Four Countries in 2 Weeks: Turkey, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India
India Day 7 – Touring Udaipur with a visit to the Jagdish Temple, an extensive walkthrough the City Palace and an exploration of Lake Pichola by boat. Ending the day with a long drive back to Jaipur.
With plenty of places to visit in Udaipur, we wanted to get an early start and had a quick breakfast at the hotel. However we were slightly delayed due to some mix-up with the guides and our tour company. An hour later, everything was sorted and we were off!
Our first stop was at the famous Hindu temple in the center of the city. Built in 1651, the white temple overlooks the buildings below.
The site seemed very popular and hoards of tourists were being herded through. There were also many locals in religious prayer we visited.
The carvings around the temple were intricate and skillfully done.
City Palace Udaipur
From the temple we walked up the street to the City Palace. This large complex of buildings was built in 1559 on the side of Lake Pichola.
We walked under the gate Tripolia, built in 1725. Once we entered the palace area, we found ourselves in a maze of courtyards, mansions, gardens, and viewpoints.
Before we entered a museum area we had to check our cameras in or pay to bring them. Many sections of the museum were adorned with antiques, paintings, and furniture.
The viewing area at the top of the museum offered panoramic views over the entire city.
After our tour, we headed towards the lake passing by Fateprakash Palace which is now used as a luxury hotel.
Our next activity was a boat ride around the man-made lake. We walked over to the lake front and got in a small slow boat with about twenty other tourists. The boat chugged slowly around the lake offering views of the palace and luxury hotels surrounding the lakeside.
The famous palace set in the center of the lake was made of marble in 1743-1746. Previously a royal summer palace, it is now a five-star Taj hotel.
Octopussy, a James Bond film, was shot here in 1982.
Our boat stopped at this other island in the lake known as the Lake Garden Palace and dates back to 1551. The courtyard was being set up for a wedding or reception. There was a small exhibit of artwork and a lakeside bar.
I liked the elephant statues around the outer wall of the palace.
Back on the boat, we continued to our starting point and hopped into the car with our guide.
We visited the Garden of maids built in the 18th century for 48 maids who came to Udaipur as a part of the princess’ dowry.
When we entered our guide explained that the fountains obey clapping and showed us how they would start and stop if you clapped.
We were amused until we realized that there was a gardener sitting behind a bush next to the tap, turning it on and off for the tourists. He smiled as our guide tipped him for his good trickery.
The fountains filled with lotus plants were quite beautiful.
This was our last stop in Udaipur besides some mandatory shopping. Our guide left us and we were on our way to Jaipur again.
The drive back took between seven and eight hours mostly because we hit some traffic. We stopped at a local roadside restaurant which happened to serve some excellent Indian food. The entire meal for the five of us was the same as a single dish at the last tourist restaurant we went to (around 500 rupees!)
We also made a pitstop where some Japanese tourists enjoyed a good laugh at our friend Bill for his incredible Godzilla-like height.
Around 10 p.m., we eventually arrived and checked into the Trident Jaipur.
Unfortunately the restaurant was closed, but the staff arranged some tables at the bar so we could be served there. Plus it was happy hour!
One of our friends who happened to be in town stopped by and joined us for some cocktails.
So that’s how we spent our last night together, sitting around the Trident Jaipur lobby bar sipping cocktails over dinner and reminiscing over all the amazing experiences we shared over our Golden Triangle tour.
The next day I would split from the group and travel solo to Jodhpur. They would continue to Delhi and then home.
The regional bus ride tomorrow should be quite the adventure!