Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the saga continues... Udaipur

Looking back on Mumbai...
How intense. From jet lag to capoeira to visiting the sites of the terrorist attacks and reading the papers, from the heat to the traffic to getting sick.
From India: Mumbai

Udaipur is a peaceful town.

I ended up with a severe case of the homesickness. Jet lag is one thing, but missing home and realizing I won't be back for months, and thinking about how everything will be different when I return- I felt very sad, very nostalgic. Like I am turning over a new page in my life whether I like it or not. I really missed the convenience of being able to contact my friends whenever I wanted to. I think it was a phase of adjustment I had to get through, to admit to myself that I am gone from life as I know it.

But you'll be happy to hear that everything went very well here. My hotel was beautiful.
From Udaipur

From Udaipur

The people were very nice. I made some friends, some fellow female solo travelors, whose family and friends were also very concerned about them as well, but here they are anyways- I'm not the only one doing this! Of course the couples and groups of travelers are much more common- older couples, people in their 40-50s seemingly, who look like they're strolling down the third street promenade! (Except for the motorcycles whizzing by in these little twisty alleyways inches from your elbow!) I am however, the only American I have come across... The two kids I who I thought might be turned out to be Canadian.
From Udaipur

I took a yoga class. I saw a dance show. A woman danced with a succession of pots being placed on her head, and each time they put another one on, she did something, like stepping on the sides of a metal pan and tapping a beat, picking up a hankerchief off the floor with her teeth, and walking on crushed glass. It was a really good show! (I have a mental note to see more dance shows in LA when I get back... I love dancing!)

I took a rickshaw tour of the city and special monuments, and I took a taxi out to Kumbalgarh and Ranakpur. There is a lot of history to Rajasthan that I'm a little fuzzy on but will update more later- There was a huge battle of the Rajputs against the Mughals (the reigning kings) and the Rajputs won and have been ruling this region for the past 500 years. They are fierce warriors. Kumbalgarh was the site of a huge fort built to keep out the Mughals. It was huge and covered the countryside like the wall of China.
Ranakpur was a bunch of Jain temples from 500 years ago. The temples were made of beatifully carved white marble. Very intricate carvings, all the way up to the ceilings, large domed, beautiful ceilings. Very peaceful.
From Udaipur

The taxi ride over was also cool- passing people dressed as they probably have for the past 500 years- turbans, saris, doing all kinds of manual labor- herding sheep, digging ditches- even the women- farming, carrying pots and sticks and leaves and all kinds of stuff on their heads. Everyone seemed to be very wrinkled and old, except for the children, who were all very dirty. Their eyes were really bright and they all looked at me as we drove by.
My taxi driver was really nice, and bought me little cups of chai along the way.
So, that's been my life in a nutshell for the past couple of days! Tonight I go to Pushkar. Welcome to hear your comments!

*Update with pictures: Jan 31, 2009... I took a boat tour on the lake. How resplendent with glory from days past until today!
From Udaipur

From Udaipur

The Taj Group has a hotel there, where they filmed Octopussy...
From Udaipur

Today you can take a boat ride, as I did...
From Udaipur

Or you can take a boat ride, as they did... The couple in the boat were having a glass of wine...
From Udaipur

Then you can stop at Jag Mandir, a 3-story palace built on an island for Shah Jahan, where he cavorted with his female attendents. Today it is a 5-star hotel, complete with spa and fine dining!
From Udaipur

From Udaipur


*KAYO* said...

OOO I love hearing about Rajasthan... it's such a good description, and reminds me so much of it!!!!
Btw, for the 2 1/2 months i spent in India, I met only 1 other American. It's just not a popular American destination, I guess. ha.

I miss it!!! Hope you're enjoying every moment!

Akemi the Great said...

Hi Kayo! I'm having a great time in Rajasthan! It's so... primal! ha! Thanks for the comment!