Into the Aravalis

This wedding season I found myself packing all my colorful traditional clothes and bright jhumkay for my cousin’s wedding in Udaipur. Amidst day-long functions and flocks of relatives I somehow managed to steal time to go around the city.First I visited Saheliyon ki Badi. It is a beautiful, picturesque garden that was built for the 48 maidens of the then queen, who brought them with her after marriage.

My next stop, Fatehsagar lake, is a must visit in Udaipur given that the city itself is “the city of lakes”. The long walk along the lake is lined with food stalls and is perfect for enjoying the cool breeze and night walks.

Next day, I went to the most famous attraction of the city: The City Palace. Built with a blend of Mediaeval, European and Chinese architecture, it is arguably one of the most beautiful and well maintained palaces in the country.

The City Palace with its beautiful jharokhas(bay windows), intricate wall designs(jali work), glass works and regal settings is worth every moment spent here. The palace, spread across many acres, has numerous stories to tell and the best way to know them is by taking an audio tool or a guide.

After this I went to a very interesting car museum which houses around 20 vintage and classic cars. Anyone with the mildest interest in cars must visit this museum ranging from Rolls Royce to Cadillac which can not ordinarily be seen on the roads.

Then I headed to Lake Pichola, the largest of Udaipur. The famous palace and hotel: Jag Mandir is situated in the middle of the lake and is accessible by boats. The James Bond movie Octopussy was also shot in the same palace. Unfortunately, it is currently open only for guests and visitors are not allowed in the hotel.

Other attractions that I missed out due to lack of time were Monsoon Palace and Udaipur Solar Observatory.

My last stop was Shilpgram which is a market known for handicrafts, jewellery and decorative items made by local artists and the best place to buy souvenirs.

Udaipur is one of the major tourist destinations in India and one is not likely to face any problem with respect to connectivity, accommodation and conveyance. The temperature too, is pleasant around the year since this city has 5 lakes and is surrounded by hills on 4 sides.

It is also close to other tourist destinations including Mt. Abu, Chittorgarh and Ranakpur and is a perfect getaway for a long break.

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