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

Goaing – from Goa to Delhi

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After the mandatory getting-lost-and-going-round-in-circles-before-finding-the-destination that we seem to do in most new cities, we reach our destination after 2 solid hours of wandering the drowning streets of Ghatkopar in a downpour worthy of …. Mumbai! The thing to note is that more time was spent in negotiating the traffic (read: stuck in traffic) than driving!

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रणकपुर से कुम्भलगढ़ की डायनामिक यात्रा – Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh, a dynamic journey

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स्टेशन के प्लेटफार्म नंबर दो पर मैं रणकपुर एक्सप्रेस का इंतज़ार कर रहा था जो समय से आधा घंट ही लेट थी (थैंक गॉड) | मेरे साथ कुल 10 सहयात्री रहे होंगे जिसमे से एक 4-5 स्टूडेंट्स का ग्रुप था | मैं अकेला बैठ सोच ही रहा था की किसी से कुछ वार्ता वगैरह शुरू की जाये तो समय पास हो पर सामने के जीआरपी रूम के खुले दरवाजे से एक पुलिस वाले द्वारा एक पतले दुबले युवक को पीटने की झलक मिली | अब किसी को ट्रेन की फ़िक्र नहीं रही और सभी लोग भिन्न भिन्न एंगल बनाकर दृश्य को देखने की कोशिश करने लगे |

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Our trip to Udaipur – The city of lakes

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Do take hotels near Lake Pichola as it’s the best place to live in Udaipur. Lake Pichola Hotel (Government Approved) and Ambrehi Haveli are other hotels which I can suggest and are worth staying(Under INR 5,000 per night). Enjoy the lake side small cafes which serve you Italian, Mexican, Indian snacks. The price fits your pocket and the light music along with lake pichola view makes your morning more lively. One of such restaurant is Jasmine Restaurant.

Boat rides are available from many places across lake Pichola which can take you to Jag Mandir and Lake Palace situated at the centre of Lake Palace. Lake Palace can be entered by only those persons which have their room booking at the palace or else boat will just go around the same. As it is the most famous and most visited lake it is very polluted and smelly from some shores.

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Memories of Mewar (III): Udaipur, City of Lakes and Palaces.

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After visiting the Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranakpur, the Krishna Temples at Kankroli and Nathdwara, and the Sajjan Garh Palace, we were now on the last leg of our trip to Mewar, Rajasthan, and had two full days to take in the beauty of Udaipur, the City of Lakes and Palaces. This beautiful city is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, ‘Most Romantic City of India’ and ‘The Kashmir of Rajasthan’.

Udaipur was the capital of the kingdom of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. The founder of Udaipur was Maharana Udai Singh II, father of Maharana Pratap. Udaipur was founded in 1559, when a hermit blessed the king and asked him to build has palace at a spot on the east ridge of the Pichola Lake. In 1568, the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittaurgarh, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his new residence, which became the city of Udaipur. As the Mughal empire weakened over the years, the Sisodia Maharanas recaptured most of Mewar district. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818.

After India’s independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India’s Rajasthan state.

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Memories of Mewar (II): Kankroli, Nathdwara, and Sajjan Garh (Udaipur).

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The temple of Shrinathji at Nathdwara is among the most sacred places of worship for the followers of Lord Krishna. The idol is made of black stone and is said to have been brought here from Mathura in 1669 to protect it from the marauding Moguls under Aurangzeb’s rule.

The temple opens its doors to the public for worship seven times a day for just about half an hour each, and there is a huge crowd always waiting to rush in. Inevitably there is some pushing and jostling and you barely get a minute for darshan before you are pushed out to the exit, just like in a Mumbai local train. This makes the whole experience quite unpleasant, and the temple authorities should take the initiative to organise it in a better way. Some touts promise to get you in through the VIP channels, but they only serve as paid guides, and can do nothing when the push becomes a shove.

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Memories of Mewar (I): Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur.

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The fort is built on a hill at a height of 1100 metres and requires a considerable effort to climb to the top. But once you are in the palace at the top of the fort, also known as ‘Badal Mahal’, you are rewarded with awesome views of the forested Aravalli hills, with the Mewar region on the eastern side and Marwar region on the west. The forests surrounding the fort comprise the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to leopard, sloth bear, monkeys, wolf, jackal, sambar, peacock, jungle fowl and a host of other birds and animal species.
[caption id="attachment_94003" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Badal Mahal. Badal Mahal.[/caption]

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Sheer drive to Rajasthan: Jodhpur,Udaipur & Jaisalmer in 4 days

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Still we had enough time so gave a thought for Udaipur now in evening. Everyone suggested for planning during food intake. Ultimately this was saving some time for us.
we wasted 20-25 mins in search of a good restaurant in city than decided that we will have food on the way .Just 10 mins later found a restaurant luckily. We were having our lunch cum dinner @ 6:30 PM. We hadn’t booked our hotel anywhere in the trip so tried to book hotel in Udaipur. Another 5-6hrs journey was still pending & it was a big risk to search hotel in midnight with family. When inquired in 5-6 hotels none of a single room was available. Local contacts tried but all went in vain.
Oh God….left the luck behind!! was everyone celebrating independence day in Udaipur or everyone was utilizing this weekend with another holiday of 15th Aug. By the way it was 8 ‘o clock & we were still in Jodhpur.

Avoiding risk of late night journey & no hotel availability in Udaipur we decided to stay in Jodhpur & depart for Udaipur in early morning. It was a hotel’s restaurant, got 2 rooms easily .We had enough spare time now, so utilized for our party.

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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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