“Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” I subscribe to this thought in its entirety. Like most of us, I too have huge bucket list ranging from Machu Pichu, sahara desert, and the Amazon forest to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Rajasthan was one of the items on that list. I have had always heard of the mesmerising and awe-inspiring grandeur of Rajput rulers and their remarkable achievements in art and architecture apart from their towering stature in warcraft.
As it so happened, the first phase of our On Job Training was announced and fortunately, I was allotted Udaipur.
I began making elaborate travel plans and by the end of of my research, I had equipped myself to act as a proper city guide.
We landed in Udaipur on 16th July after a halt in city of dreams - Mumbai. The weather was very pleasant and continued to be so for the weeks to come.
During the course of our OJT, we visited 6 key places - Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Mount Abu, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaisamand. Additionally, we also made trips to two lesser known destinations namely badi lake and pipliya ji.
Known for its breathtaking scenery, majestic palaces, world-class museums and luxury hotels, Udaipur is steeped in history, having been home to successive generations of the Maharanas of Mewar. Placed alongside Fateh sagar and holding Pichola and Swarup Sagar in its arms, the city is a perfect destination for experiencing pleasure and good food.
The first brush with Fateh Sagar made me a little disheartened for it seemed like any other lake. However, my sentiments turned out to be premature when the cloud cover dissipated and the true beauty of the lake emerged along with the sunshine.
Places to see in Udaipur: lake pichola, lake fateh Sagar, city palace, monsoon palace, jagmandir, Saheliyo ki baadi, and Badi lake.
Food: Specialities include laal maans @ Courtyard and Khamma Ghani, and lasuni palak at Hotel Tribute. One can have authentic Rajasthani food at gobardhan thal and Krishna Dal Bati restro.
Handicraft: Bazaar near Jagdish temple, Hathipole(beware of overpricing), miniature paintings in the vicinity of Chand pole.
My favourite experience: sitting at the pal on the shores of fatehsagar in the evening and listening to classical music and visiting the market near Jagdish Temple.
This is a small lake situated 6 km from Fateh Sagar, on the outskirts of Udaipur. The road to Badi Lake is guarded by Monsoon Palace. Less crowded and undisturbed, it provides a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The ecotone mark developed and protected on the shores of Badi Lake offers a spectacular view of the lake. The lake also provides ample opportunities for birdwatchers.
Pilpiya ji drive:
This is the best route for those fond of bike rides. This 25-km trip from Udaipur is beautiful and passes through a fairly difficult terrain. Once you reach the highest peak of the village, you will experience fast-paced soothing winds and accompanied by clouds covering the mountains and a drizzle in the background.
There is lot more to cover and see in rajsthan.. what we saw is mostly southern and western rajsthan.. but yes.. for the time being I would prefer to cherish these days and wait for the time when I can travel to other places.
Dr Vasant Rajput. IRS.