The pandemic has brought the world on a halt and we don’t know when our next vacation would be. So here I am, recalling my family trip of 2016 to Udaipur, Rajasthan. And since it’s been 4 years, I will try my best to recall the peculiarities of the places.
Why did we pick Udaipur? My Dadu wanted to see “the city of lakes” for a very long time and to fulfill his wish, me and my father started planning and doing the bookings for the trip.
Udaipur trip is the most cherished one for me because this is the one in which I was old enough to understand the relevance of the touristy places and my parents were young enough to accompany us to them. Udaipur has beautiful lakes, palaces and temples all of which have some historical value but I’d love to share my personal experience of visiting those places. (you can google the historical values, duh.)
It was a 5 days, 4 nights trip in the month of September. We travelled the distance via train. (there are other options of travelling by road or by air too.) It was roughly a 12 hour journey, we started in the evening and reached early morning. From the Udaipur station, we hired a taxi to drop us till our hotel, Hotel Golden Tulip. As every Indian father does, my father too started chitchatting with the driver about the places to visit, what the driver charges and took his number once he dropped us off.
We checked in the hotel, got our rooms, went for our complimentary buffet breakfast (isn’t that the most fun part of vacays?). The hotel was a pretty decent one and we were highly satisfied by it’s service. After our breakfast, we went to the hotel’s travel desk to know more about the places a tourist must visit and what facilities the hotel offered.
We finally ended up calling the driver who dropped us. Since I am not sure exactly what places we saw on which day, I am listing all the places you must strike off in your list if you plan a trip to Udaipur.
– Lake Pichola was our first stop. Our driver told us that summers are not the right season to visit Udaipur since most of the lakes have dried up (and lakes is what Udaipur is famous for). We went for a boat ride which was roughly of 15-20 minutes.
The guide while showing us the prominent places near the lake was referring to all bollywood movies, “this is the place where Ram Leela was shot, this is the hotel where Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was shot, this is where Raveena Tandon got married” to which my mother joked and said we were expecting some historical references too. Jokes apart, he showed us the city palace, hotel Jagmandir which was just in the centre of the lake and many other things.
– Jagdmandir temple near Lake Pichola was our next stop. You reach the temple via a cable car and apart from the religious point of view, the location offers a complete and mesmerising view of the whole of Udaipur. One can see all the white houses (and understand why it is also called the white city) and beautiful lakes Udaipur has.
A sweet incident happened with us at Jagmandir temple. Papa lost his mobile phone and we were worried we won’t be able to get it back. However when we called on his number, one of the person’s managing the boats at lake pichola informed us that papa forgot his phone there and asked us to collect it back. We were so surprised as this is not something you expect these days. On a whole on our trip too, we concluded that people of Udaipur were too humble.
– Saheliyon ki badi (Garden of Maidens) and Fatehsagar Lake were next that we visited. As the name suggests, the queen came with her friends in this garden to spend some leisure time and then returned to her palace in her chariot through the road which has Fatehsagar lake running just parallel to it.
Currently, on one side of the road is the Fatehsagar lake and on the other side are stalls selling street food with tables and chairs in front of them for people to enjoy both the lake view and the street food.
– City palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city and is a must visit with a guide. The guide lets you know all the details about the construction of the palace, the history of the kings who ruled, the secret escapes the kings had constructed (and also tells you the perfect places to get your photos clicked with just the right angles). It takes about 30-45 minutes to cover the entire palace.
There is also a light and sound show in the evening which we could not watch because we had more places to visit. (Just like Bunny and Naina from YJHD, we missed it too.)
– Jagdish temple is the next stop which is near to city palace. There are too many stairs to reach the temple but trust me the temple is so pretty that it’s worth the climb.
– Haldighati is another prominent place to visit. It is about 40 kms from Udaipur and is the place where the battle between Kingdom of Mewar and Mughals took place.
Our driver told us that the soil here is still red in colour because of the bloodshed of battle. Best way to know all about the battle is through the Haldighati museum which has been wonderfully constructed. Also, there is a memorial for Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak who is said to have sacrificed his life for saving his master’s by jumping from one big cliff to the other. (I am an animal lover, can’t help mentioning this one.)
While we were just about to leave Haldighati, we had lunch at a mansion turned into a restaurant and surprisingly it was all run by ladies- from cooking to the management. The food there just tasted like ghar-ka-khana, super delicious. However, even after a lot of googling, I am unable to find it’s name. Just in case any one of you knows about it, please let me know in the comments section.
– Sajjangarh Fort is about 10 kms from Udaipur and is not as grand as City palace but is also known as the Sunset point, has a scenic route to reach and offers the complete view of Udaipur city from a distance. It is also called the Monsoon palace since it was originally built to watch the monsoon clouds.
– On the outskirts of Udaipur are Ekling and Nathdwara temple which are about 30-40 kms away from Udaipur. We went there as my cousin praised a lot about them because the route to reach the temples is picturesque. If you are visiting Udaipur for a less number of days, then I suggest to keep this one as optional unless you have deep sentiments for the deities.
Well the list can go on but this is the list of places I visited in Udaipur. Apart from the places we visited, we had Kachoris at the local market, did shopping from the famous Hathipole market, bought Bandez suits for ourselves and our relatives. Our driver let us know that the market is called Hathipole because the Kings used to park their elephants in that area.
My dadi also wished to visit Mount Abu and we thought we could materialize a one day visit to it. However the driver informed us that the area is not very safe to come back on the same day and a one day stay there is thus necessary. But because of the already made hotel bookings, we cancelled that plan.
Well, let’s just hope the world again becomes a place to travel anywhere freely. Do let me know in comments section if you have already visited Udaipur and how you found the place.
Link to Hotel Golden Tulip : https://udaipur.goldentulip.com/en-us/
Link to Udaipur’s page on Rajasthan tourism’s official website : http://www.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/udaipur.html