Saturday, 20 July 2019 00:37

Udaipur is a dream destination for travel enthusiasts

Malvika Sehgaal Kaura travels to Udaipur for a luxury vacation giving us a detailed overview of what the historical city has to offer to history and travel enthusiasts.
 
When we suddenly awaken to the fact that schools were to open shortly, Udaipur seemed like the best option for a quick getaway with reasonably priced air tickets and loads of offers given it was their off season. As History enthusiasts, this city has been on our to do list for awhile. Udaipur is well connected to the airports of all major cities in India. The presence and availability of daily flights, trains and buses add up to the convenience and help you forget your worries about transporting. The city is safe, secure, and tourist-friendly, allowing all to explore it. 
 
 
Fascinatingly, this was a city frequented by foreigners who have now chosen to open laid back cafes and make it their homes. Two-wheelers dominate the lanes, as do Peacocks in the background. Bespoke for the most beautiful sunsets, the air goes from sultry to cool by sunset. From a charming animal reserve to a Monsoon Palace to plenty of forts ans so much of colour, Udaipur stays encapsulated in a time gone by. Fortunately all the new development maintains the old world decor. The hospitality there can be the most luxurious hotels globally to affordable guest houses. There’s really something for everyone.
 
       
 
Day 1 we started with exploring the City Palace which is a complex that was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty. Its construction began in 1553, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittor to the new found city of Udaipur. The palace is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. Post which we enjoyed the sunset at the Udaivilas private jetty. 
 
 
Day 2 had us at Gangaur Ghat, that is a main ghat situated near the waterfront of Lake Pichola that most of Udaipur is based around. Walked 5 floors upto a lake view restaurant for the famed ‘Laal maas’. This area, tiny as it may seem, is strewn with cafes, two-wheelers wizzing past and almost all properties boast of a view of the lake. Post a coffee we head to the The Monsoon Palace, also known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. It is named after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874–1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who it was built for in 1884. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside. It was built chiefly to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, appropriately, it is popularly known as Monsoon Palace. It is said that the Maharana built it at the top of the hill to get a view of his ancestral home, Chittaurgarh. The palace boasts  of the most stunning sunset. Since we reached an hour prior, we signed up for a sanctuary right below the palace, which is a home for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. It’s a fun easy watch if you take the buggy.
 

                   
Our 3rd (and last) day found us exploring temples outside the city. Even if you're aren’t spiritually inclined, it's worthwhile taking a trip to the compelling 8th century Shri Eklingji Prabhu Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple complex is made completely out of marble. It also contains large colorfully painted statues of Lord Shiva’s Nandi Bull. The original shrine was built by Bapa Rawal, founder of the Mewar Dynasty and photography isn't allowed inside the temple. Walk around the back of the temple complex for an unforgettable lake view. Nearby at Nagda, and worth seeing too, are the ancient 10th century Saas Bahu temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temples are covered in intricate sculptures overlooking the village. New, offbeat places with the most amazing stories, architecture and vibe make the exploration worthwhile! The temples that date back to the 6th century. Carved out of marble, legend has it that Alaudin Khilji destroyed the idols inside. I could have sat here for hours....  After which, we chilled at a cafe to head to a lake Fatehsagar boat ride to see the spectacular sunset. Ending our day with the spa and a Rajasthani thali . This itinerary can be squeezed into a day or spread out over many.... either ways Udaipur is a destination for travel enthusiasts, luxury and destination weddings given the ease of getting and being there set up against the most breathtaking backdrops.
 
 
The author is a fashion designer, artist and a travel blogger
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