Udaipur- The Paradise
Udaipur, a romantic getaway, the city of lakes and many more names which gives this place a uniqueness among other places in Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia clan founded this city in 1559. He made it his capital state and it was also one of the princely states during the British era. The forts, temples and gardens are full of tales of the luxurious lives of Mewar dynasty. In midst of Aravali range, surrounded by major cities and connected to Gujarat, makes this city quite accessible. You have also seen this places in bits in many of the movies not only in Bollywood but in Hollywood as well.
When I and my friends planned for this place for the first time, we were sceptical about it. February was the peak time. Since we have already been to many cities of Rajasthan, we did not want to go for forts again. According to our holidays and budget, Udaipur was the best fit.
So our journey started from Delhi to Jaipur. Instead of a direct train(as usual, trains were overly booked), we took the alternate route via Jaipur, to meet our one more partner. After an overnight journey, we reached Jaipur and then took another train and left for Udaipur. Even Delhi to Udaipur buses is easily available. Around 3 pm in the evening, we reached the city of lakes. We had booked for a hostel, as it is cheap and hospitable. In the evening, around 5 pm we left for the excursions. Here are some glimpse of the places.
Fateh Sagar Lake:
First of all, we checked the list of places to start for and started with the lake. Fateh Sagar Lake was our first destination and it was astonishing. A huge lake surrounded by white railings, speedboats and a garden in between. Cold breeze and sunset was the perfect combination for spending time. One can take a speedboat ride and add an adventure to the trip. There was huge rush for the boat ticketsd so we headed towards Bagore ki Haveli.
Bagore Ki Haveli:
Bagore ki haveli organises a cultural programme in the evening and before that, we have to buy tickets. Till our turn came we went to see man-made lake Pichola and a market nearby. The show started at 7 pm. This was probably a different experience. There were many foreigners there who were enjoying the dance and folk song of Rajasthan. Women covered in beautifully coloured lehengas were dancing and doing stunts in between.
Bagore ki Haveli is a fort full of colours and the beautiful designs and above all, you will get authentic ‘itr’ or scent from the Haveli. One of my favourite itr is of Kadamb ka Phool. After the show, we went to Fateh Sagar lake and had best Dabeli (a Gujarati burger) of our life. People were still strolling near the lake. We stayed there for like an hour.
Saheliyon ki Bari or Garden of Maids
Next day our first stop was Saheliyon ki, Bari. It is famous for its colourful flowers, lush green gardens, and fountains. The garden has four water pools, marble elephants, a lotus pool and a bird fountain. This place is made for the queens to have pleasure time. As per historical facts, the garden was designed by the king for her queen who was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage.
City Palace and Jagdish Temple
It is one of the architectural marvels, located on the banks of Lake Pichola. This is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur. The palace is blended with European, Chinese and Medieval Architecture. There are many domes, towers, corridors, rooms, courtyards and hanging gardens. Moreover, it has gates called Bara pols, Hathi Pol, and Tripolia. Palace comprises 11 Mahals and this huge building will take a detailed journey to the history.
Few names are:
Bada Mahal is an exotic garden palace. It is standing on a 90 feet high natural rock formation.
Rang Bhawan is for royal treasures
Manak Mahal or Ruby Palace has crystal and porcelain figures.
Moti Mahal or Pearl Place is famous for its decor.
Sheesh, Mahal for mirror work.
Krishna Vilas has miniatures of royal lives of Maharanas.
Bhim Mahal has the collection of beautiful paintings.
Dilkush Mahal or Palace of joy is for the murals and wall paintings.
Laxmi Vilas Chowk for paintings.
Mor Chowk kept on the name of the peacock.
Amar Vilas has a hanging garden.
Zanana Mahal or ladies chamber which is now a museum.
There are temples of Radha-Krishan, Meera Bai and Lord Shiva. There are many arms, dresses of kings, paintings depicting lives of Raja, mirrors, ornaments and antiques which can amaze you. The hugeness and unwithered beauty of City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes.
Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples in Udaipur located in city palace. This three storied building is a mixture of Indo Aryan architect. The pillars, ceiling and walls temple are beautifully carved and are stunning.
Another lake in midst of the city. An artificial freshwater lake which is named after Picholi Village. It is famous for its Gangaur ghat, boat riding, cafes and shopping. You can have the best pictures of your life here. You can take a boat to Jagmohan temple from here and have a good time there watching ducks and birds during sunset. It seems like a movie scene.
Mansapurna Karani Mata Temple
Karni Mata Temple is located on the Machla Magra Hills, near the Doodh Talai Lake. It enshrines the stone idol of Mansapurna Karni Mata. One can have an exquisite view of the city as to reach the temple one has to take ropeway. Temple premise is quite large and are attached to the ruins of boundaries made for security purpose. Though it is risky to cross the wall, if you can make it, you will find the best place to relax and feel the silence.
A small town, away from city hustle, you will find an amazing, picturesque village called Ubeshwar. The route to this place is full of adventure. We took an auto from the city and started our journey early in the morning. It was foggy and chilled but still bearable. Our GPS system was not working and the way we were routing on took us to a small village. This village only has few houses, a school and a local dispensary. We got the best oranges there only at Rs.10/kg. We reached Ubeshwar after 2 hours of the ride. Ubeshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The most noteworthy thing about this place is that God answers your all questions himself. Karani Mata temple is also there from where there the panoramic view of Ubeshwar can be seen.
This temple is among the ancient temples in India and is famous for its magnificent architecture. It is around 23kms from Udaipur. Ekling Ji temple was made by Bappa Rawal and is the ruling deity of Mewar kings. This temple is a double storied temple with the pyramidical roof.
The temple has a 50feet long,four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva), made up of black marble. The east-facing part represents Surya (sun), the west part is Lord Brahma, the north-facing part is Lord Vishnu and the south-facing part is Rudra or Lord Shiva himself. Also, there is a huge idol of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Shiva idol is bathed twice daily. In summers, Pandits uses cold water and in winters, hot water. There are 2 kunds as well namely Tulsi kund and Karz kund.
* Note: Use of cameras are strictly prohibited.
If you are in Udaipur, then visiting Haldighati is must and worthful. There is a narrow pass between mountains. Akbar and Mahara Pratap fought a battle here in 1576 known as Haldighati war. However, the win was futile as they failed to capture Maharana Pratap. However, Chetak, the beloved horse of Maharana died in this battle. Therefore, most of the monuments or roads are in the name of Chetak. This place was named Haldighati because the soil found in this area is yellow in colour which resembles the colour of Haldi or dried turmeric. There is a museum which has a model of Haldighati and also a show runs for the same.
Nathdwara is a small town in Rajasmand, 48 km away from Udaipur. It is one of the pilgrimages for the people of Gujarat. Shrinath Ji is also known as an “infant incarnation” of Lord Krishna. You can find many Gujarati families here. Meera bai temple where she used to live after leaving the fort is also there. Furthermore, this place is also famous for its market where you can find pottery, beads, handicrafts and jewellery. The marketers’ deals in various kind of raw salt and spices. Consequently one can try best cuisines especially Gatte ka Halwa and Mawa Kachoris.
Sajjan Garh or monsoon palace
It is one of the famous places in Udaipur. A white coloured fort, situated on top of a hill, overlooking Fateh Sagar lake on Bansdara peak of the Aravalli hill range on the name of Maharana Sajjan Singh. This place will give you a truly dazzling view of the city and looks like a white fairyland under a blue sky. Moreover, the route of this fort crosses the sanctuary and you will get a car from the boarding point. That car will take you on a roller coaster ride and leave you at this amazing fort and one of the rainwater reservoir. The sanctuary is home of various birds and animals. Kings used to come for hunting here.
Hence, we concluded the trip with hundreds of memories and pictures. This place will always mesmerize you. Above all, the friendliness in the environment and away from chaos, one can surely find peace. I am surely planning the trip soon to this paradise.