Udaipur11 | bellsandtrance's Blog
Subject: Udaipur 11 most beautiful city so far!.
Wow! the landscape is really changing around us! We are on route to Udaipur, 600 km South from Delhi. Thick, dark green, thorn trees are everywhere. The road is really narrow and winey. We cross dry riverbeds surrounded by beautiful yellow mustard flowers. We pass the odd village about every 30km. In the road are goat herds, their herders wear gigantic red turbans and white dresses. There is a mountain range on our left and the streets are surrounded by pink Bougaiinville's.
As we enter the mountains I feel like I'm going through Kwazulu Natal's Drakensburg, the air is crisp and clear and the views are panoramic. The landscape makes a wonderful change from the hectic cities were we have been.
Udaipur (lake city)is a smallish city ( by indian standards as everything is big here) nestled between an ancient mountain range. Population is four hundred and fifty thousand. It was built in 1549 and is 400 km south west of Jaipur. it is a very mountainous city and it therefore stayed free from the Mughal (muslim) invasions...too difficult for the war horses to reach. It has five man made lakes around the city. These dry up every five or so years only to be refilled by the monsoon rains. Also Bageera from the jungle book's birthplace. Many movies have been filmed here the most famous being James Bond's Octopussy.
Our hotel is on top of a hill with a stunning view of a lake and the surrounding hills. It is really beautiful, Pa and Ma said its one of the most beautiful places they have ever seen. There is a royal palace in the middle of the lake and at night you can see the lights from the shore and the palace twinkling, many colours of course. The people of Udaipur seem to have a really gentle nature and they are all soft spoken, calm and friendly. Even the beggars have a more relaxed begging style and only about 3 approach at a time.
We are still hard hit by this awful flue that we all have and it sounds like the dog pound in the van! Even Milap is affected now, I'm sure we will all be better in a week or so.
The next day we go for a wonderful boat ride on lake Pichoula. Wow what a place, they call it the Venice of India. All along the shoreline are ghats, temples and opulent hotels. We stop for coffee on one of the islands, a real Rajasthani palace of course. 360 degree views all around. This is Hartbeespoort dam times two in beauty. Back on shore we cover another fort, you know I can't really describe the opulence of the rooms and the majesty of the building! Rooms filled with coloured glass and guided gold, rooms with dozens of handblown lanterns, thick luxurious carpets and tassels,mirrored walls, it is so incredible.
Dinner is elegant except for the monkey troop that sits at our table. We are all off to sleep as its been another exhausting day, poor old Stella coughs the whole night through, damn cold!
Next morning Garth is invited to join the hotel team "the laxmis" against the government team for a match of the year...cricket of course! They pick him up at 7 :30 and he spends the whole morning playing cricket with the local fellows. He is wearing his Bafana shirt nogal and he looks like a real cricketer! Later the kids and I are picked up to watch the match....a field right in the city and all. The Laxmis lose unfortunately but everyone smiles and poses for photos, Garth gets food and juice the kids get Pepsi and a real good time is had by all. When we get back Milap is waiting for us and we go to a restaurant in a "garden" ...more like a tiny square of grass with some plants, but the food is delicious, Garth and I share a chicken tikka masala, jasmine rice, naan filled with potatoes and Pepsi. God I just can't stop eating in this country.... The curries are really divine, although I am missing a good biltong!
Poor Ma has had a terrible pain in her stomach, every-time she eats, we are really getting worried. It's so bad she can barley walk after she eats. We take her back to the hotel and they send for a DR. He says that it's the arthrotech tablets that she has been drinking for her arthritis that has burned the lining of her stomach. Also that the excess coughing from the flue has worsened the situation. Could be a hernia He has given her some antibiotics for the cough and medicine for her stomach and we hope she feels better soon. Will keep you posted.
We all head off to the Rajasthani fair for the evening.(Pa and Ma rest at the hotel) Apparently this is the biggest handicraft fair in all of Rajasthan. So imagine our delight. We have a wonderful evening out watching folk dancers until the high pitched bells and singing gets a bit much, but really fascinating none the less. We eat mielies and drink chai. We even get interviewed by the local paper, hey we are famous whoo hoo watch out world here we come. The funniest part that truly had me in stitches once again was when the kids went for a merry go round ride...i.e. little cars on a platform, the kind that goes round and round. Well they load the kids in, close the hatches of each little car. We are waiting for the ride to go on and...behold here comes the local guy pushing the ride. Hey I say to Charmaine look the ride is manual, well Garth, Charmaine and I pack out laughing, it just looks so ridiculous. No locals are laughing so it must be normal here. The guy is pushing this ride and he isn't even breaking out a sweat he is just going about his chore real laid back indian style. The next ride old Declan had cottoned on to this Indian style of ride and kept shouting at the guy faster, faster every time he went past him. He carried on until he got tired ...poor dude.This was probably one of our most hilarious moments in India....aaaah this country! Oh dear I have tears in my eyes once again.So, so funny.
The fair stops early as it's only the first night and it does last for twelve days. Just as we'll as the kids are growing tired and it's getting cold. But wait there's more! One gentleman...madam you see I'd been waiting for you all this time( referring to a piece of cloth I'd admired earlier) everyone sleeping but I wait only for you as I'm artist and nowhere else in all India find beautiful handmade cloth I take one month to make in freezing cold and I journey all this way. Yes of course I bought it as you know in India it's one of a kind!
The thing is, you can never see everything of anything here! If you go to a fort there are always more and more rooms,as you think you have come to the end you open a door and there right I front of your eyes is a garden with fountains and gazillions of steps on the other side taking you to a whole other level. If you go to any market/shop/bazaar, you start looking at one thing, then you see another more beautiful thing in the back and as you look at that they haul out some other totally unexpected more exotic and interesting ob
madam ..." No worry, no hurry, just have a good Indian curry! It's like that .
Tomorrow we are flying to Mumbai, what a MISSION that's gonna be. I will let you know how it all pans out.
Love to all
Ps we can all relax now...the world didn't end.
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