Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Udaipur, the white city

I slept wonderfully in my palace hotel room last night. I woke up with the intent of watching the sun rise, but I apparently had the time wrong. By the time i woke up the sun was just about up. I will have to get up earlier tomorrow to make it. We are at such a beautiful setting that it would be a crime not to get up to see it.

We had breakfast again out on the patio, watching the sun climb into the sky over the valley. It was spectacular. I took lots of photos, as you can see.  

Udaipur was the seat of one of the dynasties in the 16th century. The city palace, or winter palace, sat in the valley next to the lakes, but during the monsoon season, they built a palace on top of one of the hills by our hotel due to the flooding.  The dynasty dammed the lakes so that they could have fresh drinking water after the rains. It made the area a much more livable place.

Our first stop this morning was the Jagdish Temple. The temple is dedicated tongue Hindu god, Vishnu. Ee spent a very longtime outside the temple learning about Hinduism, but I couldn't concentrate. What I enjoyed most was going into the temple and watching and hearing the men and women singing and praying. They seemed so joyful and happy. It wad a wonderful experience.

There were a number of shops along the road the temple was on and the folks in our group were itching to shop at this point. I went along sob folks to a textiles shop someone's friend recommended with no intention of buying anyhing. Little did I knowbthry would have exactly what I was looking for. I found a large silk/pahmina shawl that is the size almost of a twin bed. Its differynt colors of blue and I love it.  It's also so soft.

After the tornado of women left the shop, we headed over to the city palace about was built in 1725. The palace had short doors so soldiers would enter with their heads bowed. That's why massive doors had small window in them. This was more of a defense mechanism than anything else. The architectural detail and colors were beautiful. The palace is now the seat of the current Maharajah.

We then went to the Sahelion-ki-Bari gardens and then learned about the centuries old miniature paintings done at the palace. The painters are the descendants of those who painted the paintings in the city palace. Thy showed us how they make the pigments and then showed us their work. I had not planned to get anything, but fell for some work done on crushed camel bone.

I'm now chilling out in my room, waiting for the sun Robert and meet up with folks for a cocktail party. Tomorrow morning I'll he up before sunrise to get some photos and also for a sunrise yoga session. It will be my first time doing yoga. Not a bad place to finally try out yoga. ;-)

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