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Cheng Chin Yuen

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hello Everyone!

All the pictures, even those taken today, are below! The connection here is affordable and superb! Thanks for the well wishes and kind praises for the photography. Be patient and wait for the words to catch up. It's always easiler to press the shutter.

My little write up for Gwalior is somewhere below and Agra will be up in a day or two.

The good people of Udaipur have been really nice to us but its time to move on for yet another fort on the hill tomorrow. It's Kumbalgarh's turn this time and at 1100m, I certainly hope it would be cooler.

Biggest CONGRATS to all my wonderful ex-colleagues who have had new additions to their lives! Cheers to Woei Ling, Veron, Han Liat and your partners! Endure the crying and sleepless nights for now eh?

Chin Yuen


Donkey Business


Idle for too long


Papaya or Mango?


My kind of art


Hard to understand


Frodo before the Dark Lords


Grammy Winner


For What purpose?


Guess, only for royalty


Sunday Smiles


Yes, I know its yet another photo of boys and a cricket bat. They come together in India.


Camouflage


Nice kids who don't ask for Rupees, Chocolates or Pens


Headstrong


Then there was 9


Parking Space


Puppet Perversion


Pay attention to the background


I smell something burning, do you?


India's most popular car - The Maruti-Suzuki


Choose


Udaipur Rooftops, max 5 storeys including ground floor.


Aravalli Mountains


How can someting so big be controlled by something so small?


New Maths


The Beanstalk


The Maharajah's Toilet Throne


Finally under control


Read the sign


Good Eyes


More Men in this field


Funny Fruit


Escapees from the Pac Man Maze


Metal Work


For he knows if you've been bad or good...


Warning: Do Not Let Loose!


Lake Palace Hotel where a buffet meal costs 1500Rs!


My first White Sunset


The Island


When I grow up...


Eden


Cows May Safely Lazy


City Palace, Udaipur


Taking the plunge!


Udaipur, Venice of India? Not quite


Not ready for take off


meal with a view


For Karen Ong and the art of being fierce.

Chittogarh (6th – 7th April)

Chittogarh the Father of Forts, makes Gwalior look puny. There are 33km worth of walls surrounding the fortress which sits 180m on a plateau and the road leading up to the fort zig-zags for about 2 km before we even reach the main gate. Irritatingly, it is also too big to fit into my viewfinder from the town below.

By some blessed miracle, not many foreign tourists visit the charming behemoth with its collection of rustic ruins in its huge compound. It was pleasantly tout free and the local tourists who approached us were genuinely and politely interested in the two little specimens from Singapore.

The 6 storey Victory Tower with its unique staircase that wove its way intermittently through the core and sides of the tower was the main highlight for me. The insides were inlaid with stone figure carvings and the top gave us great views of Chittogarh and the urbane mess of Chitto far below.

Our autorickshaw driver also displayed some rare Indian astute business acumen. Instead of the usual haggling, he simply said ‘If I provide good service, you pay me 150. If you are not happy, you pay me 120.’ Of course, the service was good and 150 left us both happy. Chittogarh is so huge that even with an autorickshaw and 4 hours, it wasn’t enough to take in all the sights.

Besides two Jain temples with their ornate pillars and ceiling carvings, the other big draw was a rectangular stone pool built into the sides of the fort. We also visited the local temple where the festival of the Goat was celebrated with great fervor. We didn’t see any bloody beheadings and mutton ditribution, just lots of locals collecting a sample from a huge ash heap right in the middle of the temple. Perhaps it was all thats left of the poor goat. After a while I found the tree outside heavy with lounging langurs more appealing.

Our driver brought us to the back gate which overlooked the vast (and by now darkening) empty plains to the East and the ancient battle scene came flooding back as we sit just outside the massive wooden double doors. Men riding out to meet the enemy and women committing sati of self-BBQ inside. While Gwalior was a dead fort, Chittogarh still bustles with the 2000 citizens that stay in a village within its impressive walls.

Our dark 120Rs jail cell at Natraj Hotel by the bus terminus is now tops on our most ‘unaccommodating accommodation’ list. Well, at least it had a filthy attached toilet with a fat resident cockroach.


Languar Pub


Pride in the name of love