Thursday, 30 July 2009

Udaipur - city of grandeur and gardens!


I'm now in Udaipur - one of the most beautiful cities in the world - and at this time of year, in monsoon season - it is filled with flowers everywhere you look. It has been made famous by the scenes in the James Bond film "Octopussy", which was filmed here, and most of us have seen pictures of the iconic Lake Palace (above), on Lake Pichola, which is now one of the world's top hotels.

Everywhere you look there is greenery at this time of year and yesterday, I went to visit one of the most famous gardens here - the Saheliyon Ki Bari - which is in bloom, following the rains. This wonderful garden was built by the ruling Maharana Sangram Singh in the 18th century and he presented it to his Queen after their marriage.

Translated it means, the Garden of Maids and takes its name from the 48 ladies who attended to her at her wedding.
Saheliyon ki Bari is quite majestic - it has long walkways (right) edged with magnificent palms; lush green lawns, fringed with banks of irises; and a spectacular water garden surrounded by a marble pavilion, and featuring large marble elephants and fountains that seem to float on a bed of water lilies and lotus flowers (below).

Marble is common here in Udaipur, because the mines are just north of the city, but one wonders how they transported such huge blocks back in the 18th century when the local terrain is so hilly - perhaps this is why elephants were as important then as they are today in India.



One of the great joys of this garden is that it's used by the local people, who come here with family and friends to picnic and enjoy the peace, away from the blaring of the motor horns on the street! This is a veritable oasis in the middle of the city and well worth adding to your visiting list, once you've marvelled at the city palace and the views.


All photographs copyright Charlotte Raven


This is a very old posting, hence the layout problems and poor photographic images - I will update this entry when I am next in Udaipur in 2011. Thanks for your patience.

16 comments:

  1. What a lovely city and a grand palace. Thanks Charlotte.

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  2. Looks stunning. Where exactly is this, the last time I looked you were in France!

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  3. Superb! I love the fountain. You have caught the spray beautifully! Val

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  4. I wish I was there to join you for a picnic in the gardens : )
    www.Gardenrsreach.com

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  5. Charlotte, the first picture is the most beautiful. I especially like the water scenery with the bougainvillea flower in front. The 2nd picture makes me imagine how wonderful it would be for a bride and groom to conduct their marriage here, walking down the pathway of swaying palms with uniformed/army men lining both sides of the walkway. I see golden bands at the base of each tree. What are these? The 3rd picture looks like an elephant bathing and splashing around onto the green plants. As for the last picture, is it an indian lady in the centre of the dome? She seemed to be holding something. Is it an English styled umbrella?

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  6. I'm sure learning a lot about the gardens of the world. Beautiful photos!

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  7. How lovely to see Udaipur in your post. Fabulous photos! We toured Rajasthan in 2000 and I was struck by the beauty of the gardens there. I particularly remember Saheliyon ki bari. The Lake Palace during the monsoon....beautifully captured!

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  8. Really interesting. Looking forward to the next one :-)

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  9. A wonderful garden, pure bliss in its tropical splendour.

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  10. Udaipur? I'm not familiar with this quaint and beautiful place! You have the most wonderful and unique places to visit! Looks stunning.

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  11. Oh, lovely! I've always wanted to stay at the Lake Palace at least for a day. I had no idea about the Saheliyon ki bari garden though.
    You've just given me the greatest urge to go travelling again... this time to Udaipur.

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  12. absolutely beautiful photos. The Lake Palace is like a mirage rising from the waters.

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  13. Yes, please - I'll available for travel right now!

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  14. Wow! How lovely that it's open to the public, offering a refuge and respite in a busy and noisy Indian city. Thanks for taking us along on your travels....

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  15. Beautiful as usual!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Michelle

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  16. Charlotte, that is so stunning! Hope to get there some day. Thanks for sharing your adventure! :-)

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