Another very long day with Mr. Singh, who suggested that over the course of our week he had driven us about 2,000 Kilometers, 1250 miles!
We were so strongly encouraged to visit a Jain temple along the way that we ignored our feelings about having seen enough of temples & would rather get to a restful place after so many days of so many miles…
We are pleased now to have had such a rarefied vision of temple-ness… sculpted as a single idea with cohesive precision in very pure stone. Begun in the 15th century & mostly built in a single century it presents a clarity of space at the same time surfaced with almost fractal geometric sculpture seemingly carved by the same hand.
Because not eating meat is part of Jainism, there was a prohibition of wearing leather… even my belt. Wearing jeans a bit too lose to stay up, I had to improvise tying them up with my bandana! It worked & Stephen documented my ingenuity.
Our hotel is an old haveli… like those in Jailsaamer?? [Large homes of merchants celebrating their prominence requiring space for their business & family… as well as guests of both. Amet Haveli was built by some finace official. now presumably & seemingly being reimagined, being a prime location.
Our hotel looks across one of the lakes toward the city palace… said to be the largest in the world.
Waking in a glittering room in Udaipur under a mirror-mosaic trimmed ceiling I opened the window above the broad cushion of the carved stone alcove in which we now sit in cool air with coffee, overlooking one of the lakes for which the city is known.
Next morning we set off on foot with Sheikh, our guide for this city built on lakes.
He quite fulsomely answered S’s question about the Swastica, which is an ancient Indian symbol of basic regeneration in sacred geometry… differently similar to that which Hitler reversed the direction of its arms, turning it into a negative sign, With ball-point ink he drew a lesson on his palm which was elegant in its evolution from the swastic to the geometry of life as taught by the architectural numerology of the temple… he elucidated the Hindu arcana of many gods while honouring those stories along with the teach/learnings which the prophets written & read by the peoples of the Book…Jews, Christians & Muslims… while espousing the central, essential, way of living toward self-enlightenment in the One. I easily grok & certainly celebrate such truth! Hallelujah!
We were discussing this after we had attended a puja at a Hindu Vishnu temple with much clanging of a loud bell & clapping/singing as fire was honored. Praise, sung loudly inside the constant banging of a bronze bell large enough to cause aural wonder. Ancient power
At the gate of India’s largest palace we enter a real fantasy. Some parts of which even Disney might wish. Inside is the wall over which elephants spared in training. There is something in this image suggesting animation. Stephen & Sheikh converse while waiting at the gate for me to catch-up with the elephant parade…
This is our last day in Rajasthan… only a few days left in our month of adventurous sojourn in India. Long, yes, but I have “settled” into the driving pace well enough to feel I might be able to continue. To see so much without time to properly absorb is, of course, my biggest difficulty. Still we have traveled so well
The last 9 days we have been driven those 1200 miles of roads… many under construction &/or needing reconstruction… with a very good, kind & efficient driver. I’m sad that we did not get a good photo of him.We have visited five fort cities & stayed in fascinating havelas
We’ve made thousands of photos… many of the incredible stone carving which builds & adorns the architecture. We have eaten beyond well. As we approach returning home we will ultimately more fully come to know the chore of sorting & editing which we have set-up for ourselves! I have written many pages of journal, yet still far from anything like completion, but ‘have had no proper time for compiling the posts I anticipate toward my blog. My eyes have kept me fully occupied in the innumerable moments of this eternal moment!
So, I am living, learning & loving the predicament of this adventure fully to whatever end might yet present itself as the new beginning it promises. You do know I l will keep letting you know, as I find time… as I continue to happily lose time… what is time to Mother India?
All is the eternal moment. Good to be here now!