Unwinding in Udaipur
It was the second day of our 10 day vacation. We were riding from Mumbai to Chandigarh on our Royal Enfield and had reached Halol in Gujarat on Day 1. For the second day, we had decided to hit Udaipur via SH5 and NH 8. Minutes after we entered Rajasthan; we treated ourselves with a steaming portion of dal-baati at a dhaba. We picked this particular eating joint because it had quite a few trucks parked outside it. As per @RoyalEnfielder, the number of trucks outside a dhaba is directly proportional to the quality of the food it serves.
After a hearty (and heavy) lunch, we began our journey towards Udaipur, our over night halt. Since we were not sure how far we would go that day, we had not made any hotel bookings. Lately I have been enjoying unplanned road trips more – not knowing where the day will end and where the night will be spent is quite exciting.
We reached Udaipur at around 5 pm and quickly searched for hotels. We checked into Krishna Niwas which is walking distance from the City Palace. The hotel is a 300 year old haveli turned into a home stay-style hotel. The owner of the place is a coveted artist and one can see that in the wall paintings inside the 5-story building.
Apart from the heritage value that this place had, what fascinated me the most were the vintage photographs on the wall along the staircase. They didn’t have any description below them so I was just making up stories in my mind about who those people were and how their life style would have been. I assumed that the images were of the family that owned the place. One picture with the men of the house posing with a freshly hunted tiger captivated my attention for a long, long time. I could not stop looking at it!
The sun was about to set and we were restless to get out and see the city!
After freshening up, we set out to explore the city in whatever time we had at hand. Look at these images of the streets I walked that evening – such a colorful and quiet paradise!
You could spend hours just strolling around and observing the milieu of locals and foreigners interacting in the shops, restaurants, on the streets, etc. Be cautious of the cars zooming past these narrow lanes – they will almost ignore your full grown self and simply drive away. It’s not their fault – there’s no place for the car to twist and turn. The turns are steep and there’s really not much place for one to keep safe distance from any vehicle.
The City Palace is one of the best palaces I have seen in India. But I am told the one in Jodhpur is even more mesmerising. We were obviously too late to go inside; however the walk around it was quite impressive too. It was a lovely evening, with cold breeze and a chill in the air.
I loved the detailed art in the palace premises. Come to think of it, the entire area around the lake is lavish with exuberant art of one form or the other.
If you are visiting Udaipur, you must spare some time for the Vintage & Classic Car Collection Museum. The museum is not too far from the City Palace; although we took an auto rickshaw to get there from the Palace’s back door. They have some beauties from early to mid nineteens; Cadillacs to Rolls Royce to a vintage school bus (it absolutely fascinated me) to an old-school petrol pump inside the museum premises. The decor of the museum was a bit of a let down but that didn’t take away the charm of these motor vehicles!
By the time we finished checking out the museum, it was quite cold and the city was getting darker by the minute. We headed back to the area around the lake which was shimmering in all the hustle bustle.
And we spotted this; which put a smile on my face! 🙂
If you are halting in Udaipur, try Udai Art Cafe for a great breakfast (and an even better coffee). You will like everything about it 🙂
Needless to say, we were at this cafe for breakfast the next morning and it couldn’t have been a better decision. We had to ride to Pushkar that day – and thanks to this great meal; the ride started on a great note 🙂
And that’s how we spent our 20 hours in Udaipur!