Tarun and Yogita's Travel Blog

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Location: New Delhi, India

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Yet another Rajasthani town, Bikaner, may not be any special in terms of administration, roads and cleanliness (meaning nowhere near good and the reason -- Dharmendar is the MP from this area and has not visited the city since his elections). But, Junagarh fort, bhujia and rasgulla from Chotu motu joshi and typical desert landscape makes it worth a visit.

Junagarh fort was one of the few forts in India that was never conquered. It is huge and very delicately decorated. One of the interesting aspects of the forts of Rajasthan is that the work on the windows is never the same. The king of Bikaner, Sri Ganga Singh ji, was a very progressive and diplomatic leader who worked for the welfare of the people. Most notable is the canal built by him that brought water and so life to Bikaner. A rare quality of the Indian kings of his time was his shrewd diplomacy, for instance he was adept at making the Raj bend to please him by offering concessions to his state and at the same time supported the freedom fighters of his kingdom. So much was his influence with the Britishers that he was the only Indian present in the signing of treaty of Versailles that ended world war I.

We also visited a unique research center for camels and a camel farm. A museum inside the farm displays a variety of artifacts about camels. In the farm there were so many camels that we have seen together in our respective lives. There was also a camel milk parlour that serves tea, coffee, kulfi (indian ice cream) and flavored milk -- all made of pure camel milk. Camel milk is supposed to be the best of the different kinds of milk. It has various medicinal properties especially its efficacy in treating type II diabetes.

Our day ended in the dusk of the old city where evening dawns on the abundant havelis and traffic grows out of control while you cannot count the number of mithai shops in the area.


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