We got back quite late last night after our trip to Mount Abu so we didn’t leave our beds till 10 in the morning. As we had no plans of going out of the city today we were doing things at a leisurely pace. After getting ready we had brunch and went out with a mission to stroll in the market and any place that could interest us. Today being our last day in the city I just wanted to drink in the majestic beauty of the place.
There is one thing I would like to comment. Some things go in contrast here. If there are beautiful palaces there is lot of garbage in the streets as well. If there is exotic mouthwatering food in the eating joints there are beggars in the streets as well. You cannot ignore women washing clothes in the extended corners of the lake. I think I have come to terms with this country. Taking the good with the bad…that makes sense. Despite all the negativities the place has so much to offer.
We spent quite a lot of time roaming in the market. Though the staff at the hotel suggested us to go for shopping in the evening as at the advent of dusk the streets of Udaipur become vibrant with local and tourists and the place has more zing but we decided to get it done with in the afternoon itself as we had plans for visiting Fateh Sagar Lake in the evening. There were all kinds of shops ranging from small shops to big showrooms to roadside stalls with extensive variety on display. Tourists generally end up buying from the assortment of items such as handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, wooden toys, puppets, antique items and paintings. I personally could not resist those colourful skirts and purchased two for myself. For my mother I purchased the ethnic jewelry pieces. Phew! The visit to this part of the world has made life so colourful.
By the time it was sunset we were at Fateh Sagar Lake. We had a leisurely walk around the lake and then we went into the garden amidst the lake. From there it was a great experience to watch the sun set over the water. There were scores of birds making their way back to the nests…some flapping their wings in the water, making loud chirping sounds as if nothing could be of more importance than the endless discussions they were having. We were told that during winters many migratory birds also grace this place with their visit.
Udaipur is also known as the ‘white city’ because of the five huge interconnected lakes, many white marbled palaces, marbled temples…all these things adds to the romance of the place. I think I understand now why people make beeline to this place for getting married. There is a romance in the air!
I would definitely love to visit this place again sometime in future. Had great fun here! Alright guys, from here we leave for Jaipur tomorrow to enjoy some more of Rajasthan’s flavour!!
After having had a wonderful sleep I was all fresh and ready to face the day. The group had an excellent breakfast and after that we headed for Pichhola Lake. Located in the heart of the city, must say it’s one of the most beautiful and picturesque lake I have ever seen. We were told that it was one of the oldest lakes in the city and the way it is surrounded by palaces, temples and hills…the view is amazing! The water in the lake looked so blue; pretty tempting to go in for a swim. I could see people enjoying the boat rides. There were all kinds of boats out there…some people were going around on motor boats and those with adventurous streak were getting into the hand rowing boats. We also had a fair share of boating, although I have been on many water events back home but as a tourist the experience was altogether different. There were many expensive hotels on this lake. One of the biggest and most enchanting hotel Lake palace is in the heart of the Lake.
On the east bank of the lake Pichhola we could see massive series of palaces that we were told was the City Palace of Udaipur. The palace is built on a hill top and gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding including several historic monuments. Incidentally the James Bond movie Octupussy was shot in the lake palace and the Monsoon Palace that’s why Udaipur is also called the Venice of the east! Quite interesting!
The main entrance of the palace was through the triple arched gate and it leads to series of courtyards, terraces, corridors and gardens. From the balconies of the palace we could have wonderful view of a famous temple on one side and Udaipur city on the other. There was also a place in the palace where the kings of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. There were very pretty peacock mosaics on the wall. There were so many palaces that I just lost the track of their names. What I remember is the antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils that attract so many visitors. I particularly liked the temple of Lord Vishnu with beautiful carvings on the wall.
In the evening we were to see some cultural program depicting the lifestyle of Rajasthan so we made our way to the hotel to relax and ease a bit.
Before seven in the evening we were ushered into a place called Bagore Ki Haveli. It was a big old traditional kind of a sprawling home on the lake shore. We got to see a cultural show in which the beautifully dressed men and women depicted the Rajasthan culture in various dance forms. There were folk dances, Puppet show and the whole place was livened up with their classic performance. A real pleasure and a perfect way to end a day!
Shall see you tomorrow in Kumbhalgarh Fort…….
After having had a fantastic time in the ’blue city’ as Jodhpur is often called, we decided to reach Udaipur on road. Reason being very simple, we wanted to visit Ranakpur, a place known for its spectacular Jain temples. Ranakpur is situated between Jodhpur and Udaipur. Before visiting the famous Jain temple we had a break at Ranakpur hill resort. It is located in a very picturesque place surrounded by Aravali hills range. One could see the beautiful view of the mountains and its rugged rock strewn countryside. After good stretching and relaxation we went to see the renowned Jain temple.
My goodness! I was amazed to see that grand temple with its distinctive domes rising majestically from the slope of a hill. We were told that over 1444 carved marble pillars supported the temple, though to me counting the pillars seemed a task next to impossible. There were so many statues and there was one beautiful carving made out of a single marble rock with 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. The temple is designed with four faces. We were all glad to visit that place. And now it was time to continue our journey to Udaipur also known as the ‘City of the Lakes’.
I had read that Udaipur is a favourite marriage destination for many Indian and Foreign nationals. Many celebrities, including film stars, business families chose Udaipur to hold marriage ceremonies and parties. So apart from visiting the tourist attractions I had to find an answer to this question as well.
It was after sunset when we finally reached Udaipur. After having checked in into our hotel Shiv Niwas Palace which had all the luxuries one can think of, we had a good wash, had a lavish dinner and retired for the night. I was mesmerized by the grandeur of the hotel. It was like sleeping in a palace itself and this was the last waking thought I had before the sleep took reins of me!