Sangeeta Kalita, [email protected]
When on a holiday, you want to take things slow. And that’s what we exactly did – we spent time lazing around the pool of our hotel in Udaipur. The swimming relieved us from our stress and rejuvenated us for the day.
We got ready and headed out at around 11:30 am to the famous Fateh Sagar Lake. It was an artificial lake and was a sight to behold. We decided to go for a boat ride and went for a speed boat option. It was only a 20-minute ride since the boat was super fast, but the adrenaline rush that comes with it is unbeatable.
Our next stop was the City Palace which was located at a walking distance from our hotel. It is highly recommended to take a guide along with you since the palace is huge, and with the number of museums, the royal family’s artifacts, and a host of different political histories, it can only be explained by a guide. Our guide, who was fluent in Hindi and English, explained every nook and corner of the palace to us in detail. On entering, we saw that it was a very huge palace with a number of pillars in the typical Rajasthani-style of architecture. There were narrow corridors and staircases that lead you from one area to the other. It was unbelievable to watch and observe the lives of the royals depicted so precisely and accurately in the palace – with the displays of their once-worn attires, their bedrooms, dining halls, portraits, etc. The part they played in India’s Freedom struggle, the cages they used to hold the pigeons to send out secret coded messages, their artillery, utensils – all were so well-preserved, so beautifully explained in each wall, we were amazed. This was, undoubtedly, the highlight of our trip. It took us three long hours to explore the entire palace. After that, we decided to treat ourselves to an authentic Rajasthani thali. The restaurant was on the rooftop, overlooking the beautiful Lake Pichola and the City Palace on its banks.
Later, we decided to go on a boat ride to enjoy the beautiful sunset. We watched the sky turn yellow and crimson and orange, with the sun setting in the horizon of the lake. We didn’t even realise how time flew by during the boat ride. It was already 6 pm and we decided to explore Udaipur’s street food. Rajasthan is known for its kachoris, so we had moong dal kachoris and pyaazi kachoris that really lived up to the hype. Udaipur’s famous egg bhurjis offer up to 100 variations of anda bhurjis. We tried egg ghotala and tandoori bhurji with buttered buns. Hot jalebis prepared in desi ghee and the famous mawa ghewar were a fabulous treat.
The next morning, we had to check out at 11 am. But, we still had to visit one last place – the Jagdish Temple, which was a huge, white-marbled architecture, with detailed carvings of Hindu gods and goddesses on the walls and roofs. We were told that the Maharaja and his family residing in the City Palace used this temple as their place of worship.
After the temple visit, we headed to the Hathipole market for some last-minute shopping. It was a very touristy and crowded market that displayed authentic Rajasthani articrafts and handicrafts. Colourful handmade and painted wall hangings, table lamps, hanging lamps, lots of marble carved items like mortar-pestles, figurines, etc., were on display. There were also a lot of leather bags, sandals, multicoloured hand painted umbrellas, pillow covers and sofa sets, etc.
We couldn’t be any more amazed at the rich history and culture that this city was able to offer. We reached the railway station at 1:30 pm and waited for our train to take us to Delhi with a heavy heart.