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Archive for April 2016

A rare three consecutive off-days in March made us decide to attend our colleague Sachin’s wedding in Udaipur. We started on the 4th – on this day I took my luggage to office as our train MEWAR EXPRESS was to depart from Nizamuddin Raailway station @ 19:00 hours.

After office, we hopped onto a bus in Greater Noida which took us to Sector 37, Noida Metro Station. The Metro ride was quite enjoyable and enroute we passed through touristy spots like Akshardham temple. At Indraprastha Park station we booked an auto which took us to Nizamuddin Railway station.
The train set off at its scheduled time. I was seated next to Chetan Agarwal who hailed from Rajasthan and had been to Udaipur on past occasions. Chetan apprised me that Udaipur is the cleanest city in Rajasthan and the numero uno tourist destination of the state. It borders Gujarat and has a sizeable Gujrati population. That Ahmedabad was in the vicinity and just 250 kms away – a mere four hours bus ride from Udaipur came as news to me. Chetan had brought rotis which made for an early supper for us. A treat were the kachoris we had at Kota around midnight which Chetan had been speaking off glowingly.
We reached early the next morning and was received by Sachin’s father at the station. He is a Professor in Rana Pratap Agricultural University. He revealed that he wanted his son to pursue a career in agricultural engineering which still has good job openings in the Govt. sector but the biker and thrill loving son opted for computer science instead. A thorough gentleman, he went out of the way to be extra hospitable to our large group of about twenty members. Our group included Dr. Parmanand, Dr. Ajay Shanker Singh, Dr. Radha Krishna Rambhola, Mr. Thiru with their families, Mr. Keshav with his wife, and myself and Chetan were the only ‘singles’ around …
We stayed at Rana Pratap Agricultural University (RNAU) Guest House. Breakfast and lunch were arranged at a farm like wedding house.

Post breakfast, we went site seeing. Udaipur is named after Maharaja Udai Singh, father of Rana Pratap, the fearless Rajput warrior. Firstly we visited City Palace, and took a boat ride on Lake Pichola. The ride took us to Jag Mandir Palace where we spent quite some time soaking in the spectacular view of the City Palace beyond Pichola Lake. Recently the Bond movie OCTOPUSSY starring Roger Moore was shown on TV which was shot in Udaipur. I could identify the series of elephant statues at JagMandir vividly in the film.

After spending an hour or so at Jag Mandir we took the return boat ride. Thereafter we went around the city palace and had a cursory view of the surroundings. Since I have been to Umaid Bhawan and Mehrengar Fort in Jodhpur, I discovered similarities in these edifices and was reluctant to explore further.
Rana Pratap towers above everyone else in the city nicknamed Venice of the East. Murals of Rana Pratap adorn the city walls everywhere. Udaipur has good educational institutes and one of the IIM (Indian Institute of Management) is located in this city.
We returned and had a late lunch at 4 pm at Sachin’s wedding venue. Thereafter we returned to RNAU guest house to rest for a couple of hours.
The wedding was slated for 8 pm. We had to start from the guest house well in advance. We reached the venue just in time to see Sachin decked up in bridegroom finery seated atop a horse. Soon the procession started and we walked the lanes and bylanes of Udaipur for an hour or so before we reached our destination. Bands played popular Bollywood song, crackers were burst and photos galore were clicked. Dr. Ajay seized my mobile (his had run out of battery) & kept uploading pictures of the wedding instantly on our whatsapp Computing Science school group and many of our colleagues kept praising me while I was just a mute spectator.
The marriage was solemnised with rituals and exchange of garlands between the new couple. I had a light meal after a rather late lunch and ambled leisurely around with colleagues for a while. We returned to our guest house when it was getting nippy.
The following morning we discussed about the sites we could explore. Bhavnagar Fort, the second largest fort in the world, which houses a ‘great wall of china’ like structure within, was 80 kms from Udaipur. Paucity of time compelled us to discard the idea of visiting the fort as we had to catch the evening train bound for Delhi.
Nontheless we really made use of the remaining time at our disposal and visited spots in the vicinity. We saw Fateh Sagar, a beautiful lake where one can do boating, take camel rides etcetera. We had our breakfast at this place.

We also saw SAHELIYON KI BARI (Wonderful flowers at this garden) and watched a delectable puppet show at National Rural Art Meseum. We loved both. We took a quick tour of the market place and purchased a few momentoes. We grabbed a quick bite (a decent vegetarian meal at Annapurna Restaurant) as well before boarding the train.
We reached our homes the following morning. All in all this was quite an enjoyable 2-day trip. I wished my family could have been there too, sonny’s exam being the reason for their staying back.

Okay, I promise I’ll make another trip shortly to this beautiful town with my family this time around and make amends …

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  • Subhajit Ghosh: Have been reading that he had 'left' leanings in some articles recently..
  • mystic wanderer: Well put. It's difficult to imagine the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. But can Netaji Subhash Ch. Bose be called a leftist? Nationalist perhaps
  • Subhajit Ghosh: Your wish has been granted, and look how! Even NDA possibly didn't dream of this huge victory. Let's hope they deliver, and take the nation forward.