Day 7: Saturday March 10th, 2018. Udaipur, India
Udaipur was founded in 1559, by Maharana Udai Singh II. The city was established as the new capital of the Mewar kingdom. It is known as the land of lakes aka the Venice of the East, aka the white city ( for top items produced there macrena marble, zinc, silver).
With a local guide, we toured the city palace, the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. The complex kept expanding with the addition of the succeeding kings.
There was a statue of a horse with a fake trunk. This was an example of a trick used by The Maharana Maharana Pratap’s army. The Horse with trunk was used to misguide the opponent’s elephants to think that the horses with the trunks were their baby elephants and it would draw them towards them as they had poor vision.
There were different dynasty including the moon, fire, sea and snake dynasties. This palace was built in the sun dynasty so there is a large mask of the sun god.
The palace was ornamented with in laid glass with gemstones and mirrors ( imported from Belgium) and also British decor.
One room displayed a scale in which once a year on his birthday, the king weighs himself publicaly and donates his weight in wealth to silver coin and gold coin to the people of the city.
We viewed the apartment of the mother of king that was a widower. She had a small shrine of Vishnu.
The palace had small doorways in the passages to slow invaders if they were to attack.
The economy of udaipur is mainly supported by marble, silver, zinc, marble, precious stones from the hilly areas and also tourism.
Afterwards, we visited one of 5 lakes, Lake Pichola (man made). Took a 1 hr boatride to Jagmandir Island where the concubines would stay. There was also a palace om Jagniwas Island built in 1754 by Maharaja Jagat Singh II which was formally the summer palace. It was converted partly to a hotel by the Large Taj hotel group. You can only visit by boat if you booked a hotel stay or made restaurant reservations.
Had lunch as the lake view Jhumar restaurant where we had
Bagan mutter ka bharta (eggplant), Dal baati (lentils over mashed bread) garlic naan, and dessert ball that tasted like a sugar cookie.
After lunch we walked around the Shahelion ki bari (courtyard of the maidens) which are gardens for the women of the palace.Shaheli means friend that is a girl and
Bari means garden. Inside there was a gate and fountain from Liverpool, England
There, the princess at that time would bring friends to hang out in Swimming pool. There is a statue of princess in the middle of where the pool was. She never returned as she left with her husband’s family when she was married.
Inside there was a Neolama archia (wishfulfilled tree). And we made wishes there underneath the tree, never to be told until it comes true.
A beautiful Lotus fountain was on the side which was replaced by lily pads.