We were soon lost in lush green farm fields, dotted here and there with "Monet" haystacks...
...tiny towns, where the ubiquitous "tuk tuks" seemed to always have customers...
...where there were often more sheep than people...
...and where women in bright colors went about their daily errands.
No matter how rural, though, every little town had an Airtel 3G or a Vodaphone outlet, proving that India is really and truly "connected"!
Although these three men seemed to prefer their daily newspapers.
At the end of the day, though, it was always the cows who had the right of way.
It's quite a hike from the road up to the fort, made ever so much more pleasant from the back of an elephant...
I think the last time I had a ride on an elephant was at Whipsnade Zoo as a child!
Up another level the Jai Mandir, Hall of Private Audience, has stunning mosaics, watched over here by a rather fierce guard...
As with most cities in Rajasthan, the very heart of Udaipur is fortified, with armed gateways...
...and giant doors studded with iron spikes as protection against enemy war elephants.
These days the doors stand open and we strolled through and down the busy street to the Jagdish Temple, built in the 17th century and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. My knees got a real work out climbing up the steep steps, but the sight of the elephant statues at the top, with their trunks raised -- a sign of "welcome" -- kept me going.
And here, yet one more gleaming royal bedchamber.
We got a glimpse of how the ladies of the palace would spend their days, resting in a window seat, or gently swaying on a velvet swing.
The ladies had their moments of "escape" though. They could be carried out of the City Palace in one of these covered seats and taken to...
Down in the main courtyard, this gentleman has unravelled his turban to show its full 9 yards of fabric...
...before he begins to roll it back onto his head, giving the whole thing a little "twist" at each wrap around.
After which, he ceremoniously popped it onto Matthew's head for the ultimate "tourist" snapshot!
The range of produce was amazing and looked so fresh!
These three women were buying large quantities of eggplants. I loved the purple and yellow of their clothing.
And we smiled at the Past Life Regression Therapy poster, which seemed to have an endorsement from Trip Advisor!
Our guide today, Manis (a Buddhist priest when not a tour guide) kept us moving toward the tower of the 15th century Rishabdevji Jain Temple.
The main prophet presided over the centre of the temple. (You can tell it's not a Buddha because the eyes are open)
The remaining prophets took their places in side niches and chapels.
Around the sides and the back of the temple, intricately carved pillars depict aspects of the Jain religion.
The light falling on this one really showed up the detail and craftsmanship.