I traveled to Udaipur with my family sometime back in the pre-winter period of 2016. If there is one thing which stands out from the whole trip it has to be the humongous lakes which call the city their home. The vast never-ending lakes were a sight to behold for a person from the metropolis of Mumbai. Mumbai where we hardly have any water bodies within the confines of the city. The only water bodies being those found in the potholes of the non-existent Mumbai roads.
For a person living in the crowded and forever bustling financial capital, any other city seems to be alive in slow motion. Udaipur was no exception to that rule. With the tranquillity of the lakes adding a bonus, the city proved to be a beautiful and calming experience in itself. The people were cordial and one could find many tourists roaming about. The city also has a rich historical background which proved to pique my interest in it further. There were quite a few places which made a lasting impression on me which I would recommend everyone to visit when in Udaipur.
Well, you might have known about palaces being made over a stretch of decades. Well, guess what? This palace was continuously made over a stretch of 400 years. Many kings constructed their own new wing to the palace and added their own touch to it. The result you might ask? An incredibly large, beautiful and complex Palace which is sure to interest you.
The Palace has wonderful stories in its midst which are carefully crafted on its walls. The architecture is simply amazing and the best of its kind. There are so many small staircases in the palace that a person going there for the first time will surely find himself to be lost. I highly recommend that you take a guide who will be navigating you and will also provide titbits of information while will spark your curiosity. There is also much memorabilia regarding the Rajputs for tourists to view. One of the best places to visit Udaipur.
A quick visit near the City Palace includes the Jagdish temple. Situated in the middle of the market area and also the city of Udaipur, this temple is a sight to behold. One has to climb quite a flight of stairs to reach this place. Once inside, this intricately carved white marble temple of Lord Vishnu is a must visit for people across the spectrum. The marble carvings and the Aarti are sure to leave you to spellbound for some time. This place also gives a view of the surrounding city that will surely be appreciated.
Mansapurna Karni Mata Ropeway and Temple
This was the first time that I took a ropeway and I was really excited about the fact. The place was filled with people who wanted to take a ride to the top. The ropeway in itself was pretty standard but gave spectacular views of the tree clad green valley below. Once atop, there was a small temple and a dargah. The whole city of Udaipur with the colossal lakes was visible from near the temple and made for a picturesque view. If not for the devotion, visit it for the striking scenery.
This palace atop a hill of the Aravalli range on the outskirts of Udaipur is another palace made by a king of the Mewar dynasty. Another name for this place is Sajjangarh. A chat with the driver made me aware of the fact that this palace was made to be sort of a resort for the royal family to watch the clouds during the monsoon. It was also partially used as a hunting lodge to hunt for wildlife in the neighboring hills and the surrounding forest. While this place lacks the splendor of the City Palace and is not exactly well kept, it surely has enough delightful sights to be worth a visit. Make sure to carry your cameras as the place offers some phenomenal photos.
Sajjangarh Biological Park
This was my most rewarding of surprises during my visit to Udaipur. What I expected was a small park with a couple of animals and a few plants. What greeted me was a multitude of animals the likes of which I had never seen before. Situated at the base of the Monsoon Palace, this biological park comes particularly recommended by me. Among the animals found there includes lions, tigers, panthers, bears, blackbucks, sambar, fox, hyena, wolves, crocodiles and some more. Sounds pretty amazing right? Some really awesome memories from this place.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Easily the biggest lake that I have seen in my life is the Fateh Sagar Lake. It was marvelous to witness the fact that there is such a huge lake in the confines of a city. Furthermore, there are a couple of small islands in the lake which has parks made on them and should be visited. Yes! The lake is that big. One recollection is having coffee on the island surrounded by water on all sides. Heaven! There are also many events and festivals conducted adjoining the lake and attract people from across neighboring regions. I would say Udaipur would be incomplete without this lovely lake. A boat ride to the islands in the lake is a compulsion.
One of the oldest and most beautiful lakes in the city of Udaipur is the Pichola Lake. It also houses the world-renowned Taj Lake Palace Hotel and the famous Jagmandir. I had visited it in the evening by having dinner at the Raas Leela restaurant which is adjacent to it. Having dinner beside the lake with a bonfire light and nothing else was one of the most exquisite memories of my stay at Udaipur. Added to the fact was the view of the Lake Palace in the night. Aha! Just thinking about it again is making me dreamy. A visit to the lake with a dinner at a restaurant facing the lake is something which made my journey!
Other places to visit:
There is a large statue of Maharana Pratap atop his legendary horse Chetak. The Smarak is located at a really high altitude and offers a picture perfect scenic view of the city of Udaipur. There are also statues of a couple of soldiers and small replicas of the fort of Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh. Time well spent.
An incredibly massive garden where one can sit or roam in the greenery. A wonderful place to just sit and chill amidst the greenery.
Eklingji and Shrinathji
These temples while a bit outside the city is ancient temples with their own respective historic past and significance. The devotees and worshippers will have a serene time at these temples while taking in the blessings of these Gods.
The place where the famous battle was fought should be paid a visit while in Udaipur. It is a bit outside the city but that did not stop us from visiting it and we weren’t disappointed. The place is indeed the color of turmeric (Haldi) which is surely a mind-boggling phenomenon. There is also a museum depicting the battle there which made us aware of the significance of the place. The statues and models and the mini show where every second well spent.
Sahelion ki Bari
A garden with many small fountains and flowers which were used to entertain the female elite during the historic days of the kings.
These are just a few places which I visited during my trip to Udaipur. There many more hidden jewels which I missed out and could not do justice to. But you can only uncover so much given a little time. The city is splendidly beautiful in all aspects and makes you want to fall in love with it. For one who has lived his life surrounded by buildings, this city made you realize how nature, history, art, tradition, and modernity can live hand in hand in this day and age. Something that we should learn at the earliest. If there is one place you wish to go to for a small vacation, this is it. This was one of the most transcendent holidays that I have ever gone to. To sum up Udaipur I’ll just say one word. Beautiful.
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