Hitting the road in Rajasthan - Udaipur to Jodhpur
Trip Start May 06, 2011
60Trip End Nov 10, 2011
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On arrival in Udaipur we were greeted by a representative from the tour company and our driver. Later in the afternoon we met a tour guide who took us to a temple that was built in the 11th century. We’re gradually learning more and more about Hinduism as we go. This temple was primarily for the god Vishnu, who was the preserver (there is also Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer)
Udaipur is considered one of the most romantic cities in India as it has several nice lakes, including one with a palace in the middle of it. The next morning we took a boat ride around that lake and visited the palace in the lake. Our guide taught us a lot about a lot about the Mewar dynasty, which goes back almost 1500 years (the second oldest dynasty after Japan). The royal family of the Mewars still own these palaces and use parts of them. We were impressed that the people here would stay devoted to one family for so long.
Another interesting thing about Udaipur is that the mountains surrounding have loads and loads of marble
Anyhow, back to the story… we also visited the royal palace, a place where they make miniature paintings, and a pleasant park where the women in the royal family used to entertain themselves. The palace had some nice parts and also while we were there, the foreign minister for Afghanistan (that would be a tough job) was taking a tour with his entourage. The miniature paintings are hard to describe, but they are super detailed, small paintings that are a bit like a cartoon and almost always trying to describe some important event like a royal wedding. Sometimes they have them of gods or animals and our favourites were when they were on translucent camel bone composite (they used to be of ivory but that was outlawed a few years back – probably a bit too late…)
After leaving Udaipur we traveled to the Ranekpur Jain Temple, which was the most impressive temple we have seen, and some argue is the most beautiful in all of India
That evening we stayed at a completely renovated Fort that was converted into a fancy hotel in the township of Luni. Once again we had amazing Indian food. We are starting to get more adventurous, trying different things and weren’t let down. Early the next morning we took a Safari Jeep tour through the dried up farmland that is waiting for monsoon season. The tour stopped at some local houses, including a Bishnoi family, who are a people who follow the 29 principles of a 15th century guru that told them that they no harm is to come to any living thing (they are against cutting grass or harvesting any crop that isn’t totally dead) and have a duty to protect the land and animals in their area. Another family belonging to the Patel clan demonstrated an opium ceremony, and we visited pottery shop that demonstrated the art of pottery for us.
It so happened that we came to the area of Luni during a week-long Hindu festival for a god that is important in this specific area