Monday January 13th / January 14th
We arrived in Udaipur at around 4pm and checked into our room in the Aashiya Haveli (right in the heart of Lal Ghat area).
The hotel was a converted Haveli or home and was just the ticket after our home stay.
Straddling the man made Pichola Lake, Udaipur is well worth the moniker “Venice of the East”. It is also famous in popular culture as the birthplace of the panther Bagheera in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and the setting for the James Bond movie Octopussy.
Striking out to get our bearings we quickly found that we were in a perfect location, views of the lake and palace and within walking distance of all the sights.
We had dinner in a restaurant called Millets of Merwar in the Hallam Ghat area, reachable by footbridge from ours. This is a great restaurant with tons of tasty gluten free options and was so good we went the next night.
With our bellies full and our agenda planned for the next day we headed to bed, via the rooftop bar.
After grabbing breakfast in the O’Zen Restaurant we headed up the hill to Badi Pol and the City Palace complex. We had done so many museums in short a small space of time we decided to just walk around the complex instead. For 30 Rupees you get access to everything except the museum and this was well worth it.
There are 2 examples hunting cages just inside the Tripalya Gates so we had to grab a photo.
There was a changing of the guards ceremony taking place as we arrived complete with accompanying band and Indian Bagpipe Troupe!!
We took our time to explore the city palace complex and made our way down to the jetty where we would take the short boat ride over to Jagmandir Island. The boat took us right around the Taj Palace hotel and the Dobi Ghat washing platform next to the lake where locals wash themselves and soon enough we disembarked onto the island.
Jag Mandir or Lake Garden Palace was named after the last named Maharana Jagat Singh and was used as a refuge for European families during the 1857 Revolt. It is now a hotel/spa.
Upon our return to the lake shore we got some lunch before going to see the last big ticket item on our list for Udaipur –
Built in the late 1700s by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Shri Amarchand Badwa, this palace has over 130 rooms with displays of costumes and modern art as well as a small puppet museum.
So that was Udaipur. Next up is the short flight to Mumbai for Ollie’s and Neem’s wedding.
But before that Karen managed to get a few shifts as a TukTuk driver to help pay our way… Taxi Taxi