Day 12 Udaipur

Trip Start Feb 08, 2013
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 12 Udaipur
Udaipur is a beautiful place with 3 lakes - the largest is Lake Pichola with the world famous Taj Lake Palace Hotel in the middle. (Slightly out of our budget sadly as its Mega-Expensive - but we're more than happy with this one!)
Just a half day of sightseeing booked which we were happy with. Our guide wanted to be known as Mangu - but I didn't really take to him as there was a bit of "small man syndrome" about him. It didn't help that there was some heated discussions going on in Hindi between him and Veero about the order in which we covered the itinerary! We're not sure what it was all about but there was definitely an atmosphere!
Anyway first on the agenda was the Jagdish temple - lots of bells and smells and a bit of a meeting of old dears up at the front. Apparently this was a preparation for the Holi celebrations next month - which Is the one where they all throw coloured paint powder all over each other!
There was a scary looking man/bird figure in brass called Garuda but the main temple is dedicated to Vishnu in the form of Jaganath, The temple is the typical mountain shape with sandstone carvings on the outside.
Next was the City Palace , which like the Jaipur one was home to the Maharani and Royal family until recent times. Built over a 450 year period with various bits added on over time its a stunning building and you really got a feel for the opulence and grandeur of the lifestyle. We saw where they used to watch elephant fighting (the elephants had a wall between them so it was basically a tug of war with their trunks and first one to touch the wall was the loser!) Lots of apartments used by queens and mistresses and the king himself.
The last stop was a lovely garden with fountains which the Queens and handmaidens used for their leisure when they weren't behind doors in the Palace!
We had to say Goodbye to Veero as he had to move on to another job - a very nice guy!
So then we had the rest of the day to ourselves, which is how it will be from now on.
Lazed around the beautiful rooftop pool in the hot sun for a while then went exploring.
Tourists are continually pounced on with touts and hawkers and people wanting you to come and look at their wares. (Like any tourist area really!) Opening lines are usually something like:
"Namaste! - So where you from? You from UK? First time in India?" and not wanting to appear rude you answer them! But now we just have to ignore them most of the time!
Bought a lovely little detailed painting today on silk - lots are mass produced but we hope this isn't!
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