We definitely needed a post on something exotic and highbrow to balance the last one! Our friend Sandra Foyt to the rescue, with this month’s guest post on the world’s largest turban, located in Udaipur, India. You may remember Sandra, editor of Albany Kid, from her post on Bubblegum Alley, the world’s largest collection of “ABC” (already been chewed) gum. She has eclectic interests. I dig it.
Where we went, and who was coerced into going:
By the time my two teens and I arrived in Udaipur, we were beginning to suffer from one of the first gastro-bugs that felled us while traveling in India and Nepal. Nothing serious, but we weren’t up for doing anything too ambitious.
A short visit to Bagore-ki-Haveli, a restored royal palace, located a block away from our lodgings, sounded like an entertaining option for a tranquil afternoon.
WHY did you go there, exactly?
Curiosity, plain and simple. Who wouldn’t want to see the world’s largest turban? I’m a sucker for royal palaces; and added bonus, Bagore-ki-Haveli was reputed to hold an eclectic collection of regional folk art.
Okay, what was so cool about it?
Originally built in the late 1700s by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Bagore-ki-Haveli passed into the hands of the Mewari Royal Family upon his death. After 1947, with no one to look after it, the building fell into disrepair – an understatement given the “Before” photos in an exhibit about the restoration. Fortunately, the decision was made to restore the architectural gem to serve as a museum of Mewar’s aristocratic culture. (Note – this looks to be a work in progress.)
The building itself, with its scalloped windows and balconies overlooking courtyards, is lovely to see. In the evening, the courtyard at the entrance hosts the Dharohar cultural show, a one-hour celebration of the music, dance, and puppets of Rajastan. During the day, you pass a room dedicated to these gorgeously creepy puppets before entering the main house where displays of the royal lifestyle are found.
One of the more interesting exhibits showed the indoor games that women of the Royal household played to while away their leisure hours. Peeking in through a glass window, you learn that they liked to play Chess, Chaupad, and Snakes and Ladders while seated at jewel-hued silk cushion. Something to think about for Family Game Night.
The humongous turban was…puzzling. Without an explanatory plaque, we were left to guess that it was a display piece meant to be part of a collection of turbans, possibly owned by the Mewari royal family. I’m 95% certain that the giant turban is too big to have ever been worn.
What my kids liked best was that a basket of turbans were provided so that they could pose for genie photos in front of the BIG one.
How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):
Bagore-Ki-Haveli houses a curious collection of oddities, and is worth visiting to learn about how the royals once lived. I wouldn’t go too far out of my way to see the world’s biggest turban, but it’s an interesting place to spend an hour if you happen to find yourself in Udaipur. And although we didn’t feel well enough to return for the cultural show, we were told that it’s a must-see.
Go to see the world’s largest turban and the creepy puppets, stay for the fabulous Rajasthani dance performances at 7pm in the haveli’s courtyard.
Hey YOU! Go BIG:
Fees: 30 Rupees (Foreigners,) 10 Rupees (Child,) 100 Rupees (Camera) At time of visit, approx. 50 Rupees=1$