Onwards, Upwards and Backwards
After that rather emotional stop at Jodhpur, we contemplated our way to our next stop on our journey of the magnificent state of Rajasthan and landed up, after Pink and Blue cities, at the city of the lakes, Udaipur.
We were received and taken to the house of the brother of a student from a different college, and he was kind enough to take us around to see the sights and sounds of this beautiful city full of lakes and gardens. The trip to the City Palace around Lake Pichola with the Lake Palace in the middle of it surely makes for a nice view. We had only a day here and it was not possible to see the second longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China at Kumbhalgarh Fort about 60 km from Udaipur. Neverthless, we had to make do with Jagmandir and a lunch at a Gujarati thali at a famous hotel in the market area. The gracious hospitality notwithstanding, we took the next bus for the 3 hour ride to the only hill resort in Rajasthan, Mount Abu.
Situated about 1200 ft above sea level, we reached on the 31st of December and our plan was to spend the New Year’s eve doing nothing. The Mount View Hotel was situated over a large open Polo ground where religious functions are usually held. There were some fireworks display happening, which was enjoyed with a glass of rum and in a blanket-wrapped view from the verandah and thanks to the timely gift of a warm woolen sweater that Harry gave me in Jodhpur, wrapping me in the warmth of the meeting and subsequently every winter in Bangalore with his memories.
The next day we visited the exquisitely carved Dilwara temple with the very plain domes on top to hoodwink the raiders of yore. It seemed to have worked because the temple is intact. We also passed the ashram of the Brahma Kumaris, who have their spiritual headquarters here. The Nakki lake was left out in the itinerary.
It was with a tinge of sadness that we made the final descent to Abu Road to catch the Jodhpur Express on the 2nd of January for our return trip to Bangalore, which was a memorable trip in all counts. Reconnections, sights and remains one of the most favourite trip of the family. Till the Himachal-Punjab trip happened.
A big shout out to Shahid of Maurya College and his brother for their hospitality and to the people and state of Rajasthan for keeping the history and taste-buds alive for the generations, unless this dreadful virus has a say in the matter.
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