As we were with a tour throughout India and we were moving around quite frequently, it was actually quite nice to spend 3 nights in one place. It meant we could finally get a feel for somewhere ourselves and do a bit of exploring. Udaipur, a busy city full of narrow streets, is also known as the ‘Venice of the East’ with several lakes within the historical city.
We ended up doing so much walking whilst we were here, with the weather being nice it was a good opportunity to see the city and also to save money! One day we did the same 5km round trip 3 times! Yep 15km of the same scenery..but what nice scenery and it was worth the £5 we saved having to haggle with Tuk Tuks!
Lake Pichola is one of the main attractions here, with many surrounding rooftop restaurants and bars to help Udaipur get its romantic status. It is particularly pretty at sunset, where you can get on a 45 minute boat ride whilst watching the sun go down, which we did one evening. As the boat was quite old, surprisingly it was only really peaceful once the engine was turned off, which was probably for about 10 minutes of the journey. The views however were stunning, with the sun setting below the mountains in the distance and the small wispy clouds creating all different shades of blues and pinks.
This was topped on the following night by watching the sunset from one of the rooftop bars with a bottle of Kingfisher (or two) and a few more in the hours that followed! By the way, there are two versions of Kingfisher in India, the blue and the stronger red. The red has way more taste but it packs a punch at over 7%, safe to say after two of these beasts we had a couple of lead heads in the morning!
As it happened it was Valentines Day whilst we were in Udaipur (that’s cute I know). At home we usually find this day expensive and busy so we just cook a meal ourselves, however as we were in the most romantic city in India (pass the bucket), we thought why not go and treat ourselves?! We ended up at a little restaurant called Thari Garh (deffos recommend!) and it didn’t disappoint. Looking over the lake into the dark of the night, with huge fruit bats flying between the over hanging trees we plonked ourselves down on a day bed and sunk into a relaxing night. After a long but extremely nescessary deliberation (there was just so much delicious food to choose from, think all manner of curries, breads and sundries), we carefully chose our order. In the end we went for a full tandoori chicken, vegetable biryani and 2 rotis. It was some of the best food we’d had in India, the chicken was all charred but moist on the inside and the byrini fragrant and fluffy. On top of this we had 4 drinks and the bill only came to £10.40.. crazy!
We got the chance to do some yoga, which I had been eager to do since we’d arrived in India. The instructor was an extremely flexible, 50 something, little Indian man and even though we’d been told the wrong time and turned up 30 minutes late, he was more than happy more people had come along. It was a pretty intense, but fun, hour session (yes the others who turned up on time did 90 minutes!) with the instructor getting into some ridiculous shapes! The way he got from one position to another was mind boggling but we did our best to copy! He even got us all doing headstands at the end, which I enjoyed as it was the first time I’d managed to do one on my own 🙂 (btw I held that head stand for as long as any of the yoga veterans!) As the yoga master said, ‘no yoga, no chapatis’, so there was only one thing to do after we’d climbed down off our heads…
Udaipur is home to the City Palace, which many people spend the day walking around, however we decided against going in as we’d been in several temples already(The Taj Mahal being one) so we can’t really comment on what it’s like! However, we did see some of the outskirts of it from our boat trip and we like to think that this was the best place to view it from. But we did make a couple of visits to the centrally located Jagdish temple, which had hundreds of intricate and ornate designs carved in to its stone exterior, even including some Karma Sutra images!
Udaipur was definitely one of our favourite cities out of all the places we visited throughout our India trip and could have stayed a little longer. However, there was lots more discoveries to be made in our next destination!