Udaipur

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We had visited the pink, blue, and golden cities, now it was time for the white


 

Launch on Lake Pichola

The Lake Palace Hotel

Built between 1743 & 1746 as a royal summer palace, it  was constructed facing east, to enable the royal family and household to pray to the Hindu Sun god at the crack of dawn.  Later it was used as their summer resort.  It is now Udaipur first luxury hotel with a A list clientele.   At the time we were there they were getting ready to host the wedding guests of Elizabeth Hurley and her Indian groom.

Sitting on our hotel rooftop one night gazing out to the palace in the lake, the soundtrack of Octopussy playing on a neighbouring rooftop competed for my attention with a dance troupe in the Bagore-Ki-Haveli courtyard four stories below.  Next night we went to check it out, the dance not Octopussy.



Chari Dancer
Spins around making graceful hand gestures while balancing a pot of flaming cotton seeds on her head

 
Terah Taali Dancer
One of the more spiritual dances, performed in honour of their folk hero saint Ramdoji.   Seated on the floor the dancers hold a pair of cymbals in each hand, they swing their arms and sway whilst striking 13 cymbals tied to their bodies with the ones they hold in their hands. Our dancer has Seven on her left leg between knee and ankle, one on her instep and another on her big toe as well as one on each arm



Bhavai Dancer
Always an experienced dancer she twirls then sways with up to 9 pots on her head whilst balancing on a glass
   
 

Ghoomar Dancers.

One of the most popular folk dances getting its name from the swirling of their beautifully coloured  ghaghara skirts .  The partially veiled dancers snap their fingers and sing as they move in a circular direction.  Moving in time to the increasing tempo of the musicians.  In villages women of all ages dance the ghoomar and it may continue for the whole night


It's a harder life for many women


 



English class in a very un English classroom

Window shopping can be a little different here

Udaipur City Palace Museum


 

The Mor Chowk (peacock courtyard), the most spectacular in the City Palace.  This wall sustained a lot of weather damage but had recently been restored by local artisans taking fourteen months to complete.  Over 5000 pieces of mosaic tiles went into creating the decorations of Mor Chowk

The inlay and peacocks date back to 1874
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Chim Ki Mahal

Another Maharajas bedroom

Women on a day trip from rural Rajasthan, were obviously there for a good time not an education as they spent most of their time 'chatting' with us.  Their tour guide was not amused by their lack of attention but they didn't care, they were on holiday and going down in digital history. 
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