Request a high resolution copy

Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
India ยป Udaipur

24.585445, 73.712479

Mon 12. [12 January 1903] And reached Oudeypore [Udaipur] at 8 to
find a Durbar carriage waiting for us and our rooms taken at the most
comfy hotel which is an enlarged bungalow, Spencer Lyttelton just
leaving, talked to us while we eat chota hazri. Washed and changed
and at 10.30 drove to Major Pinkey's, an enchanting house in a big
garden full of flowers. Everything here green and flowering and lovely
owing to the mass of water. Quite unlike India. We drove on through
the delightful Gulab Bagh where we saw the Maharana's menagerie
of wild beasts and so to the Dudh Talas, a lovely little lake, and up
past the palace and through the bazaars to the Hathi Pol. Most
interesting to see a real Hindu town full of temples to Ganesh (Ganputi
they call him) and Shiwa etc with the sacred tulsi bush growing near
the shrine. Here as at Abu I was not allowed to go in with my parasol.
Met a wedding, a very small boy dressed in bright colours, wreathed
with jasmine and carrying a sword, followed by a crowd of chanting
women. After lunch our carriage came again - our coachman is a
Muhommadan and we drove to the Chattris, enchanting place with
peacocks walking about. One Rana has the Chattris of 29 - wifes[?]
who were Sati, near his big cenoptaph. There are some very old
Hindu temples opposite. The decoration of the Chattris is chiefly low
relief carving of animals. Had tea and drove down to the Jagdesh
Temple which is very fine, a mass of carving from top to bottom of the
Sikra; there is a big elaborate porch to it, the court ...... has cells all
round and sikras at the corners; in front of the porch is the usual
canopied Vahan - here of Vishnu. As we left a woman garlanded me
with 2 wreaths of jasmine. So we walked down to the lake and along
the edge which is a mass of Shiwa temples, with slips going down to
the water and crossed the bridge and walked along the opposite
side. At the Hanuman ghat I stopped to photograph and the old priest
was much interested and gave me his name and address that I might
send him a photograph. In the pavilion from which I was
photographing were 2 sets of feet marks - Lakshman and Ram. Muni
was allowed to stand on the stone, but not I. The little pavilion set in
mangos [sic] (am) and bananas too exquisite. Walked along to the
temple at the very end - a Vishnu temple I think - and sat there
watching the sunset. Jag Mandir palace just opposite us. The moon
rising over the town, casting a cold blue reflection in the sunset waters
and the white palace gleaming rose colour in the fading light. As we
came back a servant invited us into his master's house and took us
into the courtyard set with mangos, with pavilions on the water's edge.
Some people were cooking over a fire and the red light looked
lovely against the moonlight cut by the dark shadows of the trees.
Just as we were going we were told that the Sirkar wanted to see us,
so we sat down and he presently came, Ranji Singh, Rao of [space
left blank], who sat down and talked in broken English learnt in the
Mayo College. He told us the Rana had shot 100 tigers and he
himself 4 in one day. Major Pinkey tells us he is a descendant of the
younger branch of the Rana's house and a good fellow. He spends 3
months here on the lake for his service on the Rana. When we rose to
go, he called for a scent bottle and drenched our handkerchiefs. He
sent a man with a lantern to light us to the bridge. As we came back
through the town we fell in with a wedding and joined the procession.
It was headed by men with torches, then musicians beating drums
and cymbals then the bridegroom in gay clothes, garlanded and
carrying a sword and then a troop of little girls and a ...... carrying the
bride, a baby veiled in a white cloth. We stopped and congratulated
the bridegroom and his torches lighted us home.

IIIF Manifest