Cars 13    Hotels 6    Flights 1:flying time 8.5 hours

Rickshaws 4    Buses 2    Elephant 1     Country 1    Boat 1

Udaipur is know as the city of lakes, it has six, all human made and relying on the monsoon rains for their water.  My hotel is by lake Picola, which dried up in 2005 because there was no monsoon in 2004. It’s a very clean city. My first stop today is  Jagdish Temple, I liked the carving on the outside of the temple walls. Starting from the bottom: the first row is hell, shown by demons; next the elephants, which are for good luck; then  horses for power; the next row shows scenes from the karma sutra, to remind worshippers to leave carnal thoughts outside the temple, interesting thought process here as the carvings are quite graphic; and the final row depicts heaven.

The City Palace next, part of which is an extensive museum, is the largest of it’s type in Rajasthan.  Nothing spectacular about it really apart from it’s size, it is enormous.  No lifts here so I had to climb all the way up to the top. It was lived in as recently as the 70’s, but now it’s open to the public and the royal family live in a slightly smaller pad next door.

Elephants were trained to play a tug of war using their trunks and the elephant that ended up against the wall lost, this was stopped in the early 50’s, can’t think why. The wall used for this purpose is in the grounds of the palace. Pigeons were used to communicate between the palaces, and they still have the cages here.

Some of the rooms inside the palace are rather heavily decorated, there is an optical illusion of a mirror when actually it is several doors, and some beautiful, painted rooms.

I really liked this selection of decoration on outside areas within the palace walls, and just one of the many views over the lake from one of the palace windows.

Next a boat ride on the lake. My guide today was born here and loves his city so it was very pleasant listening to him tell tales od Udaipur while we motored about on the lake, it was also respite from the horrendous heat, over 40 and 11am.

Next a visit to Saheliyon Ki Bari, also known as the Garden of the Maids of Honour.



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