It was an article in the Wall Street Journal “Where to Find the Wells of Wisdom“ that brought back memories of a week-long temple tour to the spiritual centers near Udaipur.
The article is on Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar and lists five places where he finds spiritual peace, well-being and knowledge. Having worked for Shriji for many years, it is remarkable how he keeps his stamina and cool through hectic days, that leave most of us (me definitely) wilted. It is written by Mr Perry Garfinkel, a well-known journalist and author of the 2006 bestseller “Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness and the Man Who Found Them All”
Well back to my story now :-D.
I was on a photography tour for a new edition of the 101 Moments CD on Udaipur which was to feature a spiritual tour of the Mewar region. The well-known Shri Eklingji, Shreenathji and the Adinatha temple at Ranakpur featured prominently. However no less important were Dwarkadhishji, Charbhuja and Kesariyaji.
Eklingji with its complex architecture and importance in Mewar history is yet a place of great calm over-riding the fervour of the hundreds who visit everyday.
Shreenathji and the Ranakpur temples both great pilgrimage spots. Both beautiful in their own way though for me with a minus of their full-scale commercialisation.
It was the smaller, lesser known temples of Dwarkadhishji, Charbhuja and Kesariyaji, which I found had the most impact. The simple local flavour. The strong link with their local village communities. Living, organic and charged.
If you are visiting Udaipur, a visit to the temples will definitely be an experience you will long remember.
- Most temples allow photography of the complex. Photography of the deity is not permitted.
- Mornings and evenings are when crowds gather. Having people in the photographs is my personal preference for the colour and life they add to the frame.
- Wide angles and zooms are both required. The complexity of the spaces is best captured by wide and the details (some often many meters above) demand a good zoom.