The best place for animal lovers in Udaipur: Animal Aid Unlimited
June 25, 2019
by Lilia Häselbarth
India can be an amazing experience especially when you are into spirituality and you like to explore new ways of living. For me, as an animal lover, it was great having all these cows around you all the time. I went to the Himalayas, parties in Goa, but if I would pick my favorite spot in India it will always be Udaipur and the animal sanctuary Animal Aid.
Udaipur has a lot to offer, from traditional culture; Kalbeliya dancers, Durga temples, and delicious Indian food to amazing nature; wildlife, Aravalli hill ranges and obviously a lot of lakes. The city basically consists of lakes. However, there is only one place that can really touch your heart. A paradise for street animals that only experienced abuse from humans and now finally can discover the good side of humanity. Animal Aid Unlimited.
In this article, I will take you with me on my trip to Udaipur, where the main focus will be volunteer work at the animal sanctuary, but also other things to explore. Why should volunteer work be the focus you may ask yourself? Because for me traveling is not just about having fun, but to see the real world and it doesn’t mean happiness all the time, reality looks different. People are suffering, animals are suffering, the whole world is suffering. It is our responsibility to change society and give something back, that is why volunteer work is important.
Animal Aid Unlimited
Seeing all the suffering animals on the street a very brave family decided that it is time to do something about it: Erika, Jim, and Claire Abrams-Myers. Originally from Seattle, the Myers family traveled and lived in India and couldn’t bear not being able to help all the hurt cows, dogs, and other animals. They started in 2002 with only one vet and four other staff members and no ambulance, now they already rescued more than 50,000 street animals. I really recommend paying a visit to the animal sanctuary and do volunteer work if you are planning to go to India and I hope after reading my article you will be more than excited. Even if you just spend one day at the sanctuary I will assure you it is worth it. For more information about Animal Aid Unlimited click here
My experience at Animal Aid
When I first entered the sanctuary I felt a lot of mixed emotions, not only because it was hard for me hearing and seeing injured animals but also because of happiness knowing they are so many people being passionate about taking care of animals. And me being one of them. I think it is a really good place to do your first volunteer work, because it is really liberal, you just tell the staff members which days or which time you are going to be there and they put you in the schedule, in which areas you will help out, depending if you did the rabies vaccination or not (I didn’t have the vaccination and everything was fine).
I was giving physiotherapy to disabled dogs, collecting waste from cows, brushing baby calves and goats and to be honest, this was the highlight of my whole Indian trip. I fell in love with a big bull, cuddled, scratched him and he used to put his huge head on my lab. All the animals are just happy to see your face and that you play or cuddle with them, sometimes they get jealous or cheeky just like little kids. It was fulfilling just sitting in between animals observing their behavior, it was like a cuddle retreat. Especially when you love animals it can be your heaven on earth.
Why Animal Aid is a great place for travelers
From my experience, I can say traveling by yourself is the best thing. However, it can get very lonely and you will miss your friends and family at one point. You can feel lost and like you are doing nothing with your life. As I said earlier volunteer work is a good way to give something back to the world even if it is just helping someone in need. It can inspire you to dream for a better world, isn’t that what everyone wants?
Fighting for a more compassionate world
Animal Aid is a beautiful place full of love, compassion, and people that care. About animals, humans, the environment. It is the perfect place for non-vegans as well to see what is actually behind the animal agriculture industry. We are conditioned to see animals as products and not as sentient beings. I was feeding baby calves that were abandoned by the milk industry without their mother, she is already sold as a steak. Visiting an animal sanctuary is the perfect way to make the connections with the beautiful animals you cuddle and the food you are consuming. Meeting people who already make the transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle can motivate you to be the change you want to see in the world.
Meeting like-minded people and locals
I was going there with no expectations and I met the best people that enriched my life. You will find locals, activists, travelers from all over the world. It is a community where everyone accepts you for who you are without judgments and you can make friends very easily. I think the best way to explore a place is to do it with locals, I enjoy meeting new people and new places that is the reason why I travel. I promise you will find like-minded people, inspiring personalities and locals that can show you the hidden gems of Udaipur. At least that is what happened to me.
Experience Rajasthani culture with all senses
I have become very close friends with two passionate workers at animal aid who really give all their time to the animals. They took me to a beautiful journey through their culture at Sayari Gypsy (West of Walking Bridge, North of Hanuman Ghat). The best thing to get close to a different culture is always with music and food and at Sayari Gypsy you get both. Traditional Indian songs, music instruments and delicious food (suitable for vegans). I think no words can explain how the instruments feel like, how the voice of the singers tickle your ears and how the colorful dresses make you want to dream. After the entertaining show, they serve the food on the floor and yes it tastes as good as it smells, but careful it is spicy! ‘India is all about spices’ my friends keep telling me that, it is true and I love it. I guess you have probably been to an Indian restaurant but there is no comparison going to a restaurant IN inDIA. The best thing about going to this place with locals who understand the language is; they can translate the song texts, which makes this place even better experience. After a long day volunteering at Animal Aid, you should watch the sunset at Ambrai ghat or one of the Durga temples in the Aravalli hill ranges and finally enjoy your time dancing and eating at Sayari Gypsy.
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Prateek singh chouhan
June 28, 2019
Article is really good the places you discribe is so nice and we are waiting for your book hope you\'re going to written your next article soon?
June 28, 2019
Hey mate, I loved reading about your amazing travels. Very inspiring. xxx