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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Pink City Jaipur

“A city of colors, the city charms its admirers and visitors with it confluence of terrains, colors, and cultural heritage”

Palaces and forts has always excited curious minds and explorers, I always wanted to explore history and mystery of India and one of the best thing (apart from awesome food !) about getting married to a Rajasthani girl is you get to visit this amazing place at least once in a year. If you think one have to be born in royal family to feel like a King or one has to be a princesses to  get the feel royalty of Queen then you should visit Jaipur to prove it wrong.

So if you haven’t explored this awesome city,  pack you bags and hop on!

Me and my wife were travelling to Kota in Haduti region of Rajasthan to attend a marriage ceremony. We were left with 3 days after the marriage and we had our flight back to Hyderabad from Jaipur and as Lao Tzu has said “A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

Day 1

We left for Jaipur from Kota around 6:30 AM and reached Jaipur at 11:30 AM. I had some Redfox Hotel reward points left from my previous business trip. We checked in and tossed our luggage in our room and left for Johri Bazzar for awesome Lassi and Dahi Bada at  LMB.

LMB, is a well-known restaurant and sweet shop amoung local people in Jaipur Established in 1954 it is most known for its restaurant and mithai shop (sweet shop), which are a popular tourist attraction, serving traditional sweets like paneer ghewar, and the sweet lassi, apart from snacks, like samosa, chaat and Aloo tikki.

Next thing on our list was Pride of Asia Rajmandir cinema opened on 1 June 1976 designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi in Art Moderne style. It has a meringue-shaped auditorium which is metaphor of design and architecture. The main attraction of Rajmandir is at the beginning of the movie when curtains are up.

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We watched Neerja movie, after which we had some street side food at Panch Batti Square.

Since we were already tired we went back to hotel room and crashed.

Day 2

Next day morning we wake up @ 8 AM had breakfast and left for site seeing. A cab which was arranged by Hotel was waiting for us in the parking lobby.

Our first pit stop was Amber Fort 

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One of the principal tourist attractions in Jaipur, located high on a hill. Amber Fort Was Built By  Raja Man Singh I. Amber Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Rajput elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.

Main attractions at Amber Fort is ‘Sheesh Mahal’, ‘Diwan-i-Aam’ and ‘Sukh Mahal’.

Don’t miss the royal elephant ride while you are at it!

While coming back from Amber we saw most serene sight amidst the chaos of Jaipur the beautiful Jal Mahal it appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake.

 

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constructed from pink sandstone and follows the classical Rajput symmetrical style which is found throughout of Rajasthan.

Madho Singh, who constructed the Jal Mahal in 1750, simply wished it to be a lodge for himself and his entourage during his duck hunting parties. Madho’s son Madho Singh II greatly enhanced the Jal Palace during the 18th century interior of the palace adding the courtyard grounds and much of the exterior as seen today.

After spending some time with scenic beauty of Jal Mahal we left for Royal Residence The City Palace of Jaipur

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Right in the centre of the Old City the palace has been enlarged and adapted over the centuries. Outer wall was built by Jai Singh. There are buildings from different eras, some dating from the early 20th century are a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Palace reflects Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles although the palace was designed to Vaastushastra treatise, walls and gates are ornately designed to Mughal style, with various murals, lattice and mirrors adorning them from sides.

A complex of courtyards, gardens and buildings, the impressive gates adheres to
the royal heritage of the City Palace.

Awe-inspired by City Palace we left for our last stop of the day, Albert Hall 

“…That’s why we have the Museum, Matty, to remind us of how we came, and why to start fresh, and begin a new place from what we had learned and carried from the old.”
― Lois Lowry, Messenger

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Completed in 1887 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob

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The foundation stone of Albert Hall was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward

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Indo-Saracenic architecture and stone ornamentation, became a source of reference for varied classical Indian styles of design from Mughal to Rajput. Even the corridors were decorated with murals in a variety of styles including the Ramayan, reproducing paintings from illustrations in the Persian Razmnama prepared for Emperor Akbar. European, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Babylonian civilizations were portrayed in the other murals to enable the people of the region to compare and contrast them with their own and develop their knowledge of history and art.

Albert Hall became a centre for imparting knowledge of history of civilizations, inspiring artisans to improve their skills, and preserving & developing traditional Indian arts, crafts, architectural forms.

Albert Hall has one of my favourite architecture of any building in India.

After spending Quite and peaceful evening in Albert Hall museum we came back to Hotel had King Size Dinner and crashed on to our bed.

Day 3

We had our afternoon flight back to Hyderabad. We had very little time left we quickly went to Govind Dev Ji Temple and from there we left for Airport, promising each other that we will come here more often to witness gallantry of our royal past and amazing hospitality of our wonderful present.

 

-Utkarsh@YatriPandit

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