Friday, 18 May 2012

A little more Udaipur

As it happens Udaipur became one of those cities we lost ourselves to. Originally staying for three days we have now been here seven! The picturesque city with its cooler climate has wooed us to the point where it is difficult to leave!

Each day offers a new adventure. One afternoon we went to the top of a near by hilltop via cable car and watched the sunset. It was one of the most epic transitions from day to night that I have ever seen. With its rambling hills, proud palace and infamous lake, Udaipur is the dreamiest location to observe such a show.

the city palace in the distance

We walked back towards Lal Ghat when night fell and were astonished by the amount of bats flying overhead, exiting from the Palace grounds.They were HUGE and there must have been thousands. Luke was in his element! The stream of bats continued to flow and we followed it in the direction of the City Palace. We reached the back entrance to the Palace and to our surprise we realised we could walk all the way through to the other side, without using the tourist entrance. We payed the guard 50rupees and entered the grounds to observe the building graciously illuminated. There was not a single person there and we were free to walk alongside the Lake in peace, our only company being the swarms of bats overhead and the odd royal guard. It was by far the nicest walk we have had in India, a magical evening.

the bats were so hard to capture, this does their size no justice but gives you an idea..

Another great evening was spent at the Bharatiya Lok Kala traditional music and dance show. We sat al fresco in a magnificent open air theatre accompanied by a handful of tourists, again this is the pro to travelling in the hot monsoon. The show was divided up into many segments showcasing different styles of dance and music, there was even a puppet show midway! The dancers were incredible and we sat transfixed by their swirling dresses and graceful movements. Most were young girls but there was one veteran who far surpassed the minors. She appeared often during the show but the highlight was definitely the end when she danced with a tower of pots on her head! It began with one pot, then two and she continued to add more until she effortlessly moved around the stage with nine pots nestled on her head and stacked high into the air! It was incredible!! She ended the show with the applause she well deserved.

After the show we went to the Jheel Restaurant where we have spent most evenings. The Indian food there is beyond delicious and we are always the only guests in there. Roopa, the chef, takes us into the kitchen each evening, asks us what we fancy and we just tell him to surprise us. Each day is better than the last, we are considering taking him home with us!

For the best part of our time here we have just spent it wondering the streets and checking out how the locals live. That is the beauty of India, everywhere you go you see something that takes your breath away..both good and bad mind you, but I think that is where the magic of this country lies. You do not need to partake in lots of tourist activities to get a feel for where you are, the culture lies right in front of you on every street and in every door way.

We leave here tonight to take the sleeper train to Agra, we couldn't come to India and not see the Taj Mahal after all! We are staying just one night then heading to Delhi where we will fly to Bangkok and then travel by train to Cambodia. I could definitely explore India for a few more months but alas our money is starting to run low. We are still optimistic that we will see Cambodia and Vietnam so hopefully we will get at least six weeks between the two before leaving for Australia. The Australia word strikes fear in me every time it is mentioned in conversation, which is happening more and more often these days! I think it is going to be very difficult to adjust back to the real world.......

Anyway, for now there is still lots to see and do, so real life can return to the back of my mind for a little longer :)

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