Since I am on to travelogues, here’s a quick round-up on my trip to Udaipur recently. Udaipur is a quaint, little town in Rajasthan – no crowd, beautiful palaces, heritage hotels, no traffic, not too many places to go….what else can you ask for on a holiday!
Usually, people want to check out as many places in and around the city as possible; but we don’t get into that maddening urge to see anything and everything. A holiday is a holiday, so the most important thing is to slow down the pace, just go wherever you feel like, no plans, no hundred places to see. As a rule, we neither plan, nor attempt to check out all the ‘popular’ tourist places. We shortlist 2-3 places and take our time to go around those only.
Day 1We selected the hotel on our own. Just visited a couple of sites, read a few reviews and zeroed in on The Rampratap Palace, and it really looks exactly like it does in the pictures. It is a beautiful heritage hotel with excellent service, and just 25 rooms so there are never too many people around. I fell in love with this hotel, the moment I saw it. The structure is completely reminiscent of the old times, and the framed pictures of maharajahs, old advertisements, etc add to the aura.
We got a room in the first floor, which also had a quite decent balcony overlooking the road. Just outside our room, was the tiny restaurant that served breakfasts in the mornings – Continental and Indian. Outside the restaurants were lounging garden chairs and little lanterns. Right next to I,t was the hotel’s in-house shop of local items and also a spa. The spiralling stairs led to an open and spacious terrace, which had a fabulous view of around the hotel.
The first day, we hired a cab and selected a few places closer to our Hotel like Nehru park, Saheliyon ki baadi, which, everything said and done, are all parks. There is nothing to ‘see’ as such in these places, so we decided no more parks, and we straightaway went to the beautiful ‘City Palace’. What to say about this beautiful place, it just takes you back to many centuries ago. The Palace is huge and cameras are not allowed inside. We got a guide with us, so that he could tell us about the story around that palace. Apparently, a lot of movies or parts of movies have been shot in this palace like Guide, Hum Saath Saath Hain, a song from Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, etc, etc. There are old weapons too stacked in a room. Read all about City Palace here.
The Palace keeps hosting a lot of events and marriages. In fact, Udaipur had been in news for hosting Raveena Tandon’s marriage and Vikram Chatwal’s marriage. Now who’s Vikram Chatwal?! That’s the reason, I say, read PEOPLE or Page 3 more often, guys!
Well, anyways, I was so drawn to the place that I wanted to buy a book on the City Palace, and luckily there was a little shop within the palace. I bought a book called “Udaipur”. It has everything told by the guide to us and a lot of information about the city as well – about its festivals, generations of maharajas, etc.
That day we did a little bit of shopping in the local market and bought the usual batik print dress material, kurtas and the jaipuri razaai!
Our Hotel had a beautiful restaurant, located across the road. The hotel had their own collection of vintage cars on display. The combination of candle-lights, cool breeze, the heritage hotel in the background, made an extremely romantic setting. It was one of such moments, when you don’t think about anything and the moment stands still, which you would want to hold on in your memories forever!
The second day, we visited the “Aapni Dhaani” , which is on the same platform as “Chowki Dhaani” and encapsulates games, culture and food of Rajasthan.
We also did a little bit of shopping of the rajasthani mojris. I bought 2 footwears – 1 in reddish leather and the other is quite colourful, but haven’t had chance to wear any of those in last so many days!
There is a Monsoon Palace at Sajjangarh, which is in the outskirts of Udaipur. It is not as big as the City Palace but is frequented by tourists to catch the mesmerising sunrises and sunsets!
There is a small cafeteria there to take a break while coming back to the city after watching the sunset.
Dinner again was at the beautiful restaurant of Rampratap hotel!
We had an early morning flight for home. The airport is quite nice at Udaipur and not too many people boarding from there. We saw Dia Mirza, Priti Janghiani, Prachi Desai, Shweta Kwatra and Manav Gohil coming in to board the same flight for Mumbai. Apparently, there was some event the previous night.
It usually happens to me that whenever I see any celebrity (so to say), I don’t know what to do. I feel like staring at the person but feel embarrassed to do so! So, we checked in with all of them, without trying to stare too hard at them.
Overall, the trip was short yet memorable. Though a popular tourist place, yet Udaipur is still not such a hot spot. The quiet, little, laid back town is just the right place to spend some peaceful time. Hope I do get an opportunity to go back there again!