Udaipur Journals

Udaipur, City of Lakes

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An August 2011 trip to Udaipur by phileasfogg

Lake Pichola Photo, Udaipur, India More Photos
Quote: Rajasthan, the Indian state that attracts the most tourists, is mostly desert – golden sands, arid wastes, thorn scrub. But here, surprisingly, is an oasis: the lovely lake city of Udaipur, a city of gleaming waters, vivid gardens and some of the most remarkable palaces in India.

Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort and Spa

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Hotel | "A Hotel with a View"

Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort and Spa Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
What’s the best place to stay in Udaipur? Probably the famous Lake Palace Hotel, all white and lovely in the middle of one of Udaipur’s lakes. And while we could’ve splurged and booked a room at the Lake Palace, we got a fantastic deal – three nights, with breakfast and dinner included, for a mere Rs 13,500 – at the Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort and Spa. "It’s a steal," said an awed friend. And it was. What’s more, when we arrived at the hotel, we were given a choice of two rooms: a pool and garden-facing one, and a lake-facing one. The lake-facing one, we were told, though much more expensive, would be a complimentary upgrade, because renovations on an adjacent floor caused noise between 9 AM and 7 ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort and Spa
Fateh Sagar Lake, Rani Road
Udaipur. Rajasthan
0294 3050000

Antara

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Restaurant | "Good Food, Great Entertainment"

Antara Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
Having already spent a couple of days in Kota – and not at all looking forward to more of that greasy, spicy and fairly predictable fare we’d been subjected to – we were very happy to find that the Sheraton’s coffee shop, Antara, is a multicuisine restaurant. There’s a lot of Indian food (including all the usual ones – the daals and curries and whatnot), but there’s also Oriental food, and ‘Western’ stuff, like burgers, sandwiches, grills and desserts. We’d bought a room package that included daily breakfast and dinner, both from the buffet at Antara. The first day that we arrived at the Sheraton, we were told that the lunch buffet had been closed but we could order à la carte, or even room ser...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Antara
Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort And Spa, Ambamata
Udaipur

Udaipur City Palace Museum

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Attraction | "A Showcase for the House of Mewar"

Udaipur City Palace Museum Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
Mewar, the fertile area of which Udaipur forms a part, was ruled before India’s independence by the Maharanas of Mewar. The House of Mewar lays claim to being the oldest continuously ruling house in the world: according to belief, the State of Mewar was handed over to their ancestor, Bappa Rawal, in AD 753 (by a sage named Harit Rashi, who appointed Bappa Rawal the ‘Diwan’ or regent of the deity Eklingji on Earth).The early history of the House of Mewar seems inextricably bound up with mythology: they are supposedly descended from the deity-king Ram himself. What we do know for sure, however, is that by the time the Mughals arrived in India, the Maharanas had long held sway in Mewar. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Udaipur City Palace Museum
City Palace Complex, Brahmpuri
Udaipur, Rajasthan
0294 2419021

Paantya

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Restaurant | "The Maharana’s Table? Not Quite"

Paantya Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
We’d just finished our tour of the City Palace, and were scheduled to leave for a boat ride on Lake Pichola. In between, we had about an hour and a half in which to relax – and get some lunch. There wasn’t enough time to return to the Sheraton, where we were staying, and we weren’t in the mood to go looking for restaurants in town. The easiest option would be a restaurant at one of the two hotels that are part of the City Palace complex: the Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel and the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel. The man at the ticket counter in the City Palace suggested the Shiv Niwas Palace, so we walked down – it’s a couple of minutes’ trot from the City Palace – and asked for the restaurant.Our first opini...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Paantya
Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel
Udaipur, Rajasthan

Lake Pichola

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Attraction | "A Cruise Past Palaces and Ghats"

Lake Pichola Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
The large grey-blue lake that spreads out at the foot of the City Palace Complex is known as Lake Pichola. It is one of several lakes that dot Udaipur, and it’s almost de rigueur to go for a brief cruise on Pichola if you’re a tourist in Udaipur. After we’d toured the City Palace, therefore, we decided to go on a boat ride – tickets are available at the ticket counter outside the City Palace, and cost Rs 240 per person. The fare includes a half-hour cruise along the fringes of the lake, followed by a trip to the Jag Mandir Palace, which sits on a small island in the middle of the lake. Jag Mandir Palace is now a hotel, but it has an interesting history (and a conveniently placed coffee bar), plus plea...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Lake Pichola

Udaipur, India

Crystal Gallery

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Attraction | "The World’s Largest Private Collection of Crystal"

Crystal Gallery Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
The royal house of Udaipur was once among India’s wealthiest and most important dynasties. These rulers prided themselves on their palaces, their land, their vast treasures. So, obviously, once they were exposed to the riches of the West, they found new ways to spend their money. On crystal, for instance. Back in 1877, the maharaja of Udaipur was a young man named Sajjan Singh. He was, it appears, a bit of a hedonist; he certainly had an inordinate fondness for crystal and cut glass. To indulge this love, he ordered, from the British firm F&C Osler (established in 1807 in Birmingham) a massive shipment of crystal. Osler were not merely required to send the decanters, wine glasses, brandy sn...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Crystal Gallery
Fateh Prakash Palace
Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001

Vintage and Classic Car Collection

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Attraction | "Cars Fit for a Maharaja "

Vintage and Classic Car Collection Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
If Maharana Sajjan Singh of Udaipur loved crystal, then there were other maharajas – his descendants – for whom cars were as much of an obsession. If you like vintage cars – those legendary Rolls and Chevys and Buicks and Mercs – this is one museum you’ve got to see. I’m not mad about cars, but vintage ones do appeal to me, and my husband was very certain that he wasn’t going to leave Udaipur without seeing the Vintage and Classic Car Collection at the Garden Palace Hotel.Like the Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace hotels, the Garden Palace Hotel is also owned by the royal family. Part of the hotel premises – the part that once used to function as the garage(s) of the pala...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Vintage and Classic Car Collection
Garden Palace Hotel
Udaipur

Saheliyon Ki Badi

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Attraction | "Gardens for the Maharani's Ladies"

Saheliyon Ki Badi Photo, Udaipur, India
Quote:
Of all of Udaipur’s tourist attractions that we visited over the course of three days, this was the one we found the least impressive. The palaces, the vintage cars, the Crystal Gallery, the ride on Lake Pichola – are all memorable. The Saheliyon ki Badi – the ‘garden of the ladies-in-waiting’ – is often mentioned in lists of Udaipur’s top sights to see, but it didn’t do much to us.Sometime in the 18th century, a princess from another part of Rajputana married into the House of Mewar and came to Udaipur. Along with her dowry, she brought with her 48 young ladies in waiting – her sahelis, or literally, ‘girl friends’. To make the young women feel more at home, and to enable them to hav...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 15, 2011

Saheliyon Ki Badi
Beside Fateh Sagar Lake
Saheli Marg, Udaipur