|Tuesday 31st October 2017
Delhi to Udaipur
Today marks the start of our new trip in Rajasthan. We farewelled our fellow travellers from our bus trip this morning and last evening. We met a representative, Vikas, from our new agency in the hotel reception this morning. He accompanied us to the airport in a taxi through the morning traffic. As we have 2 internal flights with smaller luggage allowances we have ‘decanted’ quite a few belongings into a separate bag and Vikas planned to take it to our final hotel in Delhi for them to store until we return. We checked in for our flight to Udaipur and waited – the flight was an hour late leaving so we arrived later than expected in Udaipur, a much quieter and less chaotic city than the ones we have previously visited. The flight was quite bumpy and seemed to land at high speed but we had a pleasant hot wrap for lunch and even a KitKat each. We were picked up at the airport by a guide Yash and driver Sanju and driven the 22km to the city. Sanju had actually driven overnight from Delhi to meet us. We checked into our hotel in the old town, right near the beautiful Lake Pichola. Our hotel was an old haveli (Mewar Haveli), a beautiful old converted house. Our room had a view of the lake and the lake palace and was quite delightful, even has a beautiful painted ceiling. At about 4:30pm, our guide came and picked us up again and we walked down to the dock from where we took a boat ride on the lake, stopping off on the way at the Jagmandir Ghat, in the middle of the lake. This was a place of beauty with gardens and fountains and views of the sunset and also of the city across the lake. After sunset, we came back to the city and walked back to our hotel, had a rest then had dinner on the rooftop terrace, with the sound of music and fireworks in the background. The Lake Palace and Ghat were both lit up and many buildings also had colored lights which reflected into the water – just beautiful. An idyllic evening with a beautiful dinner. Today was about 33C and pretty warm, but sunny.
Wednesday 1st November 2017
After a very nice breakfast we met our guide Narayan from Shikhar Travel who then walked with us to see the Hindu Temple which is very close to the hotel. After we had visited the temple, we walked to the City Palace where we did a complete tour seeing all the treasures of this beautiful place with its long history dating back to the 16th Century. There have been many generations of Maharanas live there and the royal family still lives in the palace overlooking the stunningly beautiful Pichola Lake and the city. It took us about two hours to walk around the palace after which we were driven to the Royal gardens, only used by ladies in the royal family. The gardens were over 300 years old. They were destroyed by a flood caused by a dam wall cracking and collapsing in the 19th century. The garden has now been restored to its former glory. There are a number of interesting features there including fountains run without electricity. The water runs through pipes from the lake which is at a higher level than the gardens. We then visited a business that sold miniatures and lots of other stuff (clothes, statues, pashminas…..etc) but didn’t buy anything. The city tour was then complete do we drive back to near the hotel and walked the rest of the way to the hotel with the guide. We were pretty much dead tired so had some lunch and a beer in the room and then a rest till we went out again to look at the shops just after dark. We stocked up on snacks for our journey, then back to the hotel for another dinner on the rooftop then to bed around 10:30pm. The staff in the restaurant very kindly made us some breakfast for tomorrow as we are leaving ver early. It didn’t seem quite as hot today, probably around 30C. Udaipur is very beautiful and we enjoyed it immensely.