Udaipur Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
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  • Off The Beaten Path
    by pfsmalo
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by pfsmalo

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Udaipur

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    HALDIGHATI

    by kinjalnz15 Written Dec 25, 2007

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    Haldighati is a battle site about north of udaipur. On this battle site maharana pratap fought against the combined army of jaipur and mughal army of akbar in 1576. Here ia a chetal memorial, where rana's horse saved his master life.Also woth looking for is sound and light show inside the museum.

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    Kumbalgarh

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 5, 2007

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    Attributed to Rana Kumbha, this fort was built between 1443 and 1458 under supervision of the famous architect Mandan. It is believed that the fort was built over the remains of an earlier structure associated to Jaina prince Samprati of the second century BC. Due to its strategic location it was the second important fort in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. The fort is defended by a series of bastions at regular intervals along a huge wall that stretches for some 36km making it the second longest continuous wall in the world, second to none other than Great Wall of China. The walls encompass over 300 Jain and Hindu temples, cenotaphs, markets, villages, fields, gardens and water sources. The main fort buildings are located at the summit, some 1914 metres above sea level and are approached by passing through a series of 7 gates. The main palace building, the Badal Mahal, was built by Rana Fateh Singh (1885-1930) after he pulled down the old palace built by Rana Kumbha. Just below this lie the remains of the Kumbhal Palace which is believed to be the birthplace of legendary Rajput hero, Maharana Pratap Singh. Check out my Kumbalgarh page below.

    Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: Rs100 for foreigners

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    Ranakpur

    by Willettsworld Written Dec 5, 2007

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    Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman, approached when he had the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Its located in a secluded wooded valley area of the Aravalli Hills, 8km from the city of Sadri and approx 90km north-west of Udaipur. Like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the temple at Ranakpur was on my list of places to visit after seeing photo's of it on the net. I came here in a shared car that I hired with two Canadian girls from Udaipur for a day trip that also included the amazing hill-top fort of Kumbalgarh.

    The Jain temple is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar (a human who has achieved enlightenment), Lord Rishabha or Adinath and was built in 1439. The grand scale (the temple measures 60 x 62m in area), and sheer architectural complexity along with its exquisite sculptural ornamentation distinguish it as prehaps the single most impressive example of Western Indian temple architecture. It features an unusual four-sided plan with four separate entrances. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over 400 columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved and no two being alike. It's like walking round a marble forest! More can be found on my Ranakpur page found below.

    Open: 12pm-5pm. Admission: Free. Camera charge is Rs50.

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    Lake Nagda Ghats

    by atufft Updated May 5, 2007

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    There are of course many lakes in the regions, most of them reservoirs of sorts that retain the water through the dry season. During our visit, we were often captivated by the ordinary duties of bathing and laundry on the lake. In this series of images, not the related cropping of an elderly woman whose grey hair is long. These Indians did not appear unhealthy or underfed. What's remarkable to me is the connectedness of the village Indians to the water. There are similar lakes in California, but the access to them is over gravelly or mud beaches, whereas the ghats provide a wonderful marble shelf from which to reach into the water. I've always loved to swim and bathe in the alpine lakes of California, but the water isn't near so warm as in the region around Udaipur. Probably, these villagers see no advantage nor romance in such natural methods of bathing and laundry, and certainly over time I would tire of it, but the open air and seemingly fresh water was very nice at Nagda and Eklingi.

    Ghats at Nagda Lake Close-up of Activity at Nagda Lake Ghats Old Woman Bathing at Nagda The Ghats at Nagda Lake Nagda Lake and its Ghats
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    Miscellaneous Ruins in Nagda

    by atufft Written May 4, 2007

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    For those who like to hike distances, there are several temples worth exploring. These are often easily seen from the road, so it's possible to do as I ask my driver to do, pull over and take a short hike up an enbankment or over a stone wall. The view from the temple is often worth the climb in itself.

    Temple on a Hill in Nagda Small Temple in Nagda Small Temple in Nagda Ruined Temples in Nagda
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    Conical Rooflines at Nagda

    by atufft Written May 4, 2007

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    Hindu Temples typically have ornate conical, or beehive, rooflines. The ones at Nagda don't disappoint the visitor. However, in the plundering by Mughal raiders, some roofs were leveled. The effort in this destruction must have been a challenge though as some ruins escaped the vandalism.

    Conical Roof at Nagda Conical Roof at Nagda
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    Interior Architecture of Nagda Ruins

    by atufft Updated May 4, 2007

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    Most interiors of Nagda were either closed off for safety reasons or completely ruined, but we did find one temple at Sas Bahu in credible shape. Compare the unique Hindu arches which are often found on the wonderful Hindu temples, with the column and dome style architecture of Ranakpur in other tips.

    Interior Arches of Nagda Temple Decorated Column at Nagda Temple Column Arch Details of Nagda Temple
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    Garden Views from Inside Ranakpur

    by atufft Updated May 4, 2007

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    There are second and third floor balconies where one can peer out across the lovely surrounding countryside. Ranakpur is an active temple with gardens to feed those that live there, and there are several minor temples that can also be seen in the distance. Here also are other memorable images from the exterior and artistic interior of the great Ranakpur Temple. This tip deserves a rating just for the effort of bringing them to you. Now, it's your turn to visit and photograph this highly photogenic monument:-)

    View from Ranakpur Temple to Countryside Interior Art of Ranakpur Balcony with Monkeys General View of Ranakpur Gardens at Ranakpur
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    Ranakpur Entrance and More Architectural Details

    by atufft Updated May 4, 2007

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    Ranakpurs Entrance is actually pretty unassuming considering the grandeur of the architecture as was seen in the distance. As with any Jain temple, there is no entrance fee. I should relate that along the road leading to Ranakpur, we passed Jain faithful dress in white cotton pajamas with what appear to be surgical masks on their faces. Our driver told us that these believers held life so sacred that they didn't want to accidentally swallow any insects, and so the masks to screen their mouths. Another thing to notice is the excellent foundation details and outstanding solid construction of this building. The placement must be on firm soil, but there are also gardens as shown in subsequent tips. There are also a number of outbuildings, some of which may be older than the main Ranakpur temple. The one shown in this series of tips appears to have a roof protecting a much more ancient sacred monument.

    Ranakpur Detail on Foundation Ranakpur Window Detail Ranakpur Main Entrance General View of Ranakpur Unknown Ranakpur Sacred Monument
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    Decorated Dome and Details at Ranakpur

    by atufft Updated May 4, 2007

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    In the central part of the main building, the three floors and upper dome can be seen. On the exterior, the window details are a constant wonder of detailed workmanship. In a side alcove, the tirthankers are symbolized in statue form for the appreciation of believers. There is also several other sacred artwork of considerable detail, and of course there's always another incredible column to appreciate as art. Outside, monkey agressively solicit food donations from tourists. Unaware of their speed, Belinda lost her sandwich to a monkey that surprised and snatched her lunch.

    Central Dome of Ranakpur Tirthanker Alcove Ranakpur Dome Details Ranakpur Column Capitol Art Ranakpur Dome and Capitol Art
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    Local Family Portraits Near Nagda Lake

    by atufft Updated Apr 29, 2007

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    During our drive into the Nagda Lake area, I asked the driver to stop so that I could take a short hike up a hill to visit some peasant houses that I saw. My first family wasn't so receptive and grudgingly agreed to take a photo. They didn't really understand what I was doing, I think. A second family though invited me into their home, which has a rustic slate roof, through which I could see daylight. The home was very simple and crude, but the husband was handsome and his wife rather beautiful. At that time, my portrait taking skills with such people with whom I could not communicate were rudimentary, but I managed to get a great shot of this handsome if underfed family. Just as I put a coin into the palm of the woman, the car horn honked and I waved goodbye. The woman and I had struck up a bond of sorts, as she tearfully ran after me pleading me to stay longer. I would like to visit this family again sometime, but chances are I will never have the opportunity.

    Hindu Woman in the Countryside Near Udaipur A Peasant Family and Home Near Udaipur Hindu Man and His House Near Udaipur First Family Portrait Near Udaipure Two Curious Boys Near Home Outside Udaipur
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    Exterior Details of Nagda Temples

    by atufft Updated Apr 28, 2007

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    The exterior chiseled work at Nagda is abundant and though worn generally outstanding. The Sas-Bahu Temple does have an entrance but most of the other temples stand isolated and unencumbered by tourists.

    Nagda Temple Foundation Detail Close-up of Nagda Art Exterior Entrance to Sas Bahu at Nagda Temple Details at Sas Bahu Nagda
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    Ruins of Nagda Temple in Landscape

    by atufft Updated Apr 28, 2007

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    Located 23km from Udaipur, Nagda was the ancient capital of Mewar. Earlier known as Nagahrida or Nagadraha, this town was found by Nagaditya of Guhilot in the 6th century AD. Nagda was the ancient capital of Mewar, and the rulers of Mewar had ruled from Nagda for seven generations until the time of Bappa Rawal (728AD). Nagada was plundered by Muslim raiders under Altamash between 1222 and 1229 AD. Today, the town is in ruins and only partially restored for visitors. There are Vishnu, Shiva and Jain temples with wonderful architectural details. Sas-Bahu Temple, them most extensive temple complex was built in the tenth century. What struck me at first was the variety of landscapes images the ruins could offer. Later, I explored the exterior details and searched for interiors of interest.

    Sas Bahu Temple at Nagda Sas Bahu Temple Complex at Nagda Unrestored Ruins at Nagda Remaining Columns Standing at Nagda Lonely Unrestored Temple in Lake Nagda
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    Close-up of Eklingi Ghats

    by atufft Written Apr 28, 2007

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    The Ghats themselves are a place of social activity. The men and women bathe separately along the marble steps leading down to the water. One woman showed me the extensive nature of the steps built around the lake, showing me that privacy on the lake is possible. I am of course voyeur to their personal activities and provide here images taken with the telephoto that don't reveal the identity of my subjects in order to retain their privacy. You go and see for yourself.

    Ghats off the beaten path at Eklingi The Ghats at Eklingi Temple Women washing Laundry at Eklingi Eklingi Temple and Ghats
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    Eklingi Temple Near the Lake

    by atufft Updated Apr 28, 2007

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    Built in 734 AD, Eklingi is the beautifully sculpted temple complex with 108 temples within its high walls. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Mewar rulers. The walled complex encloses and elaborately pillared hall or ‘mandap’ under a large pyramidal roof and has four-faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble. The wonderful access that the temple has to the lake provides a place for ghats, or baths, used by the local villagers to clean their laundry and themselves. The surrounding dry hills of the Aravalli Range provide and lovely contrast reminiscent of my home in California.

    View of Lake Eklingi and Portion of Temple Entrance to Temple at Eklingi Another Overview of the Temple at Eklingi The Black Krishna at Eklingi The Ghats at Eklingi
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Udaipur Off The Beaten Path

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