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January 27, 2017

India Day 18 Tordi Gah to Jaipur

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 3:59 pm
Tags: , ,

18/10/16

Another early morning, up in the cool and dark to hike up the hill to see the sunrise from the fort at Tordi, which was really worth doing.

Different colours

Different colours

I’m glad we walked up the hill in the dark though, as there were some fairly steep sections, which if you could see them, may have messed with your head. I’m sure it’s always easier to walk up the hard parts in the dark without knowing what you’re in for.

Lake in the morning light, Tordi Gah

Lake in the morning light, Tordi Gah

It was a great view of the area from the top. The fort was fairly small, especially if you’re comparing it to the big forts in Agra, Delhi and Jaipur. It was only a small kingdom also, so a smaller fort does make sense. The sun came up really quickly, and seemed to pick up where it left off last night colour wise. It came up a brilliant pink colour and brought a soft glowing light to the surrounding area. Sitting at the top was nice and peaceful. No horns, no people, nice and cool and some biscuits and tea to fill the gap.

Time for a rest while drinking in the view (and water)

Time for a rest while drinking in the view (and water)

After watching the sunrise, I took a quick look around the overgrown fort ruins. Most of the fort was just ruins, some brick walls and wells hidden beneath the vegetation, hidden reminders of an era long gone. I’m not sure there’d be enough to even try to restore if they wanted to.
We wandered back down, getting a view of the others side of the hill and the dam in the distance.

The few willing to make the hike

The few willing to make the hike

After the fort hike, there was time for a bit of recovery, then off for a walk around the village. It was just a normal rural Asian village, people walking around, or going about their normal morning routine like washing, getting to work, school etc. The population is about 1500 and most earn their living from subsistence farming, so the addition of tourists has been good, but it needs to be monitored a little so that the kids don’t take advantage of the tourists for thing like money etc.

Generations, Tordi Gah

Generations, Tordi Gah

From there our short stay in the village was over and we headed to Jaipur. Tordi Gah was a great little detour and while there’s not much to do, that is also part of the attraction. You’re able to get away from the noise, hustle and bustle of tourist India and take some time out.

Tordi Gah guest house with fort in the background

Tordi Gah guest house with fort in the background

Once in Jaipur, our tour leader took us on a short walk (march) to the old city area – going past the shops too fast to actually see much. We ended up visiting another couple of tourist shops, one which demoed block printing, then of course tried to sell us things like linen, scarves, etc, then on to a gem shop for the same type of thing. At least they give you free drinks at these shops, but it gets a bit boring if you’re not there to buy anything.

Shopping can be boring

Shopping can be boring

We were driven back to our hotel by a guy who owns the gem shop. He spends 2 months in Italy, then comes back to India for 2 months, back to Italy for 2 months etc. He was great, very informative and would probably make a great tour guide! The traffic at night around the city centre in Jaipur is crazy and our driver gave us a good tour of the city after he unintentionally took the scenic route. It would have been good to get to see the park at night, that was lit up well and looked really cool.

Elaborate candelabra, Jaipur gem shop

Elaborate candelabra, Jaipur gem shop

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January 22, 2017

India Day 17 – Tordi Gah

Filed under: Trips — pearsey @ 9:44 pm
Tags: , ,

17/10/16

Up early and caught a public bus to a mid way point along the side of the road, where we swapped to a private bus to take us to Tordi Gah.
As we were leaving Agra, we drove past a few areas on the city which looked like rubbish tips, but had people living under tarps and tents. It was just a reminder that some don’t have (or choose not to have) the comforts we take for granted. The drive from Agra to Jaipur was on a nice highway, or tollway, and thankfully relatively free of cows. I think this was the only time I actually saw a dead cow, there’s really not much chance of avoiding them at 100km an hour and it would make a bit of a mess if you hit one.

Tents, Home, Agra

Tents, Home, Agra

We drove through Jaipur to get to the rural village of Tordi Gah. The countryside on the drive here looked a lot like Kenya/Tanzania, unending desert like plains, with the odd hill rising out of the dust. The land wasn’t as sparse though, with a reasonable cover of low grass tufts and trees, whose branches were covered in thorns. Shepherds, or stockmen, sometimes just young boys, would take their sheep, goats or cows out to find feed.

Goats in the village, Tordi Gah

Goats in the village, Tordi Gah

As the bus struggled down the narrowing dirt roads, we guessed we were getting closer. The fort ruins on top of the hill signalled we were close to the village of Tordi, which has a population of about 1500.
At Tordi we checked in to the guest house there, and went on a drive through the village. We went to a step well, where no matter how deep or shallow the water is, you can take the steps down to the water level. The well isn’t used anymore and the water that was in it was stagnant. Makes you wonder how the water was kept fresh when it was a working well.

The steps at the well, Tordi Gah

The steps at the well, Tordi Gah

After that we went to a dam, which seemingly appeared out of nowhere – it was just not where you’d expect to see a dam and it looked like it had been a long time since it had been anywhere near full.

The other direction - not a lot of water

The other direction – not a lot of water

Here you could also walk down the side of the wall with wide steps taking you to the bottom. We had a good view of the sunset from here and were happy to sit there and watch it. But, there was a better place to watch it we were told, so we headed to the sand dune area and climbed the sand dune to watch the sun go down. The sand was nice beach sand, just thousands of miles away from a beach! The sand dune did indeed provide a great view of the sunset and surrounding area and was worth the walk up there.

Varying colours, sunset, Tordi Gah

Varying colours, sunset, Tordi Gah

We finished the night with a meal on the rooftop overlooking the village. Our hosts for the night pumped up the music for a while, which must have really annoyed the whole area, because it was otherwise so quiet. I found it interesting that the dances they did were meant to tell a story – to be perfectly honest I couldn’t pick the story from the dance, it didn’t line up at all!

Blue lights in our room, Tordi Gah

Blue lights in our room, Tordi Gah

The place we stayed in was a 300 year old property, one that the ruler of the local area used to live in. It had been well converted, air con, fans, bathrooms and it was better than some of the other places. The accommodation provided income for 30 families in the village.

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