Hello ,my friend!
I have written a lot in the past about the hauntingly beautiful stories of India and her people but, today, I shall guide you about the top 10 travel destinations that you must visit- and enjoy- in India. You must bear in mind that India is a subcontinent of sorts.You will find snow capped Himalayas, scorchingly hot deserts of Rajasthan, dense wet forests of North Eastern India as well as the glorious beaches of Peninsular India. Each of these places has a charm of its own and has a “best time to visit ” recommendation. So, here goes;My first post is about the Lake City, Udaipur
Nestled in the valleys of Aravalli hills of Rajasthan, Udaipur is my all time favourite.I stayed there for two years while studying and am never satisfied writing about it and travelling around the city.
For a first time traveller like you, the city holds out many charms like its colourful people and history, lip smacking food and great places to travel and stay in.Founded by Maharana Udai Singh more than 400 years back, the city and its surrounding areas turn into a paradise during and after August till March.The surrounding hills assume a brilliant green colour owing to the vegetation and rain bearing clouds hover down enough to give a surreal sight to the city.
If you are a budget traveller , you will find several budget and inexpensive hotels and resorts for you to stay in.One of my friends, Karni Singh Parihar runs a nice hotel in Udaipur. He is a Rajput and a loveable guy.
Do you know, Udaipur is also called as Lake City?It has no less than 5 lakes in and around the city.These lakes served the purpose of providing employment to its citizens during drought.
Want to see how the Maharajas lived?Then, you must visit the City Palace located in the heart of the city.Converted into a museum, the City Palace houses antiquities, artefacts and other pieces of the history of Udaipur.Though, the city is a few hundred years old, the settlement around the city is more than 2000 years old!Yes, in India, anything that is not older than 2000 years is not considered ancient!! The City Palace houses a chain armour worn by one of heroes of Indian history, Maharana Pratap. You will have a great idea of how the ancient kings in India lived their lives when you visit the City Palace.
Do you know, the royal dynasty of Udaipur is the oldest dynasty of the world?It is more than 1400 years old!
If you are a shopping buff, then Surajpol is the right place for you .Handicrafts and other marvellously crafted items are available in markets in and around Surajpol.
Saheliyon ki Bari is one place which you will never want to miss. The word Saheliyon means lady friends and Bari stands for garden.So, this place is a garden constructed by one of the earlier Maharajas for his lady folk. You will find water fountains formed in the shape of elephants, elephants made of marble , beautifully landscaped gardens and much more.I haven’t seen gardens more beautiful than Saheliyon Ki Bari.It is said that a Queen was feeling forlorn after her marriage to the king as she was missing her friends .Her friends totalled 48. When the king sensed he unhappiness, he decided to get this garden made for his queen and her 48 friends!
This garden draws its water from a lake located upstream called Fateh Sagar.The water is distributed through several hidden channels and when water gushes out from the mountains, it emits a hissing sound.
Best time to visit Saheliyon ki Bari is in the evenings.
While in Udaipur, do not forget to visit Shilpgram, a place where the art and craft of India is put together in one central place.So, you will see and interact with the artisans of the various states and parts of India.You will also find people from various tribes of India here.Though, personally, I do not accept the word “tribe” as all people and humans are equal, I have to use this term here to put my point across.
Do you know that the royal dynasty of Udaipur has the image of a tribal in its coat of arms?It is perhaps the only royal family in the world that gives equal status to tribals and non tribals alike.Would you not like to know why?
Jagdish Temple has a haunting history and you must visit it surely. Made in honour of Lord Vishnu around 400 years back, the temple was the centre of a vicious attack by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. It is said that this temple was defended by just one Rajput when the Mughal armies entered the city! This temple was made by Maharana Raj Singh.
While on the subject of Udaipur, you must know about the history of its royal family.Called the Guhilots or Sisodiyas, the family has an illustrious ancestor, Bappa Rawal. Bappa was the son of a king who died fighting his enemies.Bappa and his mother had to leave their kingdom and live in the jungles to survive and escape their enemies.This happened more than 1300 years back.
When Bappa grew up , he was sent to study under a sadhu, Harit Rishi. Bappa proved to be a brilliant student and full of promise.When the sadhu grew old, he called Bappa and prophesied that his pupil would regain his kingdom .The prophesy came true and till 1947, when our country became independent, Udaipur remained an independent kingdom.
The family deity of the dynasty is Lord Eklingji and his temple is situated a few kilometres north of Udaipur.This temple is more than a thousand year old. It is said that when Aurangzeb attacked the temple on way to Udaipur, his army was attacked by a swarm of poisonous bees !
While in Udaipur, you must enjoy the fantastic and famous lakes of Udaipur- Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Bhupal Sagar, Jai Samand and Raj Samand. Each of these lakes has some interesting history behind it.
The Pichola Lake, featured above has four islands within it and you would surprised to know some of the best hotels in the world are located on these islands.
So, that is it my friends. I have written very little about this wonderful place but, did you enjoy it?
How to reach Udaipur; Udaipur is accessible by road, train and air.It is well connected by air with prominent cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur.
If you want to make a road trip to Udaipur then, you will be spoilt with choice.The best way would be to book a seat with the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, a State Government enterprise.It has offices in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Delhi Website; www.rtdc.in
This site also helps you in reserving rooms in Government owned guest houses and hotels.I find these hotels to be inexpensive, comfortable and very much connected to the local culture and traditions.
Should you know more about this amazing and hauntingly beautiful city, you may write me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have lived in the city for 2 years and have excellent connections so I can make your travel and stay comfortable.