My visit the previous day had kept me in the mood of luxury. I felt why not I continue with this trail of extravagance. Anyway I was saving so much, as I had travelled by trains and was staying in a budget hotel. I decided that while in Rome do as the Romans do. So in this city of palaces, let me experience some luxuries too.
On this day my decision was to spend my time at Taj lake Palace. It felt as if I could not get enough of lakes and palaces. I thought spending the entire day at this majestic architectural wonder, would be really worth it. Again I revelled in the experience of being ferried across the Lake Pichola to this Taj resort.
Its history says, that it was originally built in the years between 1743 and 1746, under the expert guidance of Maharana Jagat Singh II. Also previously it was known as Jagniwas or Jan Niwas. Looking at its courtyards lined with columns and pillared terraces it was not hard to imagine, that it served as a summer resort to the royal families of Maharajas.
Its current status has been enhanced by the Taj group of companies, taking it over and building and renovating it accordingly.
I walked about the lobby feeling its cool white marbled interiors. Everywhere I discovered carved traditional wooden furniture and smooth silk fabrics in use for its interiors. As I walked around, I could not stop requesting a butler to show me one of rooms. It felt like a peep into regal luxury with a garden or a lake view. I could stop thanking the butler enough, who smiled in polite courtesy!
Deciding to have a dining experience with difference, I proceeded to dine at the Pontoon restaurants. What is the difference, well-it offered meals on a floating platform! Gangaur restaurant, that offers dining on small boats I saved for my coming visit. But I did indulge myself with a wine glass and a cigar at the Amrit Sagar bar.
At the end of the day while being ferried back to the city, I gazed at the shimmering lake and felt this is the ultimate in luxury!
Bagore Ki Haveli Udaipur : Bagore Ki Haveli is a famous art and culture centre in Udaipur which showcases the work of the people here. It is filled with artifacts, clothes, pots which bring out the colorful culture of Rajasthan. It is almost like a museum and was built in the 18th century by one of the locals.
Udaipur is a famed city of palaces and lovely lakes and so I thought why not I explore these beautiful places. For experiencing this, I decided, to visit this Grand Heritage Palace, Jagmandir Island Palace. I had gathered information that it is built on an island, in the Lake Pichola.
Popularly known as Lake Garden Palace too, this is a grand heritage site. It was a wonderful feeling to be ferried across to the site. Shah Jahan as a young prince had come here to seek refuge, way back in 1623. The history connected to this place was enough to make feel like a prince too!!
I discovered that this palace was built in the 17th century and has now been developed as a complete destination. What a piece of marvel! It houses all luxurious dining restaurants and a bar too with Spa facilities. All this was enough to uplift my mood and spirits.
Looking around in sheer appreciation at the regal atmosphere I noticed that there were a lot of foreigner’s here. This is but natural as it plays host to the 21st century guests. Year after year this luxury palace, continues to make international news about glamour events and the glamorous guests hosts.
History has always fascinated me, so for me the Jagriti a heritage museum on the site itself was a great attraction. I spent quite a long time browsing in its hallowed interiors. I filled myself on its great history of making it, over the centuries.
So immersed was I in this experience, that I did not realize that I had not eaten yet. I decided to try the Picholi bar and found good collection of vintage wines. After a couple of drinks I went to Darikhana restaurant and indulged in the traditional Rajasthani fare.
As evening lengthened, its shadows spread over this palace I found it was beautifully lit up. There was a musical soiree happening in the Garden Chowk, and the Kumwarpada Chowk had a large sit-down banquet. This palace par excellence had carved a niche in my heart, and I felt it was worth spending my time , my money and my efforts in visiting it!
I could not believe my luck that after a long journey passing through so many cities I was here in Udaipur atlast.That too very comfortably settled in this budget Hotel Anupam.Waking up very early in my comfortable spacious and airy room was a pleasant restful feeling .I sauntered to the 24×7 reception help desk to pick up my packed breakfast which I had ordered the previous night itself. I wanted to start very early towards Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The real fact was, I wished to enjoy the sunrise view from Sajjangarh palace top.
Taking my binoculars and camera I set off in earnest towards my destination of the day. The darkness of the night had not melted away yet, but this place being just 5 km aways from the main city and easy on travel too. Taking a rickshaw to the place was like getting into the skin of being a typical exploring tourist.
Getting off the rickshaw I was in for a most spectacular view of sunrise from the Sajjangarh Palace. Lying at the foothills of the Sajjangarh Palace was Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. My eyes ran to the areas surrounding it. It was thickly wooded and I got to know that the erstwhile maharajas of Udaipur maintained this as a royal shooting reserve. I got to see some historical evidences as I could see some canons lying around.
I saw a crowd of people going for a trek in the interiors. I joined them as they seemed a friendly lot. It was fascinating to observe the reptiles, tigers, nilgais, Sāmbhar’s and panthers and hyenas. On the way a lot many people were registering for the jungle safari starting from Gorilla Point to Jiyan Sagar Lake. But then I preferred walking in the natural environs.
Suddenly we stopped as we had reached the major attraction of the sanctuary, the Bari Lake or Tiger Lake. A network of road is created within the jungle path to reach the various parts of the safari park. I took the Maharana Pratap trail, and enjoyed the Jhar water hole plus the Shiva temple situated near it. The spring that flows here, during rainy season adds to the beauty of this sanctuary.
Shilpgram Udaipur : Shilpgram, when converted to English translates to ‘village of artists’. I got a chance to visit this place when I had to attend my friend’s wedding in Udaipur. It is a lovely place which is filled with the works of the talented local artists. The traditions and the culture of Rajasthan shines here.
Hi friends, I am Vinay Shenoy and this time I had nearly a 15 day break from my job. What better way of putting this break to use than go on a holiday. I had heard a lot about Rajasthan and how budget travelling is perfect here. So I readied myself for the train journey from Mangalore to Ratlam. This train booking I could make very easily by way of online railway portals.
The commencement of the journey from this coastal town Mangalore was pleasant enough. Once after boarding the train I could admire the coastal scene outside .While ordering for food there were lovely spicy sea-food options. Tasty spice laden food is something which I have never been able to resist. I sat cosily on the comfortable seats of this train Maru Sagar Express and enjoyed the meal. What a hearty start to my journey.
Waking up to the cacophony of hawkers and coolie I was reminded that I was already at Ratlam. How cool the journey had been up till here. Swinging my feet off the berth I got off leisurely at Ratlam. Now for a good cup of tea with some nice kachoris and fafda jalebi.What a lovely morning breakfast!
After this spicy-sweet morning meal, I was ready to start the next part of my journey. From Ratlam plenty of trains were available to Bandra Terminus which I had already booked. The train was few minutes late. I sat at Ratlam junction and took in the hustle and bustle thinking about its history.
Emperor Shah Jahan had given Ratlam, as a gift to Ratan Singh Rathore for his bravery.
With this musings I boarded the train for Mumbai. The journey was pleasant enough. On reaching Bandra Terminus the next morning, I hastily ran across the other platform escaping into the train Udz Super-fast. How relieved I was. Before retiring to sleep I checked my Udaipur flight hotel deals on my smartphone. With just a click I got the best budget deal of Hotel Anupam. This hotel is so centrally located that I could easily go visiting to places of interest like lakes and palaces and mandirs easily, once I reached Udaipur.