Royal Rajasthan – Udaipur

Rajasthan – a state that was truly royal.  A trip to Udaipur and Jaipur left me feeling proud of the heritage we have and increased my wanderlust in exploring more of India.
Udaipur  - a charming city with shimmering lakes, ancient architecture, grand mansions and plenty of folklore.  We got off the airport and were able to promptly avail taxi services at the airport.  Our taxi driver and guide Rais Khan started our trip with taking us to the famous Nath Dwara mandir which is a temple of Krishna and more popularly Srinathji in those parts.  We had around two hours to kill before the gates were opened to the hordes of devotees.  The area was like any other religious area really.  Rows of shops with artifacts to be used for worshipping, plenty of silverware, idols, marble besides the paraphernalia of the photos of Srinathji ofcourse, along with religious dvds etc.  We had the most wonderful chai that we have ever had at a little chai tapri there.  The chai vendor’s secret ingredient was Mint leaves!  I tried it back home immediately, and I highly recommend it! Well, we waited and waited, with the throng of devotees, right upto 15 minutes before the gates opened.. and then, much to Sandeep’s chagrin, I freaked out from the charging crowd, and I actually backed out! Oh well, I tried My Lord!  I hope we still have his blessings!
Near Nathdwara temple 
Near Nathdwara temple
Battle of Haldighati site
Udaipur and Jaipur, we found were cities replete with plenty of stories.  We were told stories of grandeur of the existing royalty of the family owning whole huge palaces, dozens of vintage cars, private jets, and even private airports! We heard stories of how Kokilaben built an entire town around a new temple she built adjacent to the Srinathji building, stories of the many filmstars weddings that now favor the grand Udaipur palaces for venues.  Particularly interesting was the tale of the two royal princes of Udaipur in which we were told that the elder heir to throne had been thwarted in ascending the ‘throne’ and hardly received anything from his ancestor whereas the younger brother got all the wealth and title of King.  Our driver told us how the people of Udaipur still stood by the wronged elder brother and respected him as King even though he had not received all that his brother had.  In Jaipur, the story was of that of the young teenage King whose princess mother had married a driver or commoner, and hence, her King dad, passed on everything not to her and her husband, but to the little prince.  These stories were all set in the modern day.  Besides these were the stories behind each building, each mansion, and each structure in the forts around these cities.  Where Rana Pratap and his loyal horse Chetak, were the subject of stories, memorials, and statues in Udaipur, it was Sawai Mansingh and Jaisingh who left their legacy at Jaipur.
Rana Pratap Memorial at Haldighati
City Palace
Palace near Lake Picchola
Dudh Talai near Lake Picchola
We boated on Lake Picchola and marveled at the gorgeous landscape with grand palaces, mostly now heritage hotels, in all directions. Particularly spectacular was the lighted up Taj hotel in the shimmering waters of Lake Picchola.  Being monsoon, the lakes were full, and it was surprising to note that the desert state of India was probably more verdant than Kerela!
Taj Lake Palace
Bagori ki Haveli dance
We proceeded the next day to visit the City Palace, still owned by the Maharaja of Udaipur.  After a tour of the mansion, we banked for a bit on the shores of lake Fatehsaagar which was close to our hotel, had more chai, and then went to Bagori ki haveil to see some folk dances.  As a pointer to future tourists, the show is from 7 pm to 8 pm and is certainly worth a visit!  Our last stop at Udaipur was the lofty fort of Chittorgarh which I shall keep for a separate blog.  In very few words though, Chittorgarh was one of the most impressive forts I have ever seen. On the downside, it was disconcerting to see the number of cows  on most of roads left stray by their owners to fend for themselves in order that they did not have to waste precious space on them.  Apparently if the cows got rounded off, the owners were happier since the expensive cattle feed got taken care of at the shelter.  Thus, sadly the government stopped catching the cows, and the owners had their own way.  It is little wonder that foreigners have this pathetic image of India with cows sitting all major road junctions without batting an eyelid! On visiting Udaipur, I finally see why!
Rolls Royce at the Vintage Car Museum
For pointers on where to eat, our driver unfortunately did not take us to the kind of places we would have liked, but the one place I would recommend is the lunch with a vintage touch at the vintage car museum.  The Rajasthani thali was delicious and the vintage car collection incredible!  We also had an animated guide who quizzed us on Vintage car trivia and made our experience fun! All in all, a wonderful trip, and we left for Jaipur in the convenient night train with memories of the shimmering palaces around the tranquil lake Picchola.
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Categories: India, Rajasthan | Tags: , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Royal Rajasthan – Udaipur

  1. Was taken in by the title of the post as we have been tentative domiciles of the city of Jaipur. A geographical stamping done,good visuals and a guiding script.

  2. @the mind behind the mindless lampoons – thanks for visiting. I totally loved your state of domicile. Well, Jaipur is on the radar, for one of the next blogs. Do come back and tell me what I missed so I cover it on a future visit!

  3. whoaa…rolls royce to end the post..awhhesome..I had never been to this place..but my sis had..so she had sent me all the photgraphs..but believe me she didn't have the details :)my knowledge increased..thanks :)

  4. U missed Fateh Sagar lake,saheliyon ki baadi,Rotating garden,Sukadia Circle.My wife is from rajasthan and whenever we used to visit her mom's place,a trip to Udaipur was compulsory as her sister was settled there.

  5. @jayendrasharan – thanks for visiting. Do look out for my posts on Jaipur and Chittorgarh fort too. Wonderful places!@Vinod – My hotel was on the banks of the Fateh Sagar lake and we had a wonderful view from the window! Unfortunately we didn't get enough time to see many of the gardens there. A next time perhaps.

  6. Very interesting. I have been to Jaipur and loved it. Went to Udaipur ages ago and dont remember much about the palaces. So which hotel do you recommend in Jaipur and Udaipur? We plan to go there sometime soon. BTW did you go to Jaisalmer? I have always wanted to go there and see the desert..!

  7. Rajathan is magical,exotic,vibrant,colorful and mesmerising….Thanks for wonderful post

  8. I have visited only Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, and that too as a child. Sigh ! So many places to visit and only one lifetime to see all of it.

  9. Wow! you do travel a lot. First Peru and now Udaipur!I would recommend Jaisalmer and Jodhpur to you. Jaipur is no longer what it used to be.

  10. @Meera – At Udaipur, I suggest you stay at one of the palace hotels. They are an amazing experience, and aren't as expensive as one would imagine they would be. We stayed at Sheraton near Fatehsaagar and the rate was around 2-3K for a great place. Jaipur- I suggest you find something near the city or else you will have a hard time with cabbies not wanting to go too far off. We stayed at Le Meridian. Although the hotel was awesome, it was way away from the city, station/airport. Jaisalmer – well, that will be for another trip. I hear its quite exotic!

  11. Wow!!! I am so getting itchy feet now! Wonderful account of a place I LOVE! Thank you so much for posting this :)

  12. @Vinod – thanks. Hope to go there again@Sudha – agreed. One lifetime is barely enough!But I guess, we need to make the most of what we have!@Purba – :), Travelling something we love doing, and don't want to stop doing! I don't think we ll ever run out of places. Money will have to be figured out though :)

  13. @Arti – thanks. I will look forward to your post when you visit this state!

  14. Both the narration and the pictures are excellent. The story of the two brothers is interesting.

  15. I have visited Udaipur thrice, and every time I've loved the city much, much more than the previous time. :)

  16. @Hariharan – thanks@Arjit – Lucky you! I hope I can visit Udaipur again too.

  17. that is one place in Rajasthan i haven't been and i want to be…informative…and loved the pics…Cheers!SUBhttp://khonjtheeternalsearch.blogspot.com

  18. Nice pics. Udaipur: It's on my list of places to visit. :)

  19. Beautifully depicted! Reminded me of my visit to the place back in my BITSian days.

  20. @SUB – thanks. If you haven't been there, make it one of the must-go places!Kumar Bibek – Welcome to my blog. I appreciate your comments.@Raj – BITS huh? Must have been awesome to stay in this state!

  21. lovely post reminiscent of my recent road trip :)

  22. nicely written article and picture as i am from udaipur nly so i realy love when people say nice thing about it or present it nicely

  23. Nice blog post on Udaipur and its rich culture.

  24. Dear RichaWhat I liked about this blog is the human element in terms of the stories you tell and the masterly manner in which you give your narrative made me give it a second perusal.But it was unfortunate that you couldn’t even have a glimpse of Shreenathji after travelling all the way from Mumbai. May the all merciful forgive you for this lapse.Aai

  25. @Magiceye – thanks@rohit- nice places deserve compliments!@Palace on wheels – thank you. I wish I could afford to ride on you someday to make it even more special!@Aai: Thanks for your encouragement as always.

  26. richa,i am from delhi,but originally from rajasthan.udaipur region is my favorite getaway anytime,in last few yrs i have visited this area numerous times.the beauty is when you drive to this city from jaipur/ahmedabad.have u been to kumhalgarh which is nearby ? its a amazing fort.expected a pic. of sajjangarh too,another masterpiece on a hillock.congrats for a lovely description of a lake city n around.

  27. one of favorite places ! I hope you enjoyed the food as well…

  28. Nice write up and nicer pics. I have heard of some place called 'saheliyon ki badi.' Is it in Udaipur? This is one place I would love to visit along with Jaisalmer. Wonder when though. I wish i were younger and a bit fitter :(

  29. Your words sometimes echo in my mind and during my leisure time, i read your write ups again and again.For Jaisalmer Hotels booking , packages & information you can visit here: Travelmasti

  30. Rajasthan is the most colorful region in India exhibiting splendor and royalty in every walk of life. It is truly said "a land of valiance and chivalry ", which is endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces, waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. No other region in the country assembles as many paradoxes of India as does the desert land of Rajasthan. Rajasthan holiday packages

  31. Excellent snaps. I hope you have a wonderful tour.Places to visit in Rajasthan

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