My Mum’s Visit To Rajasthan

by Sharell शारेल on March 1, 2013

in Family & Friends, Travel in India

Post image for My Mum’s Visit To Rajasthan

Although my mum couldn’t stay in India for a long time, she was able to spend around 10 days here recently. This meant that we could go on a short trip somewhere after my nephew’s wedding. But where to?

Since my mum had never been out of Mumbai, I had the whole of India to choose from. But, since India is such a diverse country with so many varied and remarkable attractions, it wasn’t going to be an easy choice. I wanted to her be amazed and in awe, and to see some sights that she’d read about. I thought about my favorite Indian city, Udaipur, with all its lakes and palaces. Yet, I also wanted her to be able to experience India away from the city. After much deliberation, I decided on the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, and Jaipur.

What convinced me of this plan was that my mum loves to paint and draw, and Shekhawati is full of old painted havelis (mansions). It’s actually possible to stay in one! Since the region is only three hours drive from Jaipur, this would enable us to visit some of Jaipur’s attractions such as Amber Fort and the Old City as well. And, I also wanted to take my mum to the magnificent Rambagh Palace to celebrate her birthday with an unforgettable lunch.

We arrived at the small market town of Mandawa in the dead of the night, after taking a flight from Mumbai. It was dark and deserted, and I’m sure my mum wondered where the heck I was taking her and what we’d be staying in. But then, the beautiful Mandawa Haveli hotel greeted us. My mum’s reaction, of pure delight and wonderment, made me feel SO happy. It was then that I knew she would love Rajathan and we’d have a fabulous time.

Inner courtyard of the beautiful Mandawa Haveli hotel.

Inner courtyard of the Mandawa Haveli hotel.

Mandawa by day.

Mandawa by day.

We spent the next day exploring some Shekhawati villages, and their havelis, temples, and forts.

Nadine Le Prince haveli, Fatehpur.

Nadine Le Prince haveli, Fatehpur.

Inside the beautifully restored Nadine Le Prince haveli.

Inside the beautifully restored Nadine Le Prince haveli.

Captivating mural.

Captivating mural.

Mum and me outside a temple at Ramgarh.

Mum and me outside a temple at Ramgarh.

Inside the temple.

Inside the temple.

Inside Mahansar Fort.

Inside Mahansar Fort.

Below Mahansar Fort.

Below Mahansar Fort.

We even went for a camel cart ride into the famed Shekhawati desert for sunset.

Us and the camel.

Us and the camel.

My mum was once again overwhelmed by the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur. Even though lunch was costly (2,500 rupees per person for non hotel guests) it was totally worth it to give my mum an experience that she’ll treasure… and of course make her fall in love with India want to come back again soon! (It worked).

Rambagh Palace exterior.

Rambagh Palace exterior.

Rambagh Palace garden.

Rambagh Palace garden.

Entrance to the Rajput Room at the Rambagh Palace.

Entrance to the Rajput Room at the Rambagh Palace.

Us in the Rajput Room at the Rambagh Palace.

Us in the Rajput Room at the Rambagh Palace.

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© Copyright 2013 Sharell शारेल, Diary of a White Indian Housewife 2008-2014. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Courtleen Jensen March 2, 2013 at 6:51 am

What a lucky mom and it looks like a wonderful trip!!
I am soon about to take a trip to Portugal to see my daughter and her husband again and I hope my trip will be as enjoyable as your mothers was!
This time, my husband is going with me, his first time to see where she lives in Portugal!

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Katty March 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Heeey, I am also going to take my mum there when she comes next time!!! :D

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Carmen March 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for all the wonderful pics! What a great way to celebrate her birthday! Love your blog, as a recent expat of New Delhi I find your articles very insightful, plus very enjoyable to read! I also find it very cool to see your recommendations on other travel websites I go to in search for new adventures in India! :)

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Ashish March 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Judging by pics your mom looks like a very cool n calm lady and just a tip, next time take her to leh n ladakh or may be goa both are nice places for a trip.

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XiuLing March 3, 2013 at 2:27 am

Beautiful place! Thanks for sharing!
Btw in the last photo, it looks like you are with baby, are you..? Or is it just your dress?

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Funke March 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I know! I was about to ask as well! Pray tell Sharell!

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Ramanan March 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Classic. It reminds me the Mysore palace.

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sid March 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm

The only place i MUST see in Jaipur; defines romance; no better place to get married i would think.

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melbourne desi March 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

are you pregnant ? the last photo makes it seem your belly is getting bigger

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm

That is not my belly. It is clothing to disguise my lovely slim figure in India. Loose clothing often bunches up when sitting.

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Nisha March 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Are you wearing maternity clothes?!! Since I am pregnant I keep seeing pregnant women everywhere, so could be mistaken of course.

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Most Indian clothes seem like maternity clothes to me! But the answer is no.

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Nisha March 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

oops… well at least I was not the only one being an “overly curious Indian”. The second I pressed the submit button I regretted slipping into that aspect of being Indian :P

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Sharell शारेल March 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Haha, don’t worry, you have lots of company! ;-)

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Annie March 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Hi Sharell,

It must have been such a lovely and heartwarming experience for you and your husband to share your love of India and especially Rajasthan with your Mum.
It certainly was a dream of a holiday for her as well as a memorable and unforgetable life time experience !
BTW, I’m returning to Jodhpur ( just for a short time : 4 weeks ) very soon after two years of absence ! Have been through a lot of sadness during the past 24 months as you might remember. Am looking forward to being back in Rajasthan’s blue city and all my Indian friends and adopted family !
Lots of love and best wishes to you, your husband and your family !

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SS March 6, 2013 at 8:05 am

Request your Mum to write a guest post describing her experience!
Would be nice to get her perspective…

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A March 6, 2013 at 8:35 am

Not that it matters but are you expecting a baybeh?

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

People, no I’m not pregnant, thanks for your questions. It is simply the angle and the way the dress is folded when I’m sitting down. I deliberately wear loose clothing in India.

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Padparadscha March 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I also wondered the same thing, it’s not only the clothing it’s your radiance ;)

That seemed to have been a lovely trip, I’d love to go there !

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thank you! :-D I was simply enjoying the time with mum. It was a fabulous trip in so many ways. I haven’t spent so much quality time with my mum probably ever… just exploring, travelling, and relaxing for days at a time.

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Padparadscha March 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

That’s really cool, and now she’s in love with India, you’ll probably have lots more quality time together ;)

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Sharell शारेल March 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

Absolutely. She’s already talking about coming back! I think even my dad has started getting interested about coming to India since he sees my mum having such a great time. He’s become curious.

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Padparadscha March 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm

That’s nice, I’m happy for you :)
After 2 years marriage my parents are starting to get interested in hubby – though I was a bit concerned at Christmas when hubby almost won a card game against my dad :)

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Amelia Grace March 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

Beautiful place, great pics (I hope my mum comes to visit soon too).and sharell you’re glowing! Love the grey top in the first pic :-)

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R@manan March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Classic,Reminds me of Mysore Palace

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jeff March 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

hi sharell,

great pics. it does seem a magical place. i would love to go there.

although im originally from india i have no idea how to go about booking such a trip. Do you knw of any good travel sites where i can book hotels like this. Not only in rajasthan but even down south ooty and kerala.

Appreciate any help u can offer.

thanks in advance

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Hi Jeff, for booking hotels in India, I use Agoda. http://www.agoda.co.in/

You can get some really good deals. I used it to book the hotels for our trip.

What I usually do if I’m not familiar with the area is also have a look at the hotel reviews on Tripadvisor to see what’s popular/gets good reviews. Make sure you do further research though, as not all reviews are reflective of reality. http://www.tripadvisor.in/

Happy travels!

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ASG March 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Hi Sharrel,

I have written several comments but they do not show up.

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Hi ASG, thanks for your kind comment but it’s something that I don’t want to post on my blog. Hope you understand!

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ASG March 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Hi Sharrel,

I understand. The photos show you positively glowing and bulky, that’s what started all the speculation. Not a bad speculation afterall.

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Sharell शारेल March 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm

But I’m looking slim in one of the wedding sari pictures taken just a week before! :-( I can’t have become bulky so quickly!

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Avi March 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Whats up with our country and getting pregnant ??? Jeeezzz !! I wonder why people keep asking about pregnancy (personal exp). I think its a very private and personal decision between the couple themselves, and nobody should keep on intruding into that ! I was always asked when I am going to have a baby, even by people I had met for the first time !! I told everybody directly that I wont, if I dont feel like it :D and they stopped asking gradually. Then i wanted to have a baby, and I got pregnant, and I am very happy that its my and my husband’s decision alone, and not forced by anybody else. Sharell, dont care what others say, do whatever you want with your life :) Its your life and you should lead it your way :)

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Carly March 12, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hello! I just found your blog. These pictures are beautiful. Northwest India is definitely an area I would like to visit. Also, you looked familiar so I went back into your archives and then it hit me: House Hunters International! I found another blogger who I later realized was on the show as well. Anyway, lovely photos!

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Sharell शारेल March 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

Haha, yeah, I was on that show. It’s not really much of a reality show though. A lot of it was staged. ;-)

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Carly March 13, 2013 at 4:06 am

*lalalalala* ignorance is bliss! Haha, I’ve heard similar things before, and part of me wants to know (were the homes rented/purchased beforehand) but part of me just loves the show so much I don’t care!

Either way, I’m glad I found your blog. I lived in Sri Lanka for 5 months back in 2009 and it was such an awesome introduction to the subcontinent. And as someone who has lived and traveled abroad many times, I love hearing an expat point of view. I found I unknowingly played the “white, educated, relatively rich girl” card a lot while I was in Sri Lanka, and it really opened my eyes. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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sid March 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

the pregnancy comments have got to be some of the funniest things i’ve heard recently :)

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Sharell शारेल March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Insane in the brain! ;-)

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sid March 12, 2013 at 11:06 am

off to your old stomping ground, varkala, this week. look forward to catching up with your posts on return…

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Reetesh Khare March 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Sharel…these days i cudnt come regularly to read ur posts but just peeka boo to the pictures as they r in itself like a visual story:)

And most importantly for me is to see the cheerful you…there is so much energy emitting from there…

You are incredible when it comes to see someone who has embraced the life in India and pouring a running spring of love for the country..unconditionally and celebrating its natural presence.

With kind permission from your hubby, may i say I am in deep love with you:)

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Sharell शारेल March 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm

But my hubby doesn’t give his permission!! He is not at all pleased.

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kushy March 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Nice places and photography too.One should see compulsorily these places.If not they will miss something.

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Deepa March 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

Your mum is a stunner. Not that you are any less prettier but she’s very distinguished looking with beautiful cheek bones. I’m so happy to know that you were able to travel with her and gather so many nice, colorful memories. Rajasthan, is awe inspiring(the color, the grit and determination of it’s people to make so much out of what is basically a desert, the stories of valor). My mum and sis once did a couple of cities a few years ago and stayed at more modest though lovely accommodations in a smallish havel run by a widow. The rooms were beautifully and comfortably appointed and very reasonably priced. I’m dying to know what you’ll ate at Rambaugh Palace. I wish you’d do a mini post on it.

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Yes, you’re right, my mum does have enviable cheek bones! :-) I wish I could remember the names of all the dishes we ate. I did however take some photos, which I’ll upload here for you.

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Chicken salad.

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Salad of tomato, cheese, and basil pesto. (My choice).

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Marinated chicken salad.

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Chicken breast (another of my choices).

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Mutton curry (my husband’s choice of course!).

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Sharell शारेल March 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

And since my mum doesn’t drink alcohol, we had imported sparkling mineral water from France. ;-)

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Nicole April 30, 2013 at 4:05 am

I’m glad your mum had great birthday and all of you had great trip I love the photos they are breath taking!

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