JS, Chai-walla

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Private cars to Udaipur! Very nice. A/C is so underrated back home. On the way we make a stop at an amazing Jain temple. It is a white marble temple supported by 1440 pillars, each of which is intricately carved and detailed. A resident band of ferocious monkeys lives in a tree outside the temple so the entrance and exit from the temple were amusing. One jumped on the roof of the car. This does not surprise me now that I have been in India for over a week.

We continue on over a high mountain pass to the highway then cruise into Udaipur in the late afternoon. After we settle into our guesthouse we spend some time walking around the city and learning where everything is and facts about some of the sights. Udaipur is a very beautiful place, the greenest place I have been in India, and it has 10 lakes. Unfortunately since it is the hot season and the dry season most of the lakes have almost completely dried up, but the views are still fairly fantastic. Another rooftop restaurant dinner staring out at the lake and the Monsoon Palace caps off the night.

The next day I spend wandering around the city and visiting many art shops. Udaipur has many of them and we get a small demonstration in miniature painting and I end up with a very detailed tiger on my fingernail, and all the free chai I can handle. I start taking a look at some of the work in the art stores and I am particularly impressed with the miniature and detailed paintings. Some small pieces of work take upwards of 20 days to complete. Later that afternoon, I decide to take part in a cooking class with my group. I end up being the first person up to try my hand at the cooking and I end up making chai for everyone, then serving it up. I am now a chai-walla! I contemplate opening a store back home. At least some people contemplate it for me as apparently I did an OK job. Other people make various dishes, I get up again and make some biryani rice, and before we know it we have an abundance of food and a full course meal, which was delicious by the way. The cooking class was great fun and I enjoyed it. I might even make some of the recipes back home.

The last day in Udaipur I wander back to some art stores and end up purchasing some mini paintings, with haggling of course, I visit the Jagdish temple, and then before sunset I go for a stroll around the City Palace, Udaipur's most famous building along with the Monsoon Palace. Great sunset, lots of bats, and then yet another rooftop dinner with a nice cool breeze.

Early night as we have a train to catch to Pushkar at about 6am!

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