>Travel Pictures



Bikaner was an incredibly pleasant surprise.  We stayed in the Old City in Jodhpur and had all the accompanying noise, smell, and traffic.  We found a hotel in Bikaner that was away from the town and closer to the Palace; clean, open views, grass lawn, new!  Dave was tickled to see they had ‘swamp coolers’ instead of electric A/C?  We were so impressed with the Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, which is saying a lot given how much we had already enjoyed the fort in Jodhpur!!  It was built in 1587 by the 3rd ruler of Bikaner, Rai Singh.

Unlike most Rajasthani forts, it is not perched on a hill or cliff for defense – the expansive Thar desert was enough to dissuade any invading army.  It is surrounded by 3,235 feet of sandstone walls with 37 bastions.  It has never been conquered, so clearly the Thar is doing a great job! 
The various Mahals in the palace were stunning; the mirror work and gold detail simply dazzled the eye.  Another fabulous audio tour accompanied our rounds of the fort.


This fort had more modern stuff, too, which entertained Breck; the last Maharaja was an active member of the Army and his plane, medals, and weapons are all on display.

We spent a hot afternoon walking the streets of the old town in Bikaner. We wanted to find some old Jain temples that were marked as ‘tourist’ spots. 
It took us much longer to find them than we expected, but we enjoyed the results at the end of our meandering.  Breck and Alea both jumped sky-high when the temple guard played this bizarre contraption with cymbals and an old megaphone.
Color in Rajasthan is far more than a pleasant visual respite from the desert dunes.  Turban color can signify caste, religion and occasion.  According to our guidebook, Brahmins wear pink, Dalits wear brown and nomads wear black. Multi-colored ones are reserved for festivals.
White and dark blue mean sadness and are worn by Hindus when there has been a death in the family. The way a turban is tied also signifies where a person is from and to which social class he belongs.  Color is also used by Rajasthani women to denote caste, married state and origin.

Rajasthan trip 2010:

Jodhpur - Jodhpur Fort - Jaswant Thada - Evening performance - Bishnoi - Nagpur - Karni Mata - Jain temples - Bikaner - Camel ride - Festival

To the main India page
To the Stutz's Welcome Page