MOTORBIKE TOURS RAJASTHAN DAY SIX
After spending a splendid night at Kumbhalgarh, with me falling ‘instantly’ in love with a stunning Indian beauty, we are heading to Devigarh Hotel, which is around 90km away and only 20km away from Udaipur, but first….
We went back up to the fort for another photo opportunity before shooting off into the wilderness along roads that made sure you were awake from the vibrations sending your eyeballs shooting off in every direction.
Along the way we pulled into a small village where I chose to take a walk around with Digvijay, so he could translate……it was something I’d wanted to do for days now to walk around one of the villages to get to understand a bit more about the culture.
I was amazed that out of, say, 2 dozen shop type outlets 9 of them were selling the same crisps, but not only selling the same crisps – having exactly the same display outside of their shop – now surely how did they all sell crisps when there just weren’t many people around – maybe it was for tourists passing through.
I just found it all very strange and then I came across the butcher’s shop. Now, I knew it was the butchers shop straight away because there were cages of chickens outside and a goat not looking very happy tied up outside trying his best at tug of war against his rope, without much success, so I trolled in and………….
There was a young man sitting on top of a table chopping away at a very recently dispatched goat, cutting it into pieces of leg, rib, and other parts!
No chiller cabinet, no wiping down the surface. Complete with an open window and door allowing flies in, BUT there were no flies, not a one, so I asked how long it had been dead, and what would happen now.
The goat had just been halal, a means of killing by cutting the throat and allowing to drain for an hour and would be sold very soon BUT the way they cook the meat is for at least 4 hours to make sure any bugs are cremated so the meat is okay to eat.
Having seen this, if I was to live in India full time, I think I’d be going vegetarian. On leaving the butchers there was the goat still playing tug of war, and I wondered how long it would be before he too would be being slapped about on top of the table inside.
Back on the bike and to continue then, we quite quickly came upon a museum which was all about what I had learned from the fort the night before of a king, baby and a white horse. When we had gone through the museum I did think………
There’s only so many times you can hear the same story within the same building, because, the same story was showcased in a glass case, then a video display, then a display with life-sized figures BUT it was the same story 3 times, so here is the story so you can understand why this was such a famous legend from a battle fought in this area.
It was here I became ‘King Lear Singh of Rajasthan’
Prataps forces were decisively outnumbered. While mounted on Chetak (the white horse), Pratap made an attempt on the life of the Commander of the imperial Mughal Army. When he saw that the battle’s tide was turning against him, he charged towards Raja Man Singh, who was directing the battle seated on an elephant. Pratap made a frontal charge at the imperial army, hacked his way through the massed ranks of enemy combatants and reached in front of Man Singh’s elephant. Once there, Chetak reared high in the air and planted his hooves on the forehead of Man Singh’s elephant. Pratap threw his lance at Man Singh but the blow fell on the (elephant driver) instead, who was killed instantly. Maharana then took Chetak, who had been wounded by a cut to his lower right rear leg, out of the battlefield, running a distance of about 3- 5 kilometres. They came upon a river, 21 feet wide, which Chetak with his wounded leg jumped across. Some distance ahead Chetak collapsed and became unconscious, eventually dying. Maharana Pratap erected a small monument for his horse at the place where Chetak fell.
After the museum we continued to our Devighar Hotel, where on arrival we were met at a set of gates to check we were allowed in, again we had just ridden through a village of dust, no road as such, and very poor surroundings, to be greeted by splendour that surpassed anything I had ever seen in my life…..this huge white building shining gloriously on a hill in the near distance was exquisite.
We were greeted by staff in immaculate uniforms, then upon walking through the archway into the main entrance steps, we had rose petals thrown upon us from on high, cascading down.
I was absolutely amazed, because although I’d been made to feel like royalty at previous hotels……..this took it to another level.
Then at reception, there was a young man with chilled towels on a tray so we could wipe our hands and faces (a welcome most gratefully received)…..THEN
We were taken to our rooms, and OH MY GOD……
There was a marble bath, a marble sink, shower, bed base, table, floor and I’m sure the only thing that wasn’t marble was the display of biscuits, crisps, and personal toothbrush…..it was off the scale.
The hotel, until 2000 had been a ruined temple for many years, refurbished to a level way above anything I’d ever seen, or maybe will ever see, with a stunning swimming pool, and views that simply took my breath away. Then on the evening sitting around fire pits on legs with logs burning, overlooking the village and hills in the distance, eating until our hearts content – luxury, absolute pure luxury – can we stay here forever please, can we, please please please………