Ranakpur monkeys, a sketch 2012

Waking to the whirring fan above my aching body stirred my soul once again. Could the hard bed really entice a little 5 minute snooze as I try to savour the last moments of quiet before India awakes? Or should I just brave the cool bathroom tiles by tiptoe for my ritual cold “bucket bath”? A sharp fragrance stings my nose followed by a sneeze – time to dance into another day in India!

Hot chai tea, toast and butter, fresh yoghurt bathed in pomegranate seeds and banana slices. The pomegranate bursts with sweetness in my mouth; a seed truly after my own heart! This is the Indian breakfast I’ve come adore! I cling to the warmth of my hot chai and ready myself spiritually so I can display the door sign in my eyes as “open”!

I watch my host’s young daughter drawing in a brown-leafed exercise book; she hands me a child-size crayon and delights in my little scribble. We don’t speak the same language verbally but none of that matters here; it’s what you do and how you interact that gives you away, less what you say.

Heading towards Jodhpur I reached a sense of peace, somewhere between the lake of the spirits (a passage of water for the recently cremated) and the queen’s small temple at Jaswant Thada. Dragonflies danced with their watery reflections, their dichroic glass torsos occasionally intertwining in an intimate tango.  The monumental gestures made by some of India’s kings and queens prompted by their partner’s death are truly beyond the role of duty.  I felt love in this place and peace quickly followed. The sun kept me on my toes though, no lingering!

The fort palace of Jodhpur is remarkable for many things, especially the glass windows and objets d’art, but also for the fact that one king here had one queen and 29 concubines (according to our tour guide)! As I wandered through the fort palace and it’s opulence, I couldn’t help but wonder how such men handled these affairs. When I enquired about it, the guide giggled before whispering that duties are duties!  Indeed!  This wouldn’t be the first palace I would visit where concubines and multiple wives once roamed, but it did prepare me for facing the many facts about marriage and family roles in India.

Beautiful glass, Jodhpur

More beautiful glass (some Belgian), Jodhpur

Jodhpur’s sweet green lovebirds

Jodhpur, the blue city

Jodhpur view from fort

Chipmunk in Jodhpur, a sketch 2012

A long, long day on the road from Jodhpur to Udaipur, broken up by hazy strolls to Jain temples and sleepy chats with Jain deities. Ranakpur is located in the most beautiful region… lush tropical peaked landscapes transformed from the hydrated desert sands, with warm blue-green pools for gregarious monkeys to lounge by, palm trees with careless fronds, wooden wells and empty pink huts… an exotic fairytale!

Ranakpur’s lush landscape

On the way to Udaipur I saw my first (and last) glimpse of a glass shop. The window shelves seemed to have many bowls containing glass shards, but I couldn’t be sure. The sun, the heat, the sleepiness… all reflections and mirrors!

Glass shop, Ranakpur!

Udiapur’s city palace and lake is so breathtaking. The sun pours itself through every stained glass window, latticed archway and secret garden before basking quietly across the vast lake, only to hide at sunset behind Udaipur’s gentle peaks. At dusk, Udaipur is pink and ready to romance you.

Udaipur and lake

Udaipur and lake

Udaipur lake

Udaipur palace glass

Udaipur palace mirrors

Udaipur art studio

Udaipur chillout room

Udaipur palace birdcages

Miniature Art lessons, Udaipur

Metalwork shop, Udaipur

Udaipur palace decor

Udaipur lake

Udaipur’s urbanisation

Originally published: Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 20:53 in Celebrating Art, Inspiration, Living matter, Monologues


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4 Responses to “Indian hours in Jodhpur, Ranakpur and Udaipur”

  1. Julia says:

    Stunning pictures and just love your sketches – the sketch of the monkies is mighty brilliant and blissful!!! the monkies would be so impressed 😉


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