Sunday, February 12, 2012


NB: I have tried to email this post to blogger five times now. Very frustrated. Was in Ranthambore 2 days ago. I had pictures and will try to upload them another way later. For now, enjoin.

This morning we woke up early (again) to set out on our 4-hour drive to Ranthambore to see the tigers. Before leaving Jaipur, however, we stopped by a few sites for a few photo opps. The first place we stopped at was the Palace of the Winds. It's not really a palace, but a place where the royal women could look out at the people on the street without being seen. It was merely a facade bc the building was only 1-room deep. The building was designed in such a way that it created a breeze for those sitting by the windows. That's why it is called the palace of the winds.

Our next photo stop was in front of a palace built for the Prince of Wales for when he came to visit India. After the Indians gained their independence, it was turned into a museum. The palace was built in the 1800s. There were lots of pigeons on the road in front of the museum.

The ride to Ranthambore was long. We stopped at a tourist test stop for a bathroom break, where I found the elephant wall-hanging I was looking for. Yay!

After we finally made it to our hotel and had lunch, we set off in 2 open top jeeps in search of tigers. We saw many wildlife, including the black faced langur monkeys, sambar deer, caracal, common kingfisher, peacocks (and peahen), crested serpent eagle, red water lapwing, cormorants, great egret, grey heron, and many more.

Of course, the main attraction was the tiger, which we never saw even after two safari rides. We thought we were close on our evening ride bc something was creaking out the sambar deer, which are the tiger's favorite meal. The deer were on high alert and "stomping" their hooves in a way that indicated a tiger was near. Turns out it was just a caracal nearby. On our morning ride, we saw fresh tiger tracks but must have missed the tiger by 20-30 minutes. Bummer. Even though we didn't spot a tiger, we still saw some amazing wildlife and I got some great pictures.

The monkeys were all over and at the end of our morning ride, some even jumped onto our jeeps! There were these brown and yellow birds that were also quite friendly, and when we put out nuts they flew onto our heads and arms. It was a bit of a trip, especially since I was the only one without a hat on.

Our hotel happens to have a pet elephant, so I made it a point to get a picture with it. I fed it some bread but she ate it quicker than we could get a picture.

After our second ride we went to the village women ccrafts cooperative where they make carpets and bedcovers, and wall hangings. Afterwards, we went to a women's self help initiative where they made cotton textiles. Both places had some great stuff. I found a bedcover for my back room that matches my Vietnamese fisherman I bought when I went to Vietnam. I also got a beaded wall hanging in gorgeous deep blues.

Tomorrow we leave for Agra and the Taj Mahal and travel part of the way by train. Should be an interesting experience.

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