In this fortieth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we are exploring the colorful destination of India with a visit to the exotic city of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Take a step back from the hustle, however, and Udaipur still has its colorful magic, not just in its marvellous palaces and monuments, but in its matchless setting, the tranquillity of boat rides on the lake, the bustle of its ancient bazaars, its lively arts scene and colorful sarees and its endless tempting shops and some lovely countryside to explore and travel on wheels, feet or horseback.
Take a step back from the hustle, however, and Udaipur still has its colorful magic, not just in its marvellous palaces and monuments, but in its matchless setting, the tranquillity of boat rides on the lake, the bustle of its ancient bazaars, its lively arts scene and colorful sarees and its endless tempting shops and some lovely countryside to explore and travel on wheels, feet or horseback.

Colorful India in (Udaipur)

India's rich and multi-layered cultures are dominated by religious and spiritual themes. While it is a mistake to assume that there is a single unified Indian culture, there certainly are unifying themes that link the various cultures. India's cultural heritage is expressed through its myriad of languages in which much great literature and poetry has been written, but also through its colors because India is indeed a colorful destination.

Culture with colors
The festival of color called Holi is a major festival celebrated mainly in North, East and Western India. On the first day, people go to temples and light bonfires, but on the second, it is a waterfight combined with showers of colored powder. This is not a spectator sport, as a visible foreigner, you are a magnet for attention, so you will either have to barricade yourself inside, or put on your most disposable clothes and join the fray. Celebrations are fewer in South India, though private celebrations occur among North Indian communities residing in major South Indian cities. Despite the weakening of the caste system, India remains a fairly stratified society. Indians care about a person's background and position in society as is the case elsewhere in the world. This attitude, when combined with the legacy of colonial rule, results in some rather interesting, if unfortunate consequences. Paler skin is deemed desirable but there is no discrimination on the basis of color.

Udaipur, the city of lakes in India
As a photographer and traveler in India there was a very exotic travel athmosphere in Udaipur. Beside shimmering Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colorful streets add the human counterpoint to the city's natural charms.
Udaipur with its City Palace is named as 'the most romantic spot on the continent of India' was first applied in 1829 by Colonel James Tod, from the East India Company in the region. Today, the romance is wearing ever so slightly thin as Udaipur strains to exploit it for tourist rupees. In the parts of the city nearest the lake, almost every building is a hotel, shop, restaurant or all three rolled into one. Ever-taller hotels compete for the best view, too many mediocre restaurants serve up near-identical menus and noisy, dirty traffic clogs some of the streets that were made for people and donkeys. Udaipur was founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh II following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Mughal emperor Akbar. This new capital of Mewar had a much less vulnerable location than Chittorgarh. Mewar still had to contend with repeated invasions by the Mughals and, later, the Marathas, until British intervention in the early nineteenth century. This resulted in a treaty that protected Udaipur from invaders while allowing Mewar's rulers to remain effectively all-powerful in internal affairs. The ex-royal family remains influential and in recent decades has been the driving force behind the rise of Udaipur as a tourist destination. Art and theatre flourish amongst the bustling cities of the country, against the backdrop of the ever expanding western influences. Vibrant processions are seen going on everywhere, especially during festivals. Ganesh Chaturthi processions in Mumbai, Dusshera in Mysore and so on are some important processions which have to be seen. Along with these, marriage and religious processions are also seen on the roads. You can see people dance, play music and drums, play with colors and so on.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an Indian woman in Udaipur. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.