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Hans Kemp and myself were asked to travel around Rajasthan on the bequest of the India Tourism Board. Our task was to produce magazine articles to promote the castles and forts of the former Maharajas and royal families of Rajasthan. Their gigantic properties were falling into disuse and disrepair, and their plan was to convert them into hotels for the tourism trade, which would help pay for their upkeep.
To make the trip more interesting, we decided to travel to all the royal properties by motorcycle, Enfield 500's, which were a story unto themselves. When we arrived at each one, Hans and myself were welcomed as important guests by each royal family and put up in their most lavish rooms.
You can read the accompanying magazine article to these slides, Warrior Roads, by clicking on the link.
As you probably are noticing, camels are all over the place in Rajasthan, both domesticated and wild.
There are also plenty of sheep.
The next 5 slides are some faces of Rajasthan. The ladies are always colorfully dressed and bejeweled, even if they are performing manual labor. The predominant race in this region are called Rajputs. They have their own distinct culture that sets them apart from the rest of their countrymen.
We were lucky enough to catch the Pushkar festival, the world's largest cattle fair, where we witnessed scenes right out of the bible.
A dentist wandering through Pushkar working on patients just like you see here.
I ask the dentist for a check-up.
Because we were there to help promote and write about tourism in Rajasthan, no matter where we visited we were always given the most exquisite quarters each night and were treated like royalty ourselves. The next 4 slides show some of our rooms.
This bedroom had a working fountain in the center of it and all the furniture was made from solid silver.
This bedroom was carved from marble.
These next 6 slides are of Rajput ladies, all dressed up as usual, no matter what they are doing.
The roads in Rajasthan were generally okay, except for sections like this. Enfields were not designed for off-road use.
We rented 2 brand-new Enfields before starting out and rode them for a solid month. Not one day went by in which one or both bikes did not suffer a mechanical breakdown of some sort. You can read about the plight of our Enfields in the accompanying magazine article, Warrior Roads.
You can find just about every form of conveyance in this traffic circle.
We attracted crowds wherever and whenever we stopped. These next 3 slides are all crowd shots.
These next four slides are photos of some of the Rajasthan royalty that hosted us on this tour. Here Maharaj Brijrat Singh opens his castle gates for Hans and myself upon our arrival.
Maharaj Brijrat Singh posing with us with an ancient canon.
Rawal Shabe Raghuvenddra Singh standing on his balcony.
Thakur Kesri Singh being served a drink by one of his servants.
Talking about drinks, Reed Resnikoff is being shown how to drink tea local style: you pour a bit of hot tea into the saucer so it cools down and then you drink it from there. Hey, it works.
A "Snake Dancer' in the desert.
The Snake Dancer's ankle jewelery adds a magical sound to the scene.
These next 10 slides are photos of some of the palaces and forts we stayed in.
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