Udaipur

Unlike its desert counterparts in Rajasthan, Udaipur is situated in the forested, hilly region of Aravalli Ranges in complete contrast to the arid deserts in the northwest. The city of lakes is set on the banks of freshwater lakes, the Pichola, Fatehsagar, Doodh Talai and Swaroopsagar. Lake Pichola, the largest and the most beautiful of Udaipurs Lakes is surrounded by hills, white palaces, mansions, bathing ghats, gardens and temples. Jag Mahal and Jag Niwas are the two island palaces that add to the lake’s romantic ambience. A boat ride in the evening to the island where Jag Niwas is situated promises to be a mesmerising experience and the view of Uadaipur reflected in the lake at night in all its splendour will leave you spell bound. City Palace is a magnificent and awe inspiring citadel that hosts a ‘Mewar Light & Sound Show’ every evening. Jagdish Temple, Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, Pratap Smarak, Nehru Park, Saheliyon ki Bari, Gulab Bagh and the Monsoon Palace are other places to visit. Udaipur is connected by air and has a wide network of roads and railway services connecting it to major cities of India.

Best time to visit: October to March

Languages spoken: Mewari, Hindi, English

Climate: Hot and dry summers and cold sometimes freezing winters

Heritage Sites and Holy places: Jag Mahal, Jag Niwas, City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Pratap Smarak, Monsoon Palace

Parks and Knowledge Centres: Nehru Park, Saheliyon ki Bari, Gulab Bagh, Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, City Palace Museum, ‘Mewar Light & Sound Show’ at City palace

Udaipur – Single Day tour of close-by attractions

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Eklingji Temple: After visiting the Srinathji Temple, last on the bus itinerary schedule was Eklingji Temple (Lord Shiva). The Eklingji temple is situated on the way to Udaipur from Nathdwara and just 20 km away from Udaipur. Temple is surrounded by high walls. At the entrance of the main temple there is a beautifully sculpted huge Nandi. The temple complex has 108 temples built with sandstone and marble.

Inside the main temple bhajans were sung by devotees. It makes the devotional environment. The temple is well maintained and very few tourists are there. The main thing about this temple is the absence of priests. Devotees have to perform Puja themselves and offer flowers to Eklingji (beautiful lotus and rose flowers available at the entrance gate). Many guards are standing in the temple complex. They are appointed by the temple management to protect the idols and guide the visitors. Not all the temples are opened for visitors. (Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited by Temple Management). Please check the images on Google.

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My Udaipur Diary – 8 must visit local places

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City Palace has several gates (in local language known as “Pols”). The entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol (Elephant gate). The Bari Pol brings you to the Tripolia gate. Main ticket office is near to it. You can also hire a guide or take the audio tour for getting familiar with the events and historic happenings of this beautiful monument.

The main part of the City Palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artifacts. After entering the Pol the armory museum is situated there, exhibits a huge collection of old war weapons. The rooms and the halls of the palace are decorated with mirrors, tiles and paintings. The Palace has large collection of royal paintings, jewelry, crockery, photographs and beautiful silver “Shadi ka Mandap” covered with glass wall. The palace has an old history which has many kings and rulers and there details, photographs and belongings can be seen in the different areas and rooms of the palace. The new small museums of silver, sculptures and music instrument were great.

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Road trip to Rajasthan: Chittorgarh-Mount Abu-Haldighati-Udaipur (Part 2)

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Guru Shikhar is the highest point in Mount Abu and Rajasthan and is about 18 km from Mount Abu town. Mount Abu is on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat and from Guru Shikhar one can view both Rajasthan and Gujarat. After the 18 km drive, there are steps to the top (something like Vaishno Devi) with shops on both the sides. There was a 360 degree view from the top and a small temple.

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झीलों का शहर और बारिश की रिमझिम (उदयपुर में दो दिन)

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सिटी पैलेस का भ्रमण पूर्ण करने के पश्चात अगले आकर्षण गुलाब बाग़ जाने के लिए सिटी पैलेस से बाहर निकलते ही ऑटो तैयार खड़े थे, उनमे से ही एक ऑटो पर सवार होकर गुलाब बैग कि सैर पर चल पड़े. गुलाब बाग़ का नाम सुनने में तो केवल बाग़ का ही परिदृश्य आँखों में घूमता है, पर इस बाग़ में पर्यटको विशेषकर बच्चों को लुभाने के लिए जन्तुशाला (zoo), टॉय ट्रैन कि सवारी, झूले, जलपान आदि कई अन्य मनोरंजक सुविधाएं भी उपलब्ध हैं. बच्चों के लिए तो गुलाब बाग़ कि सैर बहुत ही आनंददायक लग रही थी. इस समय बारिश भी रुक गयी थी. लेकिन झूले अभी भी गीले थे और उनके आस-पास पानी भरा होने के कारण बच्चे झूलों का पूरा मज़ा नहीं ले सके. इस कमी को टॉय ट्रैन कि सवारी ने पूरा कर दिया. ट्रैन में बैठे-बैठे ही पूरे बाग़ के भ्रमण के साथ ही जन्तुशाला (zoo) देखते हुए बच्चे-बड़े सभी रोमांचित हो उठे.
गुलाब बाग़ कि सैर के बाद हमारा अगला पड़ाव दूध तलाई नामक स्थान था. दूध तलाई उदयपुर का एक बहुत ही सुन्दर आकर्षण है. दूध तलाई नाम का एक छोटा सा ताल लेक पिछोला से सटा हुआ है. इसके आस पास का दृश्य बहुत ही सुहाना और मन को मोह लेने वाला है. यहाँ के मुख्य आकर्षणों में पैदल बोट, मोटर बोट, कैमल राइड, सनसेट पॉइंट, करनी माता मंदिर, रोपवे ट्राली आदि हैं. यहाँ चारों और मनोरंजन, रोमांच और प्राकृतिक सौंदर्य फैला हुआ है. दिन भर के सैर-सपाटे के बाद दूध तलाई कि ये शाम बहुत ही आरामदायक लग रही थी.

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Road Journeys – Udaipur to Daman (UT)

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Locals suggested visiting the Jampore Beach in the morning for the oblivious tangible apprehensions of countering unreasonable clashes with drunken-brawls. Being sensible, when with your family is I feel is an intelligent act though, the macho mind always resists fearing such instances. I suppressed my macho-ness and preferred to visit the beaches next morning and utilized the evening in walking along the bustling market place counting the wine shops which were more than 39 within 2 km, later stopped doing it and entered into one of the eateries. Every small or big food joint is equipped with a bar too besides those shops I referred. A bottle of KF strong costs Rs. 60/- in shops and Rs. 100/- to 140/- in bars depending upon the size and shape of the furnishings inside. We were in one of the best hence had to pay the maximum. Every table had a countable number of bottles in different colors and shapes with families enjoying wining with dining in loud atmosphere. The liberal city has no age bar supposedly for serving alcohol because a group of very young stags sitting beside our table were so intoxicated that two of them fell down a couple of times while making way to the loo.

Jampore beach is a nice and cool place and worth visiting. A row of hutments on the shore blocking the sight of sea serves liquors, sizzlers and sea food mostly comprised of small sized prawns and pomfrets. You need to make way to the beach only through those shops which have small openings on their back, fronts are sea facing. Plastic chairs specially designed for a leisure seating, half immersed in the sand are arranged in sequence in front of the shops. Early morning, we found a number of tourists mostly with families enjoying their drinks leisurely on the beach side budget-resorts. Fresh catch of prawns lured us to give a try and we ordered a plate containing 8 pieces at Rs. 150/-. The prawns were definitely fresh but cooking in too much of spices spoiled its natural flavour. We therefore, again ordered a plate without spices and the later was better. The sea was calm with a far stretched beach along the timid water which was creeping gradually closer in natural course. On the way back we were amused to see a decorative piece in one the government office premise and couldn’t resist from putting the image here.

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Road journeys – Delhi to Udaipur-the Lake City

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Enjoying the splendid landscapes we reached Baewar by 1.30 pm on our first major stop for refreshment and lunch. I was so energetic till then that my wife didn’t ask me why we are heading towards Udaipur and not Chittorgarh for the break journey. Filled the tank of the car alongwith our tummy, we were again lost in the nostalgic picturesque landscape full of greenery, on an average speed of 100 kmph with ease due to good tar and less traffic. Our first visiting place was Rajsamand Lake which soon appeared with an awesome view of a natural wild lake on the left side of the road. Rajsamand Lake is an artificial lake created in the 17th century by Rana Raj Singh of Mewar. We stopped and hurriedly captured the view both in our eyes and in the camera. Surprisingly, none other was available to enjoy the serene virgin beauty of the so natural place in wilderness. A clear water in the lake, yet uninterrupted by artificiality, was a soothing sight. A rusted board mentioning victory of Maharana Pratap over Akbar’s huge army in 1582, fought there was boasting its historical importance. We stayed a few minutes clicking photographs and watching the silence in the tranquility, glooming hearted was back to our seats. It was sad to see that a place of so rich history, so beautiful is so unattended.

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उदयपुर – झीलों तथा महलों का शहर……..

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इस श्रंखला की पिछली पोस्ट में मैने आपलोगों को नाथद्वारा स्थित भगवान श्रीनाथ जी की गौशाला, लाल बाग तथा एकलिंग जी के बारे में बताया था उम्मीद है पोस्ट आप सभी को पसंद आई होगी। एकलिंग स्वामी जी के दर्शन करने, मन्दिर में स्थित अन्य छोटे मंदिरों के दर्शन करने तथा कुछ समय मंदिर में बिताने के बाद हम लोग मंदिर के सामने रोड़ से ही एक जीप में सवार होकर उदयपुर की ओर चल पड़े।

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भगवान एकलिंग जी दर्शन

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लालबाग, श्रीनाथ जी मंदिर ट्रस्ट के द्वारा बनवाया एक सुन्दर उद्यान है जहां कई तरह के फ़ुलों के पौधे, बच्चों के लिये झुले तथा मनोरंजन के अन्य साधन हैं, यानी सुकुन के कुछ पल बिताने के लिये इस उद्यान में सब कुछ है और छायाचित्रकारी के लिये तो यह उद्यान अति उत्तम है। जब हम यहां पहुंचे तो उस समय यहां हमारे अलावा और कोइ नहीं था, क्योंकि यह बाग दोपहर के बाद ही खुलता है। इस उद्यान में जी भर कर फोटोग्राफी करने के बाद हम अपने ऑटो में सवार होकर अपने अगले पड़ाव यानी गौशाला की ओर बढे।

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Lake City Udaipur

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Other important landmark in Udaipur is Maharana Pratap Smarak on Moti Magri. On top of small Hill, this smarak is located, where we can go in our own vehicle. There used to be “Moti Magari” mahal built by Maharana Udaising. Light & Sound show is organised here every evening. The smarak has big statue of Maharana Pratap and a small garden surrounding it. The smarak also has one museum where different weapons and models of forts- Chittorgar, Kumbhalgar and battlefield of Haldi Ghati are depicted in nice manner.
The history of Mewar cannot be complete without the great Maharana Pratap, who never surrendered to the enemy, while other Rajput kings decided to surrender or established relation with Akbar by wedding their daughters to Akbar. But Maharana Pratap had taken oath not to live in Mahal, not to sleep on bed and not to eat in Utensils until he could free all his kingdom from enemies. He lived in forests, slept on straw bed and ate meals on hand for twenty six years. What I came to know here that Maharana Pratap used to keep two swords with him as he would never fight with anyone who did not have weapon. When local people tell the history of great Maharana Pratap, you can sense the proud feeling they have about their Maharana. Such a great feeling to witness the heritage!

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A trip to Mewar – Nathdwara and Ekling Ji

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But I could not take this decision till we reached the main entrance point of the temple. There was no queue at all. Worst fear of temple being closed down for that day was coming true and  I  just told that boy to take the money and arrange for the Darshan. His answer was money afterwards , firstly Darshan of the Lord . He ordered us( yeah, order) to deposit our camera and mobiles at the counter  quickly. I deposited the belongings quickly and he just took us along with him  to a sideways entrance leading to the Garbha Griha( exact location of installation of beautiful statue of Lord Shrinath Ji. Oh God, now we were in front of the Lord and just as we paid our respect, purohit of that place put down the curtains and closed that door also. What shall you say now? sheer luck, convincing power of the boy or my gut feeling. Can,t say? But overall feeling as that we were extremely lucky as we had planned to go to Udaipur and not stay there overnight. The boy asked then the amount for parshad. I thought and said O.K bring the parshad for Rs. 21. His answer surprised me that the minimum amount to be spent on parshad was Rs. 101 . Well fine , the option before us was to have the big famous Ladoo for parshad or big Rotis. We wanted him to bring Ladoo finally.It was single Ladoo and prepared from different raw material than normal Ladoos are prepared.

Now we were in the Bazaar bustling with activity. Another feature that we noted was the selling of Bhog laga hua parshad in form of fruit pieces for Rs. 10/ paper plate. We took that also and

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