It is an addiction and passion to be a traveller. Follow your heart and go out to explore the world. That’s what yatripandit does, packs his bag, takes his DSLR and wanders the beautiful, royal city of Rajasthan —Udaipur Vilas Palace
Lao Tzu rightly says, “ A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ( Talking to myself sitting on a confined seat inside the bus); it’s been 12 hours since I left Mumbai.
Couldn’t find an ounce of food to eat. Have been just on water… Yeah! This journey is definitely the most testing and exciting one till date.) I never imagined my life would revolve around travelling and photography. Maybe it’s a passion or just an addiction, but travelling and photography is now a culture, a family, a place where you make good friends
Till date I have made many trips with friends and family, and each time I was fascinated to hear varied stories of different lifestyles and culture or come to know about some amazing place across a river that is still not much explored. Also in each trip, some of the places from the plan use to get skipped because of a shortage in time or road block; some reason or the other. So once I had decided that a solo trip is a must. And it’s the only way I could quench my thirst for good photography.
It was one fine Friday evening when I was coming back from work that I saw a graffiti which read “ Travel far enough, you meet yourself”, by the time I finished reading that, I had already decided that I will be traveling this weekend. The best thing about being in Mumbai is you can go anywhere you want; you can be anyone you want to be! The joy of being in Udaipur for me was unexplainable. For me Rajasthan has always been the answer to the royal and colourful living. It is not just the most visited tourist destination in the world but also the liveliest one. Udaipur is referred to as the ” Venice of the East,” the ” Most Romantic City of India” and the ” Kashmir of Rajasthan” ( a reference to Dal Lake) and not without reason.
Tourists flock to this enchanting city in the heart of the Aravalli Hills, which has three interconnected lakes: Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichhola and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake. With its forts, palaces, temples, gardens, mountains and narrow lanes lined with stalls in the medieval historic center, Udaipur is a living memory of a heroic past with valor and chivalry.
Udaipur receives travellers from all over the world every year. The city is still inhabited by people of the Bhil tribe. Udaipur dwellers are really friendly and good to be with.
Here, people usually prefer wearing bright colored clothes. Colorful festivals and fairs depict the cultural prosperity of Udaipur.
I took a hotel near Udaipur Circle ( Shrinath Market) and next morning I walked 1 km to reach Gulab Bagh and the vintage car collection gallery. Then walk 1- 1.5 km to reach City Palace, The splendid City Palace, posing over the fascinating Lake Pichola, is one of the most beautiful palatial structures in Rajasthan. The elegant palace, originally built by Maharana Uday Singh II, rises 30 meters above Lake Pichola and extends up to 244 meters.
Udaipur City Palace is not just one structure but a complex of small and big palaces, museums and gardens. The unique aspect of this conglomeration is that the architectural design ( a rich blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Chinese architecture) is distinctly homogeneous and eye catching.
The palace complex has been built entirely in granite and marble.
The interior with its balconies, towers and cupolas exhibits delicate mirror work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silver work, inlay work and colored glass mosaics.
The complex provides a fine view of the lake and the city from its upper terraces.
There is an entry fee of 115rs pp ( March 2014) and more if you want to be able to take photos.
Then I walked towards Bagore- Ki- Haveli, a mansion built in the 18th century on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat by Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, now a museum.
It has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The building has a large and exquisite collection of Mewar paintings and glassworks, after taking a dose of history and culture I took a sharing auto to reach Chetak Circle and walk 0.5 Km to reach Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandol where I watched fascinating puppet show.
Lifestyle Although there are many diversions for daytime, there is not much in the way of nightlife. There are cinemas and a few cultural shows for evening entertainment, but there are no bars ( other than in upscale hotels) and no discos or nightclubs. Streets become deserted and it’s almost impossible to find a taxi or tuk tuk after 10 pm What to eat You are in Mewar! You must not miss the opportunity to have the really loaded Daal- Baati- Choorma. It is an experience you will remember forever. Look out for a helping of Gatte- ki- sabzi, as well. Udaipur is also famous for its spicy snacks such as mirchi bada and kachori.
Where to stay For tourists traveling on a budget, there are numerous low cost places to stay in Udaipur.
These hotels are clustered around the City Station road which is a bustling area. Many low budget hotels are across Lake Pichola in the Naga Nagri sector. There are also many hotels between the Bandstand to the City palace. Their scattered location and low tariffs make them attractive to many tourists.
HOW TO REACH AIR: There are various domestic flight options available from the Mumbai domestic airport to visit Udaipur.
ACCOMODATIONS Cambay Resort, Udai Kothi, Taj Lake Palace, Jaiwana Haveli, Chunda Palace, Lake Palace, Jagat Niwas Palace, Kankarwa Haveli
ATTRACTIONS Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon ki Bari, Gulab Bagh and Zoo, City Palace, Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar lake, Jag Mandir
Expense – Approx. INR 6000 PP (Excluding Flight tickets)
**********This Article is published in Leading Daily News Paper************
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