Rajasthan Road Trip | Udaipur Magic
Welcome to Udaipur, by far my favourite city we visited in Rajasthan… So magical in fact that even a bout of food poisoning couldn’t change my mind and that’s saying something.
Based around the iconic lake (recognise it from Octopussy?), Udaipur is the kind of place you can imagine staying for a fortnight when you only planned for two days. It kind of casts a spell on you and the amount of expats and travellers cycling around and sitting in cafes we got chatting to that now call Udiapur home are testament to its pull. Compared to the craziness and pollution of Jaipur, Udaipur felt like a breath of fresh air. Still busy and bursting with crazy scooter drivers, roaming dogs and people everywhere you look, but with an underlying friendliness and mellow vibe, it surpassed all my expectations. It was also a real walking city so aside from the odd tuktuk, we were able to wander around by foot all day using the lake as our compass.
I’m not sure if I’m right in saying this but it felt even more spiritual that others places too, with the large temple by the clock tower serving as the town centre and shrines, blessings and Hindu murals everywhere which made it even more beautiful. If you notice the odd Swastika, remember its an ancient symbol that derives from Sanskrit and traditionally means good fortune and luck. It sadly just became a symbol of hate after being adopted by Nazi Germany but is still seen and used widely in Hindu India.
We stayed in a sweet little boutique Haveli called Madri Haveli that I found in Love Rajasthan. Really affordable, super clean, perfectly situated and a roof terrace for breakfast, it was the perfect pitstop for the kind of place that you’re out and about from dawn till dusk. Our first afternoon was spent wandering the streets, getting our bearings noting the many, many shops we wanted to visit the next day…
Trousers | Maje via The Outnet. Similar here.
Top | Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply
Sandals | Birkenstock
Sunglasses | Rayban
Bag | Celine (second hand via Vestiaire Collective)
Jewellery | Lucy Williams X Missoma
We headed for ghats and were treated to the sweetest holy festival going on. Women and children were wearing their colourful best (constantly putting my monochrome uniform to shame) and making tiny little clay-like pots and sending them off into the water on little rafts. I wish I knew more about what it all symbolised and meant but it looked beautiful whatever it was… Elsewhere, prayer strings had been wrapped round a tree with candles lit beneath it, and a family watered, worshipped and thanked a tall pot filled with plants. Everyone is very happy for you to be the tourist and take photos of what’s going on (although always best to ask before shoving a camera in front of someone’s face) and the whole place was filled with this glowy, amber light as the sun started to set.
This whole post sounds so corny but I swear its the kind of place that makes even the biggest cynic start throwing #blessed all over the place. Ok not quite, but you get the jist…
After roaming the streets , we headed to the lake for dinner at Leela Palace, one of a handful of super swanky, ridiculously expensive hotels in Udaipur. Leela is one of the only ones non-guests can book for dinner and is a great excuse to take to the water and take a trip across the lake. Beats a black cab any day…
We finished the day with cocktails and curries next to the lake at Leela’s Indian terrace restaurant while making big plans for the next, full day in Udaipur…