Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Update 4: Udaipur - Delhi

We trained overnight from Jaipur - a beautiful city, with everything abuzz ahead of Divali. We visited the Amber Fort on a hillside (choosing not to take the elephant ride up, mainly because we felt the elephants we not particularly well treated). Later we did some shopping in the crowded main street, dinner on the roof of our hotel with a view of the city and then to the station to Udaipur.
How can I describe Udaipur? Heaven, Paradise, Garden of Eden, Little Switzerland? Actually all and none of the above. It is quite exquisite and I do not use the word lightly. The lakes are full for the first time in many years after good monsoon rains. The palaces and hotels on the island dotted around Lake Pinochola sparkling in the morning sun, turning golden at sunset. If ever there was a place to rest up after a weary, grimy and totally exhilarating tour of India, this is it.
The town is clean and quaint. There are tailors working in literal holes in the wall, food shops offering cooking lessons (we are going to one this morning); a music shop offering tabla lessons (this afternoon)...restaurants offering superb fare and the market stores are alive, buzzing, entrepreneurial, assertive...
The past two days have been crazy, with Divali being celebrated with fireworks and bangs, music and dancing - every few seconds there is a huge "bang" and then a volley of crackles, whizzes, whoozes, swishes and cracks. In the evening, rockets shower sparkling stars over the lake...amazing.
Udaipur takes much pride in having had a James Bond film (Octopussy) made here a number of years ago, and you can take in a showing at one or other hotel every night. There are palaces and temples, museums and gardens. It is without doubt a jewel in the crown of Rajasthan.
I won't go into much more detail now; there is so much to tell and so many pictures to show: all that later. We leave (sadly) tonight for Delhi - one day, a short evening and then on the plane to Istanbul and eventually home.
It's been amazing...'nuff said for now.

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danvalley52 said...
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