Sunday, August 6, 2017

Indian Travels - Part I: Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī, Udaipur, Rajasthan

A high school friend was visiting the last two weeks, and we did a fair bit of domestic travel. Making our way down the western side of the country, we made stops in Udaipur, Mumbai, and Kochi. Of course saw much of garden interest; one of our first stops was the Saheliyõ kī Bāṛī or "Garden of the Maidens" in Udaipur. Located in the north of the city near the Fateh Sagar lake, this pleasure garden was created in the early 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the women of his court. The garden is renowned particularly for its ornate fountains, including a pavilion in the middle of a bathing tank in an enclosed courtyard in the center of the garden which spouts sheets of water from its roof. This quirky feature is called Bādal Binā Barsāt, or "Monsoon Rain Without a Cloud". While we were, there, however, the actual monsoon was actually in full force, varying behind light drizzle and heavy downpours, which made this water-themed garden appear particularly lush and misty.

A palm-lined path

A lovely door that is probably one of the most photographed features of the garden, based on how often I have seen it on social media

One of hundreds exceptionally lush and sturdy balsam plants, most of which were just beginning to bloom

One of several ornate fountains

Purple globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) intermingling with Thunbergia grandiflora

 A waterlily pond with with an even more elaborate fountain and elephant statues spouting water from their trunks

The Bādal Binā Barsāt pavilion in its tank in the center of the garden

A lovely niche overgrown with bougainvillea in the main courtyard

Due to all the rain we did not spend as much time at this garden as we might have otherwise done, and even with the drizzle and downpours it was quite busy with visitors. It is lovely though, and quite special in its quirky playfulness.

3 comments:

  1. What a fun and interesting garden! The balsam is beautiful, such lush foliage and a deeply colorful flower. I just finished watching a British series called Around the World in 80 Gardens, and the host visited a garden that had a similar monsoon-reproducing feature.

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  2. The pictures are wonderful! The pond is absolutely stunning!

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  3. Beautiful pictures! I think few things are prettier than a garden in the rain! I loved the balsam plant picture because these lovely plants were common in gardens here in my town some years ago and now they have vanished completely. Greetings from Argentina

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