First, Udaipur is a big city and has a lot to offer so 3 days is a short time for it. I missed a lot of spots I wish I had been to. And, I don’t like rushing through the spots just to cover places.
We were living near Pichola Lake. That’s the old-Udaipur. So, you see lots of forts, which are now converted to hotels. Sometimes, I even felt that few of them have been purposefully constructed to give you a feel of a fort/haveli to charge more. 😛 Especially, Hotel Udaigarh, where we ended up staying, thanks to the site- Agoda
The hotel is still under construction and while it is coming up fine, I would rather have come to it an year later than now. There are lots of details which need filling up for it to become a functional, likable hotel.
Anyways, old-Udaipur. You find so many foreigners there that you feel like you’re somewhere outside India.
The place has narrow, rising and falling streets, which remind you of the eras gone by. You can pretty much picture the artisans and the traders putting up bazaars there. Women walking on roads, wearing ghagra-choli, carrying a child side-ways. ..And, palanquins being mounted/unmounted, for the royals, at the lake side. It’s so …historical!
Turn around the corner, and you find a Rajasthani woman, turning around, looking back at you with those beautiful, earthy eyes, holding her dupatta in her mouth, partially covering her face. It’s so real, but it’s only a painting hanging on an artist’s cafe.
Go further, and you can see metal cages and other sorts hanging in a shop, somewhere there will be pretty bandhej dupattas/stoles, mojaris or tailored suits. And then there was the German Bakery. I have to say, it had the most amazing of Date and Walnut Pie. Have it with the local tea (not the machine one) and you’re gonna keep coming back to Udaipur just for that experience.
I totally loved the whole modern-mixed-with-old feel the area had. No cars honking around you. Only autos. (The streets are too narrow for cars to reach in). Some places, even autos can’t go and you have to get down and walk. But, all of it, adds to the charm.
The modern-Udaipur, is totally opposite. You get a glimpse of it when you visit Fatehsagar lake. The open, broad roads, well-developed markets and houses, road-side chaat/coffee shops. The good thing is, it’s quite clean. While I found Lake Pichola still dirty, Lake Fatehsagar and the vicinity was much more cleaner and better kept. Also, people are quite civilized. Actually, if you compare with NCR, where-ever you go, you find people nicer and much better behaved. They even offer you help. 😛
The best view of the trip: Has to be the Nehru Garden in the middle of Fatehsagar lake. I went there in the evening. The waters, the lone-standing Sajjangarh fort on the tall mountain in the front, watching a bird take a long flight. Ohh, the experience was magical. Feel the breeze, the water, the sound, the silence. I could almost imagine myself coming there often in evenings for some quite. It was beautiful.
At the time when I went to the garden, I didn’t know it was the famous Sajjangarh fort. It just reminded me of Hyannis Port of Daniel MacGregor (a character in a novel I read). In the novel, he creates a big, beautiful castel-like house on the top of the mountain, quite aloof from the city. It’s kind of a foundation he puts there. Which his family, his children, his grand-children can come to. I loved the idea. And, I loved the picture of it in that fort. 🙂
I wish to go again there soon. I can’t accept not having visited all parts of that beautiful city.