for The Times of India on Jan. 12, 2008
JAIPUR: On the last leg of her holiday in Rajasthan, pop queen Madonna chose to refresh herself on a long boat ride on the picturesque Pichhola lake of Udaipur. She visited the City Palace and crystal gallery which has one of world's biggest collection of crystal objects.
On Monday afternoon, she sprang another surprise by asking her managers to arrange for a trip to Nathdwara for a darshan [viewing] of Lord Krishna. She rode 50 km to the holy city accompanied by her security personnel.
Madonna entered the temple through the VIP gate where the head priest offered her and Guy Ritchie the upala (saffron scarf) to cover their heads. The two went in for the deity's ‘darshan' and remained inside for about 20 minutes. She also accepted the prasad offered to her by the priest. On the advice of her friends, the singer also went to Eklingji Temple, 33 km from Udaipur. Madonna's visit to the two temples, came as a surprise as she follows the Kabbalah sect and eats only kosher meals.
She is likely to stay in the lake city for another day before leaving for Mumbai in a chartered flight. On Friday, Anil Ambani visited the temple along with his wife Tina and son to offer prayers before the launch of the Rs 11,000 crore Reliance Power IPO.