Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 17: City of Udaipur - the dry Venice of India


The team spent the weekend in Udaipur exploring the city and taking some much needed relaxation. We sat on the rooftop restaurant enjoying some cold beer and watching the evening colours transpire bringing choruses of bats and a cool breeze. The city at night is all lit up, illuminating the white washed buildings and carefully carved marble temples. Everyone spent time in the busy tourist and local markets and visiting the city palace. People are attracted to this beautiful sight because it is surrounded by a large lake, unfortunately summer time in Rajasthan brings drought and the lake is currently dried up, enabling you to walk right up to the palace doors!

On the drive to Udaipur we took a detour and visited Jaisamand lake. Built in 1685 it is the second largest artificial lake in Asia covering 36 sqkm. Even though we are coming from a background with large pristine alpine lakes we were all surprised and taken aback by the vast beauty. On top of two hills lay old palaces adorned with carved elephants. The lake provides a large part of irrigation and life style for a magnitude of villages that live around the outskirts and surrounding land.

Over the course of the last week about half of our team got sick at different times because of the constant sun or perhaps the food ( some call it Dehli Belly....!). Needless to say there have been some sore tummies but everyone is in full recovery and ready to go back to work for the coming week. After the busy city and sweaty jeep ride back to Bhinder, everyone was relieved to be back 'home', we really do love it here at the palace.

With love from two very sweaty team leaders,
Ciara and Stuart

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