Udaipur has the loveliest station. It’s small and welcoming. And arriving there on that sunny winter morning, we knew it was going to be a great holiday.
Having taken the Mewar Express from Delhi on Friday evening we had only Saturday and Sunday to spend. To do justice to Udaipur, one needs a longer break, say four days at least, but by the end of two days, we discovered we’d walked down the old city streets several times over and had begun to feel completely at home.
It is a good idea to stay in the old city if your stay is short. The major tourist destinations are all at walking distance: the City Palace and museums,
and the magical ghats on Lake Pichola.
The lake has two heritage hotels, Jagmandir and Lake Palace Hotel, which look like floating mirages. For some reason, the Government run ferries on Pichola weren’t plying that day, so we went boating on the Fateh Sagar Lake, ten minutes away by auto and watched the sun set.
The next day we visited Sajjangarh Fort with a spectacular view of Udaipur and a not-so-spectacular fort. Shilpgram, a crafts village is worth a visit for shopping and watching folk dances and is on the way back.
The old city on foot:
Walk down the road from Hathipol to Ghantaghar for great bargains on silver jewelry. The roads from Jagdish Temple to Bhattiyani Chohatta and Gangaur Ghat are lined with shops targeted at tourists, stacked with jootis, jholas, colourful clothes and scarves.
We took some rewarding turns into inner by-lanes where there were wedding supply shops and mithai shops with lots of deep fried food. My favourite buy was a red Mewari turban.
Eating out in Udaipur:
Café Edelweiss has the absolute best breakfast. Fresh pancakes with whipped cream, eggs, toast, a variety of tea to choose from. Attached to the sit-out café, is a ‘German Bakery’.
The Whistling Teal was another great find. It has Indian and continental food. Delicious!
Berry’s for Indian food. Great kebabs. It is a little away from the old city, we ended up walking quite long before we got there.