About Me

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Hyderabad, AP, India
I used to be a bit of a drifter, still am partly, but life is getting more and more organized recently due to a special someone. I love playing and watching cricket, I have recently realised that I have a very big interest in wildlife and birding. I work for a blue chip company. I am well and truly blessed! No complaints there :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

A magical place with magical instruments - Jantar Mantar

For me personally, the highlight of the Jaipur visit was the time we spent at Jantar Mantar.

The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (Ruler) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at the then Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest of these.
An excursion through Jai Singh's Jantar is a unique experience of walking through solid geometry and encountering a collective astronomical system designed to probe the heavens.

I had a whale of a time here shooting some of my best pics of the entire trip. Pristine blue skies finally blessed my quest to do some meaningful photography. I like these pics a lot, hope you do too . . .

RTDC Vinayak

While in Ranthambore, I also got a nice chance to shoot abstract pictures of the lovely hotel we were staying at, the RTDC Hotel Vinayak. Here they are . . .

. . . and here are some abstracts from Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, where we arrived early morning Feb 24 . . .

Ranthamboriiiing . . .

After a short and nice train ride from Bharatpur on the Jan Shatabdi express (tickets at around Rs. 80/- for a comfortable 2-hour ride {great value for money in an otherwise hassled railway network in Rajasthan}), we arrived at splendid Sawai Madhopur. The town itself appeared to be filled with all the trappings of a tourist-filled town. The auto rickshaw that plied us was brand new and even smelled of fresh paint :)

We stayed at the RTDC Vinayak Hotel, a very good place to stay at if traveling on a tight budget. But of course if you are the kind whose dad drives a Mercedes, you might want to try for rooms at the Oberoi Vanyavilas.

The nasty surprise that greeted us was that there would be gypsies available for safari at this late an hour. We should have to share space with 20 other tourists on a canter van :(

Though this was a downer, we did manage to reserve seats on one of them for 2 safaris the next day.

The safaris themselves were too short. At least the morning one had like-minded folks who maintained silence where required. The afternoon one was a total mess! First, we had to wait for a tourist couple who were late to arrive and wasted 15 mins outside the park. We also had a huge family that was with kids, eatables, water . . .that could have fed an army! The group was unrelenting in its chatter and was driving us close to the edge of our tether!

Add to this the biggest disappointment of all, we never saw any tigers :(

Here are some pics from this misadventure though . . .

National Geographic Photos