A Travellerspoint blog

India: Udaipur

Roaming, shopping, palm reading, wonderful art and interesting music lessons in the gorgeous and quiet bohemian city where "Octopussy" was filmed

sunny 32 °C
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Udaipur

We left Puskhar at roughly 1am for the overnight train to Udaipur from Ajmer.

Udaipur is lovely!
So very different to the cities visited previously - it isn't heavily populated, has a very bohemian vibe and surrounded by a gorgeous lake.
Te city is also famous for being the film location of "Octopussy" (made during Bond's more 'Carry On'-ish, Roger Moore phase). Most restaurants and hotels still show the DVD at regular intervals throughout the day - cute! :-)

One of the main streets, Udaipur:
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City Palace

Each major city seems to have a big palace. Udaipur's is enormous, and still active. However the King has (either leased or so) much of it to major hotels. So, if you're up for a splurge, there are some really fancy hotels around. Speaking of which, the most expensive hotel in India is also here, it sits in the middle of the lake which surrounds the city.

View of Udaipur from City Palace:
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Inside the City Palace:
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Tabla Lesson Disaster

LP lists Udaipur's music shop as having Rp100 music lessons.
I've never learned tablas properly before, and really want to get going with them whilst in India.

I went to the shop and booked in a lesson. It started well....
We began with the complexities of traditional Indian rhythms and timings, then some playing, and learning to tap/strike each tabla.
However, it turned to a sales pitch...
In the middle of repeating a rudiment Mr Music asked "so, how much you want these for?".
My teacher didn't take "I'm only here for the advertised lesson" so well.
He persisted... "how much"...
Me: "Are we going to get back to the lesson?"
He persisted: "how much, 13000 rupees I think for these... what is your best price"
Me: "I don't want to buy any. I just want learn how the instrument works, as advertised and agreed."

This went back and fourth....

Within 10 minutes of arrival I cut the "lesson" short.
Mr Music didn't even get up when I politely gave him his 100 rupee full fee for the shortened lesson.
I walked to the door... only to find it was snub locked and curtains closed.
With fists and teeth clenched, I took a deep breath and glared back (what would Linbaba do?)
He's still sitting down, staring at me blankly... so bizarre!
I politely thanked the fellow for the lesson and mentioned my peers and (those famous book publishers) would hear about my experience....
After struggling with the lock, I got it open and stepped outside....
He quickly gasped..... "Oh there is a misunderstanding?! You wanted a lesson, and don't want to buy.. I understand. Please let's return to the lesson, and tomorrow you will get a free lesson, just come past. We don't need anyone finding out about this misunderstanding"
I smiled, said "namaste" and shut the door.

This didn't spoil a wonderful time in Udapir though, it is indeed magical and the only place thus far where I can recommend shopping for clothing, art and jewellery.....

Tailored Clothing

There is a very reputable tailor here.
I got myself a nice suit, wool winter sports jacket and 5 shirts tailor made - all top quality - for the princely sum of about AUD$200, and ready about 36 hours after measurements (they have a massive co-op across the city, so almost anything, no matter how busy they are, can be ready the next day
Most of the Intrepid group got some nice threads too!

Art

Udaipur is also famous for 'miniature art': very small detailed objects/scenes within a larger piece. I picked up some really nice detailed works to send home. Interestingly, the artists work in a co-op whereby they split all shop takings evenly regardless of whose work sells.

Palm Reading

I did a palm reading session, which really made sense. Normally I am sceptical about these things, however I only had to submit my name and date of birth and then he took my palm line measurements.
My overall reading and personal chart with lucky numbers, significant dates, etc were worked out through numerology and astrology charts, and other reference sheets.

The outcome and explanation described my outlook and disposition to a tea.
He did say that my best years are yet to come (6 years time apparently) and that I should wear silver and gold rings to increase connectivity to the divine, and meditate each morning, facing the sun's direction to improve connection with the divine and broader universe.
I took away a lot of useful info :-)
Others in the group also reported accurate/relevant results from the palm reading too.

Jewellery

After the reading I went to a silver and goldsmith where Akhi was having a super bling-bling gold and emerald ring made. I had silver and gold (adjustable) rings made, with certificates of authenticity, weight etc.
The gold ring is 23 carats and for a very reasonable price - booyakusha.

Udaipur Sunset

At around 6pm we all boarded a boat for a cruise around the waters that surround Udaipur. Seeing the city from this perspective, and at this light is truly gorgeous!

Facing in:
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Facing out:
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We then had a lovely dinner at an outdoor restaurant which faces the main town, across the water. Beautiful!

You can view all of my photos from Udaipur (and Pushkar) here

Posted by SkinnyFists 08:32 Archived in India Tagged udaipur tailors tablas jewellery_india tailors_india

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