This is the first place I have picked to add in my travel diaries. I am more of an explorer than a traveler. Udaipur is one of the big cities in Rajasthan, India. It was a study trip while I was pursuing my bachelors. Though, we enjoyed it more like a vacation than a study project. We visited the city in late spring, by then the city started being super hot during daytime. It feels somewhat like an adventure when you travel with your grad family for the first time. I have always felt that travelling together makes us stronger as a group. The most amazing part of my trip was that I got a chance of exploration and exposure I got. I have always loved to explore cultural ethnicity of a place. The food, the architecture and the lifestyle are the biggest attractions for me when I visit any place.
Here is a collection of the memories I have of this city and the trip:
The city of lakes
There are four main lakes in the city, which are Lake Pichola, Udai-sagar lake, Dhebar lake and Fateh-Sagar lake. We visited Pichola and Fateh-Sager lake. These are all atrificial fresh water lakes and the concept behind these lakes was to achieve a comfortable micro climate for the city during summers. These lakes were created with the help of dams and palaces were placed in between these lakes. These structures were established in 14th century, under the rule of Mewar dynasty. The lakes were gradually filled over time in accordance with the comfort levels of kings and queens.
I watched sunset, standing on the banks of Pichola, overlooking the Jag Mandir (the lake palace). It was one of the most spectacular moments of my life.
Here, is one interesting facts which was told to me by a vendor at lakeside (I always try to engage with locals because I love to know their stories and how they perceive the city they live in), that the lake is cursed. This curse is known as Natini’s curse. Apparently, she was some tight-rope walkers and was challenged by the king to cross the lake on a tight rope and was promised half of the king’s kingdom. But, she fell because of some trickery played by the king and before she could reach the end while falling, she cursed the royal family; which later came true for the generations which came next. I remember imagining this girl on a tight rope and there is a setting sun in the background and all the eyes are on her. The amount of confidence, this rope-walker must have possessed to challenge the royals. It made me ponder the whole day.
The city of artists
Rajasthan is a home to many forms of artistry in terms of handicrafts. Udaipur is specifically known for its stone sculptures, terracotta, blue pottery and ivory works. As amused as I was to find these facts while visiting museums, I also wanted to catch all the colorful vibes the city introduced me to. The bazaars were full of handmade clothing items designed with ‘Bandani’ techniques. The fresh fragrance of leather coming filling the streets. Tonnes and tonnes of pottery items, all blue. It all painted the old city as a never-ending fair. I vividly remember buying a pair of very cute small diaries with leather cover, as a souvenir. A very dear friend of mine, got me this leather band as a token of friendship and I still cherish that memory. We wore that band almost everyday, till we were in the city. I like how these little things you get from a place can make you feel as if you are a part of it.
For me this trip was not just about friends or the place settings but it was an awakening which planted a bud in me to explore as much as I can and never settle.