"




February 23, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

It just keeps getting better!

"The magnificent delicate-pink, fort palace of Amber (pronounced Amer), a beautiful, ethereal example of Rajput architecture, rises from a rocky mountainside about 11km north of Jaipur." [*]

As Adit and I drive into Amber, the walls and the towers, more golden than pink, sit high and imposing on the mountains to my left.

Nawalgarh: "The Haveli and Mundan Sanskar"


Shekhawati region



February 20, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

"Jan, why India?" "Why now?" Perhaps you are asking these questions. The obvious answers are: "India is close to Thailand." And, "There's no time like the present." True. Very true.

The real truth is that my friends in Mumbai, Paawan and Sushma, invited me to an auspicious family celebration.

Bikaner: "The Red City"

Bikaner, Rajasthan


February 25, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

"The Lalgarh Palace is a sprawling extravaganza of carved friezes, jalis, pillars and arches in the distinctive reddish-pink sandstone. (Bikaner is known as The Red City.) Constructed between 1902 and 1926, the palace combines traditional Rajput and Renaissance European features with Art Nouveau decor inside." [*]

Jaisalmer: "The Golden City"

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan


February 27, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

India is blessed with ancient stone -- deep deposits of granite and marble and sandstone. For centuries, for millennia, masons, architects, artisans and artists have quarried and designed and cut and carved their local stone to build a dramatic and eternal heritage.


The glossy white marble of Agra, the sparkling pink sandstone of Jaipur, the rich red sandstone of Bikaner -- the geological riches are the pride of India and a prize for her visitors.

And now, Jaisalmer -- a golden city! Jaisalmer, the golden-yellow sandstone walls rise up from the hills to dominate and defy the golden gauntlet of the Thar Desert.