This holi I did not want to spend it celebrating with society folks and instead decided to get adventurous and travel to a new land, the city of lakes.... Udaipur. A friend who had never been to Udaipur was happy to join. This led to.us staying in an Airbnb instead of the hostels I usually choose.
We booked our stay at Greco house on Lal Ghat Road which was conveniently located near all the major tourist places and was in close proximity to the local shops. The cost for three nights was Rs. 5807 on a twin sharing basis with breakfast included.
On 20th morning, I arrived by train from Delhi and after a heavy breakfast of aloo parathas and tea we headed to the City Palace which took 10 mins to reach by foot. It took a few hours to cover the entire area with an audio guide which cost Rs. 200. There is also a crystal museum with a separate fee of Rs. 500 which I did not cover in this trip. The palace showcased the grandeur and style of the royal family, the history, art and architecture. In the interior was a soul soothing garden where havans were performed. You will see intricate enamel work on the walls, paintings depicting God's and Goddesses on doors and walls, marble inlay work and tiles from foreign lands were also used to decorate walls and one can see these extensively used in different rooms of the palace. Almost every room window opens up to Lake Pichola and I couldn't help but get my picture taken at one such beautiful spot. I let myself "dream on" to what Udaipur may have felt like, at a time when everything was magical and mysterious.
We had lunch at a lake facing restaurant located inside the premises for Rs. 1500 per person. The lake glistened in the afternoon sun and boats bobbed about lazily. I felt like a queen relaxing on my private island. The contentment I felt watching this was palpable as everyone just let me be and take in this experience.
After lunch we went for the Jag Mandir boat ride which cost Rs. 750 per person. This included a 20 min boat ride around the lake to Jag Mandir island, an hour's stop there and a 20 min boat ride back. I particularly like water and so every experience near water is a pleasurable experience for me. Jag Mandir was a beautiful experience again for what it represented. It seemed like the ideal place to get married- the greenery, the lake, the gardens, the overall place gave an ideal experience of exclusivity and this seemed perfect for an intimate and fun gathering. Here, one has the option to wine and dine or simply enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the sights of this beautiful place for as long as they can.
My most favourite moment was watching the sunset during the ride back on the boat. My entire trip to Udaipur culminated in this single moment when I was watching this sunset. My senses were heightened. Everything was in 3D. And I will never forget how I felt. I was completely enveloped in the experience of this sunset. I was in that moment completely detached from the world around me. All that existed was the sunset, the water and me experiencing the magic :-)