If we were superstars in Jodhpur, in Udaipur we were absolutely nobody. People must be so used to have foreigners walking in their streets, at least in the city centre, that they don’t care about them anymore. The city looked different too. What we saw from the rickshaw on the way to the hotel was a relatively clean town.
The town itself, with its predominant white buildings, gravitates around the Pichola Lake, and the two main points of access to the lake, one in front of the other, are Lal ghat and Hanuman ghat.
Around Lal ghat everything is aimed at tourists and travellers. You see many Indian cooking classes advertised as well as yoga courses. Even the choice of restaurants is more international than usual, with Israeli eateries and German bakeries catering to un-imaginative and un-adventurous travellers.
In the morning you see people washing themselves and their clothes in the lake. Someone also takes a swim before the start of the day. As you approach the sunset the lake begins to look like a mirror and at night it becomes picturesque and makes a gorgeous view to enjoy from one of the many rooftops around the ghats. That’s one of the reasons why Udaipur gained fame as a romantic city. It also looks like in the last years it has become a popular wedding destination, mainly for foreigners.
Walk in town and you will soon realize that many hotels and guesthouses have a cinema room showing “Octopussy” each and every night, some at 7 some at 8. Wonder why? The lake palace hotel on Jagniwas (one of the main islands on the lake), was one of the locations of this Bond movie and locals are quite proud of it.
Udaipur is surrounded by a bunch of hills from where it is possible to enjoy views of the city and take good pictures as well. The two main spots to head to are the Monsoon Palace and the Sunset point. The latter is definitely cheaper and easier to reach. Monsoon Palace can cost you several hundred rupees including rickshaw and entry fees, so we decided to give it a miss this time.
Other two important landmarks you shouldn’t miss are the Jagdish temple and the city palace. The city palace is the biggest in Rajasthan and it’s really worth a visit.
We had a nice time in Udaipur. Even if nothing relevant happened from a social point of view, we were still able to enjoy the romantic side of the city and we took a very interesting Indian cooking class. We will share some recipes soon.
In the meanwhile here are some pictures of the white city.