Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Blue City of Bundi

Before we travelled to the blue city of Bundi, our tour group went on a safari in Ranthambore National Park to look for the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger.  We piled into a huge jeep and drove off into the Indian countryside.

After an hour of bumping over dirt roads, our guide got a call saying there had been a tiger sighting.  Every jeep in the park drove at top speed and converged at the same spot.  We all waited with baited breath until we heard cries of, "There it is!"  Of course I couldn't see the tiger in the forest, no matter how hard someone tried to point it out to me.  But I did see it when it began to move!  There was a flash of orange and then it was gone.  What an exciting moment!

The tiger's head.  (Photo credit: Sandra Chapman)

The tiger's body.  (Photo credit: Sandra Chapman)

The next day we set off toward Bundi.  But first we made an impromptu stop along the way.

I took this photo out of our bus window.  I noticed a girl sitting on a wall.  Our tour guide noticed her too and instructed the bus driver to pull over to the side of the highway.  We all piled out as our guide ran across the highway to see if we could pay the family a visit.  The answer was an enthusiastic yes!

This smiling face greeted us on the other side of the wall. 

The next thing we knew, all the neighbours came running to get in on the action.

The grandmother invited all thirteen of us into her small living quarters to show us how she made butter.

The neighbours couldn't believe that we all crammed into the house and they had to see it for themselves.

Our tour leader (in blue and white) chatted with the women and children while tea was made.  Two of the girls asked to be taken to Canada with us.

Joe hung out with the men.

All too soon it was time to say good-bye and be on our way to Bundi.

We  arrived at our lovely hotel, dropped our bags and headed out for the afternoon's activities.

We went to see Bundi's step-well.

The steps reminded us of an M.C. Escher print.

Some of the women in our tour group had henna designs applied to their hands.

Gorgeous artistry.

 Then it was off to visit Bundi Palace, an ancient and crumbling castle overlooking the town.

'Peep-holes' were used by the royal women, who were hidden behind stone screens.

Beautiful bougainvillaea graced the palace grounds.

 Ceiling detail.

 One of the many murals in the Bundi palace.

 On our walk back to the hotel, we came across this cow in the middle of traffic.  Vehicles just swerved around it.  (I swear I have seen thousands of cows since arriving in India thirteen days ago!)

It has been a whirlwind of activity this past week.  We have seen and done so much in a very short amount of time.

Next stop, Bijaipur!

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