THE MONSOON BRINGS RAIN, BUT RAIN BRINGS DIFFERENT MEANING IN DIFFERENT PLACES. While Delhi and Ladakh suffer from floods and landslides, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur celebrate the end of a nine year drought with tall millet fields and full wells. The romantic city of Udaipur blooms best during monsoon. The lakes are full and the banks blossom with green grass and cheerful flowers. During the previous drought years, the Lake Picchola was once so dry, elephants and jeeps replace ferries when crossing to to the islands.
When rain is plentiful, a nearby lake, Fateh Sagar becomes a favorite hang out for lovebirds. This lake has a musical fountain show every evening and visitors get to enjoy the lake views as well as the neighboring hills. Lovestruck couples can then rent a pedal ferry for two, and cycle their way deep into the heart of the lake. Singles like me, can watch from ashore, and imagine how Fateh Sagar works its magic.
“You are lucky to be here during rain, Udaipur is most beautiful now,” says Jai’s niece, a smart young lady majoring in Pharmacy. I do agree with her because the rain-washed marble pillars of the City Palace looks translucent and mystical. The palace is built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh and uses marble as well as colored glass and semi-precious stones extensively. The complex itself is very spacious and in it containing several top end hotels as well as good quality souvenir shops. The view from the top of the palace takes in most of Lake Picchola, the two islands and the varied buildings in the city. Although the museum is less informative than the ones I’ve been to, it wins with its spectacular views of the lake.
The hilly steep streets of Udaipur are mostly filled with artsy galleries and shops selling miniature paintings. Udaipur is one of the centers for creative arts in Rajasthan and here traditional and contemporary artists live side by side in perfect harmony. The streets lead to several bridges that cross the lake to Hanuman Ghat. To be here in Udaipur and not feel its romance is like to be in India and not feel its heat. Lovestruck or not, I pray that rain falls here always, as Udaipur needs its rain more than anywhere else.
Thanks to the monsoon, Lake Picchola is filled to the rim this year
A small gusting fountain in the middle of Fateh Sagar, a lake frequented by locals
A lazy pig on the road
A very peculiar toilet – only for urinating I guess