Pit Stop Udaipur India
I was traveling in India in March this year and had, to visit Udaipur the white city. The trip was only two days (as traveling to so many parts of India and with limited time) so, the challenge was on. There is so much to see and do, such as the boat trip on Lake Pichola, The City Palace, The Vintage and Classic Car Collection Museum, shopping, restaurants and some lovely hotels set back from the busy streets.
We stayed at the Lake Pichola Hotel, which is situated at the top of a hill, overlooking the Lake. The views from the roof terrace restaurant, take in the classical white buildings of Udaipur with their reflections in the Lake. The scent of the flowers around you all the while the sun beating down. Its a good time to enjoy a refreshing cool drink before going to explore the sights. The room was of a good standard with a shower en-suite. (£50.00 per night based on two people sharing including breakfast, booked as part of package).
There are gift and souvenir shops right out side the hotel entrance featuring the local hand made leather bound journals and photo albums. This is on the to buy list, if visiting Udaipur. Great and inexpensive, quality gift to take home. I picked up one from the tourist shop outside the palace, Just what I was looking for, with the Indian Elephant God Ganesh on the front.
After checking into the hotel, we took a taxi to the City Palace and museum. The Journey took around 10 minutes and cost 900 Rupees (£10.00). The taxis are fast and furious here. The experienced drivers negotiating obstacles such as live stock, lots of other vehicles and pedestrians. Some taxis do have air conditioning, which can be a relief after walking around the sights in the heat.
You should allow at least 2 hours to visit the City Palace and Museum. It costs 125 rupees (£2.00) entrance fee. There are additional fees for cameras and camcorders, if you would like to use these on your visit.
The interior murals dip taking past and present Maharaja’s. There are also some incredible mosaic mirror tiled rooms. These can be full wall, with very small tiles all cut precisely, in various colours. You can imagine how many people worked on these and how long they took, carrying all the materials up through the palace, especially in the heat. The views from the top of the palace are also worth taking in, capturing the White City with its grand white architecture, all the while watching the traffic and locals going about there daily life.
We then took a wander around the shops outside the Palace. There is no shortage of shops, you can barter at some, while others clearly have the prices displayed. While walking back to the boat terminal, which is just located by the Palace we stopped for some light refreshments. We Took the late afternoon boat trip, catching the sunset over Lake Pichola on our return. Sunset boat ride 500 rupees (£5.00). We stayed by the lake for the photographers magic hour, the best time to capture images after sunset.
On the lake you can see the Lake Palace Hotel (Jagniwas Island) which was in the Bond movie Octopussy. Unfortunately, it is not possible now to visit the hotel for tea. A night at the hotel based on two sharing and including breakfast £200.00 for a right royal treat.
In the evening we enjoyed a traditional Indian Curry for dinner, on the roof terrace of the hotel. The ambiance is just incredible. This is why the restaurant is so popular. I would recommend making a reservation. We didn’t manage to try out, the many other restaurants in Udaipur this time or the Vintage and Classic Car Collection Museum. These are on the list for our next visit!
The next day, we decide its time to do some last minute shopping before catching the flight back to Delhi.
Really enjoyed Udaipur! Seeing the white painted buildings in all there grandeur. The history/royal family here are so interesting. The sights and smells are truly eye opening and some times eye watering! Beware of the mosquitos! I was eaten alive! I was so pleased to be able to enjoy room service on the second evening. Definitely not going to forget my trip in a while. Through all that, I did have a brilliant time and looking forward to my next visit.
The trip was organised through Discover Culture India.
All Photographs © 2013 M D Harding Travel Photography