Udaipur, a city backed by the glorious history of its brave people lies in the southern part of Rajasthan, a princely state in India. Being relatively lesser crowded yet culturally richer than Jaipur, this city is out & out a winner when it comes to attracting tourists from all over the globe and I’m no different..so happened my trip to Udaipur ..
In 2009, Udaipur was rated the top city in the World’s Best Awards by Travel + Leisure. Blessed with two big lakes in a region of desert and scanty rainfall, Udaipur is also called as ‘The City of Lakes’. It is situated at a distance of roughly 678 Kms from Delhi which can be turned into a fun & break journey by road. We a group of 2 guys & 2 girls took a break at Jaipur and then from Jaipur, Udaipur is just 6 hrs. away.
We had pre-booked hotel via Agoda.com. We reached Udaipur at around mid night & so was the time to retire. The hotel #Karohihaveli is a nice three star hotel situated near the lake side. The rooms there are beautiful; reflecting Rajasthani culture & the staff is equally warm & courteous.
On our first day we visited the famous City Palace, Udaipur that is known for the Mewar grandeur. It was built by Maharaja Udai Singh II as he left Chittorgarh. This palace has several parts out of which some are kept as royal private areas. The other areas have been converted into museum & are open for commoners. In the City palace museum – the lake view areas, the areas where peacocks have been made with small pieces of stained glass (Mor Chowk) and the open area having garden & white marble pavement just outside the palace building are the areas are extraordinarily majestic. To add on to this splendid experience there is this restaurant called #PalkiKhana near the garden area. It takes around 2-4 hrs. for seeing the entire city palace & I must admit that after finishing that, the site of this restaurant is pretty tempting!
Next we headed to the Vintage car collection & Gulab bagh which turned out to be a quick visit. The Lakeside area of Udaipur is small and so we preferred to walk our way back to the hotel. On the way along the road there is a market called Palace Road market, extending up to City palace. Basically a foreigner’s market it has leather items, diaries, clothes & gift items. As it was the first day of our trip we preferred to end it by relaxing at the pool side followed by a sumptuous dinner at our hotel’s roof top restaurant overlooking City Palace & lake Pichola.
The next day we left the hotel after breakfast at around 9.30 a.m. for Saheliyon-ki-Bari (#saheliyonkibari).The garden & the beautiful fountain took me to the historic era and I could imagine the splendid life lived by the women back then. After which we reached Fatehsagar Lake, with blue colored water & few islands. Nehru park situated in one. Nehru Park is a beautiful garden island open for public. However it is slightly over-rated and I wouldn’t suggest as a must visit.
There are two more lakes near Udaipur but for a 2N-3D trip we were compelled to trim down our to do list. Meanwhile the group had started feeling hungry and almost unanimously we decided to go for a authentic Rajasthani food. The search for our choice of food led us to Natraj restaurant near Bapu Bazaar area. The food was just wow
! In the evening we went on for Bagore ki Haveli. I must say the Rajasthani folk song-dance program performed there is fabulous with amazing lights & haveli set up.
The last day in the royal city of #Udaipur was reserved for the most famous Jag Mandir, an island situated in Lake Pichola. The boat ride to Jagmandir started from #Citypalace. During the boat ride we witnessed the architectural magnificence of City Palace & the Taj Lake Palace Hotel. #Jagmandir originally a temple has now been redeveloped into Jagmandir Island Palace Hotel. It is the second most beautiful & must visit place next to City Palace. Many Bollywood movies has been shot here most recent being Ye Jawani hai Deewani (#YJHD). This place has a fine dining restaurant, jharokas, fountain & the white marble simply makes it perfect!
Heading towards the end of our trip, we decided to keep rest of the day for shopping. Ditching the Palace road market we headed straight to Hathipol, Bapu Bazaar & Bara bazaar (street shopping!). These markets are stuffed with block printed handloom material, clothes, spices etc. After a bagful of shopping it was time to say Udaipur adieu & return to have a common man’s life.
My favorite picks during this trip:
- Karohi Haveli, Hotel Mahendra Prakash (Budget Hotels)
- There are many award winning world class hotels like Hotel Oberoi Udaivilas (Ranked 8th in Top 100 Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards 2013), Hotel Taj Lake Palace etc.
- German Bakery Restaurant near Bagore ki Haveli
Markets: Bapu Bazaar & Hathipol