Before the end of the year, I must catch up with our
Indian journey. We had arrived at The Most Exotic
Marigold Haveli. Not all was as it seemed.
Set in beautiful countryside east of Udiapur, this
lovely old house had had a makeover for a film
set. Filming started in Udiapur, after Khempur
the shoot moved on to Jaipur, I think only days
before we arrived. Remains of 'alterations' to
the building and surrounding area, including a
market place! Starring Judy Dench and
Maggie Smith, we will have to wait until
Spring 2012 when it should open in cinemas.
The front of the building; our rooms are behind the three
windows bottom left. The red jali work in the windows on
the middle floor is polystyrene. This floor has an open
area running along the front, with window seats and
cushions to sit and relax watching the sun go down.
An area where we ate the most delicious food under
the stars - no menu, just perfectly cooked Mawari food.
We were the only guests, so it was as though we had
our own personal chef. On the first night he sent his
apologies for being a bit late - he was on his way
by bike. Now that doesn't happen in the usual hotels!
The courtyard, which does look a bit grubby! The
fountain is another film prop. The trees and shrubs
were full of birds singing their hearts out.
Looking out from our window the Shiva Temple and
stables. Beyond it could be the English country side.
The temple became the focus of two wedding
ceremonies, unfortunately my camera went flakey
at this point. I will post some fabulous pictures
taken by Keith later.
The owner of the haveli, and his family, breed
wonderful Mawari horses. There are so many
trophies and 'horsey' things inside the havali
it's amazing. Their ears look like upside down
tassels! To see them all decked out for part
of the wedding ceremony was sensational.
The villagers were charming, wanting to stop and
chat. Inviting us into their homes for chai.
Plenty of these bullock carts to be seen.
We had a very peaceful two days here. The surrounding
countryside teaming with wild life. It was just great
walking for miles in complete silence, except, that is,
the sounds of wedding drums progressing
around the village.
I think we might be returning at the end of February.
Lots more to explore, plus there is a village nearby
that specializes in block printing and dyeing which
is certainly worth investigating.
I looked at the haveli's website www.ravlakhempur.com
it's amazing! Looks like a different place altogether.
So back to Udaipur for three days before returning
home. Catching up with a couple of friends, and yes,
a little more shopping. Well, a girl can't help herself!
As ever, someone doing something you haven't
noticed before. Very intricate wood carving.
Sunset, time to pack.
Happy New Year