After the luxury I had enjoyed at the resort with my friend the previous day, I absolutely made up my mind that I should be visiting the most famous place of this city; The City Palace Udaipur. It is not only a palace but an entire complex, within itself.
I started early in the morning. Found a bus in the market square and climbed into it gratefully. Reaching Badi Pol at the northern end of the palace I purchased the ticket for an entry in to the palace. Stepping in here, at once brought me up close to the eight arches to the left. History says that these were to commemorate the 8 Maharanas, who were weighed in gold and silver coins and then these were to be distributed to their subjects.
I passed through the Tripolia gate which led into a large courtyard, called Manek Chowk.A chill ran through my body when I spotted the tiger catching cage, which looked like an over-sized mouse-trap. The smaller cage I heard was for leopards. There were gasps of horror from children, who had crowded around it, examining the cage and imagining the days gone by. I moved on wanting to admire its architecture.
This superb wonder of architectural delight situated on the banks of Lake Pichola was originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. But later it kept built and rebuilt by other rulers. The charming 11 palaces within this complex are wonders of architecture, built by different Maharanas, but strangely resembling one another, maintaining a uniformity of design.
Standing within this complex, I had the pleasure of viewing the Manak Mahal, full of crystal and porcelain figures. Bhim Vilas has fantastic collection of paintings with the Radha Krishna theme. I viewed my reflection in the Sheesh Mahal, the palace of breath-taking mirror work, while the Moti Mahal is famous for lavish decors.
On my way out, I looked at its craggy exteriors wherein its balconies, towers and cupolas seemed to hang over the lake and supported, by the sheer marvel of architectural wonder. It gave a strange sense of wonderment! I said goodbye to it, silently, wistfully, wanting to spend more time here exploring, but gathering evening shadows turned my steps towards my hotel.