On my recent journey to India, our last stop was the enchanting city of Udaipur, tucked away in the shadows of the Arvalli Mountains and known as the “Venice of the East”! It is a fairy-tale like city, surrounded by lakes, with tiny narrow streets and a sense of romance unlike any other city I visited while in India.
There is so much beauty to capture in this city – but one of my favorites was the morning I decided to sneak out of the back entrance of our hotel, The Leela Palace, and hop into a shiny black Tuk Tuk! The driver swirled me through the tiny alley ways and narrow back streets until we got to one of the most vibrant and colorful markets I’ve ever seen. The Udaipur Spice Market!
Inside the old walled city the colorful, crooked streets were bursting with lively markets and ladies on every street corner stringing fresh flowers to make beautiful necklaces!
Water Marbling (painting on water) is a lost art and something very special we got to see while we were in Udaipur! A unique art form where the canvas is not cloth or paper, but sheer water. Sanjhi – creating paintings that float on water — is a technique over 200 years old. This rare art has been kept alive by just one family in Udaipur, who have been practicing it for generations.
Art is everywhere in Udaipur. The intricate painting on the the doorways of homes means that someone was married and it stays there until the next wedding!
A peak below at our beautiful hotel, The Leela Palace!
SIMPLE SOL “SHORT GUIDE”
When to Visit: Best time of year to visit is from October – February. Although we went in mid April and had the best time (just keep in mind it will be very hot!!!).
Must Visit: The Spice Market, City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Lake Pichola, Bagore-ki-Haveli and Kumbhalgarh Fort!
To Stay: Many of the palaces built around (and actually on) the lakes have been converted into Luxury Hotels.
The Leela Palace: It’s spectacular position on the banks of Lake Pichola ensures that each room has views over the tranquil lake. The resort took 14 years in total to complete, which is reflected in the incredible detailed artwork throughout the hotel, and the intricate murals in the courtyards. The Sheesh Mahal restaurant offers some of the finest Indian cuisine in the region.
The Oberoi Udaivilas: Designed in the style of a traditional Rajasthani palace and blending perfectly with its royal surroundings on the banks of Lake Pichola, the Oberoi Udaivilas ensures a lavish stay. It’s the perfect haven to relax after a journey through Rajasthan, and makes the ideal base from which to explore Udaipur, if you can tear yourself away!
The Taj Lake Palace: The Taj Lake Palace has a unique location; on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Pichola. It is perhaps one of the most photographed hotels in the world, and the views of the City Palace which lie directly opposite are magnificent. In short, the Taj Lake Palace is iconic, and is a must on the luxury traveller’s bucket-list.