Udaipur – a city of palaces

Old photographs always have a tale to tell. They come with memories ,usually laden with mixed emotions. While cleaning my cupboard,I came across several albums which were filled with pictures taken during various trips. Life was basic and analog then , but the special moments were all Kodak moments . A frame could go wrong,a bit of over exposure or the light could be dim, but the trip is still special.

Of the several albums, I chose my trip to Udaipur. We were tourists then , not travellers and went where the crowds beckoned us . I still remember the day we boarded the mid night Air India flight to Bombay from Madras. We stayed in the airport to pick up the connecting flight to Udaipur. History has always fascinated me as a kid and growing up on Amar Chitra katha stories,one had heard several legends of kings and queens . I had imagined Udaipur as filled with beautiful palaces, where time stood still with dashing Rajout princes brandishing their swords and brave princesses sweeping the men off their feet . But I was wrong

The first thing that struck me was the obscure airport . Next were the loud brash men staring at women like they have never seen them before . And people were cold,unfriendly. Like any naive tourist , we had a chauffer driven car which took us places ..but it was much later that we realized that everything was fixed here . Maybe it was after that we became travellers and not tourists

And yet I wasn’t entirely wrong. Three places that made Udaipur memorable for me are the City Palace , the Jag Mandir and the Lake palace in Lake Pichola .There is also the Fateh Prakash palace , but I think the Lake Palace is surreal, almost a dream . .Floating on the sheer blue waters , its so beautiful that you wish you could live there for just a night . Carved out of marble, it is an island of love, built in 18th century by Maharana Jagat Singh 11 . To me , it’s the ultimate romantic destination surrounded by the pristine lake Pichola and the Aravalli Mountains . The lake itself is enchanting as it changes myriad hues as you ferry down towards Jag Mandir

It was quite breathtaking when we first saw this . Delicately carved out of marble and mosaic and blended with blue stones, this was supposedly a hideout for Prince Khurram , known to us as Shah Jahan by the Rajput king ,Maharana Karan Singh .There was no time to think history then as we allowed the beauty of the place to sink in . The craftsmanship is amazing as you gaze at the elephants who seem to be watching over the palace

And finally the city palace which towers over the Pichola lake . It seemed never ending as we moved from one gate to another , from one hall to another . Endless array of pillars, majestic courtyards, several balconies overlooking the lake, towers , coulourful mirrors and glass , elegant carvings, beautiful doors and windows …it’s a palace where you could lose yourself and go back in time …


  1. david mcmahon 23 August, 2007 at 19:30 Reply

    G’day backpakker,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commening. We have a lot in common – your list of favourite reading (in your profile) is very similar to mine,

    Impressive site, here – and I like your writing and presentation.

    My favourite Udaipur shot is the second last in your sequence.

    I’m adding you to my blogroll. Do keep in touch.



  2. Mansi Desai 24 August, 2007 at 11:20 Reply

    Hi there, thx for visiting my blog!

    you have a great site here yourself; and since David has already given his approval, you are set to soar!!:)

    I love Udaipur, that’s where the Saheliyon-ki-baadi” is, right??? I visited when I was small, but u r true, photographs and memories stay with you forver!

    nice post..

  3. Kalyan 24 August, 2007 at 14:14 Reply

    WoW…some really beautifully captured shots. They have such a nice gentle feeling to it…and I loved reading your descriptions about this place. The entire Rajasthan is very picturesque and is always lovely visiting there!

  4. Kalyan 24 August, 2007 at 14:29 Reply

    WoW…some really beautifully captured shots. They have such a nice gentle feeling to it…and I loved reading your descriptions about this place. The entire Rajasthan is very picturesque and is always lovely visiting there!

  5. backpakker 25 August, 2007 at 10:28 Reply

    David – thanks for your visit and your words …it encourages me to keep writing . Reading , writing and travelling are my core interests and this blog has become an anchor for my writing

    Mansi – yes..you are right , it is in udaipur ..thanks for visiting

    Kalyan – thanks .Rajasthan is one state which I regret that I havent traveled extensively barring Udaipur and Jaipur.

  6. Pijush 26 August, 2007 at 18:37 Reply

    Very nice writing Backpacker, memorizing the past sometime make us delighted; the pics are excellent, very natural and truly captured the essence of the place. I choose this one for adding.

  7. Sivaram Kannan 26 August, 2007 at 22:22 Reply

    Just after going through your blogs i was just wondering how could a person a travel so much, that too all beautiful places. I really envy you for that. I really wish I could that. Truly treasure of a shots you have.

  8. backpakker 27 August, 2007 at 00:49 Reply

    Wanderer -thanks for visiting .I did check your blog and really liked your description of your village .We went to Mount Abu too and we were very disappointed .
    Pijush – Sometimes reliving the past brings out the best in us…the emotions are so real and natural that it shows in the writing …thanks for your comment
    Sivaram – I love to travel..in fact I am off on a long trip this thursday onwards ..I used to envy everyone who could travel whenever whereever they liked and then I realized that I have wings too …I’m sure you will get to travel to beautiful places too. Thanks for your comment

  9. indicaspecies 1 September, 2007 at 23:30 Reply

    I managed to make an unexpected quick trip to Jaipur this time and it only made me more enthusiastic to visit the rest of Rajasthan. Someday hopefully will spend weeks there so I could get completely soaked in its culture.
    Good pictures here packpakker. 🙂

  10. backpakker 16 September, 2007 at 00:51 Reply

    Arun – I think if I win a lottery I will stay in the lake palace ..Its awesome
    Indicaspecies – Completely agree with you…I am still to visit ajmer, pushkar , jodhpur and jaisalmer ..only then can I say I have visited rajasthan

  11. varsha 2 July, 2016 at 10:58 Reply

    Hiii, Really nice. I’m planning to visit udaipur and experience the scenic beauty, beautiful lakes and luxurious stay at modern palace hotels in udaipur and have lifetime memorable travel experience.

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