It was challenging to pack my bags and leave GOA, a city on the beach, warm, full of parties, cold beer, and interesting people. But the life that goes on, and traveling is life, so, let’s go to Udaipur.
A brief description of the city:
The street is chaos, tuc-tuc passing everywhere, stupas (monuments) scattered in the middle of the way, everyone walking bumping into each other, locals, monks, tourists, marble artisans working everywhere, a cacophony of sounds and information. But when you go up on a rooftop, puff, the city silences you. She is beautiful. She is surrounded by lakes, mountains, bridges, and life.
I think this was the first time I had a real perception of the word that I believe defines India: contrast.
It starts with walking through the streets, where at the same time you see the chaos of people and social classes, you also see wonderful sculptures and stupas scattered around the city.
At the same time you see poverty in its most naked and cruel form, like a person in a situation that you don’t even consider to be human, leaning against the wall of one of the most beautiful temples you will ever see in your life.
In the 3, 4 days I spent there, I saw the best and worst things in my life. Okay, I know I say this a lot. Every temple I see is the most beautiful, and every sadness I see is the saddest. But that’s life: learning to appreciate everything for itself, without comparison, because if you don’t, life loses its fun.
Normally, I try to do all the tours on my own, asking on the street, walking around, getting tuc-tuc separately. But India scares me, so to be able to enjoy the best here and feel safe, we closed a two-day tour package with a tuc-tuc.
The first place we went is a place that I confess that I find very boring and that I would definitely not visit if it weren’t for a closed package. A garden. Not just any garden, but The Princess’s Garden. Okay, beauty, it’s a garden, it’s beautiful. But the only difference was that it was clean there and that there was no visible poverty. But you will see many more beautiful sculptures just walking around the city, which are much more real. But there are people who like it, so I think it’s valid. This is just my opinion.
The next points were a Lookout and Cekiikre Temple.
And just the way there is worth the trip. As it is a bit far away you can see the interior of the city, which is a mixture of aggressive and passive. In more standard words, it’s a kind of arid terrain. But besides the beautiful view of the route, the best part for me was listening to the stories that tuc-tuc told. I love to hear stories, so for me, this is always the best part.
On the way, in addition to the beautiful landscape, there were also some very small villages, like one or two houses. I think it makes more sense to say that they are small farms, right?! 🤔
Interestingly, these mini farms, despite being super remote and without energy, had a busy life around them. No matter how far we went, we always saw a lot of children playing, women doing laundry, cooking, and living life. And as we passed, the tuc-tuc told us that they have to do everything they need to do until 5 pm, because then everyone has to be inside the houses. With locked doors.
I ask thinking about the logic of it. Maybe it was the sun, but then why the emphasis on the information about the locked doors?
He responds like it’s nothing.
– Oh, tigers. If not, they’ll be food for tigers.
Note, I don’t remember if it’s a tiger, leopard, or saber-toothed tiger 🤦🏽♀️😂, I just know it’s one of those felines that eats people!
I checked, once again, like anyone who doesn’t want anything, what time it was and how long it would take us to do the tour.
Philosophizing moment here. You know when you wake up with that munchies in the middle of the night and decide to order an ifood? If you do this here, are you ordering an ifood for you, or for the leopard/tiger/lion/sabertooth? 🤔
Here it is not worth paying before delivery! 😂
But ok, we’re going to Mirante! Beautiful viewpoint, we look at the landscape, beautiful landscape! there’s the photo
Then we went to Cekiikre Temple, which I particularly am in eternal contrast to. The temple itself is normal, cute, but nothing special, but the cool thing is that there are so many little monkeys around there, even more so that tuc-tuc broke a snack from his suitcase and gave us to feed the little ones.
You see, at that time I thought the best! I was feeding the little monkeys bro, mór fluffy. jumping, how cute the little monkeys! ❤️ They took the snacks out of hand and looked at us as if we were the love of their life! aaaaah how beautiful!
I was the love of those little monkeys’ lives.
Well, at least the love of someone’s life I was 😅
But today, on the day I write to you, a lot of life/Asia has already happened to me, and today I find myself in a moment where I hate these kids. But that’s for other stories that I’ll eventually tell you.
Fed the kids, we went to the next point, Tiger Lake, hmmm, thinking here if the name of the city’s lake is Tiger Lake, it’s likely that the animal that attacks the villages is a tiger, not a saber-toothed leopard right?! It makes sense.
But then Tiger Lake is, drum roll, a lake. 😂😂
Beautiful, of course! Good for taking a picture!
Just pay attention to where you’re going to sit, because I, who don’t pay attention to anything, ended up sitting on something that stained my pants on my ass. And since people in Asia are not known for having butts, it took me a long time to find pants that fit my butt, and I had to wear stained pants on my butt for almost a year until I found one that fit my butt.
Butt, butt, butt.
Horror aside, we went back to the hostel, before the 17th obviously. And we went to drink and eat on the rooftop of the hostel, where I always meet my love. You see, there is one thing in this world that I am truly passionate about. Which really makes my heart go thump-thump. There were some kids there that came close, but never like this. For this love, I wake up at 3 am and go up the mountain, I walk for hours, I walk cold, I cancel all the tours, and I change the itinerary. For that love…
The sunset/sunrise, which I’m really obsessed with. And from there, from the rooftop of the hotel that we chose exclusively because of that, we were privileged with the view of the sun setting after the city, the lake, and between the mountains. Tum tum, tum tom, tum tum.
The next day, we had a basic roll around there before heading to the next tour. I’m always amazed at the randomness of things. You are walking calmly along a normal street, which you have already walked along several similar ones, thinking that nothing will surprise you, and suddenly you find a small detail, a vision, a stupa, a daily life that takes you out of there.
Which was like the tuctuc that took us and took us out of town to visit a cemetery. Yes, a cemetery. In this case, it’s a tourist spot, but I’ll open my thoughts before continuing on the same.
I think the relationship of cultures with death and the dead says a lot about a society’s way of life. When based on fear and punishment in the afterlife, societies tend to be much more oriented toward oppression and sadness, while societies, where the afterlife is a result of the present life, tend to be more peaceful.
In Hinduism, the process of birth and rebirth is considered a transition of souls, which takes place indefinitely until you reach moksha (I don’t know how to write it), or the release of the soul that happens when your inner and your reality are one.
In contradiction, the country is a country of castes. Where you don’t have ascension or rights that don’t fit your current caste
We see a violent society, where the poor cremate bodies in rivers and the rich build castle-like tombs in extremely extravagant cemeteries.
Yes, it is beautiful to visit, the tombs are practically palaces in honor of the dead, with sculptures and representations. That does justice to the quality of current and future life.
Remembering that the Taj Mahal is a tomb.
Couples have tombs one in front of the other, where even the shapes of the tops of the “tombs” represent status and gender.
It’s beautiful, but also in analysis, interesting.
But continuing the tour, we went to the Silver Temple after that, just to continue my philosophies, bear with me my people.
The Silver Temple is basically an all-silver temple. The most beautiful thing, but taking pictures is forbidden, so you have to take my word for it or take a flight to India and go check it out, which I recommend 🙃
But then my people, as soon as we entered, went in a line that I thought was to organize the visit to the temple. Wanting to absorb every detail of the temple, I missed the destination of the queue. This only occurred to me when I found myself in front of a monk throwing incense in my face and saying a prayer in a language I don’t know. Bewildered and not knowing what to do, I just repeated what the others were doing and smiled.
Confused, thanks. Without understanding, I hope you have been blessed.
I should have been suspicious, organization and India are words that don’t mix.
I will try to describe my feeling at that moment. Curiosity to begin with, because, until then, I had never participated in any ceremony other than my world. Like Christian, Catholic, and Buddhist (I’m Buddhist), it took a while for me to realize what was going on, but when I eventually did, I felt confused. On the one hand, I was afraid of disrespecting the culture for being in a place considered sacred by the faithful without even understanding the religion, on the other hand, Asian religions are very open to passing on the teachings without the need to convert you. I also felt privileged, as chaotic as India was, I knew the privilege I had to be living it.
But come on, having received the blessing, we went to the next temple: the marble temple.
You understand, right? I left a cemetery made entirely of palaces, to go to a temple made entirely of silver, and then visit one made entirely of marble.
Did you understand the beauty of India?
Bro, this place is the most beautiful thing, for starters, it is in relief. so it looks like a temple building on top of a table.
The constructions are rich in details, and sculptures, where it seems that every little detail was super thought out. And it’s all dated back hundreds of years.
Interestingly, we see governments spending millions on very basic buildings that don’t last a lifetime. And then you come across constructions that were made, I don’t know, before the big bang, which is still intact, firm, and rich in detail.
The devil is in the details. Like the fact that there are now labor rights and formerly slaves. So it’s difficult to position yourself. 🥸
With the tour over, before 5 pm, we went back to our rooftop to see another sunset, and have dinner and drinks.
On the last day, we went touring around there, that is, shopping, food, and tattooing 😬
Along with the tattoo artist, I drew a Ganesha, which is considered the god, or energy, that clears obstacles and prepares the way for you to follow in life. The elephant’s head represents wisdom and understanding, as well as the distinction of the kind of intelligence one, needs to achieve perfection in life.
The energy that at that moment, and to this day, make a lot of sense to me
And believe it or not, I have this tattoo to this day because it doesn’t even come off with soap. 😂😂
Udaipur ended there, but before finishing this post, I wanted to share something that I experienced there
Before going to India, I had already heard a lot about what the culture was like, but even though I was warned, there are things that still shock me.
I don’t remember exactly when it happened. But I remember that at some point I sat at the door of a store, I don’t remember why, and I started talking to a girl who was sitting there.
I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but I remember I was laughing, when tuc tuc, who was one of the nicest and nicest people I had met in India until then, came super angry, rushing us to leave.
Not understanding anything, I said goodbye to the girl and left. Am I going to fight with the guy I’m paying to keep me safe?
I got into the tuc tuc and he was all angry and told me that I couldn’t talk to that woman. I was shocked, I imagined a thousand reasons. Was she a criminal? Was she going to steal from me? An acquaintance of his that he hates? Or a holy woman and I as a filthy tourist was offending religion by talking to her.
No, none of that, I was wrong to talk to her because she is of a lower caste, And in his words, I couldn’t talk to her because she was inferior to me.
Hearing those words said like that, without any shame, was one of the most shocking things I’ve experienced. In retrospect, it is not very different from what happens around the world between social classes and prejudices. But so said so openly, so accepted, so convinced as certain.
I didn’t even know how to respond. I really didn’t even know what to say.
And I think to this day, I still don’t know how to respond.
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