Yesterday we had the most incredible day it started with walking to the Jagdish temple,climbing up steep steps , taking off our shoes, listening to the chanting, getting a red dot on the forehead. The hindus love their temple, the carving in the marble stone are intricate and tell the stories of the different lords.
Udaphur is known for it’s artists. There is glass mosaic and miniature drawings. I chose the drawing workshop. We came to an artist cooperative, the artist helped us create our own elephant drawing using paints like orange tumeric, blue lapis, grey purple for the elephant body. All are minerals from the ground. I was in my element. I was transformed into a magical world, there are three symbols for the Rajasthan state, the elephant is luck, the horse is strength and the camel is love, each also relates to a different city, the elephant for Jaipur, the horse for Udaphur and the camel for Jaisalmer.
28 km outside of Udaphur there is a village called Delwara, a town of 5,000 people from 27 different castes and different religions.
Seva Mandir which is a non profit NGO (non government organization) founded the Citizen’s Development forum, together they transformed the town infrastructure. Major changes were accomplished which include sanitation, half of the households did not have toilets or running water. They created a step well. They build youth centers . We were taken on a heritage tour by a young man, there are incredible Jain temples. Jain religion has a different god, a human like figure that is not adorned in cloth like the hindu gods.
They helped women organize themselves into self help groups, they created a Sadnha where they make cloths that sell at the Fab India store. Some of these women come from abused homes and this is their way for independence.
Seeing garbage on the street is a common sight, whether it is the big city like jaipur of the smaller city of Pushkar but the village of Delwara look cleaner in comparison. With the help of NGO’s like Seva Mandir or the Barefoot College we saw outside of Pushkar there is hope for a cleaner , more civilized society.
It’s been a long day, rewarding and intriguing. We were treated to a cooking class.
It was a delight. I got really excited, You all know I love cooking so I was in my element. I got to stir the base for the masala. Home cooked meal tastes so much better then a fancy restaurant.
What a day, it felt like India in a day – pray,art,people,food. Colors, Smells, Taste .