Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Rajasthan is a spectacular place. It is right out of every adventure story I've ever read and endlessly fascinating. Scores of abandoned forts atop desolate hilltops, the occasional 'jheel' providing relief to the landscape, the psychedelic colours that dominate the daily life of the residents be it in their clothes, houses or food - all go into more than making up for the lack of variety in the landscape. I have been only to Jaipur and Ajmer in Rajasthan yet, but I have an fair conception of how exotic places like Jaisalmer, Chittorgarh and Udaipur must be. It is absolutely one of my favourite places on earth.

On the top of my list of the wonders of Rajasthan has to be the one place I'd choose to visit over and above any other place and that is the Ranthambore National Park. Having fed on all the wildlife documentaries possible on the Discovery and NGC networks, and having never ventured beyond the sissy confines of a zoo, that leaves me a lot of places around the world that I need to cover in this life. Ranthambore has got everything that I need; it's got ruined forts, mysterious algae covered waters and tigers!!! I want to catch a glimpse of the fearsome predator before some cheapskate poacher wipes them out here too like they did in Sariska. I don't mind not seeing one on my first trip to Ranthambore or for that matter any other tiger reserve. I want to feel that the shiver down my spine and the tense excitement as I roam the jungles in a Jeep or on the back of an elephant. The unspoken  horror combined with a sense of privilege that a very keen pair of glowing eyes may studying me from behind the grass!

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