Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moti Magri: The Memorial of Great Hero

Pearl Hill: An Ideal Place for an Ideal Memorial

Our initial day in Udaipur began with the local sightseeing. On top of Moti Magri (Pearl Hill), stood the tribute to one of the greatest kings in Indian history, Maharana Pratap of Mewar. The memorial comprises a life-sized bronze statue of Maharana Pratap balanced on his loyal and favourite horse, Chetak. If I decode the style of design of the sculpture, I should consider that the Maharana survived all wars, and his passing away was due to natural causes. Chetak was craftfully sculpted as having his feet on the ground. History teaches us that Chetak gave up his life in the service of his master, while attending to a battle of strategic importance. Situated at the top of Moti Margi or Pearl Hill, the memorial overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake. If you are a photographer, then you will truly love this place. From the comfortable height of the hill, you can click some of the best pictures of Udaipur city.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day 1: The capital of Mewar

The initial day was dedicated to sight-seeing and spending time in the city and it's suburbs. The hotel we stayed was adjacent to Lake Pichhola. Our taxi driver mentioned that the lake got it's name just because it is situated in the rear side of the city. (In Hindi, "Peecha" turns out to "back.") . It's only when I had a deeper study of the locality that I learned that the name originally is related to the adjacent village, Pichholi. The hotel we stayed was not in a very happening location, as we learned later, but it definitely had something about it. Our auto driver doubled up as a local guide. The pride of being a subject of Mewar was apparent in his words, but his contempt towards adjacent kingdoms like Marwar and Jaipur (purely due to historic reasons) didnot visibly complement the hospitality he showered on us.

Day 1: Udaipur City

Day 1

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day 0: Leaving Delhi

I admit, I was a little apprehensive of the plan albeit replying in the affirmative to the mail from Puneet regarding the plan for a trip. But it could be great I presumed, since my experience with Puneet was (and still is) great, and I'm sure wherever he goes, he'll definitely find likeminded (creative) people around. And so it went. There was a random exchanges of messages and e-mails, and faster than expected, we had a team of travellers raring to explore the beauty and history of Udaipur.

We boarded the train to Udaipur on the 28th of September 2007, an ideal Friday evening. It didn't take much time for what appeared to be formal meeting to grow to a much personal gathering. We enjoyed the journey every bit, shared the dinner, sang songs, shot pics and videos. Awful moments. We never had even the slightest idea of what is awaiting us in the forthcoming 4 days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Journey Begins

Udaipur: Our Newly Found Love

Udaipur, or the capital of the erstwhile Mewar kingdom, is known as the land of lakes. The land of warrior kings, the throne of Mewar was adorned by eminent rulers such as Rana Udai Singh II (whom the city is named after), Maharana Pratap Singh, Maharana Sangram Singh etc. The Mewar dynasty traces its roots to the Sun God. Its history has been a continuous struggle for freedom of religion, thought and land against other Rajput groups as well as the overbearing Mughals and Muslims of bygone eras.

Sisodias, offshoots of the Chauhanas who ruled the Mewar region, were against Mughal dominion and tried every trick possible to distance themselves from them. Udaipur remained untouched from Mughal religious and aesthetics influences and remained so till the coming of the Europeans. Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911. This fierce sense of independence earned them the highest
gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Bikaner, Kota and Karauli.

Recently, the Travellers were on a trip to Rajasthan again. It is Udaipur, that was on our radar.
Begining today, here's an account of how it went. Keep watching this space for more

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Trip to Udaipur

The past weekend was a remarkable one. Watch out for detailed reports from the heart of Mewar.