We left from Jaipur at 5 am for Udaipur. It was not foggy or very cold and for that I was thankful. There is no decent place on the way for b’fast and we stopped for only 10 mins. The drive took us 6 hours which is pretty decent. The road to Ajmer is super smooth. It is probably the best road I have driven on and as soon as I read the words ‘toll road ends’ I wanted to cry. The rest of the road is decent but not awesome.
We had booked a homestay in Udaipur. The homestay was not my first choice but everything was booked out. Since our experience at Kashmir homestay, we prefer homestays. You get a peek into the life of local residents, the food is home cooked though expensive and the service is personal. We were staying in the home of a Rajput family. I have grown up in a bungalow since my parents live in a small town. So I know what a ‘big’ house is but this homestay was humungous. Our entire bathroom, bedroom and balcony could fit into 1 bedroom and they have 7 bedrooms… 2-3 terraces… huge kitchen… 2 living rooms and outdoor seating area. The luxury of living in a small town is unbeatable. I wasn’t very happy with the homestay because the owners are typical Northies with a chip on their shoulder. As soon as we heard they own a penthouse in Gurgaon, we classified them as the typical North Indian snobs and we were right. The North Indian snobs are a curious mix. They prefer luxury living but are cheap at the same time. Example, have a huge house in Udaipur, penthouse in Gurgaon and a resort in Udaipur but they will want cash payment and not give a bill to save taxes. They are the ones who will have an expensive car but try to save 20 bucks for parking. But yes, homestay is still preferable. You won’t get a swimming pool or gym but what you will get is experience and that is so much better.
We had planned to have lunch at 1559 AD and I got my fill of Laal Maas, a speciality Rajasthani mutton dish. We headed to the beautiful City Palace, a boat ride to Jagmandir followed by Light and sound show at City Palace. The auto guys in Udaipur are worse than the ones in Jaipur. They quoted 500 bucks from the home stay to City Palace. I laughed in their face. Even the Gurgaon guys don’t have the guts to quote such atrocious amounts. It is better to book a cab here. We decided to drive which was a bad decision since our GPS showed the wrong way and we got stuck in the tiny lanes of Udaipur. The lanes around City Palace are so tiny that 2 cars cannot pass simultaneously. We reached so late that we had to skip CP and just head for the boat. Udaipur has many lakes- Fateh Sagar lake, Lake Pichola, Lake Baddi. You can take a boat to Jagmandir for 625 bucks per head or take a tour of the lake for 125 bucks per head. We did the former and were amazed by JagMandir. As a rule we don’t visit temples and this really narrows our sightseeing options considering there are atleast 2-3 temples to be seen in any tourist place. The Jag Mandir has a spa, luxurious rooms and an outdoor cafe too. Loved it so much.
We headed to the Light and Sound Show. It was amazing to be outdoors in the night. The show was strictly ok. I loved the lighting and the sound effects but the show was all about how great Mewar and their kings were. Boring.
For dinner we went to Sunset Terrace which is in the City Palace complex and had a really bad experience. We waited for 10 mins and when the server finally turned up for the order he told us the tables are booked. Yes, while we were sitting at an empty table with no ‘reserved’ sign. I called the manager and blasted him and would have had my dinner there just to bug him. But KC being the conflict avoider, decided to leave the place.
*Start of rant*
I am so tired of snooty places which only want to serve foreigners. It’s like a hangover Indians have. Has anyone noticed how rude the foreigners in India are? I mean, they will be polite and shit in their own country but as soon as they come here they have a chip on their shoulder. And some of them are so dumb. Like, I remember seeing some of them travelling in the ladies coach of the metro. I agree it is inconceivable for someone that there is a separate place demarcated for women to travel in but when there are boards mentioning this is the women’s coach and announcements going on and there are only women sitting there, use your brains a little?
Light and Sound show
View of the Lake at Jag Mandir
Sunset at Lake Pichola
Next post- Day 3 and 4