Friday, November 20, 2009

Udaipur, City of Lakes

Our first stop on our tour of Rajasthan was Udaipur, “the City of Lakes,” which was ranked the top destination in the world in Travel & Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards 2009!

Ashok Mama and Usha Mami joined us in Udaipur to to show us around. Though we saw many beautiful palaces and temples, the highlights of Udaipur our boatride on Lake Pichola, the traditional Rajasthani puppet show we saw, and a visit to Saheliyon-ki-Bari (Garden of the Maids) where we had pictures taken wearing traditional Rajasthani outfits (and were photographed by a busload of European tourists!).

After two days in Udaipur, we drove to Nathdwara known for its famous temple of Shrinathji, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. The town of Nathdwara revolves around this temple, so all the small shops in the surrounding streets sell everything from glittering artwork of Shrinathji for your home to flowers, sweets, incense and other offerings for the temple, all while playing bhajans (religious songs) on loudspeakers all around. The experience inside the temple was unforgettable -- the palpable fervor of worshippers and the shoving and pushing of the crowds were unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

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