Embraced in the City Of Lakes- Udaipur

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

Yatrpandit Lakshmi Vilas Palace
Lakshmi Vilas Palace
Udaipur skyline
Udaipur City Skyline
maharana pratap
Maharana Pratap
lake pichola
Lake Pichola
Udaipur
Udaipur City Palace
palacewall
Udaipur City Palace

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)

— UT@yatripandit.com

**********This Article is published in Leading Daily News Paper************

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Warangal- Weekend gateway to kakatiya’s dynasty

Spending an extended weekend sitting idle at home is never a good idea. So, as always I planned a roadtrip to nearby place called Warangal, approximately 150 km away from Hyderabad with my husband. Warangal is referred as the cultural capital of Telangana state. It was the capital city during the flourishing days of mighty Kakatiya dynasty.

We started our journey from Hyderabad around 8 am just to stop for breakfast at one of our favorite places called Udipi Uphar. After that we started our journey towards the city of Warangal. Reached the destination around 1:00pm in the afternoon and checked in our hotel immediately.

How to reach Warangal:

Nearest airport to Warangal is Hyderabad which is approx. 150 Kms

Public Buses- There is direct connectivity from Hyderabad. Buses leave very frequently and take around 6-7 hours to reach Warangal

Train- Warangal is well connected by train routes to major railway corridors in India.

Roadtrip- This is my favorite. The roads are in good condition and one can easily reach within 5 hours.

Accommodation:

1. Haritha kakatiya, Warangal- This hotel is managed by government of Telangana and offers good accommodation, restaurant and a health club

2. Hotel Suprabha- This lovely mid range hotel lets you stay with complimentary breakfast option. This is located in Hannamkonda in Warangal

Places to visit:

Warangal fort– This places is in ruins form but maintained well by Archaeological survey of India (ASI). Fort was commissioned by king Ganpathi Deva. It has beautifully carved arches and pillars that surprised us. Also, has four main ornamental gates to welcome. One can find a Shiva temple with statue of Nandi and many more idols of Hindu Gods like lord Ganesh, Vishnu, Shiva. The extensive rock carvings on the pillars and arches will leave you mesmerized.

Kush Mahal – This architectural masterpiece built by Shitabh khan is located very close to the Warangal fort and is of great historic and architectural importance.

Ramappa Temple – This temple is around 60 km away from Warangal city. It is also called as Rudreshwara temple as this temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Temple is a legendary example of kakatiya art. The temple was constructed during the reign of kakatiya ruler Ganpati deva. Here we hired a guide, who explained the history and other details of the carved pillars of temple. There are three entrances to the temple the main entrance to the temple faces the east where a Nandi mandapa placed. The interesting part is that, across India you will find Nandi sitting in relaxed position in all Shiva temples but here the Nandi is sitting in an alert position waiting to execute the command of lord Shiva.

Thousand pillars temple– It is located in Hanamkonda also called as Tirkutalayam signifying three gods as lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya. The six feet high monolithic Nandi is a sight to watch. The temple was built by king Rudra-1 of the Kakatiya dynasty. Temple is situated on a platform raised above ground level and consists of a central hall with three shrines in different directions.

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Nandi at Thousand Pillar Temple

Shri Bhadrakali temple– Close to thousand pillar temple is Bhadrakali temple which has an idol of goddess kali in a sitting posture. The nearby lake called as bhadrakali lake which gives a magnificent view of the place surrounded with lush green hills. It imparts the temple and its serene surrounding a mystical air.

Nearby places:

Pakkhal lake– This huge manmade lake is enveloped by forested hills around few miles away from main city. The Pakkhal wildlife sanctuary can also be visited to unwind in the wilderness.

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Pakkal Lake

Laknavaram lake– Approximately 50 km away from Warangal, Laknavaram lake is located. Built by the Kakatiya rulers, this massive lake is of a bowl like structure having 13 small islands which are scattered amidst the jungle. This makes it a serene and perfect bird watching spot. Also, has a one of a kind suspension bridge connecting three islands managed and maintained by Telangana tourism department.

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Laknavaram Lake

Few quick Tips:

1. Plan your trip during winters (October to January) as in summer it’s too hot and you will not enjoy your trip to the fullest.

2. Carry sufficient cash as ATMs are rare in the villages around Warangal.

3. If you are going by train or bus please book your cabs for city travel and sightseeing in advance for a hassle free trip.

 

Story by -Shikha@yatripandit

Pictures by – Utkarsh Tiwari

Story appreciated and shared by Telangana Tourism Facebook page. 🙂

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Chai Sutra#1 @ Chai Point

Place- Chai point

Location- Inorbit mall, Hyderabad

Tea breaks have been our companions during all our road trips. These are the breaks when you stretch your self, calm down and plan to execute the next stretch of the roadtrip. 🙂

A winter morning without a hot kadak chai (tea) is not a happy morning , all chai lovers can easily connect with the feelings. In India Chai is relevent for so many situations like 

sar dard ho raha hai?(you have a headache)

 Mehmaan aa rahe hain ?(Guests coming over)

 Thakkan ho rahi hai ??(Feeling tired) and so on….

so after a long hours of movie and shopping in mall we decided to have some tea or coffee and being a chai lover we went to this place called chai point, ordered a masala tea and a ginger tea and it turn out to be satisfying and refreshing.

Total bill INR 250 approx. for two

To get some more delight we also ordered a chocolate muffin.

As they say, “tea doesn’t ask silly questions, it understands.”

Read our story on Chinese green tea and Nanjing story Falling in Love with Chinese Tea – Nanjing, China

 

Potatolicious!!!!!!

Place – Mighty small cafe, inorbit mall Hyderabad.
This is a place I was excited to visit as the name is pretty cute!

The interiors are absolutely amazing. You feel like you are in a carnival with big comfortable sofas and hanging benches.

Food is pretty good too. I had a bucket full of fries with different type of dips (salsa is my fav ) Not too spicy and not too bland, Just perfect! And the way they present there food is simply amazing with our favourite drinks.

I’d rate this place a 4.5/5 on ambiance and 3/5 for the food.

Price -INR 229/-for two.

Its like treat for potato lovers.

Service – it took some more time then expected but worth the wait..