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Scintillating lakes, age-old palaces and gardens, the deserts of Rajasthan, air with a hint of otherworldly charm, clandestine lanes and the backdrop of pristine mountains with the touch of royalty – you will find it all in the small, romantic town of Udaipur.
There’s art, heritage, music and nature – all this combined will send you into a pleasant trance, and you’ll never want to leave.
Udaipur is simply majestic, replete with heritage and a romanticism of sorts. The ideal night for me will always be sitting at one of the thronging rooftop cafes over a sprawling, light-filled skyscape with a glass of wine and the cool breeze caressing my hair. The marble clad town with its lakes surrounded by greenery is like an oasis in the desert.
If you’re a fan of the wilderness and enjoy a little hike, you should visit the Sajjan Garh Monsoon Palace, situated on a hilltop a few kilometres away from Udaipur. A national park also surrounds the base of this summit, consisting of various species of flora and fauna. The palace in all its splendour was the abode of Maharaja Sajjan Singh, and served as the hunting lodge and monsoon retreat for the Rajpur ruler.
Travelling in Udaipur is not a herculean ordeal, the people are extremely warm and helpful, embodying the hospitality and chivalry that the state of Rajasthan is known for.AS
The lust for life is manifested in the extravagant Lake Palace, which is now a heritage hotel. With its lush gardens, magnificent courtyards and ornate fountains, this retreat will give you a larger than life experience.
The Fateh Sagar Lake is one spot where I could just sit all day long with a nice book, a pair of sunglasses and a cool drink to keep me company.
Lake Pichola offers breathtaking sunsets and a skyscape to die for. The eateries all around the place gave me the energy to absorb the richness of the environs. This Lake is also a popular venue for musical renditions during the day, and is home to the picturesque islands of Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas.
Travelling in Udaipur is not a herculean ordeal, the people are extremely warm and helpful, embodying the hospitality and chivalry that the state of Rajasthan is known for. You can shop for all kinds of jewellery, artifacts, traditional Rajasthani attire, carpets and a lot more for reasonable prices that will make you carry a piece of Rajasthan with you when you leave.
What make Udaipur’s cuisine a favourite among foreigners are the aerobatics the chiefs put the food through, making it palatable for the delicate and fragile palate of the West despite the fact that Rajasthan serves some of the spiciest dishes in India. You will also see small pocket shops selling works by famous Indian artists, who have made a mark internationally.
I was also fortunate enough to witness the World Music Festival while I was visiting Rajasthan. This fesitival invited flutists, percussionists, musicians, vocalists and art connoisseurs from all over the globe in a rendezvous of art, culture, togetherness and music.
Udaipur has an art conservatory, which goes by the name of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal. This place keeps the folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan alive – and also manufactures the age-old art that Rajasthan is famous for.
For all the enthusiastic bird watchers, Jaisamand Lake is a must visit spot. Lined with green, it holds a reputation for being the second largest artificial lake in Asia. The huge island at the centre of the lake is a haven for a myriad of unique bird species.
If you want to experience first-hand how the royals lived, you can visit Bagore ki Haveli, a vintage-style palace built under the aegis of Amar Chand Badwa – the then Prime Minister of the state of Mewar. It has over 100 rooms and an impressive stock of ancient artifacts and contemporary art.
All in all, Udaipur will bring out the romantic in you. I visited this city in the month of February, during Valentine’s week – this is definitely the best time to visit and you should give it a try as well!
Also check out Traveling In Goa.