From a few days in the wilderness of JAWAI, Simona travels across to Jaipur and SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace on her next leg of the Rajasthan Tour. Follow her diary as she comes back to love a city she previously had no love lost for and find out the reason for her change of heart, in this week’s blog.
Simona Quaglia is a veteran of the ‘Safari Life’. Having spent years in the African bush work alongside some of the best in the business, Simona travelled to India, a country she has had a long-running romance for, earlier this year. A natural linguist with an uncommon flair for understanding nuances, Simona travelled across Rajasthan, staying with SUJÁN. Her first sojourn, at JAWAI saw her keep a travel diary, which she kindly shares with us for all our readers. In the first of a three part series, follow Simona as she travels between Camps and Palaces, on a journey of discovery and exploration.
Rajasthan was gifted with a very wet monsoon season last year: Ranthambhore’s verdant nature had returned and the wildlife rediscovered their Arcadia. In October, as you meandered through the jungle, you were able to witness the park’s rebirth, the dhok trees flourishing in their senility, the grass long, thick and lush and the network of water channels flowing full. This allows wildlife to disperse throughout the park and the numerous watering holes scattered around the area were full for cheetal, or sambar deer to quench their thirst and leafy groves for nilgai antelope to browse and feast upon.
If PG Wodehouse were to have heard the alarm calls of the cheetal stag which nearly punctured my ear-drums last Monday morning, he would have described it as “a sort of yelp rather like a wolf that sees its peasant getting away…” The stricken-anxiety palely obvious in the yelp of the said deer was instead signalling the approach of a tigress, who looked like a Goddess of Death clearly running late for work, on a manic Monday morning. Read More A Tale of Two Mothers (With Apologies to P.G. Wodehouse!)
Get lost in time, as, ‘Time is History’ and ‘History is Time’.
The ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, in Rajasthan, welcomes you to ‘SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace’, one of the oldest and most treasured properties of the capital city. To understand the historical importance of this heritage property, built in 1729, one has to divulge back in time, to see the many transformations, in its over almost 300 years of existence. Read More SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur
While the legendary Machhli (T16) is celebrated the world over as the quintessential queen mother of Ranthambhore and global concern over her advancing age and failing health has reached obsessive and hysterical proportions, there is another Grande Dame that is quietly writing her own chapter in the history book of Ranthambhore tigers. Read More The other mother
The magic of the Indian wilderness goes a step further when you reach The Jawai Leopard Camp.
Sprawled between Udaipur and Jodhpur, Jawai is one of a series of hamlets strung around the Jawai dam in the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. A place of dramatic beauty, the panoramic vista is dotted with small African Kopje-like hills which surround the water body, Cactus-like scrub, Flame-of-the –forest trees and sparsely populated farmland. Read More JAWAI Leopard Camp
We visited Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and stayed at the wonderful Sher Bagh for the first time this May. The weather was very hot but glad we suffered through it as we were very fortunate to see a total of six different tigers and an extraordinary sighting on the morning of our last day of safaris. Read More Once upon a safari