The month of March was an affair with euphoria for it gave Prateek and me a getaway to the City Of Lakes. Venice Of The East – the city has a befitting name for it embodies colossal and gorgeous lakes. Coupled with the lakes, Udaipur is adored with ghats, lake-side and lake view hotels, restaurants and cafe’s, massive palaces, constricted lanes, dainty shops in every nook and cranny and saintly temples.
Our travel there were March 11, 2017 – March 13, 2017. Blessed to have the Holi festival come in that time frame, we celebrated the festival of colours with the locals and foreign tourists at Udaipur.
We planned to visit the city in between these dates simply because of the weekend and the Holi holiday and also to have an offbeat experience of rejoicing the festival in a different city apart from our hometown’s Jaipur and Ratlam.
Prateek and myself, we reached Udaipur on March 11, 2017 at 14:00 hours. We had only two and a half days in our hands to enjoy living in the city and visit all the places that I had jotted down on our list.
Oh I remember the math I did for the number of places to visit and the time that I had on my watch. Crazy and maniacal. Hee-Haw!
The name Gulaab was magnetising enough for me to put this place on the list. I am a worshipper of roses. I louve them. Gulab Bagh is bedecked with channels of stunning flowers. Flowers of variegated breeds and colours bloom and blossom in their best everywhere. Everywhere!
It is a beautiful garden with no entry charges. It is more of a public park but is pleasantly maintained and is not unkempt at all; just in case a public park all dirty and scattered with filth image begins to develop in your mind already.
Gulab Bagh along with itself says that it has a zoo there too. That’s what is written on the web at least. But, there is no zoo there absolutely. The zoo has been completely shifted to Sajjangarh Biological Park. Please do not hold any hope in your heart to see a zoo at Gulab Bagh.
Coming back to Gulab Bagh, the area that the park is spread in is vast. It took us a great deal of time to wander here and there and finally find the valley of roses, oh yes, gulab, gulab, gulaab!
Gulab Bagh is a scenic park. A serene place to loose yourself into the tranquillity of flowers!
Hey, please don’t be disheartened when you reach the valley of roses because entry there is restricted and you can only see the roses blossoming and spreading their fragrance from outside the fence.
However, the staff there is allowed entry in this restricted section and one aunty (she was staff) was combing her hair in there and I assume she was feeling remarkably lucky. Seriously aunty? Why you so lucky?
Fateh Sagar Lake
This had to be on my list. Water water everywhere. I am a fanatic for water-y places. The lake is whopping. Brimming with water, a little blue in colour, just in case you want to know how clean the water is, the lake is a must-visit place for any visitor.
Motor boat and speed boat rides are the two water sports one can enjoy there. I opted for the motor boat ride. Touch the water ripples when you go for the ride and breathe in the fresh water scent.
There are a few open points where a series of steps lead you down into the lake water. Try that. Dip your feet into the cold water. Heaven!
Maharana Pratap Smarak
This place is right opposite to the Fateh Sagar Lake. Pratap Smarak is located on a hill and you need to either walk the road or take a golf cart. Trust me the distance is walk-able. Enjoy the 5-7 minute walk.
There’s a museum on the way up to the statue. I didn’t have enough time to pay a visit there and I headed straight for the statue darshan.
Please visit the museum, it’s worth doing it. My husband did it while we were walking our way down the hill and I chose to climb down faster and win. Bleh.
Pratap Smarak is enveloped in cold marble floor and the view of the Fateh Sagar Lake from the top is pleasing. Stay for the evening there and enjoy the sunset and breeze. The place has scant visitors and is sparkling clean; only if I could have stayed there for an hour or two more, but the folk dance show at Bagore Ki Haweli was calling me wildly.
धिना धिन धा…धा…धा, धिना धिन धा…धा…धा, धिना धिन धा……..धिना धिन धा…धा…धा…धा…धा…धा.
Bagore Ki Haweli
Attending the folk dance show at Bagore Ki Haweli was the solitary reason that I was going loony for and was sulking before Prateek to make it to the ticket counter before all the tickets get sold-out. I just wanted to see the dances, all these traditional and folk acts, they light me up with cheer.
Our timing was bizarrely bad.
We could not make it to the haweli on time and the tickets for the first show were sold-out. I made a ruckus and was downright gloomy. We waited in a lengthy queue I remember after this. Prateek had no option. LALALALALA.
We secured the tickets for another show and that’s how I came back to life. Phew.
The folk dances, puppet show, Chari/Bhavai dance, Terah Taali dance and Ghoomar were the one’s among the all that I remember clearly in my psyche.
Women clad in ornate garments and jewellery, a brief fire act taking place somewhere mid-dance, these all were remarkably lively. Peppy. Adding colours to life and lighting up the atmosphere. Totally engaging.
Bagore Ki Haweli also has a museum inside it. I suggest you to pay a visit there too. The museum closes down at sundown and hence I was not fortunate enough to visit it.
Bagore Ki Haweli was the closing place for day 1 of our Udaipur visit. The day ended with vivid memories and spellbinding performances by artists.
Day 2, bring it on!