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Exploring the Wonders of Majestic India: A Journey to Remember - Part 2

My husband and I just recently had the chance to travel to my husband's homeland of Nepal and India for our epic two-month trip, visiting family, friends, temples, palaces, deserts, and so much more. In total, we visited four different districts in Nepal and five different districts and states in India.

We have traveled yearly to India over the past 22 years and to Nepal every 2-3 years to see our family.

But this year was different as we were seeing family and friends as it was festival season.

If you read my last blog post about our time in Nepal, where we spent time with family, you will know now that we have moved onto India, crossed the border to Uttar Pradesh region and headed by road to Lucknow.

We spent some time here seeing friends and family before we headed to our next destination called Ujjain.

Ujjain is an ancient and historical city that is 5000 years old. It is described as the best city in Adi Brahma Puran, and it is called mokshda and bhukti-mukti in AgniPuran and Garuda Puran. There was a time when this city had been a capital of a big empire.

This city has a glorious history. It is situated beside the Kshipra River in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. An important Hindu pilgrimage destination, it’s known for the centuries-old Mahakaleshwar Temple, a towering structure with a distinctively ornate roof.

It is a divine land that offers a unique blend of solitude and spiritual experiences. This temple town is renowned for hosting one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, Simhastha (Kumbh Mela), which occurs every 12 years on the banks of the Shipra River.

Also known as the temple town of Madhya Pradesh, the city is home to more than 100 temples and numerous pilgrimage sites of different eras.

It has recently had a complete facelift and has been transformed into this amazing pilgrimage complex. It was a fantastic experience to be here and to witness its beauty, energy and solitude.

We spent three days here, fully immersing ourselves in the spiritual significance that is felt within the area and the complex.

After having an incredibly spiritual time in Ujjain, we then moved on to our next destination, the magnificent Jodhpur in the Rajasthan region. We spent five nights roaming around the city streets and the fort of 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, a former palace now a museum.

A trip to India is incomplete without exploring the enchanting city of Jodhpur. This city is not only known for its architectural marvels but also for its cultural significance. Jodhpur is nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert, a gem that offers a glimpse into the country's glorious past.

Jodhpur is fondly known as the "Blue City" due to the indigo-coloured houses that adorn its streets. Founded in the 15th century, this city boasts an impressive array of architectural wonders. From the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, perched atop a hill and offering breathtaking views of the city, to the intricately carved Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble cenotaph, Jodhpur's heritage is truly awe-inspiring. As you wander through the narrow alleyways of the old city, you will be transported back in time, discovering ancient temples, bustling bazaars, and hidden havelis.

Is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, this enchanting city is a must-visit for anyone interested in exploring India's rich heritage.

We had an amazing time in Jodhpur, and in the past, we have visited many areas in Rajasthan, such as Jaipur, and we hope to visit many more in the future as we love its rich heritage, culture, history and food cuisine.

We then moved to Jaisalmer, another city in Rajasthan known as the "Golden City. " This city gets its name from the stunning golden sandstone structures that dominate its landscape—nestled in the heart of the Thar Desert! As we wander through the narrow lanes of the old city, you will be transported back in time. The intricate carvings on the havelis (traditional mansions), the ornate Jain temples, and the magnificent Jaisalmer Fort will leave you in awe of the city's architectural brilliance.

One of the highlights of a visit to Jaisalmer is exploring the renowned Jaisalmer Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stands tall on a hill, offering panoramic city views. Built in the 12th century by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, stands tall as a testament to the grandeur and resilience of the bygone era. Step inside the fort's massive walls and immerse yourself in its narrow alleys, bustling markets, and hidden treasures.

We loved it here and its wealth of history and beautiful architecture. We loved walking the small streets and getting lost in its many alleyways.

Jaisalmer is also a living fort and a paradise for heritage and history buffs. Explore the fascinating Patwon Ki Haveli, a cluster of five havelis adorned with intricate carvings and delicate artwork. Each haveli tells a unique story and provides a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the merchants who once resided here. Another must-visit is the Salim Singh Ki Haveli, known for its distinctive architecture and unique roof shaped like the back of a peacock.

Jaisalmer offers many outdoor activities in the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, which is a vast expanse of golden sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. It is a region filled with rich heritage and history, and exploring it on a desert safari is an experience like no other.

We embarked on an exhilarating camel safari for two nights and fully immersed ourselves in the vast expanse of golden sand dunes.

Travelling through the desert on the back of a camel and witnessing the breathtaking sunset over the dunes, creating a magical golden hue, was a highlight for us on our trip. Spending a night under the starlit sky at a desert campsite and experiencing the true essence of the desert and its unique culture, food, and music was magnificent and a memory I will keep with me forever. It's so worth it if you ever come to Jaisalmer yourself.

The Thar Desert has been home to various indigenous communities for centuries. These desert dwellers have developed a rich folklore that reflects their daily lives, beliefs, and struggles. From the fascinating stories of heroic Rajput warriors to the epic tales of love and devotion, the desert folklore offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who have thrived in this harsh yet awe-inspiring landscape.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of desert folklore is through the various cultural tours available in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. These tours take you on a journey through the narrow lanes of ancient cities, where you can witness traditional folk performances, music, and dance forms. Be mesmerized by the graceful moves of Kalbeliya dancers, known for their snake-like movements, or lose yourself in the enchanting melodies of Manganiyar musicians.

The whole experience for us was fantastic, and we can't wait to be able to travel again to India to visit more beautiful places in Rajasthan and the rest of India soon.

I really hope that you enjoyed my travel post; please like this blog page or share, as this really helps others find us and find out more about India and allows us to know if you enjoyed it or not so that we can share our travel and spiritual travel experiences with you in the future.

Best Wishes for now.

Keep Well and Keep Travelling...

Kelly and Ravi



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