Jodhpur's Mehrangarh fort is maginificent and so alive. The shenai and tablas played by locals at the entry, the grand museum, the Sheesh Mahal like dancing rooms, winding stair cases and the intriguing 'jharokhas' for the women of the Rajputana to view the happenings in their mahal- its just so waiting to spring to life. Imagine being a woman within such forts with jharokhas, sheesh mahals, watching the King watch women dancing. Strange. And the hand prints of all those countless women who dived into the fire filled 'jauhars' to salvage their honour. Phew.
Outside you can see the stamp of the new age royalty. The Umaid Bhawan royal residence cum museum cum five star hotel is modern, real, tangible. I prefer Mehrangarh though- its so damn riven with character.
80 kms off is Osian- great place to catch some fun in a sms version of sorts of the great Thar desert. A couple of sand dunes to get the desert feel, the touch of smooth sand slipping under naked feet as one climbs up and then slides down the golden flowy mountains of the desert. Next time, I will see the real thing at Jaisalmer. Goodbye to a vacation I shall always remember fondly.