I had to dig deep into my emails and the diary I keep on my travels to find the information for this part of the trip. Interestingly, it’s the part I remember the least, though I’m not sure why. It all kind of seems to blend together in a blur of temples, palaces and riding around in the car. But I managed to find the brochure of our 6 day, 7 night tour of Rajasthan from Culture Holidays. Once again, Kamala (the wonder-bride) helped organize this for us, all we had to do was pay and show up! The cost of this tour was $695 per person, which included our airfare down to Udaipur, all transportation, tours and tour guides, and a tiger safari at the end. I remember at the time thinking that was so expensive, but looking back now, it sounds rather cheap! Anyway, on with the story!
We flew out the evening after the reception following a day of sleeping in and relaxing. Now I’m not a bad flyer. Most of the time I actually enjoy it. But the flight from Delhi to Udaipur was quite possibly the worst I’ve ever had. The plane shook and rattled the entire trip and it’s one of the few times I felt truly scared to be flying. Fortunately we made it in one piece, but it took me the entire trip to the hotel to feel normal again.
Our first stop in Udaipur was the Jagdish Temple. There’s quite a lot of stairs to get up there! The temple seems to tower over the town.
As with all temples in India, you always have to remove your shoes before entering. Fortunately there were cubby’s at the top of the stairs to leave them in while we walked around.
These ladies sell flowers that you can give as an offering to the gods inside. I was tempted to buy some for myself because they smelled so nice, but it didn’t seem like the appropriate use for them.
The temple was built between 1628 and 1653 by Maharana Jagat Singh for 1.5m rupees or approximately $23k. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The detail on these carvings, from the ground to the top, is so intricate and depict various scenes from his life.
Similar to most everywhere in India, elephants played a huge roll in its history and development. They were used in war, but are also considered sacred. Lord Ganesh, the god of wisdom and good luck, has the head of an elephant and is my personal favorite. Of course I love to see real elephants everywhere.
Embarrassing moment confession – at the beginning of the trip, I saw a statue of Ganesh and commented to Nitish that it was my favorite animal. He gave me this look of incredulity and said, “That’s a God, not an animal.” Yikes! My apologies to all Hindus, I didn’t mean to offend!
We were allowed to go inside and were blessed by the priest, though no photos were permitted.
As you exit the main temple, you touch an ailing body part to the feet located at the base of the stairs and it’s supposed to heal your aches and pains.
And before you leave the temple complex, you touch the chain on the door to your eyelids and forehead for good luck. We left here with all sorts of good fortune.
From the Jagadish Temple, it’s a short walk through some colorful shops over to the City Palace. We took our time and wandered through them, though we didn’t buy anything.
Do these colors make you want to visit India now? Just wait till you see the City Palace and the rest of Rajasthan coming your way soon!