We reached there in the evening as we had 5 hours layover in Mumbai :-/. So, nothing much on 15th except for the lake Pichola which was just 200 m away from our Hostel. We stayed in Zostel Udaipur and it was a Value for Money deal! We got a Royal room facing the lake just for ₹1650 per day. We had planned for a road trip and hence had pre-booked a Zoom Car for 3 days (16th to 18th). Our plan was like this:
We started off in our car at 9 am in the morning after having breakfast at the hotel. The road to Chittorgarh is quite smooth courtesy the NH. We reached the city at around 12:30 pm. After having Dal Bati thali lunch in Chittorgarh, we started for the fort! So, the fort is having a circumference of around 13 km. There is the winding road up till the entrance of the fort. There are multiple Pols (the older name for entrance gates in Hindi) to the fort. We took a guide at the entrance as we wanted to soak into the history of this marvellous place. In the past, both the royal family and the civilians used to stay inside the fort. As per our guide, even today ~5000 folks stay inside this mini-city while the descendants of the royal family (King Kumbha on whose name is the fort) has moved to Udaipur. It is a UNESCO World heritage site and houses multiple tourist spots, viz., Kumbha Palace, Padmini Mahal, victory tower, Meera Mandir, Kirti Stambh, Jain temple, Gaumukh Kund.
Adjacent to Victory tower is the Jauhar ground where three Jauhars (mass immolation) happened in the past. As per the locals, the city is still haunted by the spirits who seem to be wailing during night hour. Spooky!
Anyways, this is where we spent our 16th. It took us around 4 hours to complete the tour. Time just flew here! We left the place at around 5 pm and reached Udaipur by 8:30 pm.
Today was my birthday! :) We spent this day lazying around. We left the hotel late and went for lunch at Panna Vilas overseeing the beautiful Fatehsagar lake. From here, we left for Sajjangarh fort which was around 20 minutes away. The roads here were spiraling up and was bit slippery because it was raining the entire day. This fort used to be the monsoon palace of the king Sajjansingh of Udaipur. The fort was getting renovated but the view from here was to die for! You can see both Pichola and Fatehsagar lakes sitting like kings amidst the crisscrossing constructions. We ended the day with Karni Mata temple. One needs to take a ropeway to reach it and can see many wild peacocks while in the trolley!
Today was the Kumbhalgarh day! We again left early. The fort walls can be seen from KMs away and it's the second largest fort after the Chittor fort. It is also a UNESCO World heritage site. Maharana Pratap was born here and it's also called the invincible fort as it was never invaded by any foreign ruler, unlike the Chittor fort which was ransacked by multiple invaders. The wall extends to the length of 36km and is the second longest wall after the Great Wall of China. It takes around 4.5 - 5 hours to tour the entire fort. The Light and Sound show happen everyday at 7:30 pm, however, we parked it as we had to leave early for Udaipur.
View from outside the fort
View from Badal Mahal - Birth Place of Maharana Pratap.
Badal Mahal atop the hill - Inside Kumbhalgarh
Fort from inside
Lots of custard apple trees in the forest around the fort
Today was the last day of the trip. Our flight was at 2 pm. So we practically had time till 11:30. Today, we decided to cover the City Palace, the home of descendants of King Kumbha. The present king, has converted half the palace to a museum. In the remaining half are two hotels and the residential area for the king and his family. The museum houses some of the older artifacts like musical instruments, objects of daily use, utensils, costumes etc. However, worth watching is the craftsmanship involved in every inch of the palace! The doors are very small (~5.5 ft*2 ft) and it was designed in this way to throttle entrance by enemies if ever it gets attacked! Equally thought-provoking and at times difficult to grasp is the lifestyle of the kings. Why one need silver toothpick O_o.
Palace as from inside
It's just Rs.10000 for 24 Karat Gold Pizza!! :P
After wonderful 5 days here, we bid goodbye to the wonderful city of Udaipur with a promise that we will come back again to do justice to the history that it encapsulates!