>Travel Pictures


Udaipur - Diwali

Village tradition for Diwali includes painting a "welcome" greeting at the footsteps to each home.

And of course, this being India, everything and anything that one can imagine gets decorated up for the holiday, including the old John Deere.

Even the family cow gets all gussied up! This one has a swastika painted on its side - an ancient symbol (and one used here still with regularity) that was misappropriated by the Nazis and to our (western) eyes still embodies evil.

The clay pots that held the twinkling candle lights and the marigold garlands were swept into corners, signaling the end of another holiday season.

As we wandered through the towns, we saw lots of children working on their family designs.

The finished product and proud artist!

Gorden Puja is the day after Diwali and is, for farmers, an especially important part of this holiday because it is chance to thank the Gods for wealth from animals. (note - we asked several times about the name, but it always sounded the same to us. On our return, I found that the actual name is Govardhana, not Gordon!)

 Then, she formed it into a framed picture of the Gods and different animals at the entrance to the farm. 

On the ranch, Narina (the resident farm hand who also made all our meals) was doing an early morning puja and Alea and Susan got to watch the whole thing.

First, she mixed cow dung with water until it was like play-doh. 

Next, she decorated it (with our help) with corn kernels. 

Finally, she placed incense and cotton and wheat all over the forms. She lit a candle, spread some burning coals on the design, and sprinkled various herbs and grains all around.

When Narina was done, Dinesh, the owner of the farm, brought a cow over because she had to step on it for good luck. That meant it was officially done. 

Then Narina cooked us breakfast. We hope she washed her hands...

We had decided to go to a home stay that Susan had read about, so we packed up after three days on the ranch and took a very circuitous ride (picture all four of us packed in the back of a rickshaw with our bags bouncing over rutted gravel roads) to Mountain Ridge.

Udaipur home - Exploring the city - City Palace - Dance performance - Night lights - Jagdish Temple - Life on the Ranch - Country Scenes - Diwali - Mountain Ridge - Jain Temples - Lift, Lake, and Leaving

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