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Games and stakes in playgrounds

Games and stakes in playgrounds

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Udaipur : Last days of Durga Festival !

Posted by Floriane Romain Worldtour on October 9 2014, 18:54pm

Categories: #India

First, before telling you more about Udaipur, let’s talk about our 17 hour sleeper bus journey. It was… chaotic: a lot of potholes, a lot of hoots… Not really easy to sleep in but an experience to do (at least once!)

Okay, now let’s star tour story about Udaipur, in Rajasthan (which means Kings Land). The city is built around a lake (used as shower, washing machine, cars washing station, swimming pool… and much more) and is dominated by a palace. The streets are very small and you can smell spices, Chai tea, incense… But also cow dung!!! (As you probably know, cows are sacred and are free to walk in the streets)

We arrived two days before the end of the Durga Festival. Everywhere in town, we saw many parades with music, dancers and the statue of Durga. Each community of the city does its own parade!!! Some groups of people were doing the same as for the Holi Festival (Colour Festival to celebrate the start of harvest). We were walking in the street, and one of the parade called us to join them!!! Wahou, that was really nice, we were behind the truck, and Flo danced with all ladies (while Romain was taking pictures). People in the streets applauded and were taking pictures as well! What a lovely moment… and all without one single English word except from “Dancing Dancing” when I was having a small break to breath! At the end of the parade, they throw the statue of Durga into the lake to “erase” all bad things they did before!

In the evening, people dance the specific and traditional dance for the Durga festival : the stick dance : With wood sticks they do a perfect choreography. Flo joined them, and she learnt very fast!

In Udaipur we also met (completely by chance) a lovely family. While eating in a very little restaurant, we met Meenu and her two children. They were speaking very good English and we started discussing together. When they discovered that we would visit a fort on the next day, they ask us if they can join us! Of course!!! So on the next morning we took a bus together to go to Chittohrgarh, the biggest fort of India.

While waiting for her husband, we went to a public garden and we played with all kids there at this time. First we played the famous “I lost a letter” (in each country we visit, there is one local version of this game), and then we played a game similar to the musical chairs: children throw a ball (or a scarf) and when the music stops, the kid with the ball has to sing, dance, or tell a poem (or other rule, if you want to). Really nice!

After her husband finally came, and after the delicious potato curry made by Meenu was in our stomach, we took a rickshaw to discover the fort. We learnt a lot of things about cultures and religion! We started in Padmina Palace. The legend says that a beautiful queen lived there, already married, but the King of Dehli wanted to see her beauty and he went to the palace. When he arrived, he was brought to a room with a mirror and he was told : “ the Queen will sit on the stairs in front of the water, her face will reflect in water and then in your mirror; so you can see her. But if you turn your back to directly see her, you’ll be killed”. Nice story, isn’t it?  

After, we visited a marble temple and we learnt new « believe”. First, for good luck we should always ring the bells in temple. Then it always good to make a small offer to the God or the Goddess and to “eat” some incense ashes to get purified. When we go out of the temple, we should sit for few minutes to show the God(dess) that we were not in a rush while visiting the temple. Sometimes, behind the temple, there is a smooth vertical whishing stone: if your coin stays “stuck” on the stone, then your wish will become true!!!

We then went to the sacred water of the Temple. Here people drink the water to get purified, but you can easily understand that we didn’t drink one single drop of it!

We spent an amazing time together. The only negative point is that, here, everybody wants to take us in picture. At the beginning, we were smiling but after more than 50 we got sick of it!!!! In some other countries, some people were also asking but here it’s every 3 minutes!!! So boring!

For dinner, Meenu prepared us a delicious tomato curry with mint and coconut !! Now we are ready to visit the Jain Temple of Ranakpur and go to Jodhpur! 

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