Rajasthan Stories - Day 6: Udaipur

We reached Udiapur early in the morning and without wasting much time dumped our bags in a hotel and started our city walk. Our first destination was Jagdish temple which is situated on a small hill in the middle of the buzzing marketplace. The 'poah' stalls on the way were just starting the day's business, and we had to cajole one of them into making us some quick breakfast. Jagdish temple is built in the Indo-Aryan style and is a beautiful piece of work. Devotees were rushing around the sanctum sanctorum for their morning 'darshan' and we sat there in a corner of the courtyard watching the commotion! We did get a chance to spend some time appreciating the sculptures and architecture once the rush subsided. The city palace complex at Udaipur is a short walk up hill from the temple, and it was our next destination.

The city palace is a complex with palaces built in and around the shores of lake Pichola. Only some of them are open to general public while others are run as heritage hotels now. The main palace was built as the center of activity of the Sisodia empire after they moved the capital from Chittor to Udaipur. The complex was built in over 400 years by different rulers and it houses the government museum and the present royal family as well. In addition to the many treasures there is an enclosed garden also inside the main palace dedicated to the sun god, which gives an excellent view of the lake Pichola. You can easily spend a day inside the complex, lost in the beauty of the many structures and the exquisite collections. Tickets are also available inside, for a ride across the lake to the Lake Palace on Jag Niwas island.

We took the boat near the Fateh Prakash palace and had a short trip to the Lake Palace hotel. You get to spend only about half an hour in this island palace, from where you get some excellent views of the City Palace complex, the Jag Mandir, the Monsoon palace and the Aravalli ranges that encircle the city; not to mention the blue waters of the lake. The monsoon palace, otherwise known as Sajjan Garh is atop the Bansdara hill overlooking all the lakes and the countryside, and was too enchanting a sight to miss. So we decided to go visit the palace. We took a rickshaw till the entrance of the Sajjangarh wild life sanctuary. From here you have to either walk up the hill to the palace, or get into one of the taxis that ply up and down the hill. We took a taxi though with enough time in hand we would have loved to take a walk amidst the lush wilderness.

The Monsoon palace is an incomplete construction which rose to fame after getting featured in the James Bond movie 'Octopussy'. People in Udaipur are so thrilled about this, that even these days there are some cafes where the film is played all day! The Sajjan Garh palace offers beautiful views of the city and the lakes and the Aravalli ranges. Built as a resort for monsoon cloud watching and hunting, it is now maintained by the Forest department. We did not stay long enough to watch the sunset as we had other plans for the rest of the evening. We got back to the banks of Lake Pichola just in time for another spectacle. The waters of the lake and the city palace complex take up an enchanting saffron hue as the sun sets. We went to Hanuman ghat near Amet haveli and took our positions well in advance.

There were quite a few people gathered already around the ghat. Once the sun recedes after painting the waters red and darkness descends, the lights of the palace complex comes on. The brightly lit palaces along with the reflection on the lake is a view worth carrying home for keeps. We waited there till our stomach started complaining. It was time to check out some more Rajasthan delicacies. As suggested by many, we went to hotel Nataraj, on the station road, for dinner and had some awesomely delicious food. As was the case with Chokki Dhani, the only thing you can think of after having a full course Rajasthani dinner is sleep.. and sleep only. After arranging for an early morning pickup the next day, for a trip to Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh, we yielded to the temptation pretty early.

Click here for more pictures!

Rajasthan Stories - Day 1: Jaipur
Rajasthan Stories - Day 2: Jaipur
Rajasthan Stories - Day 3: Ranthambhore
Rajasthan Stories - Day 4: Osian & Thar
Rajasthan Stories - Day 5: Mandore & Jodhpur

Rajasthan Stories - Day 6: Udaipur
Rajasthan Stories - Day 7: Ranakpur & Kumbalgarh
Rajasthan Stories - Day 8: The Taj Mahal

1 comment:

Scat Travels said...

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