I sometimes think that it’s kinda sad that being an Indian and having lived in India all through,I have seen very little of it. It was couple of my foreigner friends who would not stop telling me how much they loved Udaipur! With a long weekend in hand, I was sure which place I wanted to spend it at.
In a new place, I start the day early. Nothing like a morning stroll to know the streets, the places to eat, the things to do.
After a sumptuous breakfast at Grass root cafe, I started my first day at Udaipur.
Day 1 : The city has mainly developed it’s touristy areas around 2 lakes, Pichola and Fateh Sagar. S since I opted to stay around Pichola (you should too!), i started my day at Fateh Sagar. Bad decision if you want to go for a boat ride. Just opposite the lake is a maharana Pratap Garden that they’re still developing but I chose to have a look around. You can give this one a miss!
Saheliyon Ki Bari – My first brush with Royal Architecture. This is a well maintained garden with a complex that houses a beautiful fountain. It provided me the relief I needed from the morning sun.
Vintage Car Museum-
Although I do not have much interest in cars, let alone have any knowledge on vintage cars, I still decided to check this place out. What’s a royal kingdom that can’t take pride in it’s collection of old cars and jewellery?!
Well this one is a treasure and also a lesson on the evolution of automobile!
The City Palace, Udaipur
The main palace of Udaipur, this one is going to take a lot of time to explore if you are really interested in history or if old palaces charm you. Do not make the mistake of taking a guide as they are usually crap. They were my source of entertainment, as I moved through the narrow lanes that sometimes echoed what the guide said to unsuspecting foreigners eager to know Indian history.
The view of Lake Pichola from the top of the palace is drool worthy, so if you can time your visit with sunset then nothing like it. Also you can see almost the whole of Udaipur and it’s matchbox like houses from the top.
There is an ATM right outside if you run out of cash. And if you have to take a few gifts back home try the shops outside but make sure you bargain well.
Gangaur Ghat – I ended the day watching the sun set from Gangaur Ghat and let me tell you there are very few places that have such a calming effect on you despite the crowd. I strolled back towards my hostel and decided to sit and sip coffee at one of the cafes by the canal and sink in the feeling of this beautiful city.
Day 2 :
I started the day by taking a walk again till Jagdish Chowk( the main chowk near Lal Ghaat). By now I have started exploring lot of different Cafes. Funnily enough, it’s tough to find Indian cuisine because these cafes cater to people from other countries mostly.
I decide to start the day with the Monsoon palace which is quite far from the city. The auto rickshaw guy charged me 300 bucks for the to and fro ride. I have no clue if he charged me more because I had no other option. The challenge is that you will have to wait for a ride to take you up to the palace which is on top of a mountain and usually there is a long queue. I managed to escape the queue as I was alone and got a seat next to the driver. The uphill ride could have been nice but the dry winters haven’t been very kind to the trees on the hill and so we made our way up through crude nature devoid of any greenery.
As beautiful as the Sajjangarh Fort or the monsoon palace is from outside, it is as disappointing on the inside. Going by its name, I am hoping this ride or the view from the palace will be totally different during the monsoons.
Tired from the Fort visit, I settled for a sumptuous lunch and a quick afternoon nap at my hostel before venturing out again.
Bagore ki Haveli – An old palace by Gangaur Ghat turned to a museum. I did not waste my time going through the various rooms as most of them had scary puppets. I strolled through the porches, the backyard, rested under a tree in the courtyard. This place has a dance show in the evening but I decided to give that a miss.
I ended the day, dancing to Bollywood Holi numbers on the streets of Udaipur with mates from Backpacker’s Panda (yes, that’s where I stayed and maybe you should check it out too!)
(All photographs have been clicked by me)