Beautiful Castle Bijaipur

Bijaipur Travel Blog

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Long bus ride from Jaipur to Bijaipur today. Thank goodness the road isn’t bumpy, an the bus is comfortable, has air con, and water bottle holders. Mo still isn’t feeling well, poor guy.

We stopped for lunch in a non tourist town...a weird newer building that looked half abandoned with pigeons roosting and shitting all over, dark corridors, an elevator that stopped a floor below the top and you could see the broken, open elevator shaft The restaurant was on the top floor and we were the only people, although there were 4 waiters (sons of the owner, I think, all of whom did barely anything. They gave one menu for all of us. The lunch was preordered...which wasn’t so helpful folks with upset they just got white rice and yogurt. Pancham said that various dishes weren’t too spicy, but they were all full of spice so Harriet and Elisa stayed away from them. Pancham sprang for lassis with rose syrup and cashews for all of us. I’m not thrilled with his leadership so far...he gives all these options but wavers as to what he will us or not, take us somewhere or not, etc, There have been many changes to the itinerary...partially due to sickness of certain providers, some due to Holi festival, but some because Pancham doesn’t plan well, have good time management or communication skills and he doesn’t like to make decisions when the group doesn’t agree. There hasn’t t been enough down time either...we need time to wander around the areas by ourselves.

Finally we arrive at Castle Bijaipur and it’s absolutely lovely. It’s a Heritage Property...the owners (the current ones, I believe) were land owners / tax collectors and now that the system has changed, they converted the place into a lovely hotel. We were greeted with flower leis, a lady dotting our heads (which is a hospitality custom), and a duo playing drum and harmonium. We got a welcome drink and then we’re shown to our rooms, which are all different.

Ours is like a suite...massive double wooden doors open to a bedroom full of architectural detail, including a large nook with a raised platform area with a cushion and pillows and windows all around it. The bathroom is more like a 2-room suite with a humongous dressing area, and no door to the bathroom, just the dressing room part.

Everything makes a lot of noise (like haunted mansion doors) and everything echos, so earplugs will definitely be my friend tonight!

There are flowers and birds everywhere, and although it’s grand with spectacular architecture, it has a rustic feel: the stairs are different sizes and slightly too high, there’s a room in the front which is completely in ruins, and looks like it’s been in an unfinished state for awhile, etc.

There’s a temple on the property and a few ladies were raging when I went wandering around, There’s also an honor system gift shop, a restaurant, a lot of lovely sitting areas, inside and out, and then a gorgeous marble pool with ancient sculptures all around (taken from the local fort, we were told) and an eating area surrounding the pool...the turbaned staff was setting up for the buffet dinner, with green parrots flying all around us... it really looked like Colonial India.

The group was suppose to take a village all after an hour and s half, but several of the girls revolted and jumped in the pool instead. I ran back to the room to change into my suit and join them. Morgan had taken a quick nap and was ready to join us in the pool, and eventually Graham came in as well. Then I checked out several of the others’ rooms, and got ready for dinner.

We had drinks first in the courtyard...gin and tonic seemed like the perfect thing, and they actually HAD both items! So much of this country is dry, or there is only wine and Kingfisher beer...or just beer! The buffet was quite good...eaten by candlelight...Pancham showed off his napkin folding skills from his days on cruise ships. Then we sat in the activity room, played some ping pong and card games and used the internet, as it only works there and not in the rooms.
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