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Do you believe in love at first sight??
Well if it was for falling in love with fellow humans I would have my reservations but when it comes to places or things I am a firm believer of this concept , because if something catches my fancy then it is stuck with my memory for a long time
Being a native from Rajasthan I have travelled various parts of the state since my childhood. Udaipur has predominantly been a transit point for me where in I have either used a flight or bus or train to get back to my native place , so recently I took a long solo trip to Udaipur for 10days leaving my native place behind situated near kumbhalgarh fort..The city which was the pride of Rajputana culture and heritage is fast catching pace with the growing demands of the global traveller becoming a must visit tourist spot for Indian as well as foreign tourists.
The city has had it fair share of fame courtesy movie shoots for Hollywood projects like the James Bond starer Octopussy , along with that its extremely popular amongst the uber rich and HNI individuals to take their marriage vows at the grand City Palace or the picturesque Jag Mandir which is located between the lake , this has also put this small city on the global map for being a hot spot for Destination Weddings.
“YOU ARE NOT A TRAVELER UNTIL YOU’RE LOST”
The best part of traveling is the unexpectedness. Anybody can gain Bookish Knowledge but you wont feel until done practically. Lets get soak into culture,history,food,nature and spritiuality surrounded by the Aravalli mountain ranges and city of romantic lakes.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN UDAIPUR:1) BAGORE KI HAVELIBagore ki Haveli is situated in old city of Udaipur. Famous among foreigners for its cultural shows they run in evening.The splendid architecture of the haveli boosts the delicate carvings and excellent glass work. The show exactly started at the scheduled time-7pm in the terrace called the Neem Chowk.(try reaching early to prior 20min to get front seat ). The balconies in Neem Chowk are lit up in different colours and gives you a sense of beautiful evening in the middle of the chowk .An introduction to various types of Dances we were introduced to:
CHARI DANCE:where the dancers dance with ignited brass pots on head.2). THE TERHA TAAL DANCE:where the dancers play 13 different manjiras tied on their on their hands and legs.
3).THE GORBANDH DANCE:where the dancers wear ornaments that are used to adorn the camels and dance.
4).THE RAJASTHANI PUPPET SHOW:popular in rajasthan as the kathputli is a string attached over the puppeteers.
5).GHUMAR DANCE:famous among gujarati and rajasthani folk music where dancers dance in a rhythmic circle to accompany the music.6).THE BHAVAI DANCE:This is the most challenging dance.The dancers carry pots on their head while dancing.
TIMINGS AND TICKET DETAILS OF BAGORE KI HAVELI:1-EVENING SHOW 7PM TO 9PM90RS FOR INDIANS AND 150RS FOR NON INDIANSCAMERA: EXTRA CHARGES 150RS TO USE MOBILE/DSLR CAMERAS.HOW TO REACH:One can take autorickshaw or car to reach bagore ki haveli from old city udaipur. The rick driver takes 80-100rs and reaches within 20min..2) SAHELIYON KI BARISaheliyon ki bari is located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake,presenting a lush green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. As heard from the locals,the garden was made by king himself for his Queen,as she was accompanied by 48maids in her marriage.To offer peace and calmness away from the political intrigues these patterned garden use to be relaxing spot for the royal ladies.In English known as “GARDEN OF MAIDS” is a major tourist attraction place often visited by visitors to explore crystalloid fountains,lotus pool,marbled elephants,sprinkling water,varities of flowers and lush green trees.
3) RANAKPUR TEMPLE (UNCOUNTABLE PILLARS)I personally recommend to visit this place for a day trip if you are in Udaipur, you can hire a Taxi for the entire day and the one way distance is about 100 kms“WHO CARES ABOUT THE DISTANCE TO SEE SOMETHING UNIQUE”
There is a story behind this temple.The most outstanding feature of this temple is infinite number of pillars.The temple is called a treasure house of pillar or a city of pillars.In whichever direction ones eyes meet, pillars look big,small,broad,narrow,ornate or plain.It is believed that there are 1444 pillars in the temple, yet uncountable.The pillars are all differently carved. No two pillars are the same. This temple is a scared one for people following Jainism and myself being a worshiper of Lord Mahavira this temple is a must visit when ever I visit Rajasthan.4.) SAJJANGARH PALACEMonsoon palace is also known as Sajjangarh Palace,is situated on the hills of Udaipur which offers a panoramic view of Udaipur.The palace was built by Maharana Fateh Singh keeping in mind the Rajput Architecture Style built with white marble,labored in with turrets,pillars,towers which depict beautiful motifs of leaves and flowers.Due to lack of water the palace is not constructed properly but still opened for public which offers beautiful sunset in the vicinity. Sajjangarh palace also has Wildlife Sanctuary which is populated by several exotic creatures and birds.You can trek on your own or take a safari ride which has pickup and drop facility.P.S:I found this place not value for time and worth to spend your half day of itenary. but a popular tourist attraction. ENTRY FEE:Indian has to pay 80rs for safari ride,if travelling by rick from old udaipur city distance of 5kms,you have to pay 400rs ..(i booked ola rick for 6hrs costing me 600rs).5) CITY PALACE -LAKE PICHOLA
Udaipur city palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located on the banks of Lake Pichola. Built by Maharana Udai Singh, it consists of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Much of it is now a Museum, spread through several palaces and keeping tourists engaged with boat rides, restaurant, shopping. Make sure you at least take out 3hrs to visit this property.
Lake Pichola is one of the oldest and largest lakes of Udaipur (3miles in length and 2miles in width with up to 30feet deep ).
Visiting hours: 9am -5.30pm. Tickets lines are huge so please add one more hour to your day. Boat ride cost is 200-300rs.Ticket prices:Audio tour available in FRENCH, SPANISH, ENGLISH AND GERMAN @250rs .Buy separate ticket to watch light and sound show.P.S: Car parking is expensive 250rs for 2hrs.WHERE TO EAT:AMBRAI RESTAURANTImpeccable waterfront location and lake view make this restaurant view more brilliant. Famous among foreigners as one can enjoy beautiful backdrop of the lake while enjoying their food n drinks; For me, the food was strictly okay and I would not come back for it, I coincidentally met my friends and we enjoyed a couple of drinks which was worth paying for.Popular for dinner dates among couples.
Make sure you do reservations prior because the restaurant is always full and don’t prefer breakfast as you will miss the view.
7) MILLETS OF MEWAR
Since I was travelling for almost a week I was totally recommended by my friends to visit Millet’s of Mewar situated near Bagore ki Haveli. Healthy food and beautiful ambience of the lake took my heart away-this restaurant use local Vegan, gluten-free and organic ingredients in its global dishes..What else I would have asked for??My personal favourite-Red Thai curry, Orange ginger, carrot juice and Penne arabitta. Do visit if you love healthy and authentic food.
TRADITIONAL KHANAA lot of people had recommended me to try the food at Natraj dining hall and have a Thali there to experience rajasthani food but in my humble opinion the food sucked there big big time , so save your self the horror and even the long waiting queues and just blindly visit this place called Traditional Khana at Shekhawati circle
I will not describe what I ate here because words will fail short to do justice to the food served and the love with which the owners interact and feed you. Do yourself a favour by having a meal here and you can thank me later for the best vegetarian Rajasthani meal of your life in the city of Udaipur.
WHERE TO STAY:AKSHAY NIWAS -BOUTIQUE HOTEL
The rich and fascinating luxury boutique property offers beautiful view of sunset of Sajjangarh palace from the terrace.Spacious rooms ,organic ingredients,own farming,pool and terrace view makes the property more beautiful. Suite Rooms have Diwan style sitting like royals and balcony to sense your calmness. I was impressed by the concept of cultivating fresh vegetables in their own farm. Excellent service, delicious food makes it worth to visit.
Overall Udaipur leaves you enthralled and how its definitely a city one should visit in a lifetime