mostly travel and getting trapped in city traffic
On the way, we visited a Jain tirth called Rishabhdev which seemed more of a Digambara tirth than Shwetambara tirth. The temple was nice. I had already been there once about 10+ years back. But didn’t remember much of it.
After reaching Udaipur around 5 PM, we went out to have food. And in the quest of visiting couple of places of interest, I got us trapped in city traffic near Fateh Sagar Lake. I took the car to really narrow lanes which were not well suited to drive a car through it. 😉
we absolutely regretted visiting Udaipur
Our first full day in Udaipur started with breakfast with our hosts (we booked homestay via Airbnb).
Our first stop was Sajjan Garh Palace or the Monsoon Palace. Except the view from the top and an ambient cafe, we didn’t find anything really interesting in the palace itself. Kullad chai at the cafe was nice!
Our next stop was the Sajjangarh Biological Park which is just beneath the Sajjan Garh Palace. Park itself is pretty nice but the crowd and the time of day ensured that we wouldn’t see many animals. Those we saw, were in rest mode after their lunch. Apparently, like humans, even animals prefer having a nap after lunch. 😉
The biological park is pretty big and considering the hot weather we visited Udaipur in, it was only wise to roam around the park in a golf car.
Next we went to Gulab Bagh which is the biggest garden in Udaipur. We wanted to visit the Gulab Bagh Public Library inside the garden but it was closed. Maybe due to Diwali holidays. Gulab Bagh was nice to walk through. It’s a lush green and peaceful area in the most visited part of the city.
From Gulab Bagh, we walked to Udaipur City Palace which is probably the most visited spot in the city. The rush inside the palace museum was too much for me and my wife to handle. And there was persistent nuisance from some fellow tourists - a group of 6-7 guys. It got suffocating due to the rush and we decided to leave the palace after seeing only a couple of rooms in the museum.
Thoroughly disappointed because of the insane crowd we were seeing this day, me and my wife went back to the homestay and decided to rest the next day.
it was surprisingly awesome!
We decided a day before to relax at the room and not go out to any tourist spots in the city. Out of habit, I woke up early and decided to read a book on Mewar history that I found at the hosts’ place.
Few pages into the book, I got really excited reading about the history. By the time my wife woke up, I had mentally decided to not relax on this day. 😄
After some discussion with our host, we decided to visit Eklingji temple because of the historical significance it has in Mewar. The temple is about 25 km from Udaipur and our host told us that it might not be as overcrowded as the city itself. We ensured to visit during the darshan timings so that we can take a look at all the parts of the temple. It turned out to be a really good decision on our part and we also got a book from outside the temple that had more historical facts about the temple detailed in it.
While checking out the nearby places around Eklingji, I found that there are two more temples which are as old as Eklingji (built in 8th century CE) or older than it. These were:
- Sahastra Bahu temples
- Shantinath Jain temple
While Sahastra Bahu temples were built in early 10th century CE, the Jain temple was built around 3000 years back. The history, carving and landscape of this temples completely amazed us. And they were not even 10% as crowded as the main city.
I’m glad I read up some history and ended up visiting places of historical significance. We surely witnessed some amazing architecture that has stood through the centuries.
In the evening we visited Maharana Pratap Smarak. It is a museum full of history and miniatures of Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, City Palace, and battlefield of Haldighati. The view from the top of Moti Magri hill where the museum rests is also nice!
we were left dumbstruck
While reading about Mewar’s history the previous day, I stumbled upon Jaisamand Lake. Since it was a few hours detour on the highway back to Ahmedabad, we visited this lake on the last day.
The road from Udaipur to Jaisamand lake is absolutely amazing. It’s got a lot of turnings and a terrain that rises and falls very, very often. Driving car on this road was nothing short of a pleasure!
Upon reaching Jaisamnd Lake, we were completely blown away by its expanse. It is an artifical lake and second-largest of its type in India (per some Udaipur locals, second-largest in Asia). There’s also an island in the lake which hosts a resort. Should be interesting staying there. 😉
It surprised us how they created such a huge lake so many years back! Technological advancements back then were almost inexistent yet, the constructions (lakes and palaces) from that era were surprisingly amazing.
Udaipur is about 4-5 hours drive from Ahmedabad. Roads are pretty good but, if you’re driving at night, beware of the potholes that show up surprisingly on the highway. There’s a good number of restaurants on the highway.
We plan to visit Udaipur again during off-season period. I’ll be updating the post with few pics of the places I’ve mentioned. Until next time! 😄