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Udaipur- Lake, Lake Palace and more

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Nested on the shores of the stunning Lake Pichola and surrounded by the rustic Aravali ranges, Udaipur presents you the setting unmatched anywhere in India. It is the place that offers the calmness of a boat ride along with hustle-bustle of the market. The magnanimity of the palaces with the simplicity of street food and quaint old-world feel hotels with all the modern amenities. A perfect selection for the architecture and culture related travel activity.

Padharo Mhare Des…

Udaipur’s skyline offers a pretty romantic setting, right from the time you set your foot in the city. Fantastical palaces and havelis perched upon the banks of the man made lakes makes the city stand out in comparison with other cities of Rajasthan. Here are the list of things one can indulge in on their visit to the City of Lakes.

A Mural depicting Battle of Haldighati at Udaipur Railway Station

Experience the Royal aura at Taj Lake Palace

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace, as the name strikes, visuals of a grand building floating in the middle of the lake will appear before your eyes. 

A grand welcome with a shower of rose petals and platter of refreshments is just the tip of the iceberg of the grand treatment to be followed.

Built as a pleasure palace by Maharana Jagat Singh II in the year 1766, the palace oozes grandness from every nook and corner. 

Magnificent courtyards, intricate architecture and elaborate interiors leave you in awe as you walk past them sipping on the finest of wines from the hotel bar, “Amrit Sagar”.

The restaurants Bhairo and Jharokha offer the most stunning views of the lake Pichola and the city palace as you indulge in the finest Continental and Rajasthani cuisine in the respective restaurants.

Spend your evenings enjoying the beautiful cultural dance and music performances in the King’s Courtyard. The grace and the swirl of the performers will leave you spellbound. That’s Incredible India for you!

Enjoy the Sunset Boat Ride with Surreal Shades of skies

Known as the Venice of the East, Udaipur is home to 7 artificial lakes created across the city. The best way to enjoy the beauty of the lakes is by taking a boat ride.

City Palace at Dawn

Boating in the lake is open from morning 9.00 AM till evening at 6.00 PM, from the city palace. The best time to take the ride is around 5.00 PM, just before the sun is about to set, as you get the best shades of the skies during that time. 

A pretty Venice-esque bridge

The boat ride would make a pit stop at the gorgeous Jag Mandir, the recreational palace of the king, and is also known to be the inspiration of the wonder called Taj Mahal. Of late, the palace is gaining popularity as the most sought-after “Wedding Destination.”

The Scintillating Jag Mandir

From celebrities to industrialists to Hollywood stars, many have tied their Nuptial Knot at this very place. Besides this, Jag Mandir offers a marvellous view of the City Palace and Taj Lake Palace, shining brightly under the setting sun.

Get awed by the Grandeur of City Palace

Front View of the Palace

The City Palace of Udaipur is the largest palace of Rajasthan and 2nd largest Palace of India after Mysore Palace. The construction of this humongous palace was spread across 400 years and 21 generations of rulers.

City Palace from Lake Pichola

However, most significant contributions to the palace can be credited to Maharana Jagatsingh II and Maharana Fatehsingh.  The quarters within the palace are interlinked through a number of courtyards and corridors and are planned in a way to avoid surprise enemy attacks. 

The palace offers a splendid view of the Lake Pichola on one side and Udaipur city on the other side through the beautiful and colourful windows. And the post-sunset view of the palace is worth dying for.

Witness the amazing sunset at Sajjangarh Palace

Sitting on top of the hill, Sajjangarh Palace offers the best sunset view in Udaipur. Known as the Monsoon Palace, it was chiefly built to overlook the monsoon clouds and hence derived its name. The fort offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and the countryside.

Amazing sunset from Sajjangarh Palace

But the USP of the place is mesmerizing sunset from the top of the palace. Overlooking the gorgeous Aravali ranges, observe the skies as they change the colour with each passing moment as the sun moves down towards the horizon.

Soothe your soul with lip smacking food

Udaipur is a food lover’s paradise. Rich in taste and extremely flavorful, the food takes you to another level of gastronomical pleasure. 

Start your day with the amazing Kachoris, a flattened ball made of flour stuffed with either onion or moong dal. A tasty and heavy breakfast that will give you the energy to get through the first half of the day.

Traditional Lunch at Udaipur

After the Kachoris you savoured in the morning are digested by the juices in your stomach, satiate your belly with the signature Dal Baati Churma. Soft and round Baatis, made from wheat flour and baked in clay oven, are served with Dal made from mixed lentils. The Baatis then crushed and poured with Dal, topped with dollops of ghee are to be savoured using your hands. It is a must try dish, recommended place in Udaipur is Krishna Dal Baati Centre.

Enjoy the Mirchi Wadas and Bread Pakodas at Manak Lalji in the evening, while sipping hot masala tea from kullads(earthen cups). It is nothing less than Nirvana.


Spicy red mutton curry full of spices and oozing with the aroma at Udaipur

After hogging all through the day, as the lights sparkle all across Udaipur, dent your teeth in the delicious Lal Maas. A spicy red mutton curry full of spices and oozing with the aroma, while viewing the lovely city glow by the lakeside, ending a lovely foodie day. When in Varanasi, check out the food culture of the city.

Unleash the shopping monster at local market

Just like another tourist place, Udaipur boasts a local market where you can unleash your shopping monster.

Choose from a wide range of souvenirs, clothes, artefacts, footwear, home decor items and traditional crafts work at the Hathi Pole Market. The market is so colourful, that it will tempt you to purchase everything available on sale.   

With so much to offer, Udaipur is an ideal place to spend your vacation. Plan your next trip to Udaipur and get amazed by the royalty, the beauty and the calm of this lovely little place.

Head up to your new year with a goal of positivity with an ideal destination. Check out our work on 8 Destinations to visit for a good start of your next new year.

Rann Utsav – Cultural Fiesta of the White Salt Desert

Rann Utsav Cover Image

Behind the dry and arid region of the desert, stands a place with rich history of arts, culture and heritage. The eerie silence of the barren lands is enough to give you goosebumps, but add to beauty of the place. I never knew deserts can be beautiful until I visited the magnificent desert of Kutch. That’s the unique charm of the place, which makes you wonder about the miracles of nature. 

Rann Utsav Tent city front image

Rann of Kutch is around 50 km from Bhuj city, hence if you visit there you must experience stay at tent city in Rann Utsav. Been there, done that, here is an account of magical experience at Rann Utsav.

The Arrival

Image of People welcoming with music at Runn Utsav
A Musical Welcome

The tent city is located at Dhordo village, which is located around 50 km from Bhuj city. The pick-up facility is provided by the Rann Utsav team, arranging pick-ups from railway station and airport. After a good 1.5 hour ride, as you step down from the vehicle, you are welcomed on the sounds of the dhol accompanied by folk dance. The energy of the beats wears off your fatigue. Above all, it livens up the atmosphere.

Tent City Experience

After checking in the tent city, you are at your leisure to explore the place. Spread across an area of 5000 sq.meters, tent city houses 500 tents and cottages, 2 dining halls, a shopping area, some photo points and one activity area. But, the good part is the availability of golf carts to ferry you around the place. 

For the shopaholic souls, there’s a dedicated area to let out the inner shopping monster. There’s a plethora of items on sale, for instance, bandhni duppattas, hand-woven shawls, metal artefacts etc. You can also try your hand at various crafts like pottery and clay modelling at nominal charges and make your stay worth. The dining experience is one not to be missed. An excellent spread of Gujarati cuisine is on offer, not once or twice, but four times a day. Enough to leave you with foodgasm. 

Magical & Mystical White Rann

As the evening nears up, you grab your camera and head towards the mystical white rann to witness the beauty of the desert. A barren salt flat that extends over an area of 17000 sq. km and stretches across International Border to Pakistan. Once upon a time this area was a seashore. But owing to tectonic movements, a part of ocean dried up in the region leaving behind the huge flat salt plain. 

White Lands and Purple Skies
Lit under Moonlight

In an honest opinion, the place is worth all the hype. The white backdrop appears so beautiful that you just cannot take your eyes off them. And it becomes even more beautiful when the full moon shines at night. As long as your sight reach, everything is shining and sparkling under the beautifully lit moon. It is one experience you must have in your lifetime. It’s just like a fairy tale ending to an eventful day.

If the moonlit desert wasn’t enough to enthral you, a captivating sunrise definitely will complete the formalities. As you notice the changing shades of the skies from black to pink to orange to blue, from the horizon, emerges an orange ball with a Midas touch, turning everything to gold. 

Captivating Kalo Dungar

Still being hungover from the magnificent views of the white desert, after a sumptuous breakfast, you head towards Kalo Dungar. Standing at an elevation of 300 m above sea level, Kalo Dungar is the highest peak of Kutch and was used as a compass in olden days while travelling. 

Sunset at Kalo Dungar

It takes around one hour ride from Tent City to reach Kalo Dungar. The peak is situated around 500 m from the parking spot and you can either walk or enjoy the camel-back ride to the top. Once at the peak, you have a panoramic view of the desert and the back-waters of Khari River. On a clear day, you can even see Indo-Pak border through binoculars. 

There is an interesting legend associated with the place. Over 4 centuries ago, there lived a saint named Pachmai Peer on the hills. One day a pack of wild jackals appeared in his ashram and stood expectantly in front of him. Looking into their eyes, he realized that they were famished. All that he could offer them was a spartan meal of rice and dal. And offer he did, and the jackals went back with their tummies full. 

Jackal of Kalo Dungar

The ritual of feeding continued for months till one day when there was no food in the ashram.  Realizing that his guests will have to go back hungry, the Peer, in a gesture of unimaginable generosity, chopped off his hand and offered it to the jackals, saying ‘lo ang’, which meant ‘here, eat my hand’. The jackals, as on every other day, went back satiated. But from that day onwards, the inmates of the ashram have made sure that the jackals of Kalo Dungar are fed, not once but twice a day. And they haven’t missed it even once in the last 400 years.

Marvelous Mandvi

After witnessing the generosity of the saint, we return to base and have a lavish lunch at the Tent City. After an hour of leisure time, we set off for Mandvi Beach. If anyone asks me about my favourite beach destination of Gujarat, Mandvi beach wins hands down. 

The pristine blue waters of the sea are a treat to sore eyes. The huge windmills set at the shore add to the beauty of the shores. And the flocking sea-gulls become an icing on the cake. 

A couple of kilometre towards the north of the beach stands the magnanimous Vijay Vilas Palace. The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes on the sides, the windows with coloured glass, carved stone ‘Jalis’, domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone-carved elements, make the palace worth visiting.  

The palace is hosts a private beach and is home to the Royal Family of Kutch. A closer look and you can recognize the shooting spots from the movies Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Lagaan.  The topmost point offers an unobstructed view of the sun slowly setting into the Arabian Sea, ending a day full of events.

Cultural Events at Tent City

You return from Mandvi around and have a gourmet dinner ready for you, but the fun isn’t over yet. You move towards the activity area where you will get up close and personal with the colours and flavours of Gujarati folk performances. 

The stand-out performance of the night is the Siddi Dhamal. The Siddis are the descendants of the indigenous Bantu tribes of East Africa, who migrated to the subcontinent during the Colonial Era. Bringing the African touch of Zumba and Haka, Siddi Dhamal is one refreshing act performed on the beats of the Bongos. It is another experience that livens up your mood and incites the inner aboriginal in you.

As the music plays in long into the night, you enjoy every moment of it and reminisce the wonderful moments spent in the magical, mystical and beautiful desert of Kutch.  

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