Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year’s Eve in Rajasthan (much better than Boxing Day)

Tania & I met up with Jules & Don in Jodpur where we undertook a 2½ hr drive down the “highway” to a place called Rawla Narlai. It is here that we would be spending New Year’s Eve.

Now...I use the term “highway” loosely because what we drove on varied in places from surfaced road to goat track to no road, back to goat track to road under construction or various combinations thereof. It was quite tiring drive (only 160km), not helped by Tania in the back going “Are we there yet ??” every ½ hr !!

Eventually, we made it.

The place is an old Maharaja’s fortress (17th Century) that became a hunting lodge...a sort of “getaway” for the elite. The family (the Maharaja Singhji family of Jodhpur) still own the place & decided to turn it into a hotel.

If you want to know more, the website is:

We were told to be ready for 7.30pm & to meet in the courtyard, where a magician would be performing for us. The magic show was kinda lame but the kids loved it.

At about 8.30pm, we were guided to oxen carts that took us to where the main festivities (& dinner) would be held. It was about a 15min ride out of town to this amazing temple complex & reservoir that was all candle lit.

The ride up the track was quite peaceful & meandered through all of this rocky outcrop. It sort of had a bit of a “Picnic at Hanging Rock” feel...minus the creepy music. We could actually see the stars & hear the quiet !!

Dinner was a buffet assortment of western & Indian styles that was quite nice. We had Rajasthani musicians, fire walkers & dancers playing away all through the night. We headed back to the lodge at about 11.30pm (via 4WD this time) & got back in time to grab a drink & see in the New Year.

Here's a selection of photos from the night:

The nice room

The bullock cart taking us to the dinner

This is the reservoir complex that was lit up with candles (lots of dust in the air)

Yep...we even had a fire walker

The dancers kept going all night

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