Apr 15, 2013

Running across Rajasthan: Part 4 - Udaipur - the last leg

Rajasthan had already mesmerised us with just two destinations, and we were now eager to visit the rest.

A quick recap:
Two girls. One trip to Rajasthan. All self-planned, self-booked, self-struggled. Challenges, learning, experiences right from planning to actually finding our way around and more - I am telling them here on the blog, because I think future travellers can always do with a little more help and information.

I covered some useful websites, our itinerary and Jaipur here: http://haemlet.blogspot.in/2013/02/running-across-rajasthan.html

After that I wrote about Jaisalmer - MY favourite destination in Rajasthan, here: 

Now, I move to the next leg of our trip - Jodhpur and Nathdwara. I am covering both in one post, because we hardly spent any time in these places. That time nonetheless, was well spent.
, and the third was a stay my friend won (yay!) at a five star-hotel, where we spent most of our time eating, jumping on freshly made beds, bathtubs, and generally walking around the hotel.


From Nathdwara, regular buses/cabs go to Udaipur - the city of lakes, which is just an hour away.

Thanks to my friend who won a stay there, we were put up at the lavish Sheraton Udaipur, which is right by the Fateh Sagar Lake. Udaipur is not very large, so no matter where you stay, you will never be too far from the attractions. You can stay near one of the two major lakes - Fateh Sagar Lake, that is calmer and more comfortable if you want to be somewhere relaxing, and Lake Pichola, that is the tourist hub, with the City Palace on its banks and the market close by too.


Honestly, we were in the mood to lounge at the lavish hotel in Udaipur after our tiring trip. But even then, we managed to squeeze in a few attractions. Also the fact that this is not my first time to Udaipur, means I have enough to tell you guys :)

To start off, since we were not very far from Fateh Sagar Lake, we took a share auto (cheap and fun if you are up for it) to the lake. It is quite beautiful, as you stroll down the promenade. The road by the lake is dotted with little stalls selling food and maybe a few camels lounging. You can also do some boating if you like. We just loved walking along watching the sun slowly set.

From Fateh Sagar Lake, do take a boat to the Nehru Park that is on an island in the centre. The park also houses a zoo. A sunset from the  park is much recommended.

Saheliyon ki Bari is a park that is also a popular attraction. The park itself has lost it's former glory and you can see the fading signs of the colourful grandeur that it once was. But despite that, do add a visit here if you have time in your itinerary. The water systems are one interesting aspect with fountains that require no pumps.

We were staying at the Sheraton Udaipur, and as the managers knew my friend from her previous visit, they graciously chauffeured us to the Vintage Car museum. We were very excited to get 'Jumpins' at the entry with our ticket - something I personally associate with my childhood.

The cars here were once owned by the royalty of Rajasthan, who have lent it to the museum. Each car has a description beside it, talking about the who owned the beauty, its make and origin.

 The museum also has a quaint little cafe where you can sit and enjoy some lunch/brunch. 

Next, we were dropped at the City Palace. Now, in this visit we decided we'd had enough of palaces, and so decided not to go inside. The palace is just by the lake, and instead, we sat enjoying the view and the breeze.

But for those visiting for the first time, do go inside. The palace is a maze of intriguing rooms and architecture, with stained glass windows, stone carvings, royal relics right from costumes to weapons and more. Udaipur was once the capital of the Mewar kingdom, and the styles at the palace are a fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal. The winding passages, balconies overlooking the lake, the inlay work in the rooms highlight a flamboyance that is quite charming. The zigzag corridors can tire you, and I remember huffing and puffing my way around. It is said that they are built such to keep enemies at bay. The palace complex has several other structures too, and when you visit, do keep aside at least 3 hours here.


I will later write a separate review for the Sheraton Udaipur, but right now, I cannot resist sharing a few pictures. This is the view from our room (The Gold Suite!)

The hotel was previously a palace and has been turned into a heritage hotel. While the façade and architecture reflects that, the insides have been completely revamped and renovated with modern facilities and rooms.

Shopping and food
Udaipur is known for it's traditional artifacts, textiles like tie and die, jewellery, precious stones and colourful home decor.
The market is near the Pichola Lake, close to the City Palace, and you can stroll by the several shops there.
Do bear in mind that you must bargain aggressively, as Udaipur gets a lot of foreign tourists, and the prices are usually inflated due to that.

As for food, I did not get the chance to try the food at this visit. So I am going to direct you to a few food bloggers who are awesome at food reviews and recommendations:

Reema talks about finding food during Durga Puja in Udaipur here: http://sumthinzcooking.blogspot.in/2012/10/finding-food-udaipur-this-is-hardly.html#.UWwT1aJ-b3A

Shirin gives you her recommendations of Dal-baati-choorma at Shilpgram Dhaba, laal maas at  Ambrai Restauarant and more herehttp://www.foodchants.in/2013/02/eating-in-udaipur-and-around.html

My learning

  • Use local transport like buses, share tempos and ricks. They are a great learning experience.
  • Find the time to just stroll by the lakes, sit, watch the sunset and enjoy the view.
  • The people are lovely. Talk to them, smile and they will be willing to help you.
P.S.: Allow me to state again please, pictures are my copyright. No stealing. No copy pasting. Give credit, link back to my blog, respect my rights. You get it right?


Reema Prasanna said...

Lovely review, Haem! Made me homesick.

Haem said...

Thank youuuuu! :)

Madhavi said...

Recently had a holiday trip to Udaipur. Loved the place to the core. Lake Palace view was amazing. Stayed at a resort and accommodation was wonderful. The resort has the best restaurants in Udaipur too.

SaiKeerthi sudha said...

Nice one about accommodations in Udaipur

unitedrestorations12 said...

Thank you for shearing it with us.
Vintage Cars | Vintage Cars in Rajasthan