Visiting a Hindu Temple
The Jagdish temple is the principal temple of Udaipur and proved to be the only Hindu temple that we visited on our trip. It was very different from the Muslim mosques. Whereas the Muslims forsook all human and animal carvings and tended to produce chaste marble surfaces with only plants in low relief, the Hindu temple was absolutely covered with carvings.
The approach was up a steep stairway. This view is from the top looking down at the square at thebottom,. Not the flower sellerzs at te foot of the stairs,
At the top the temple was set within a square enclosure with the temple at the centre and four smaller shrines at each corner.Here we see one of the smaller shrines
While we were there, a service was taking place. A small but noisy bell was rung for five minutes or more, and in the temple a very clappy-happy service was in progress with the men sitting at the front, one of them beating a big drum and the others all singing loudly, and then behind them were the rows of women. The front rows were playing triangles or symbols, but the ones behind were rather sullen and were not really taking part in the singing. In the sanctuary at the far end, the priest was apparently doing something. I rather enjoyed the atmosphere, but Wendy found it a little overwhelming.
Outside, every inch of the walls and up into the upper part was covered with carvings. The guide said that the carvings were in different layers, with devils at the bottom, then animals, then human beings, and finally gods at the top. We could certainly see the animals and the human beings, but I was not certain about either the devils or the gods.(Note the fifth girl from the right, who appears to be playing a clarinet)
Their breasts are surrounded by beads (jewels?) and they have a be-jewelled girdle, but what is it that they have hanging down between their legs?
Some of the voluptuous ladies seem to be musicians playing various instruments. The lady on the right appears to be playing a stringed instrument (a mandolin? a guitar?) The lady third from the left is playing a wind instrument – and what is the lady next to her holding?
On the right there is a lady and a beast, and coming to the centre, two ladies are talking to a beast.
It was a fascinating experience – even if I no doubt failed to understand the religious significance of most of what I saw.
Finally, on to Fateh Garh, the ‘Heritage’ hotel where we stayed