Nitin is another couch surfer who is a local to Udaipur and very proud of his beautiful city. He wants to make sure his guests are always “happy” as he is definitely a happy, positive spirit. He takes me to the Nehru Garden and helps me get to the train station to book my ticket. We joked around and took silly pictures walking through the Lake Pichola and went to the sunset point with the musical fountain and the incredible views of all the palaces. I went solo for a bit and took a long reflective walk around the lake.
At the sunset point, I met another fellow traveler named, Roberto, who is from Peru. He is super sweet and instantly I am interested by his open minded attitude and passion for photography. We realize that we are both headed to Jaipur for Elephant festival so discuss taking the bus together. (Again, platonic relationship with a male-99 percent of all of my traveling is strictly platonic).
After the sunset point comes the cultural show, which Nitin does not accompany us because he is a local who has seen it many, many times.
Dharohar at Bagore Ki Haveli
This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too.
You walk in and sit on the floor to watch the show. The architecture is classic and the dancing is lovely. These people dance with such expression and pride for their culture. A few of the women were smiling throughout the whole performance, not with their mouth, but with their eyes, heart, and soul. Rajhastan is also known for puppets so there was puppet show as well. I am on a mission to learn the traditional dance the women perform dancing with their hands- I love it. A lady balances 6 ceramic pots on top of her head, then 7, 8, 9, and a total of ten pots! Another lady dances with fire, and a man dances like he has ants in his pants. I love truly love Rajasthani Culture.
Rooftop Dinner and Fireworks at Hotel Picchola
My new friend and I went to dinner enjoying some Paneer tikka, naan, and raita while looking at the full moon, bright stars, full lake view, and listening to traditional music across the water. As we are sitting there, fire works begin and we just sit and enjoy the beauty. As if the night could get any better-thankful to my higher power for these moments.
As we get to talking, I learn that Roberto is not just an engineer, but he has volunteered for many NGOs including Amnesty International and he has lots of suggestions. He is so curious, interesting, and it is so refreshing to meet similar minded people.
This night was magical- Udaipur has a tendency to make magical, fairy tale moments.