Narlai Udaipur, Barlow

We drove from Jodhpur to Narlai. The places we stay are old forts or estate houses that have been turned into hotels. This allows the families to stay in the house, earn some money and employ the people from the town. Most have a gift shops and a nice restaurant. The town of Narlai has a large step well that stores water during the year for the people of the town. As an attraction the estate offers a dinner event at the step well. We were taken by bullock cart through the town. The steps of the well were decorated with hundreds of lanterns and candles. We were served traditional food and serenaded by throughout dinner. It was very festive.

In the morning we left for Udaipur. On the drive the farm areas are neater, the spring wheat is growing and the trees are beginning to bud. There is much infrastructure work being done, new roads, bridges, and fibre optic cable is being buried. In 10 years many of these cities will be different. Women are doing much of the work, carrying firewood, laundry, water and market goods on their head. They also herd the goats, sheep and cows. Women of the lowest caste are digging, carrying cement and bricks in the construction zones. There are produce stands in all the towns.

We stopped at a Jain Temple. Jainism is a sect of Hinduism. The Jains believe in non violence to all living things, they are strict vegetarians. The temple was built from marble which is abundant in this area. The carvings on the pillars and walls are intricate and the floors are all inlaid designs. Outside the temple there were many monkeys playing in the trees.

When we arrived in Udaipur we took a boat ride in Lake Pichola to view the City Palace from the outside. In the centre of the lake is the Summer Palace and high on a mountain outside the city is the Monsoon Palace.

The next day we toured the City Palace. Inside the halls were narrow, the steps were steep and the doors were low. This is a method of protecting the inhabitants. The invaders were confused by the halls and steps they were forced to bend over as they entered a room, this allowed the defenders to decapitate them. When we left the palace we wandered through the city markets. There is always something to buy for the decorators in the group.

As we make our way to Jaipur we will spend a restful afternoon and evening at Fort Barli.

Sorry no pictures today. Internet is slow

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