Travel Journal, Page 56, Entry 11/18 653pm
We had a short day in Udaipur today. It was another sunny day which baked us to exhaustion quickly. Now, I am sitting in my air conditioned hotel room watching Dexter. It feels like a waste of my precious travel time, but my body can use a break. Since I didn’t write yesterday, I will start from our adventure in Jodhpur yesterday.
We woke up around 7 in the morning. It was a beautiful sunny day yet again. We started our trip at the highest point of the city at the Mehrangarh Palace [note: it’s actually a fort]. It opened at 9am. It’s a well fortified and intricately decorated six some hundred years old palace built on top of a mountain. In fact, it’s so strategically positioned that it claims to have never been sacked by force.
After Mehrangarh Palace, we went to Jaswant Thada, a milky white marble memorial built for Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. This place is my FAVORITE! Hands down the best spot I have found in India so far. It was so peaceful in that courtyard. The edifice has an air of zen to it.
It stands on top of a large rock with the backdrop of the blue city far below the cliffs. On its east is a pond with ducks and herons. As you walk up the stairs and into the courtyard, there is cool breeze in your face. The air felt clean for some reason, in stark contrast to the chaos, noise, and fetor in the city below. Flowers bloomed in the courtyard so the breeze carried a pleasant fragrance that soothed my whole being. Yes, I thought I could live there for a while. Do they need an anesthesiologist, you think?
The drive to Udaipur was challenging. The road was rough even for India standards. We saw the remnant of a bus that lost control and rammed into a mountain side. Its windows shattered and part of it burned. I checked my seat belt several times that evening.
But when we got to Udaipur I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of this city. The city was built around a huge freshwater lake, Pichola Lake. In the middle of the lake there were two islands Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir. Each of the islands was used as the foundation for a gorgeous white palace which was an engineering feat even by modern standards.
Before sunset we made it up Monsoon Palace which was located on the top of a hill outside the city. We thought we could watch the sunset from up there but it turned out that they were closing before the sunset. Kind of a bummer. I can only imagine how beautiful the view is at sunset. I suppose it’s not the worst thing to keep it for yourself, Monsoon Palace.