We travelled south, through the Aravalli range, a landscape of rolling hills, passing through small villages and glimpsing the flashes of the brilliant pinks and reds of shepherds’ turbans.
We stopped to visit the Jain temple Chaumukha Mandir dedicated to Adinath at Ranakpur – built in the 15th century in white marble – it is series of 29 halls, 80 domes & 144 individually engraved pillars. An incredibly noisy ceremony was going on making it impossible to hear the audio guide!
Udaipur has stunning palaces and colourful bazaars set alongside 5 lakes and surrounded by wooded mountains. The city was founded by Udai Singh in 1567 after a resounding defeat by the Mughal Emperor Akbar at his former stronghold of Chittaurgarh. The city was attacked by the Mughals over the next 25 years, and subsequently by the rising power of the Marathas, until lasting peace was achieved under British influence in 1818. The rulers of Udaipur are the senior family of Rajasthan, and may call themselves Maharanas, which is a cut above the average Maharaja.
We walked through the fruit & vegetable markets, through streets selling silver to Mochiwara Street – the shoe bazaar. The typical local embroidered shoes are known as ‘jutties’.
We visited the city palace, overlooking Lake Pichola and the Lake Palace – the largest palace complex in Rajasthan which houses an impressive range of old statues, silver and miniature paintings. Nearby is the Tripolia Gate, where the ruler was weighed on his birthday and his weight in gold distributed among his subjects.
After visiting a temple & enjoying a boat ride on the lake we visited the Saheliyon-ki-Bari Gardens (Gardens of the Maids of Honour) at the north end of the city which has attractive ornamental designs as well as a lotus pool.