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Trip to the Venice of East - Udaipur

by Abhishek 6 year, 8 months ago
It all started with a travel website - Travel Guru - offering some great deals on Trident and Oberoi hotels (25%) and more for VISA card holders (up to 20%). Decided to book Trident Udaipur which is in the same compound as Udaivilas. Here is my experience from day 1 to day 4.

Day 1: Started at Jaipur at 745 am and reached udaipur at 1:15pm. The highway is nice except the truckers who make life miserable. Took a while to find hotel trident. Very good first impression of the property. Very warm sitting check in - paisa wasool. Went to the room dropped the luggage and went to the restaurant for the lunch. Started with a broken cutlery - thanks to Arnav. Good food but guess the service could have been better. Went back to the room and slept off till 645pm. Took shower and freshend up and left for dinner. Found 1559 AD restaurant bistro lounge on the way - decided the venue for dinner. Nice place - good ambience, music - ideal for a romantic candle light dinner. Back to Hotel - went for a stroll within the Oberoi property - passed Udaivilas - one of the greatest hotels in the world - went to Lake Pichola - saw Leela, City Palace, Jag Mandir, Taj Lake Palace - they all looked so beautiful in the night with the lake reflecting the lights on them - the weather was just the cream on top of this cake!

Day 2: Started the day on a lazy note - got up @ 800am and got ready. Breakfast at the hotel & finally left for City Palace - the way is really narrow lanes and I was victamized yet again with a scooter hitting my car bumper and ripping it off. Luckly it just got the bumper out of it's place and it was almost fixed on the spot. Finally arrived and managed to find a good guide - he showed us the palace in about 90 mins. Some interesting facts - udaipur is also called the white city not because of it's color but because of the fact that no king ever married anyone in the family to mugals so they were untainted and hence "White". Udaipur palace is still owned by the king - the king used laws in his favour and made it a trust. Haldighati war was fought between Rana Pratap and Britisher but actually the king of Jiapur   - Maan Singh - represented the Britishers. The war was a draw after 5 days just like most criket test matches. Rana Pratap was injured and his horse - Chetak - died in the war. After the palace trip, we decided to have lunch @ Palki Khana located in the city palace premises only - a bit expensive for the quality of service but the food compensates a bit - specially the tomato, onion, oregano, cheese, oregano and basil pizza was great. This was followed by a trip to vintage car collection. The place has collection of some amazing vintage cars from 1930s - Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Ford, Buick, etc. The best part was the guide who told us some very interesting facts about the cars including the history of red and black color for Rolls Royce logo.  Also spotted an old Shell petrol station on exhibition. Content, we went to Shilp Gram - some highlights included the tribal dance, rajasthani folk music, miniature art from Udaipur, nail painting, etc. However over all the palce was disappointing - it gets into action only during the mela which happens during December. Discontent, we moved to Sajjan Garh - the monsoon palace. Located at the highest point around Udaipur - the place allows you to have some great views of the city including both the lakes and the Aravali mountain range. There were some monkeys around who freaked my wife yet again! To complete the day - we decided a royal pamper for ourselves so we booked Jag Mandir (Island Resort) for dinner. It started with a rather long walk to Udaivilas Jetty - there was a boat waiting for us to take us to the island resort. The boat ride was nice with some birds sighted on the way almost walking on the water. Arrived at the location and then moved to the restaurant - it was a small but a nice place - quite royally done. We chose the corner table which gave us the lake view on two sides with Taj Lake Palace, City Palace, Leela, etc., in the view. The  food was nice though the service could have been better with more waiters in the restaurant. Took the boat ride back to the jetty and then a walk back to the hotel room. At this point - we have concluded one more thing about the city that it is not a self-help city - no proper sign boards for tourist destinations, no good city maps - which makes tourism little difficult and some times fun - depends how you look at it - there are guides available at nominal cost for those who might want some help. Looking forward to day 3 and what does it hold for us - so far paisa vasool. 

Day 3: Left the hotel @ 1030am. Went straight to meet my wife's friend's family. Heard some interesting stories from them like Prafful Patel (aviation minister) married her daughter in Udaipur - airport was built in record time and was very well done. 84 chartered planes landed at the airport for the wedding. The wedding was at the island palace - Jag Mandir. They told me that almost everyone from business (Mukesh Ambani), bollywood (Shahrukh Khan) and politics were present. The palace was made to look like a ship in the lake with some amazing decor. Went from there to Eklingji temple. Moved from there to Devi Garh - a boutique hotel - managed by Poddar's. The fort was amazing with 39 suites including one presidential suite.  I wanted to see the presidential suite but managed to see only the Garden suite - quite tastefully done. Spent some time at the terrace bar and moved on to Nathdwara. As usual found some people trying to fleece me with the offer of VIP darshan. I tried my luck and paid a small amount to the guy and realized that even though the temple says "no VIP darshans available - do not pay money to anyone", we managed to get a 5 min earlier priviledged entry to the mandir. Drove back to the hotel for a quick freshen up and some time at the pool side and then headed to the Mewar Sound and Light Show at city palace which depicts the history of Mewar in one hour with some amazing light and sound effects. This is a must see in Udaipur. The projection is on the city palace and I must say that I could not have imagined a better way to close the trip. This was followed by drive back to the hotel and a buffet at the hotel restaurant which was fulfilling.

Day 4: As usual got ready by 930am and then packed up to check out. Went for breakfast and then decided to go for a stroll in the hotel property as it has some attractions like Bada Mahal -a hunting palace for the kings in the past. Came back and checked out and left for Jaipur @ 1045am. On the way decided to stop over at Ajmer - my wife's home town. Spent about couple of hours there and had lunch. Left for Jaipur and finally reached Jaipur @ 0745pm. So the four day trip came to end with 1050km of driving and a lot of moments full of joy and pleasure. A royal and memorable trip!

Recommendation: must go place!   

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