Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Often called the “Venice of the East”, tourists and visitors flock to see the beautiful lakes, temples and palaces.
We visited Udaipur in the middle of Monsoon season, so we got to see the wonderful city in the pouring rain – which was a welcome change from the blistering heat of the desert.
However, as much as I adored the lakes and ghats, the palace and temples, the highlight of the visit goes to the Jagdish Rath Yatra festival.
Our tour guide was from Udaipur, and knew that we would all love the opportunity to meet locals and take part in this event. This festival is part of the Hindu calendar and commemorates the day when Lord Jagdish comes to earth to visit his devotees.
Rose petals fall from the skies to mark the beginning of the parade.
The night began when crowds gathered at Jagdish temple, in the centre of town, and volunteers and holy men brought a representation of the god and into a silver chariot. Lord Jagdish was then followed by a parade with music and dancing in the streets.
This wonderful festival is also a demonstration of the generosity that prevails in Hindu traditions. Free food, treats and non-alcoholic drinks had been prepared in advance by groups of volunteers and was given to all regardless of religion.
Never have I ever experienced such a strong sense of celebration and community in public. Although our group was one of the few tourist groups who attended, everyone involved was happy to include us and explain us the different stages of the festival.
Udaipur was definitely one of the highlights of India. The fact that we had the privilege to take part in this unique event means that I’ll cherish the memory forever.
See you soon!