Udaipur was our first stop in Rajasthan and we fell for its charms right away. With just a day spent here, the amount of memories we made were a lot! This post and the Part 2 post attempts to take you on a visual tour through the main sights that we thoroughly enjoyed visiting. Hop on for the ride 🙂
We reached Udaipur Airport at around 9 PM and were surprised to not find any Ubers or Olas that we had gotten so used to. Taking a prepaid taxi, we reached our accommodation Zostel Udaipur driving through a rather sleepy town. By this time, we were ravenously hungry having had to climb a tiny hill in the final stretch to reach the stay, but soon realised that this elevation ended up giving us a beautiful view over Lake Pichola from the rooftop restaurant. The night ended with us hogging on Butter Chicken Masala and Stuffed Parathas and feeling “Yessss, we finally arrived in North India”. 😀
We started the next day early with a list of places to visit, but as usual started randomly walking along the narrow lanes. We love getting lost in a city because this way we discover much more of the place than being on an organised tour. That’s how we stumbled on Bahore ki Haveli which is an old Haveli ( a large airy house with multiple windows. Hava means wind in Hindi) converted into a museum. We had initially wanted to come here for the cultural show at 7:30 PM but looking at how empty it was then, we were tempted to go in. Brilliant captures by K followed, capturing the essence of this place.
Other than being very well maintained and a stunning location for a photoshoot, the museum itself is not super interesting. It has exhibits about Indian traditions, puppets and turbans 😀 The cultural show in the evening is a must-do though! Performers of dance forms from different parts of Rajasthan are on stage and we were particularly astonished by a 71 year old dancer who danced so gracefully with 14 pots on her head. The seats fill up quite fast so reach here around 6:30 to 7 PM to ensure you get a good enough place to sit and watch the show.
Next to Bagore ki Haveli is the Gangaur gate which leads to a big platform next to the lake. One of the main festivals of Rajasthanis – Gangaur, in which the procession carrying Goddess Gauri, the wife of Shiva, ends in this place and we heard that it is a big celebration for the women folk. On normal days, we could see locals feeding the pigeons on one end and a few young chaps jumping off into the lake on the other end. With beautiful architecture and a serene spot to gaze at the lake, it is definitely worth a few minutes in your Udaipur itinerary.
There are a few good cafes near the gate where we took a mini break and headed off to the City Palace. The streets leading up to the Palace were filled with colourful displays of local handicrafts and textiles that we couldn’t tear our eyes away from. But before we could just reach the palace, our eyes fell on the majestic Jagdish temple and we decided to seek the blessings of Lord Vishnu. What a wonderful structure it turned out to be. We were awestruck by the similarity to the Hoysala architecture in Belur and Haleebidu in Karnataka in the south. Some temples have a tangible positive vibe you can feel once you enter them, and this one was one such experience for us.
After all these detours, we finally reached the much acclaimed City Palace in Udaipur. Stay tuned for our Part 2 which will cover the beauty of the palace and our experience there 🙂
Until next time,
Smithy & Kannan.