With the Aravallis running along its length, Lake Pichola snuggled in its heart, and palaces narrating regal stories, Udaipur makes for a charming heritage experience. By Sushmita Srivastav
It was a rather nippy October evening. The sky wore shades of lilac on a fading yellow, and the blue water slowly turned into liquid gold. Gliding on Lake Pichola in a speeding boat, I watched the majestic City Palace wane into the background and the water’s ripples distort the reflection of the birds that were returning home.
When I close my eyes and think about my indelible time in Udaipur, Rajasthan’s City of Lakes, this is the first sight that flashes, followed by surreal images of white marbled mansions with lofty domes and ornate towers, massive courtyards, graceful arches, intricate walls with thikri work, and the City Palace Museum that displays ancient artefacts.
Udaipur is ideal for someone like me, who loves holding on to memories of idle strolls through serpentine lanes lined with havelis. I remember sitting with over a hundred others in the Bagore Ki Haveli and being dazzled by a show of ghoomar, kathputli nritya, bhavai, gavari, and terah taali, performed by local artistes. I remember snuggling in a cosy corner seat at Manek Chowk one night and watching the history of Mewar unfold on the ochre tinted citadel of City Palace. I remember driving through swathes of green to the Monsoon Palace to enjoy a panorama of the sprawling City of Dawn, and then getting my hands on traditional bandhej and handmade mojris at Bapu Bazaar and Hathipole, and ending the day with a Rajasthani meal of gatte ki sabzi, ker sangri, lal maas, and dal bati churma at 1559 AD Restaurant and Bistro-Lounge, which is set up in the garden of a 95-year-old building that fuses ancient weaponry with art nouvelle in its decor.
The calling of this gorgeous city becomes even stronger with nostalgia’s sharp sting, and I know I will be back in Udaipur someday to relive all of its grandeur.
“Udaipur is ideal for someone like me, who loves holding on to memories of idle strolls through serpentine lanes lined with havelis.” – Sushmita Srivastav, Senior Sub Editor
WHERE TO STAY
Seemingly afloat on Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace is perfect if you wish to enjoy tranquil luxury while still staying close to the lively streets of the city.
The Leela Palace Udaipur is a fairytale castle on the banks of Lake Pichola with 80 rooms and suites.
While you’re in Rajasthan, make sure you plan a trip to nearby Jaipur, a seven-hour drive from Udaipur. Base yourself at Samode Haveli, a traditional mansion with luxury apartments set around intimate courtyards and lush lawns, while you explore the Pink City.