Bharatpur

Posted on February 25, 2014

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When I first explained my itinerary to Ashok he looked at me quizzically.

“You want to go Delhi to Jaipur, Jaipur to Ranthambhore, Ranthambhore to Bharatpur and Bharatput to Agra,” he said shaking his head from side to side.

“Yes, what’s the problem?” I asked looking him straight in the eye.

He let out a big sigh. “Aaaasha……99 per cent of people don’t spend two days in Bharatpur, ” he continued in a gentle voice while raising his hand and turning his wrist sharply in the air as though screwing in a light bulb.

“Yes but Aaaaaashok,” I imitated in my best Indian accent. “I am not like 99 per cent of people. I am one per cent. OK?”

He let out a hearty laugh. “OK one per cent, no problem.”

I have booked to stay within another national park – Keoladeo National Park – a world heritage site – also a renown bird sanctuary. There are many migratory birds that visit the area and I’d quite like to see more of nature before I hit the chaos and madness of Delhi again. The park has a buffer zone and cars are not allowed through a certain point so you can hire bicycles to ride around the designated track routes. Or if you feeling lazy hire a rickshaw to do the peddling for you.

Ashok thinks I’m mad and he’s half right, I think craziness does run in the family but that’s entirely different matter.

He’s also agreed to come on a local train with me for a short trip. I’m dying to see how Indians travel especially after missing out on booking tickets.

At the moment we’re en route – guess what? Yup it’s another four hour dive. Hoping to hit the park in an hour or so.

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We’ve stopped at yet another tourist trap on the main highway because there is nowhere else to eat. The pakoras (tempura vegetables) were so-so and the aloo jeera (sautéed potato with cumin and chillie) was average. Seriously overpriced but what do you expect? The masala chai however is good and that’s a given wherever you go in India, so thank heavens for small mercies.

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Posted in: India