Incredible Northern India Tour
February 19 – March 2, 2016


March 1st, 2016

Sunrise at our hotel…boatride on Lake Pichola, City Palace (they were also preparing for a huge wedding) and dinner at hotel this, our last evening in India. I took photos of the pups playing this morning…all large dogs except for the little pug who seemed to control the lot of them. The black one is a pup and is he huge. I have seen the other two for the past two tours and this time the black one has been added. Our ride was lovely in the early morning on this man made lake…so many things to see including of course the Taj Lake Palace Hotel. They have their own boats to take guests to land. We stopped at one of the islands, another pleasure island in its time for a wander around. There is now a posh hotel on it. Then to the City Palace. A lovely little garden secluded for the royals, bird cages that used to hold carrier pigeons, fountains and secret spots and windows…my absolute fav her is the lotus ceiling…all hand painted. It’s an amazing place. I would love to have seen the Monsoon Palace, but it is closed. This is where they would go to get away from the heat. The pietra dura here is stunning to look at. There was going to be a big wedding reception this evening – I can just imagine how beautiful the ladies would be in their Sari’s sitting at these tables festooned in purple and red. We met this young newly married bride of 4 days just outside the City Palace in Udaipur. Henna, Lawsonia inermis, is the sole species of the Lawsonia genus. The name henna also refers to the dye prepared from the plant and the art of temporary body art based on those dyes. Bridal henna nights remain an important custom and brides would express themselves with the henna on their feet and hands. Henna was regarded as having blessings and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. We chatted, wished them well and off we set for lunch. Such joy in seeing all these asters in bloom in the Courtyard of the Maidens Garden - Saheliyon-ki-Bari, Udaipur. It has a very large waterlily pond flanked by 4 enormous marble elephants spraying water into the center where they meet a beautiful fountain...such joy in this garden. As per the legends, the garden was designed by the king himself and he presented this garden to his queen who was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. This patterned garden used to be the popular relaxing spot of the royal ladies. The queen with her maids and female companions used to come here for a stroll and spend their time in leisure. Lots of colour here with many annuals and shrubs like bougainvillea.

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