A Royal Retreat: Udaipur

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Photo of A Royal Retreat: Udaipur by saloni maheshwari

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, birds were chirping, men and women were out for the walk, few youngsters were jogging with their earphones plugged in and here we were heading to Udaipur for a fun filled trip!

We left Ajmer around 7 enjoying our drive, and an hour later, we stopped by a dhaba to have our breakfast and I must say, if you are in Rajasthan don’t miss out on any food, you are gonna love it all!

We started our trip with the famous Nath Dwara Mandir, which is a temple of Krishna and more popularly known as Srinathji. We had around two hours to kill before the gates opened to the hordes of devotees. The area was like any other religious area. Rows of shops with artifacts to be used for worshipping, plenty of silverware, idols, marble besides the paraphernalia of the photos of Srinathji of course, along with religious dvds etc.

Well, we waited and waited, with the throng of devotees, right up to 15 minutes before the gates opened and then, there was this freaking crowd, people were pushing one another, don’t know why there is not a system! But, anyhow, we managed to have a darshan of Srinath Ji and get his blessings!

And yes, you must try out “thandai” with their secret ingredient (I hope you got that: p) that the vendors sell outside the temple. You will actually love it and feel out of the world!!!

Our next spot was Devigarh Fort where we had a royal Lunch. The contemporary design showcased within this spectacular heritage property, complemented by personalized and intimate service, creates a new image of hospitality. A walk through the palace with a guide will give you a natural experience of the fort.

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Finally, Udaipur was here, a charming city with shimmering lakes, ancient architecture, grand mansions and plenty of folklore. Udaipur is one of the most popular getaways in India and rings a bell for luxurious travel. It’s a big wedding destination and honeymooners seem to love this place. It is often called ‘Venice of the East’ or ‘City of Lakes’.

We loved our trip to Udaipur, so here we share our experience.

Jheel Cafe

As we reached Udaipur we checked in to Jheel café, one of the famous cafes of Udaipur. You can anytime visit this café, be it for morning breakfast, afternoon tea or a lazy evening with your friends for coffee. The café offers the most tranquil, scenic beauty of Lake Pichola. Besides the coffee, walnut brownie with ice cream is worth trying if you are the one with the sweet tooth.

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Mesmerizing Lakes

Encircled on all sides by grand palaces, marble temples, local houses, the seven lakes, Lake Pichola, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, Fatehsagar, Badi, Madar and Udai Sagar adds to the mysticism of Udaipur. All the lakes of Udaipur form a chain in the saucer shaped Udaipur Valley.

Stay at any lake front hotel and enjoy the beauty of the lake by gazing around simply. Take photographs of numerous palaces and their reflections in the water and take a boat-ride to the famous island palaces, you will undoubtedly fall in love with it!

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Dinner at Ambrai

Ambrai is a must for everyone who visits Udaipur for the first time. I would say, Udaipur is incomplete if you do not go to Ambrai. Highly, highly recommended! The restaurant is set at a lake-shore level, looking across the water to the City Palace in one direction and Jagniwas in the other.

The service and cuisine did justice to its fabulous position, and a bar to complement the dining was just amazing. It provides you an experience that is unmatched by anything else. Good food, awesome ambience and amazing company, what else do you need.

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Fatehsagar, popularly known as “FS”

Again one of the must visits if you are in Udaipur, and if you are a foodie this is the place to be, and if you are a coffee lover, just don’t forget to enjoy the famous Kullad Coffee. It is just that perfect coffee!

Sajjangarh Fort also called Monsoon Palace

Perched on a high summit of Banasdara mountain of Aravalli hill range, just like a bejeweled tiara stands the glorious Sajjangarh fort. It is a white marble palace. This palace gives astounding and charismatic view of the city.

The palace is now famed for the sunset view. The palace does not have many things to see; but the view from the top is great. The palace provides a spectacular view of the lakes. Visit the fort at the time of sunset; you will love this place for sure.

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The City Palace

The City Palace is the living proof of the grandeur of royal Rajwadas of Rajasthan. My eyes almost popped out when I first saw the vintage car collection. Call it the master stroke of the Rajasthan government or the royal families; they had successfully preserved the culture. The old images, paintings, cars, statues, jharokha, armory, guns, jewellery, cloths, chandeliers, gardens and much more. It was all proof of how the kings of Rajasthan lived larger than life.

This grand palace was made on the one bank of Lake Pichola. So once we finished the tour of the royal heritage, we sat on the edge of the lake and enjoyed the beauty and moved towards Jagmandir.

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Jagmandir

This is an island in the Lake Pichola, which was used as a summer resort and a pleasure palace for holding parties by the royal family. It is now open to the public and you can see the gardens, have a bite at the coffee shop, or even stay overnight in part of the former palace to get that “Royal Feel”. The surroundings of the Palace offer a blissful view of the sunset. It is approachable by a boat-ride from the City Palace.

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If you are visiting Rajasthan anytime, make sure you include Udaipur as well, you are gonna have a great time in Rajasthan!

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