A trip to Rajasthan is never complete without a visit to the cultural and divine city of Nathdwara. Huge number of devotees throng to visit the temple to seek the blessings of the god, known to be a form of Lord Krishna. Purity and divinity surrounds this place all the while. There is not a single day when there is any dearth of devotees at this place.
There are 8 darshans which take place on a single day starting from 5:30 am in the morning till 7 pm in the evening. These darshans depict a daily routine of the God. I am myself a believer in God, spiritual by nature, not by force or miracles but by faith. Some incidents make you a firm believer. The first look in the morning of the idol is so mesmerizing that you can instantly feel a positive vibe surrounding you. One can take a tour of the temple where the inhabitants of the temple show you the kitchen where the bhog- food offering, is freshly made daily. Large hordes of mishthan (sweets) and namkeen (snacks) are doled out by the maharajs (chefs). Fresh flowers which are offered to the god, milk, outfits all are prepared separately.
One can stay at lodges or cottages, the prices of which are dirt cheap and all these places are very hygienic and clean. One can get a room in as cheap as Rs.400/night where 4 persons can stay easily. Rajasthani and gujarati thalis are favourite here in which you get unlimited rajasthani and gujarati cuisine. A food market which is always bustling with activity serves mouth watering and finger licking food items. The specialities, Purple yam - kand, pakoras, masala milk and thandai. Right next to the food market is the haath where traders sell their stuff, right from a safety pin to a premium household ware or a garment.
After staying for 2 days here, it was time to pay a visit to the city of the royals - Udaipur. A 1 hour drive from Nathdwara will take you to Udaipur. One can rent a car to go there which costs around Rs.1000 for a return journey. The driver can act as a guide also if you strike a good rapport with him.On the way we visited the historical site of Haldighati. This place tells you the tale of one of the brave kings of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. A fierce battle took place at Haldighati where the king's favorite horse Chetak succumbed to injuries while trying to save his King. The horse died but took his King to a safe spot away from the enemies. Such was the courage and loyalty of this horse that a memorial has been built to honor him. A museum depicting the stories around the characteristics of the king, his courage and valour and sacrifices for his state has been showcased beautifully by murals, hand paintings and a short animated film. The entry is just a nominal fee of Rs.50. Places like Saheliyon ki baadi - a huge garden with ample greenery and serene atmosphere, and few lakes on the way will make the drive to Udaipur interesting.
The City Palace gives a panoramic view of the city as it is built on a hill. Enormous and magnificent in grandeur, the palace boasts of the many stories of the Kings who resided here along with some beautifully hand crafted paintings and murals. The entry to the palace is at a nominal fee. One can also stay at the magnificent Taj Lake Palace hotel which is built in between Lake Pichola. It is one separate experience altogether.
The 3 day trip ends with a lot of memories and blessings. However Rajasthan is a very huge landscape. One requires atleast 10-12 days to travel the rest of beautiful places in and around the cultural hubspot of India. This 3 day trip cost us around INR8000 including transport, conveyance, food and accomodation for 6 people.