This Friday I’m hosting a picture of an Indian elephant mural taken by Irina Banica from Are you happy? Blog on her unexpected trip to Udaipur.
Irina is a lawyer and a travel addict. She says travelling is part of her. It made her know herself better, be open to new and incredible experiences, appreciates who she is.
Do follow her journey on Facebook as well.
Picture Story: Indian Elephant Mural
Barbeque chicken, good friends, family, laughter, a table in a family restaurant after searching for a couple of hours for the perfect place to have dinner, pyjamas, Romanian rum, chocolates, Indian TV and good gossip – this was the recipe for a perfect chill relaxed New Year in Jaipur.
Amongst our resolutions for 2015, there’s a special one – be spontaneous, make no plans, and leave it all to faith. This is how I and my good friend Whiskey ended up for 2 days in Udaipur.
It was the 1st of January and we were supposed to be in Udaipur on 3rd and 4th. No direct planes, no seats available in the train. Still, where there’s a will there’s a way, right?
In less than an hour, we managed to rent a car with a driver and book a hotel right in the centre of Udaipur. A 9-hour drive later and we are in Udaipur.
All we know about this city is that it is known as the most romantic city in India and the view from the hotel room seems to agree – right in front lies Jagdish Temple, a large Hindu temple completed in 1651.
Sipping our coffee we look around and we can see a city with typical Indian houses (tall with rooftop terraces), small streets intersecting other small streets leading in some other streets like a labyrinth on hills.
All topped up with the usual crowd in India – cars, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, pedestrians, monkeys, elephants, all walking on the same land in a blessed diversity.
The city of Udaipur owes its name to its founder Maharana Udai Singh. Udaipur is called the Romantic City of Lakes or the Venice of the East.
The city is an amazing blend of beauties of lakes, mountains, architecture, history, culture and Rajput-era palaces.
It is said, “See Venice and die, but see Udaipur and live to see it again and again”.
We decide to wander around the streets of the Old City with no plans and no end point; just explore, discover.
All around us, the buildings are beautifully decorated with wall paintings displaying colourful and elaborate portraits of men, women, elephants and deities. Indian Elephant Mural was the one that caught my eye!
It felt like walking through an outdoor gallery. As we walked more and more into the streets of Udaipur the colours all around (painted walls, windows, clothes, curtains…) invaded our eyes and warm our hearts.
Unknown buildings unveiled in front of us for the first time but still, they seemed so familiar, like we have been there before.
Our walk took us to the Pichola Lake. A great evening was ahead of us, with old and new friends, shared memories and dreams, gossip, jokes, laughter, hidden tears.
We wrote postcards for my family and friends at home as I always do when on the road.
And as the sun was setting down and the rumour of the tourists and locals all around became lower and lower I knew that right there and then we were living a moment of pure and clear happiness.
I could hear in my mind the quote that haunted the beginning of our year “You’re waiting for a train.
A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you don’t know for sure.
But it doesn’t matter. How can it not matter to you where that train will take you? Because you’ll be together” (Inception) and I know that we are meant to live and return to Udaipur over and over again.
Indian Elephant Mural painted in the Mewar style which includes traditional paintings from Udaipur.
The murals found in Udaipur are truly marvelous. Many of these murals can be found not only in the palaces, and havelis, but also on the streets of Udaipur.
Multitudes of murals greet you, and many of them vary from being painted recently, to those which are centuries old found within the beautiful interiors of the palaces, temples, etc.
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