Six Hours in Udaipur: A Spontaneous Escape

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The Lake side terrace cafe, simply beautiful

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The City Palace Gardens

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Mesmerizing View Of the Lake Palace

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Inside The CIty Palace

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Just like a scene from a TV Serial

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View from the top

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The Sajjangadh Biological Park

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View from Sajjangadh park

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Art in the city palace

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A glimpse into the palace

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The waiting room

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The royal chambers

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Royalty in every corner

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The lake side handicraft shop

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Chilling at the lake

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Alongside Lake Fatehsagar

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Boat rides at lake Fatehsagar

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Just waiting for someone to take a camel ride

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Busy streets of Udaipur

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Fatehsagar Lake

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A random cafe near Sajangadh

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Some antique scenes

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The beautiful Pichola Print

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Through the window

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Travel Story- How I decided to get away for the day

With Diwali just a couple of weeks away, holiday plans were the key topic of discussion. My Diwali was to be spent quietly at home with family as I hadn’t been home in three months. For the past few months, I had been working my ass off with extra classes, internships and college assignments at hand to occupy all my time. Amongst this chaos, was time for a break. Submissions were approaching and I was still working with the travel bug in me shouting for a break. I desperately needed to get away, even for a day. But with extra classes occupying my weekends as well, there seemed no chance.

But somehow, luck was on my side and finally I got a day off because of classes being cancelled for some reason. This was my chance. Luckily, I had just received my stipend and had some savings to spare. With hours to go, I decided to head off to Udaipur for the day. Some friends of mine had recently been there and wouldn’t stop talking about the beautiful city. It was my chance. I immediately rushed off to the bus station the moment I got back from college and bought a ticket for the early morning bus the next day.With just hours to go, excitement was brimming and I was fully packed and prepared with my to-go backpack. A wonderful road trip awaited. Photo of Six Hours in Udaipur: A Spontaneous Escape 1/3 by Himani Sheth

With a ten hour journey to make, to and fro, I was left with six hours to explore Udaipur as much as I could and trust me, in mere six hours, you cannot do justice to this wonderful city. Udaipur is all beauty, art and culture that need to be savored at a peaceful pace. This city of lakes,  palaces,  royalty with all its chaos and it's hustle and bustle is one popular tourist destination and now I know why.  There is a lot to see and a lot to admire. Though, I tried. I explored the city palace, admired the view at Pichola Lake, enjoyed the liveliness alongside Fatehsagar Lake, took a stroll among nature in the Sajjangadh Biological Park, went on a shopping spree at Hathi Pol and had the world's worst Ice tea at a random café near Sajjangadh.

Another thing was that I was alone in an unknown own city, completely on my own. Being a girl, you might worry about your safety. According to me, Udaipur is one of the safest tourist spots you could visit. My observation was that, people took extra care and were quite helpful once they came to know I was a girl travelling alone. The person in charge at the bus station even made sure I got on to my bus back to Ahmadabad safely.

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Apart from this, a tip to remember the next time you visit Udaipur is to learn how to bargain. It will save you a lot of money. Hire a Chakda wala or a Rickshaw wala to take you around the city. They even have specific schemes planned for tourists. But be sure to negotiate first hand. Plus, a rickshaw is always a lot more fun, at least for me.

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I spent six hours in this amazing city with beauty all around me, even in the graffiti and paintings on the walls along the street apart from its main attractions filled with natural and architectural beauty. I met new people, had a fun chat with my rickshaw wala throughout the trip, had many new experiences and explored the place as much as I could in the time frame I had. On the bus back to the city, I simply laid my head back into my seat and looked out my window, star gazing along the beautiful Rajasthan Highway.

This spontaneous escape proved to be just what I needed and will always be the one to remember.

To describe the City Palace of Udaipur in one word, I'd simply call it beauty. That's what it is. The mesmerizing beauty of the city palace is what makes it so enchanting, attracting a throng of tourists on a daily basis. Every nook and corner of the palace, be it the wonderful palace gardens and the water fountains or the beautiful palace windows or just the path walk leading to the palace gates, it is all just brimming with beauty. The moment you enter the main gate and start walking along the road to the palace gates, you are enchanted with the beauty of the Pichola Lake and the awe inspiring view of the lake palace and the terrace cafes from the palace. You won't be able to keep yourself from just standing there and admiring the view, just taking it all in. It is like a small town all on its own. With little streets lined with cute little shops selling ethnic clothes, handicraft items or pretty souvenirs. But, what I loved the most about the palace is the view. You can see entire Udaipur from up there. A medley of colors, that view just holds you there, in the moment. The architecture of the place, the Meenakari rooftops, the beautifully carved walls and windows and the décor of each room in general simply spell out royalty with all its grandeur. I spent almost three hours in and around the city palace, exploring. Even the surroundings of the City Palace are all worth visiting. The Tibetan Market, the Pichola Lake Gardens and of course, the astounding Lake Palace.
Next stop on my list after City Palace was the Pichola Lake. Pichola Lake is perhaps one of the best of the many lakes Udaipur has to offer. It is a lovely place to just walk about. The Lake palace is right at centre of the lake with beautiful terrace café at its banks. The view is simply splendid and the atmosphere just relaxing. A walk along the Pichola gardens is just what you would need to calm your mind. Also, the street side kiosks are worth exploring. They have a wide range of beautiful handicraft items, pretty ‘jhumkas’ (long earrings) and even fancy items like a mini smoke pipe. After a bit of shopping and debating with the vendor about whether the smoking pipe really functions (a fun debate, I must say), I left for my next destination.
Fatehsagar Lake is one lively place. Just roaming alongside the lake, it is something like a little fair, with boat rides, camel rides and a lot of different food stalls. I walked around the Fatehsagar Lake, camera at ready. The hustle and bustle of the people around just fills you up with a different kind of energy. After a bit of roaming about aimlessly, I stopped by to get Rajasthan’s famous ‘matka kulfi’ (A kind of ice-cream) from a nearby vendor, who happily posed for the camera going along with my excitement to document every bit of my trip. While at the lake, I had a little chat with some of the locals, who then told me about the Sajjangadh fort and Biological Park that was carved out of a mountain. This whole ‘carved out of a mountain’ bit seemed quite fascinating to me. SO I decided to make Sajjangadh my next stop and off we went.
Sajjangadh Biological Park and Sajjangadh Fort are the epitome of magnificence. Unfortunately, due to time constraint, I had to opt out of visiting the Sajjangadh Fort. So I decided to take a stroll around the Sajjangadh Biological Park. Upon entering the Park, I was given a choice of going around the park in a golf cart which I opted out of. It is a huge park with a lot of scenic beauty. The view of the Sajjangadh Fort and the hills from the park is simply breathtaking. IF you are a sucker for a good stroll amidst nature, Sajjangadh Biological Park is the spot for you. There are park benches spread across beneath huge lush trees. I sat down at one such bench, simply taking in the natural beauty of the place and wrote it all down in my journal later. As I sat there writing, nothing felt more relaxing than that. Sajjangadh Park and Fort’s natural beauty are worth exploring.
One cannot come back from a trip, any trip without some souvenir. When you are in Rajasthan, these souvenirs would be beautiful handicraft items or those colorful puppets or those beautifully made embroidered torans and pillow covers. I made Hathi Pol my last stop to do some Diwali Shopping. A plethora of colors and some added bling with amazing works of art, trust me, you need more than a day and a full pocket to go shopping in Udaipur. From those beautifully decorated Bamboo Cotton Dresses in Pichola Art to the colorful puppets to beautiful silver jewelry, Hathi Pol is one awesome shopping hub in Udaipur. But, be sure to keep your bargain game strong and make some savings. Udaipur is known for its silver too, a fact I got to know from the locals. So with silver jhumkas, some pretty dress materials and Udaipur’s famous gulkand barfi and cham cham (sweets) in hand, I made my way to the bus station.
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