Saturday, May 25, 2013

Udaipur Trip

It was a long awaited trip. I was consulting/requesting/offering/asking my friends to accompany me to Udaipur for a long time, but no-one was free to travel with me. Some friends were planning to go to some weird places, so I convinced them for Udaipur. Though it was hot, it was either this time or never. So predictably, I chose first and we were off to the city of lakes and Venice of west.

I planned to visit all important places of the city i.e. City Palace, Mansoon palace, Jagdish Temple, Gangaur Ghat, and Saheliyon ki Baari. Deepak, my friend's big bro, turned out to be a nice and well informed guide and he helped me to plan the places in an efficient manner.

In this part of India, Every tourist is welcomed by royal and enormous palaces, vivid and large lakes, and evergreen and colourful monuments, but tourists, visiting Udaipur this week, were greeted with more lively, colourful, and entertaining activity. Udaipur was celebrating Gangaur which is Rajasthan’s most known and fabulous festival. Thanks to unwanted, stupid and painful delays from my friends, now I was part of Rajasthan most fabulous fest @Rajasthan's most enjoyable city.

We started our day with brunch at Srinath Restaurant, which is at a walking distance (approximately 100 meters) from Railway station. This place is popular for authentic Gujurati and Rajasthani food. We all ordered Rajasthali Thali. They served us at least 4-5 vegetables, Raita, 2-3 sweetmeats, papad, salad, and breads of various varieties in a huge thali(plate). Food was so tasty that even after stuffing heavily, I was pushing a little more into my stomach. The restaurant surely exceeded our expectations.
My recommendation: If you want to eat good and authentic Rajasthani food, you must not miss this restaurant.

We were 4 people. 2 among us wanted to find the history of Udaipur and get acquainted with monuments whereas other 2 were interested in cozy wind and cold water at the rooftop of some hotel. So we split our paths based on interests.

Our expedition started now. We started with the City Palace which is the most popular and visited tourist place. Palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh. This palace is an exuberant display of Mughlai and Rajasthani architecture. Udaipur's Maharaja owns the palace and resides in it's one section, though this particular section is not open for public.
City Palace
We hired a guide, but he was in great hurry. Though he was helpful, he was neither informative nor patience enough. He rushed us through the various places of the greater historical significance and skipped lot of information. He was more interested in explaining us the various phases of peacock's sex life than explaining us the importance and significance of various artifacts, and places in the palace.

After entering through the main Tripolia (triple) gate, are the Suraj Gokhda (public address facade), the Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), the Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), the Surya Chopar, the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Krishna Vilas (named after Lord Krishna), Shambu Niwas (royal residence now), the Bhim Vilas, the Amar Vilas (with a raised garden) that faces the Badi Mahal (the big palace), the Fateprakash Palace, the Shiv Niwas Palace (the latest addition to the complex), and the princess marriage mantap. Apart from these places, the palace has a crystal gallery, which contains lot of Rajputana artifacts. Entry fee for the crystal gallery is too huge, so it is seldom to see Indian tourist entering the gallery. Apart from the crystal gallery one smaller gallery also exists in palace. This gallery demonstrates history of the palace, kings and his dynasty, and Udaipur in pictures.

A picture at Museum
As most of the palaces in Rajasthan, this palace can also be rented to organize marriages. Though it is quite a nice business, but such businesses do not do justice to the greatness of such historical palaces. Government must really restrict owners to play with such artifacts which have such a great national importance.

Anyway it took us 4 hours to visit the entire palace, and we were really exhausted with the heat, and length and breadth of the palace.

It was already 4 o’clock in the evening and we were yet to visit many places before returning to Gangaur Ghat. We headed to the Sajjan Garh palace. It is situated in the outskirts of the city, on a hill top. It was built to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, it is popularly known as Monsoon palace. Along with rain predictions, kings and queens used the palace for hunting. It offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes, palaces and areas.

Palace has three floors. Among these 3 floors, first 2 are accessible to general public. It is surrounded by Aravali Range. Views from the 1st floor are indescribable. One side of the palace unleashes breathtaking views of the Udaipur city, whereas another side unfolds awesome views of the range. Many people visit the palace to see the glorious sunset. Though the Sun was still too high to elope, but as last vehicle was returning from hill top, so we returned without viewing the sunset.

Udaipur From Mansoon Palace
Aravali Range From Monsoon Palace
It was too difficult to find an auto from the outskirts of the Udaipur, but we found few generous folks who made sufficient space for us. We reached to the ghat by 630 in the evening. Huge ghat was packed with crowd. Ladies were in blue, red, yellow and other bright color. Kids were in their best possible attires. Westerns were trying to breathe in human ocean and get glimpse of Gan and Gaur idols, which were carried by ladies on their heads.

Many idols of Gan and Gaur were already deposited at the Ghat, and women were still bringing more. In the middle of the ghat, actors were performing Kachchi Ghori dance. Finally Udaipur’s queen and her subordinates brought royal idols in a big boat. In general all idols deposited should be submerged into the water, but in Udaipur, people take their idols back to houses and bring them again in next year’s celebration. It is a great tradition to save the water from pollution.
Someone from the crowd also danced with actual performers.
For us, Udaipur festival came alive after royal boat returned. Stage shows were commenced. Now it was time for music, dances, and live performances. First actor performed Shiva’s destruction dance. It was followed by Rajasthan’s welcome Song Kesariya Balam Aayo re. Then it was Goomar dance, fire dance, chart dance, Teerah Taali, and Raas (a musical performance of Radha Krishna’s affair). These 4 hours were the best hours of our trip. I never expected my trip to be so entertaining and thrilling.

Once festival was over, we realized how hungry we were. So we rushed to Santosh Restaurant to have my favourite food i.e. Daal, Baati, and Churma. Food was not as good as it was suggested. Anyway it filled my stomach and desire to eat Daal and Baati in Udaipur.

Day 2 was not as entertaining as Day 1. We started quite late today as well. After having some snacks, we visited Bagore Ki Haweli. It was restored as a museum from ruins. This is a small Haweli with many rooms. Museum started with a room which has many puppets of various sizes, mimicking various people, decorated in bright colors. Other rooms unlocked various Rajasthani cultural activities e.g. Shadi, war, courtrooms, weapons, and clothes etc. Though things placed in Haveli can provide good outlook of Rajasthani culture, it didn't attract me much because things were neither catered nor displayed in an efficient manner.

As it was hot and we were hungry, so we spend 2 hours in a café (Do not remember the name). It was quite near to Jagdish temple and Bagore Ki haweli. It was nice, peaceful café. 2 hours went without much fuzz.

After filling up our stomachs, we went for boating in Fatehsagar Lake. It was quite sunny by the time we reach the lake, so we killed 2 more hours in the nearby park. Around 5Pm, We took a ferry to reach to the Nehru Garden, situated in the middle of the Lake. Though the park was not startling, but there was a certain kind of romance in the environment due to eloping Sun. We returned with another ferry after spending some more time in the park.

Enjoying the Sunset and in love with Nature.
It was the time for dinner. Few people wanted to return to the city to some hotel which serves Alcohol, whereas I did not have such inclinations. So based on Deepak bhai's recommendations, we went to Raajbagh Restaurant.

It was a perfect restaurant for me. It has tables in open, which are adjacent to the Fatehsagar Lake. You could smell the water from your table. Lights were dim and every table was lit with candle. So it turned out to be a candle light dinner at the shore. I did not really care much about the food at such a nice place. Every item tasted cold, but good. Waiters were also good. We spend some quality time at the restaurant and left the restaurant quite late.
I must recommend this place to all people, mostly couples, to visit this nice restaurant. In nutshell, you would not go for food, but for the aroma and charm of the place.

In Udaipur, you do not get any kind of transport after 11 PM. So we were stuck at some unknown area without a hope of any public transport, but one unknown person helped us and drove us to a place where autos were available. So all in all, horrendous day ended with a smile on our faces.

Around 12 o'clock, I boarded to bus and left Udaipur. It was one among the best trips of my life.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Buck up, You got enough to face

We have sold our hopes to God.
We have sold our expectation to God.
We have sold our Goals to God.

He is building the chaos,
and yet we are part of it.
He is breaking things, 
and yet we are enjoying it. 
He can hurt the whole,
and yet we are hoping something out of it.
Then sometime we say
Why can not he stop making things?
Why can not he stop choosing things?
Why can not he stop breaking those chosen things?

and we feel that he isn't perfect.
He is some human who is enjoying the experiments.
He is some devil who is breaking the things.
He is some god who is making few broken things beautiful.

He is not gonna help us,
But He tells us, wake up you sneaky bastards.

I am enjoying your hopes,
but I am retarded with such hopes.
I am creating beautiful things,
But I am burdened with your singing.
I am managing the whole universe,
But I am overworked while managing each of you.

Buck up.
I have given you enough strength to fight.
I have given you plenty of mind to try.
I have give you plenty of things to make world right.

Let me rest, I am tired and stressed. I am tired and Stressed.