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Udaipur

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115 travelers at this place

  • Day44

    Udaipur

    January 17, 2019 in India ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Udaipur is a sprawling city set in a beautiful landscape. A series of ridges surround lovely lakes. It is considered to be the most romantic city in all of India. It's the site of numerous films, one of which was the Roger Moore as James Bond film Octopussy. It is also notorious as one of the places on the planet that middle-aged women go to experience another culture and let their hair down. We enjoyed our time here. Lovely sunsets and good food.

    Here's a link to a panoramic photo of the city. https://photos.app.goo.gl/BmyYQNENM7K6shw57

    We were able to take care of some business while we were here. Laundry, ATM, and a haircut. Nancy chatted with the proprietor while his son gave me a post haircut head massage.

    Later, as we were on one of our walks, we were commenting on how Sri Lanka and India are so similar in that it is hard to strike up a natural conversation that doesn't end in a pitch to visit a shop, or go to a cousin's restaurant, or see an art gallery, or get one's photo taken with a camel, or pay to have a prayer said by a priest, or be asked if we need a ride by a Tuk Tuk driver. In many places we've been in Rajasthan the barrage is almost constant. It has become another one of the things that we gird up for when leaving our hotel room; like seeing a person with a crippling malady begging, or copious amounts of trash, or incessant honking, or being cut off by pretty much anyone and everyone. Just as we'd reached the conclusion of our discussion, we walked by an older woman drying pappadam in the walkway of her home. She smiled and called out to us. Next thing we knew it we were being asked in for tea and biscuits. Her whole family joined us and we spent the better part of an hour talking politics, recipes, California, and family connections. It was great. India, if nothing else is a place of contradictions which shakes my convictions each time I come close to any sort of understanding.

    Here's a video from a wedding procession in the street below our hotel room this evening. https://photos.app.goo.gl/zb1gp6ext89FBzQw7

    Tomorrow we fly to Varanasi and some other new way of almost understanding...
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  • Day10

    Lake City - Udaipur

    November 28, 2018 in India ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    The pollution has finally caught on and I have fully swollen glands. But I'm not going to let that stop us enjoying. We got up first thing ready for our long journey to Udaipur which actually did take a very long time. I fell asleep for most of the journey and woke up about 3pm...wups!

    We tried to go to a famous temple along the way but unfortunately it was closed till the evening. Then we visited the Palace Gardens which was a very welcomed break from not stopping for 4 hours. Then we just went straight to our hostel in Udaipur. Wow wow wow! Two friends from Udaipur worked, lived and travelled to various countries around the world and during their travels they came up with the idea of creating a hostel. They have a hostel in Goa which is in its 2nd year and then due to its success they decided to have one in Udaipur. They decided as its their home town they would buy a castle. And that they did! The hostel is in the grounds of the old Fort and has possibly one of the best views of the city. It's really beautiful. The ground of the hostel is humongous and there are just 4 of them working on it so I think it will take years! It's truly a beautiful sight though it would be amazing to come back when it's done. For now we are honoured to see it from the beginning.

    We went for a late lunch at Millets Mewar and had Bhindi Masala and Sev chhana daal and chapattis, which was really different from other dishes we've been having. We then Skyped with Will's parents before heading out again for more food. Seriously we haven't eaten all day and even though we don't feel hungry we are definitely both loosing weight so it's not good! We found a man on the street selling Pani Puri and then found a masala chai stall. So we sat, people watched and chatted with the locals. They recommended a cheap but fantastic thali restaurant so we couldn't not go. We were definitely full now!!

    We walked around the town at night for a bit before heading back to the hostel as it was beginning to get quite cold.

    The night was really cold. It dropped down to 13 degrees Celsius from 28, so it was quite a difference. I think I might have to wear all my clothes tomorrow night including a coat!
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  • Day11

    Venice of the East

    November 29, 2018 in India ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Up I got and Will wasn't in the dorm room... Uh oh I've lost him again. Luckily he messaged me this time. He'd moved to an empty dorm due to a snorer in ours! As I was awake I decided to get up and shower. It was absolutely freezing! I couldn't get warm (even in the 26 degree heat) for hours!

    Although I've had a few moments of worry I've overall been enjoying my life of luxury in Rajasthan, but Will has been worrying the whole time. Maybe we should have taken the cheaper options of trains but meh it's done and there's nothing we can do. It's time to enjoy!!

    Today was a day of no travelling, to just enjoy the beautiful city of Udaipur. In the morning we sat on the rooftop for a while to enjoy the beautiful views from the hostel Fort. We then took our trousers and my backpack to a lovely old man for repair. He didn't care how much we gave him which was really sweet and then we had our morning Chai. Then it was time to sight see. We wandered around the town visiting various temples including the Jagdish temple which had prayers happening and we even bumped into some people we met in Pushkar which was nice. For lunch we had Kachori which is spinach and peas encased in a samosa like round casing. Yum. Will is doing amazingly well with the spicy food, I'm actually super impressed. Even if it might take him a while yo eat it he finishes every dish! I must admit I'm absolutely loving the food, I'm in heaven!

    In the afternoon we visited the City Palace which was beautiful and then a tibetan market where we had some shakes.

    Now the thing we've been waiting for the boat ride along Lake Pichola. A tip for anyone who comes here, go to the port near Natural View Restaurant. Here is the government run boat and for a sunset tour it is only Rs300 instead of Rs 600 which other companies charge. As we were a bit early we went to a cafe to get a cake as a trear and spoke to Simran the owner of the cafe who gave us some amazing tips for the rest of our travels in India. Finally it was time for the boat ride and finally we got to see the sunset in all its glory. It was so relaxing and really romantic. We were both finally fully relaxed and able to enjoy the luxury of the car. In the words of Will's mum "Just enjoy the luxury and it is the duty of the rich man to".

    After the boat ride we went to Natural View Restaurant which had an amazing view of the lake and sunset. We sat and drank mint tea and it couldn't have been more perfect. I'm so glad to see Will finally relaxed.

    We then rushed back to to the tailor to pick up our trousers and my backpack which needed fixing and the lovely old man did a fantastic job too!

    For dinner we went back for Thali (for those that don't know Thali is one of my fave things to have. It's a metal tray full of small dishes of Dhal, Aloo Gobi, Raita, Rice, Chapattis and Papad). Its delicious! My funniest moment of the day happened over dinner. I forgot to ask for Will's Thali to be a bit less spicy as he wasn't feeling well. Half way through the dinner Will said jeeze I just can't cope with the spiciness of this Papad. Papad is a papaddom!! It's possibly the plainest thing on the Thali 😂

    After dinner wandered to HatiPole Market which is clearly where all the locals really dine! What a shame we had already eaten! They had some amazing looking street food and although full I could not resist a Gulab Jamun. According to Will it is the Indian version of Treacle Tart without the tart and for me and in fact most Indians its a memory of childhood.

    A perfect day of finally eating 3 meals in a day and seeing the beautiful sights and views of Udaipur.
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  • Day46

    Exploring Udaipur City

    February 20, 2020 in India ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    I woke up at around 8am with 40km still to go until Udaipur. I had a really good nights sleep! I opened the curtain watching the world go by and then put a film on until the bus conductor loudly started screaming “Udaipur, Udaipur” with a lot of other incomprehensible words. We got off the bus where we got an Ola to take us to our hostel for only 27 rupees thanks to my online discount. The hostel was right in the middle of Udaipur, on the island connected by bridges on Pichola lake.

    We found our hostel, Whereabout Hostel, checked in and then chilled out on their roof terrace which had an awesome view of Pichola lake. We read through some of the Lonely Planet books which were there to get a better sense of what what here in Udaipur as we hadn’t done much research about here. After a little while our room was ready for us to check in, so we dumped our bags and then went to grab some lunch at a place called “Queen Cafe” that we had read about in Lonely Planet book. This place was tiny, and run by these two old people and their daughter Meera who also did a cooking school. As it turned out, Meera also did the cooking for the cafe and soon after ordering she brought us two biriyani. It was a bit odd as she just sat there and watched us eat the food, clearly doing the hard sell on her cooking school. After the food, she even insisted on taking us to her kitchen to show us where we’d cook. We were up for the idea, but it was so expensive so we would consider it long and hard.

    We walked around the old part of the town over the little bridges which connected little islands and lakes and we were quite surprised at how pretty it was here after coming from Mumbai. Even though we’d had some good sleep on the bus, we were still quite tired, so we went to the hostel rooftop and had a little planning session for Udaipur and the next few places we were going. We knew of this view point which overlooked the Palace Island Hotel to watch the sun go down. This was a place which had been a main filming point in James Bond Octopussy and it was really nice and quite grand.

    By this point we were quite hungry, and looked around a few different parts of town but they were all quite expensive. So we went back to near our hostel and got a Thali for 120 rupees. We were sold, and it was all fresh too, so we sat down and almost immediately there was a power-cut. Luckily the guy doing our cooking was creating enough light with the occasion flame up of his pan, so it didn’t delay our food. The power came back on and we were served an enormous thali which was delicious. We went back to the rooftop and tried to watch Slumdog Millionaire on the iPad, but there was no subtitles and half of it was in Hindi...oh well, so we just headed to bed for a good sleep.
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  • Day47

    Udaipur Shiva Festival

    February 21, 2020 in India ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We were both awake by 8am and made our way up to the roof terrace to wait for our free breakfast. We were a little early but didn’t mind as we both really liked the view from the terrace. When breakfast came we kept eating more and more, the poor guy who worked at the hostel had to keep bringing more...we had 2 boiled eggs, 4 curry toasties and about half a loaf of bread worth of jam on toast (Jammie dodger jam). Very satisfied and now fuelled for the day we left our hostel and made our way across the bridge, it was a gorgeous day, clear blue skies and a nice warm temperature.

    Today was the Hindu festival of Shivaratri, a festival dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. We walked through the colourful streets and our first stop of the day was Jagdish temple, a large Hindu temple raised on a tall terrace that you had to climb up to via very steep stairs, plastered with beggars and people trying to sell us tat. Upon entering the temple there was a nice atmosphere, obviously fuelled by today’s festivities. There were people sat around a shrine in the centre of the temple singing and playing instruments, which we watched for a little while before walking round the rest of the old temple. Back onto the streets we then made our way over to the City Palace, however before we got there we were blocked by a large group of Hindu people dancing and singing in the street to incredibly loud music. We watched as they had their party and then went to look at getting tickets for the city palace. It was 300 rupees which we thought was quite a lot, but it was one of the main things to do here so we went for it. Inside the palace was quite busy, with it being the festival today. There were loads of Indians, so we sat and let the majority of them feed through before we started our walk round. The palace was really well kept, and pretty interesting as each reigning Maharaja had added bits onto it over a period of 400 years so each bit was different. We were enjoying it as the palace was nice and cool with amazing views out over Pichola Lake and the rest of Udaipur. However, we quickly became annoyed at pretty much everyone else in the palace as all they seemed to want was a picture of themselves in front of some artefact, without even looking at it or taking it in. We were ushered out the way numerous times for one of these photo shoots which we felt was a bit silly...but Indians love a picture of themselves.

    We spend a good three or four hours at the palace before we left to check out a viewpoint we’d seen on maps.me. It was a pretty easy walk to the bottom of it and not too hot, so we started to climb. There was a cable car you could take up, but you couldn’t get to this viewpoint. On the way up we saw a. Abandoned pink tower which had a little rooftop, so we went off the path and clambered up the hillside to get to it. Up three flights of stairs and to the roof and we were treated to an amazing view of the lakes, palace, and temples of Udaipur. After a bit, we climbed even higher up try hill to get the sunset view.m and found these two pagoda things which seemed to have the best view of the city. We were up here quite early for the sunset, but we got some really nice pictures and just watched the scenery change as the sun went down. It was absolutely gorgeous, and as it got darker the city palace and other buildings started to get lit up.

    After soaking it all up, we made our way down (via the top of the pink tower again) and then began the walk back to the hostel. On the way back, this man on a bike pulled up and showed us a WhatsApp text, it had words like ‘bull’ and ‘guys’ and ‘massage’ in it at a quick glance. We walked on, but I turned to Tom and insisted that was some sort of sexual offering. He wasn’t so sure, but I was certain. Out of curiosity, we slowed down a bit and sure enough the man stopped next to us again. We asked him what he wanted and he plainly responded saying “I want sex, you have sex with my wife”. We were speechless and couldn’t actually believe what he said. He then clarified and said that he and his wife were swingers...we had to politely decline his offer but wished him luck. After this, we were really keen for food, so stopped at a place which looked busy, always a good sign, and we decided we’d get a mixture of dishes after we’d had thali for what felt like weeks. We got vegetable pakora, this guys own veg biriyani and a peanut masala, the latter of which arrived with a flame coming out of it! All the food was amazing and safe to say we gobbled it all up.

    As it was the Shiva Festival today in Udaipur there was a load of people now out on the streets and we got offered this creamy/green drink. This western guy said to me that it wasn’t strong, so we both took a cup. When we drank it we couldn’t even taste any alcohol, so it must have been really weak. It wasn’t the nicest of drinks, so Tom only had a little bit, whilst I had the whole thing as we were in front of the guys who gave it to us and I didn’t want to seem rude. We walked up the street so Tom could dump his in the bin, as two kids followed us desperate for the drink but Tom refused to give it to them. We made it back to the hostel finally and went to the rooftop to chill out for a bit. Up there we met an English girl and a Finnish guy and we were all just chatting about generic travel stuff. It was at this point I started to feel a bit weird in my stomach and I immediately thought the drink had poisoned me. However, I then overheard the Finnish guy say that the drink the locals give out on the street is a ‘special lassi’. In other words it’s a drink laced with marijuana. I hadn’t been poisoned, I’d got accidentally high. Tom has looked over to me and I was in fits of giggles at absolutely nothing at all...at least I was happy high and not depressed. Everything made me laugh, even the name of the state we were in ‘Rajasthan’ and even more so the people called ‘Rajasthani’s’ nearly had me on the floor. This went on for a while, and even Tom started to just laugh, more so at the state I was in. We went downstairs as I had some chocolate biscuits, so we demolished them and then decided we’d go on a midnight hunt for Oreos. We went down to the main door, and it was shut, but couldn’t be locked as you can’t lock people in or out of a hostel. We spent about 5 minutes pushing and pulling, looking for a lever, trying to twist bolts and pulling chains that were on this door but for the life of us we couldn’t figure it out! We had to find and ask the hostel manager how you open the door and he just said ‘slide them’...actually so simple. We got our Oreos smashed them and then duly went to bed. It had been a long and eventful day, but a fun evening.
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  • Day48

    Exlploring Udaipur on foot

    February 22, 2020 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We woke up at 8am, with the Indians in our room having a conversation at volume 100%, because they can’t do anything quietly. Up on the rooftop for 8:15 to wait for our free hostel breakfast. However, unlike yesterday we were not the only ones on the rooftop today so had to eat a normal amount today. We went for a walk to find some mopeds to rent today, however, we were unsuccessful and apparently all the mopeds were rented today...we tried our hostel and they said the same thing. We quickly moved around our plans for today, booked a moped for tomorrow through the hostel and then set off for Lake Sagar, about 2km away. After walking for about 2 minutes, Tom had placed his foot foot into the largest and wettest cow poo ever... today wasn’t going our way. After a little while we got to the lake, it was nice and much more local than Lake Pichola. We chilled out at a park near the water for a little while and then decided to walk a bit further to a nicer park. On the way we saw a Kayak competition taking place so we sat and cheered for a random team and then continued.

    We arrived at Saheliyon-Ki-Bari and when we realised you had to pay in we walked to a nearby park built onto a roundabout. There was a nice pond in the middle where you could rent out pedalos. We chilled here for a little while looking into Nepal, and whether we would need to get additional insurance or not...it was looking like it could cost us up to £600 each to get insured!! After an hour or two chilling on the grass we made our way back to Udaipur City Palace to check out the outside areas surrounding the place that you had to buy a separate ticket for. We chilled out here on the grass where we eventually got an answer about our travel insurance after talking directly with our insurance company, we didn’t need additional insurance to trek around Nepal!! This actually made us very happy and made me feel like we’d saved so much money! With a spring in our step we made our way back to the hostel rooftop where we watched sunset and then went for a dinner Thali with the Germans that we had met. The food was great again! Back to hostel, chilled out some more and then went to bed.
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  • Day46

    Lake city

    December 28, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Definitely our favourite place!

    We had such a good time here, its such a beautiful place with really nice people. We made friends with the local cafe owner, Viki and went there at least once a day for some amazing chai or pineaple coffee (this last concept is hard to believe but it is literally the best thing ever). There were some British people that came there everyday too, Micheal and Lucy, we got super friendly with them too. They were in Udaipur for 3 months and a good laugh. Going there really felt like a club house or something familiar. There was also a huge art scene (not to be compared with any art scene at home) in Udaipur so we were constantly wandering into art shops and galleries. By the end of our trip when we'd be walking down the main street we were waving left and right because we actually started to get to know the people. Such nice vibes.

    We also followed an art class which was super good and Udaipur has amazing food too! Really cool to see a traditional Rajasthan dance performance too with beautiful ladies and one who balanced like 20 pots on her head. Such a cool place!!
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  • Day45

    Udaipur tour

    December 27, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    So we really like Udaipur and wanted to do a tour. We walked all around the old part of town and learnt all about the different neighbourhoods. So "back in the day" but also to this day you used to have all the different proffesions in one neighbourhood. So proffesions were passed on through the generations and you would have all the basket weavers in one area, the potters in another, shoe makers, fruit retailers, they all had their own part. Now it's not super strict but you will still predominantly find the same shops in the same areas of the old town.

    We also learnt about local temples and got some more information about Hindu temples. The best part was trying all the local sweet delicacies, jallebis, yum!
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  • Day43

    Helping at an animal shelter

    December 25, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Christmas and boxing day could not have been better spent than this.
    While there was no real sign of the Christmas spirit Kaya and I spent a day here at the animal shelter in Udaipur. Much more rewarding than the forts..

    So there are many many street animals in India but not many shelters. While Kaya and I both believe the human needs crisis needs to be solved more urgently it doesn't take away from the great initiative. They take wounded street animals in and cure them, then they release them back into the wild. In some cases (blindness or loss of backlegs) they do adopt them and keep them there as they wouldn't survive back in the wild.

    They also adopt donkeys that have been used cruelly for labour, so we saw many ghastly sights of twisted legs and horrible wounds which is really sad. Donkeys are used here to carry big bags of rocks, way heavier than they are able of coping with and they will tie their front leg to their back leg to decrease speed, with grim results. Luckily they got to stay in this nice enclosure with the cows.

    The cows usually come from the milk industry as when they no longer can produce milk the industry tosses them onto the street, the cows are often too weak to survive on their own after this. The shelter also has many male baby cows that either get killed or tossed for the reason that they can't produce milk. Again, quite sad and this is one we can't even deny happens in the west! Also their are a lot of "wild" cows in India that live on the street. With all the pollution and littering here the poor things end up consuming so much plastic and as a result of this their stomach fills with it, creating a barrier that won't let any actual food and nutrients pass through. They got weirdly bloated and will die soon if nothing is done, again the shelter will try to perform a surgery but to be fair they will just go back on the street again and the same will happen.

    All in all another eye opening experience that was very rewarding. We spent two days there helping out and gave some donations.
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  • Day39

    The final palace

    December 21, 2019 in India ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    OK so now we are actually done with the forts and palaces hahaha. We by chance strolled into this one and thought why not. But we are not as excited any more about these buildings. They are magnificent but we have become desensitised to the true beauty! So we will choose more nature orientated trips and hang outs from now.

    We have made friends with a local cafe owner who made us extremely spicy, but according to him not at all spicy chow mein noodles. Had a good laugh with him. The guest house we are at is very nice, we are exhausted from traveling so taking it easy and decided to spend Christmas here and stay longer until getting a super long train journey back.
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