By the time we reached our hotel from the airport, checked in and refreshed ourselves, it was nearing sunset time in Udaipur. Jayant suggested we go to the Rajasthani dance performance at Bagore Ki Haveli. Now, have been to Jaiselmer, Jodhpur and Jaipur in our earlier travels, and quite frankly, had been done to death by the “Kesriya balma padaro maroh desh…” dances. Hence, re-confirmed with Jayant if he was really serious about another round of the usual fare. He nodded, adding that every review site had recommended it. And so, we were on for Bagore-Ki-Haveli after a quick round of tea and cakes at the hotel.
How to reach Bagore-Ki-Haveli?
A rule of thumb when in Udaipur — if going to the old city area, chuck your swanky car, do not bother to call the taxi guy whose number you have saved in your mobile. Simply head out of your hotel, hail an auto, negotiate with him and ask him to take you to the old city.
Bagore-Ki-Haveli is in the old part of the town. The hotel staff advised us to take an auto, which we did. It was almost 6pm by now. Most auto drivers in Udaipur have a cartel of sorts and of course they recognise a newbie from 10 kms away!!! Our guy too wasn’t going to let go of the opportunity of making a quick buck before Diwali. So he charged us INR 400 for a maximum 8-9 km return trip!! Yeah, Bagore must be just a 4 km drive from Trident where we were staying. Measly, he tried to reason. Obnoxious, we retorted. And then negotiated. He finally agreed to take us to the Haveli, wait for us, then take us for dinner at the famous Savage Garden restaurant and get us back to our hotel. That’s how we spent our first 400 in Udaipur.
How was the experience at Bagore-Ki-Haveli?
Absolutely Beautiful. The Haveli, apparently centuries old, overlooks the Pichola Lake at Gangori Ghat. Built by an 18th century Prime Minister of Mewar, the Haveli had been restored in order to house a museum with artifacts collected over the years.
As far as the Bagore dance show (officially called Dharohar) is concerned, I have already shared my skepticism. Now allow me to share my joy. The show started exactly at the scheduled time – 7pm in the terrace called the Neem Chowk. That’s because, the terrace had a full-grown Neem tree right in the middle. A hour-long show, the seating arrangements are good, with ‘gaddas’ placed around the 3 sides of the terrace to allow a good view of the dances. The balconies in Neem Chowk are lit up in different colours and gives you a sense of the colourful evening that has been beautifully planned. The pleasant November evening and the star-lit sky made it even more beautiful. And no, there weren’t any mosquitoes.
A brief and informative introduction, followed by the beating of a drum, blowing of a conch shell and a welcome song, kicked off the evening show that can at best be summed up to be lovely and enriching.
• The Chari Dance, where the dancers dance with ignited brass pots on their heads.
• The Terha Taal Dance, where the dancers play 13 different manjiras tied on their hands and legs.
• The Gorbandh Dance, where the dancers wear ornaments that are used to adorn the camels and dance in complete abandon.
• The Rajasthani Puppet show, which was hugely popular with the kids in the audience.
• The Bhavai Dance, where the dancer dances with earthen pots on her head.
Colourful, steeped in tradition and culture, showcased with complete sincerity and dedication. We loved it. And so did the crowd that seemed to have gathered from various parts of the world.
Timings and Ticket Details of Bagore Ki Haveli:
• Bagore-Ki-Haveli Museum details:
o Timings: 10 am to 5.30 pm every day
• Dharohar Dance details:
o Timings: 7 pm to 8 pm every day
o Tickets: INR 60 for Indians. INR 100 for non-Indians
o Camera: Charges extra, although very minimal.
( Plan your Udaipur trip with the help of our suggestions and recommendations on itinerary, best hotel to stay in, do-not-miss restaurants to dine at and the best shopping localities — read — Udaipur Itinerary & Guide to Best Hotel & Restaurants )