We have arrived back in Delhi after a bumpy ride on Jet Airways from Udaipur. I was in seat 43A, i.e. the very back row of the plane against the window. Good thing the flight was only 65 minutes long. But, I can’t be back in Delhi without bringing you up to date on our time in Udaipur.
Udaipur is built around three artificial lakes, which have been around for centuries. In addition to his big palace on the shore of Lake Pichola, the maharana also built a palace way up high on a hill as his monsoon palace,* the palace in the middle of the lake, which was our hotel (see following post), and miscellaneous other residences and gardens scattered about (to say nothing of the thirty plus forts he had constructed throughout his kingdom) because, as we all know, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing!
On our first afternoon in Udaipur, after taking boats out to the Lake Palace Hotel and settling in, we boarded other boats for a sunset cruise on the lake. We visited another mini-palace as part of the cruise; the mini-palace was where Shah Jahan (of Taj Mahal fame) spent two years after having a dust up with his father.
In spite of our beautiful surroundings, I didn’t sleep well our first night and our full day in Udaipur was difficult. We began the day by boating back to the shore and walking to the main palace (where, incidentally, we saw the current crown prince of Udaipur, a very nice looking man, I must say, and he carried off those red trousers very well indeed. The Island Palace Museum was full of wonderful things most particularly miniature paintings and mosaics. Don’t think that miniature means small, in this context it means extremely detailed. They were exquisite and the use of perspective was intriguing.
After our museum visit we had a power shopping interval at a shop called Anoki and I managed to spend quite a bit even though their prices were quite reasonable. I wonder what that means?
Then off for a walk through old Udaipur’s market area. Lots of shops, lots of noise, lots of traffic activity of every possible, narrow sort and, surprisingly, not nearly as many cows as we have grown accustomed to. I checked out more bangles and even tried on some handmade shoes but neither were sized for my large American wrists or feet.
After lunch by another of the three lakes, which will remain forever nameless to me, we took a short drive by the shore and a brief stroll through a garden that had been created for some maharana’s ladies. They must have thoroughly enjoyed being able to escape the confines of the women’s areas of the palace.
I was completely exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel 3 p.m. but was able to rally enough to construct a turban on my hair for our gala end of tour dinner.
*I asked our guide if the water really got that high but he didn’t dignify that with an answer.