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USA | Wednesday, 25 February 2009 | Views [724] | Comments [1]

Bundi is described in the lonely planet as a tiny little indian village that you wished you just happened to stumble upon....well i have a theory that lonely planet is ruining the world...but anyway it is a much quieter, quainter, mellower place then most cities and areas i have visited in rajisthan.

The people there are less pushy and very friendly, the streets have less cars which means less horns, and there is such a great variety of sights and places to see.

We arrived to Bundi at 5 am after an overnight sleeper bus. Your "sleeper" is more like a coffin with windows. When we arrived of course there were a few lodge owners waiting to sell their place. We arrived, put our bags down and wondered our way up to the palace and fort. It was the perfect time to explore what seemed like an old deserted fortress. the sun was rising, NOBODY was there except birds, puppies, and monkeys. THe silence was incredible, each turn was unique, the architecture was glorious, and the views were great! After some time we made our way back downb and had some breakfast.

Usually after traveling your first day you walk around the new town in a daze....as we did. we found our way through markets, got a motorcyle ride from a friendly bundi local man, saw MANY MANY temples - every 3 buildings is a temple - saw the lake and then had a home cooked meal at our guest house. off to bed early....after the best desert ever: Cookie crumble, a scoop of icecream, some cashnuts all sitting in a big bowl of melted chocolate fudge. a true treat for the weary travelor!

the next day we decided to rent bikes...the absolute BEST way to see India, at least in Rajisthan. We hopped on our bikes (which get worse in every town) and made our way out of Bundi. We rode past a beautiful lake and then saw a place with high walls, many tall old yellow stone structures with dome tops and open walls and pillars, and a gate that was closed. Well determinded me HAD to see what was inside so I scaled the wall around some bushes and thorns and just as i was going to jump down the grounds keeper (dressed in full bright orange cloth with turban and all) stops me, laughs at me, and then opens the gate to the mysterious deserted land. We were in  awwww wondering around what seemed like a discovered land that nobody has set foot in for centuries. We learned that these tall OLD VACANT structures  (or figured out so not %100 sure) were tombs. It was so peaceful there, the trees were very big and old, and the woods went back far and deep. The man was generous and kind as he lead us around, aloud us to take pictures, and as we paid respect for his time and the dead.

Back on the bikes we went as the land opened up into nothingness, farms, hills, old fort walls, and my personal favorite - big old brightly painted and decorated tractors rolling by with a full stereo system and HUGE speakers tied on to the front...like the same JBL speakers i had in highschool. And of course they had the music BLARING loud, breaking the silence, as 4 to 5 Indian men listen and drive their tractor with this rico suave kind of attitude. Every time they passed i just laughed. The ride was fabulouse, the excercise felt great and the breeze was fresh and oh the green was WOW so beautiful... i love the farms!

So we found our way to a village after about 15km or so of riding. lets just say that the village was full of excitement and smiles when we approached. everybody came to see us and gather around and follow us around. we went from fruit stand, to chai stand, to food stand, to saree shop to bracelet shop and was welcomed and gazed at and smiled at and ahhhed at each step of the way. When we first got there it was absolutely hillarios we just stood there and i had the camera filming video as crowds of people just surrounded us. it was like we were movie stars!! This one spicy older women just got a kick out of us and checked up on us each shop we went to.

the chai shop was filled with men just staring...i bet the chai guy had the best sales in months, we should have got commission! And we had a great little potato snack with chilly sauce and some fun sweet. It was a great rejuvination for the ride back. On the way out the children chased us and smiled and we waved good by and started our return journey. We stopped for a nap at this garden spot on the lake (hopped another fence) and was woken up by a parade of bands and dazzling dancing women...this is the start of a wedding that will go on for hours and days and will be a part of our morning evening and night for the next 24hrs. As the parade goes from one village picks up the husband and he rides his horse back to go find his wife. Firecrackers, instruments, lights, noise, singing, and many people are all apart of this event. It is TOTAL madness. It went through bundi 3 times...because there were 3 weddings in one. Everything stops when it goes by too, internet, business, your cooked meal, conversation, any thought and sleeping. and all you can do is just outragously laugh at it and dance with it and film it or go completely insane at the chaos of energy and stimulation of all the senses that get frazzled and tickeled while this occurs around you for 10 minutes every hour.

BUndi also offered a nice park, some interesting meals, great little winding alleys of blue homes and shops and mellow indian residence. the fruit and vegetable market was small and sweet and we enjoyed trying fruits and veggies and sitting on the side watching...and i had the best lunch EVER at this small little spot outside the tourist market of fresh made sauce and potato cake and veggies with a perfect mix of sweet, sour, savory and spicy. and a perfect mix of textures too.....with a great fresh papya shake where you could actually taste the flower......

so much more i'm sure happened in relaxing mellow bundi (except for the night of the wedding)...like when i tried on a turban while the wild wedding was passing - it was a great laugh!!!!!

oh....one of the best chai's ever sitting in a little shop at 5 in the morning. fresh ginger and old friendly happy bundi men wrapped up in their blankets and hats reading their newspaper and smiling as the shop owner carefully set up for the day (he sold drinks and snacks, even had Mt. Dew!) and blessed his shop - a sacred place....it was a perfect welcome to the town and a great way to end this blog entry!




Yes, but you wouldn't have found Bundi without the Lonely Planet...

  Cork Mar 4, 2010 1:44 PM

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