Sep 16, 2013

Heritage- Udaipur, The City of Lakes



Paradise for architecture lovers vibrant Rajasthan is an incredible destination popular for its formidable monuments, colorful culture, golden sand dunes and the desert! Magnificent monuments silently tell the tales of prosperity, gallantry and tragedies of the bygone era. I have been to Rajasthan few times. Early this year too I went on a road trip to those popular cities of Rajasthan just to rejuvenate myself with  the unique experience with desert and tradition, some color and spicy food! 

View of Udaipur City from Macha Hill

I went on this Rajasthan road-trip in the month of January this year. From Vadodara, Gujarat I took a taxi to Udaipur, a  city popular for mystic lakes, very romantic lake palace hotels and a grand City Palace museum! India's oldest mountain range Aravallis in the backdrop these man-made lakes are mesmerizing in the morning. The popular attractions is a boat ride in Lake Pichola. January cold was quite bearable in the morning to walk around the lake. The boatman was already there in that right place at right time for me to click this picture :) The morning walk around the lake was one thing I enjoyed the most!

Mystic Lake Pichola

The boat ride takes you to near the Jag Mandir Palace as well as the Jag Niwas Palace which are heritage hotels in the lake.  Boat is the only way to reach these hotels. Celebrities and rich citizens get married here. The guide gave a list of indian film actors and business tycoons who got married here. That is one peculiar thing about Rajasthani-guides for each and everything they give a reference of a film actor. Boat ride is the only way to see the other (west) side of the City Palace.

Jag Mandir Palace
After Lake Pichola I went to the City Palace. Only a portion of this large palace is converted into a museum for visitors. I always feel the entry fee (Rs 50) and camera fees (Rs 200) here are too high! This time too I did not take camera inside. But, there are few things inside the museum are breathtakingly beautiful, especially the Mor Chowk (Peacock hall). The colorful inlay work depicting peacocks on the walls is exquisite! And few other interesting exhibits are the armor and weapons that belonged to Maharana Pratap Singh.

Across the Lake Pichola is Macha Hill. From the base of the hill I took a ride on Udan Katola (Cable car) to the top. It costed me Rs 80 and it was worth it. There are stairs if one prefers to walk up. It may not be very strenuous if climbed early in the morning. The view of Udaipur city from here is breathtaking. City palace, lake and both lake palaces can be seen from here.

White mice at Karni Mata Temple
On the summit of Macha Hill situated is a temple of Sri Manshapurna Karni Mata, a female sage who is official deity of the royal family of Jodhpur and Bikaner (info:Guide). Interesting to see the mice huh? Being able to sight a white mouse is very lucky it seems! 

There are few other museums which I was not able to visit. And most of the palaces are converted into heritage hotels. Guides take you to the Government shops where you are almost forced to buy 'rajayi' (kind of a comforter), sarees with sandalwood fragrance, white metal tea sets, marble artifacts and so on ... Buy only if you want to buy otherwise refuse to enter the shop right away! I really liked the marble artifacts and bought a lampshade which has very intricate carving. It is lovely and equally expensive!

From Udaipur I left for Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan. When I think about my trip to Udaipur I remember two things ... Morning at Lake Pichola and the inlay work at Mor Chowk!
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Related articles-
Kanha National Park
Bhopal- The Capital city of Madhya Pradesh
Remote Rajasthan
Sunset at Jaisalmer sand dunes
Chitrakoot- The proof of Ramayana

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

28 comments:

  1. Nice write up on Udaipur. It definitely looks like a great place to visit.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  2. India is replete with history and culture, the visitor just wants to soak it all in.

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    1. Yes you are right, Indian history and heritage simply mesmerizes visitors!

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  3. Your descriptions are as good as any photographs. I'm a retired nurse ( 45 years ) from San Francisco and, thanks to 78 Royal Caribbean cruises and their wonderful crew ( half, at least, from India ), I fell in love with this country before I ever saw it. In the last two years, I've actually lived in India a total of 12 months - and I have three months to go.

    I was in Jaipur five months last year and, sadly, I did not make it to Udaipur. I can see that was a grave mistake.


    My World Tuesday is very wet - the finale of monsoon season in Mumbai.

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    1. Welcome to my blog and glad to hear you are having great experience in India. Hope you will take back wonderful memories! Yeah, monsoon is hitting real hard :)

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  4. Those white mice are adorable! Lovely shots.

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  5. On my first trip to India Udaipur was our first stop! A magical place .Thanks for taking me back.

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    1. Glad to hear you had a great time here!

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  6. You have captured that boatman perfectly.

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    1. Yes, the morning hours are truly magical here!

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  7. Kusum, Udaipur is just heavenly for all the lovely sights, lakes and temples! I too have been to Karnimata temple:)

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    1. Isn't it special experience to visit this temple!

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  8. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  9. Nice writeup. Inspiring me for a travel to Udaipur...

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  11. Totally love Udaipur! We want to see Kumbalgarh and Ranakpur as well....I guess we need another trip for that!

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  12. Great post and here you are presenting each and everything very nicely and everyone loved to read this post.

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  13. Nice Blog..You are suggesting such great destinations of India..Thanks for sharing:)

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  14. Wonderful writeup. Udaipur is a beautiful city of lakes, palaces, rustic traditions and handicraft.

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  15. hi,
    udaipur is really nice city and wonderful.
    thanks for info

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  16. It refreshed my memories of Udaipur, loved the city.

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