Our tour of the state of Rajasthan, where we will spend close to 2 weeks, began in Udaipur, the City of Lakes. After our flights from Goa to Mumbai, and from Mumbai to Udaipur, we arrived at our comfortable guesthouse, Aashiya Haveli, right on Lake Pichola. Udaipur is also called the “Venice of the East” and you cannot help but admire all the beauty that surrounds the old city, founded in 1559.
Our guesthouse was walking distance to the City Palace, where we spent a full day exploring the beauty of the enormous palace. The 4 of us were amazed at all the beautiful details, colors, tiles, architecture of the palace, not to mention the view of Lake Pichola and of Jag Niwas island (now the famous Taj Lake Palace Hotel). There were a few tourists but many more Indians visiting the palace. We also had a nice lunch after our visit and toured the shops inside the palace courtyard. It was a wonderful day as we sat to absorb the grandiosity of the palace around us.
We also took a bicycle tour around the city recommended by TripAdvisor. We left 7am to meet our guide, it was only the 4 of us. It was quite busy as we were paddling around the old city but once we left town, it was peaceful to bike around, through the small villages and lakes. Everyone we passed was happily greeting us “Namaste” and “Hellos”. Our guide was a nice young man who just graduated from college and was very knowledgeable of Udaipur and its surrounding lakes. After almost 4 hours of biking, we finished the tour with delicious fresh juices from Paps Juice, a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place with a friendly owner (Pap).
We spent the remaining days walking around the old town, visiting the beautiful heritage hotels, getting henna tattoos (the elaborate ones just like the Indian brides) and enjoying delicious Rajasthani meals. The food is really amazing here and we are pretty much eating only vegetarian meals just to be safe. So far so good!
Next stop – Jodhpur, Rajasthan.