Monday, January 2, 2017

Mumbai: Gateway to India and Gateway home

It is now some weeks since we were in India and made our way home. Christmas and New Year have come and gone and finally we end this chapter.
Mumbai was the traditional entry point to India for the British. For us it was the end of a few great weeks in India. We flew down from Udaipur but it is not a centre of tourism.

We visited this huge city undergoing a transition from slum to modern highrise. Today many people live in the slums but have good jobs in the areas around as they wait for their turn to receive Government highrise housing in the new developments.

Among the places that we visited were the traditional Dhobi Wallas going about their duties with the cities washing.


                              Many of the clothes are new and are sent for a wash prior to sale.

The most moving was the house frequently used by Ghandi that has been made into a museum..


It includes a series of dioramas such as this one of his funeral pyre.
"Lead me from the Unreal to the Real,
From Darkness to Light
From Death to Immortality"

We visited a Hindu Temple and tasted the delicious sweets.


Two weeks away and we didn't even open the pack of Immodium.

You know that the locals are cricket tragics! We drove past the many colonial buildings and past huge open areas with literally hundreds of cricket games in progress.


                                               They seemed to manage the narrow strips!


                                                               Mumbai Town Hall.


                                                                Victoria Station.


                                              Gail at the Raj Hotel.


                                                 We pose in front of "The Gateway to India"
This was built for the arrival of The Prince of Wales..King Edward VII. He and the troops marched through the gate. Not much later the British troops marched out of the gate as they exited India.
We had to catch a domestic flight back to New Delhi to connect with our flight home

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Marble boats and Palaces.

The city of Udaipur is considered to be the "Venice of India". There are lakes with Palaces and hotels. We stayed on an island with a land connection. The island is owned by the Royal family and comprises two luxury hotels. We stayed at one and the other was considered to be the top hotel in the world 4 years ago. We only walked through the grounds of The Oberoi.

Our first visit was to the Women's Gardens. Built for the women of the Royal court it had delightful gardens, fountains and lily ponds.




Yes these days they allow men into the gardens! Us with a butterfly.

We stopped to look at The Lake Palace. The city is seen as one of the most beautiful in India.



We moved on to The City Palace, a huge complex structure with some very ornate features.








The rooms were very ornate. This one had lots of gold!


Detail on one of the walls.



 The external walls were just as nice as those inside.


We could do an entire blog just on elephants as depicted in temple and palace art.


This is the Jagdish Temple and yes those are elephants.

After checking into our hotel we had a little time and walked to a local market. Later we went on a boat trip on Lake Pichola. The view was wonderful and the afternoon light added to the scene.











A few more photos of the City Palace and the Royal touch.


The sun set and we adjourned to our Palace to hold court.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Ranakpur Jain Temple

It was another long drive from Jodhpur across to Udaipur. The roads at times were very narrow as they went around steep hillsides with sheer drops to the side.
The only stop was at an incredible Jain Temple. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built over 50 years dating from late 15th century. It had elaborately carved marble columns along with other excellent carvings and sculptures.




























                      Make sure that you read to the very end.                       

Jodhpur: The Blue City

It was another long drive over very poor roads to reach Jodhpur, The Blue City. We actually ate lunch on the drive to get there in time to spend the afternoon sightseeing.On the way we watched this very dry landscape with its very traditional local people.





                               This shot has the full family. The clothing was mainly traditional.

After a brief stop at the hotel we visited the Cenotaph where the various rulers have been cremated and memorials constructed. It had great views over the city.

Our main stop was at the Mehrangarh Fort that was constructed in 1459. It was again both fort and palace, The entry was defensive but the palace section contained some great artworks.


                                                  The entry was a steep climb!

         
                                                 Stunning architecture.


                  This is the Palace of Flowers. A very highly decorated room in gold.

That night we went to the Palace of the former mistress to the Maharajah. A stunning venue and an elaborate meal of traditional Rajasthani food.


This is one of the rooms. We ate on the rooftop with great views of the current palace and the entire city.