Ranakpur, marble lace and Khumbalgar Fortress
D3: From Udaipur
We found a driver from our guesthouse to get to 2 remote sites in Udaipur. It is the fortress of Khumbalgarh and the Jain temple of Ranakpur. Both sites are a two-and-a-how drive from Udaipur. They’re an hour’s drive away. As it is hot, we negotiated to leave around 8am instead of 9.30am originally proposed. The price is 2400r.
Our driver, Suresh, takes us through a pleasant countryside. This is the Gangaur festival that follows Holi around March 20. Women meet and go to the temples with beautiful colorful saris. They pray together that the celibaries will find a good husband and that the husbands will be prosperous and healthy.
Suresh is not talkative and lets us contemplate the dry but not without interest landscape. The roads alternate between recent bitumen and run-down track.
As expected, buses and trucks can double at any time. The others have to adapt.
The arrival at The Fortress of Khumbalgarh is impressive. At the top of a hill, the fort, the ramparts and the obese towers appear.
The price is high but we are there. We’re going to the top of the fortress. Its walls are the second largest after that of China. A small marathon (36km) of stairs!
At the top, I take advantage of the absence of visitors to launch the drone. Immediately whistles ring and I hear people running. 3 pretty disgruntled security men are running out of breath while I already put everything away. After a few minutes of no communication Hindi vs English, I followed them to see the chef. I explain to him the lack of indication and apologise at once. We’re leaving.
The fort deserves the return.
On the way down an election ceremony is underway. We dodge selfies to explore the little temples. A quietly settled family welcome us to the Parthenon. We are blessed with a task on the front line.
We continue on the ramparts. On the way back, the ceremony is in full swing. The mix of colors of the saris and turbans delighted us.
The road to Ranakpur is a real mountain road. Our driver likes to go freewheeling. He stops from time to time to let us take some pictures of this steep valley that we imagine green and flowery from the early days of the monsoon. The horn blows follow one another until we arrive.
Beware of instructions to enter this fabulous jain temple (cover the skin, no water, no food…). The temple is entirely built of carved white marble. We enjoy its freshness and beauty with the free audio guide and very well done.
This temple was restored after being abandoned for years after an invasion. This is one of the most beautiful temples we have seen with the bayon (Cambodia) and a few others.
On the way out, a noon sound escapes from a tree. A couple of birds emits this song worthy of a phone ringtone. This is Temia wandering.
Other idles are in this garden. The place is very nice.
Our driver tells us that it is possible to do a Jungle Safari from Raknapur (3am, morning or end of day) to try to see the leopard.
We enter the deafening traffic of Udaipur. It’s 5:30. We enjoy a cold drink and we decide to go see the famous rajpoot dance show from 6pm to 8pm.
It was WTF!
We continue to gain confidence with a bijiani in a restaurant overlooking the lake. A little comfort before waking up at 5am the next day to get to Chittorgarh.