The main attractions of Udaipur are the City Palace and Lake Pichola. Most of the hotels and restaurants of Udaipur have views of both. We opted not to stay in the famous Lake Palace Hotel but rather across the lake from everything. In one day we saw the City Palace, took a boat ride and had lunch on Jagmandir Island in Lake Pichola.
The City Palace has several beautifully decorated rooms and paintings, and it was impressive, but one my favorite parts of the day was seeing the Jagdish Temple and buying stickers of Hindu gods and goddesses at a shop across from the temple. More
Jaipur is all action. There is a constant hum of people, cars, motorcycles and scooters that stopped only when we retreated to our hotel. Bf did not like Jaipur. I reserved judgment until the end. Since we would visit at least 5 more cities I wanted to take it all in before declaring one my favorite or the worst.
Part museum, part royal residence, the City Palace of Jaipur was once the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. It was started by Sawai Jai Singh II in the 1730s, and as usual, added onto by successive rulers. Most of the palace is the trademark pink color which gave Jaipur its nickname of the “Pink City.” To honor the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, the palace, and other city buildings, were painted pink for his visit and remained that way ever since.
I will never grow tired of visiting royal residences or palaces or even someone else’s house. I like imaging myself in their shoes, how it is to move around the rooms and what their daily lives may be like. I have a faint memory of going into unfinished houses with my parents when they were looking for real estate in Myrtle Beach, SC and the surrounding areas. It’s always fun to envision yourself in a new or different house/apartment. Where would you put the couch or the bed? Isn’t that a lovely view? Gosh, this room is small.
The City Palace of Jaipur allows plenty of room for your imagination. Obviously the part that’s still occupied is off-limits but there’s enough to see. I loved the gates of the inner courtyard that led into Chandra Mahal where the royal family still lives.
Our driver Soref wanted us to visit a tailor and a jeweler in Jaipur just to see what they had because most likely if we buy he gets a commission or something. We knew that it was part of experience in India so we went along with it. The tailor was willing to make us anything we wanted and do it in a day! They were very persistent.
We also walked around the local markets. Between looking at all the people and colors around me and having to dodge dogs, cows and other humans, it was not so easy, but I enjoyed the mental and physical exhaustion that Jaipur provided.
Because we had told Soref that we were up for adventure he took us to a temple celebration one night. We walked from the hotel through the city to the temple. Have you walked head on into traffic where there are no street lights and very few stop lights? There are no police or traffic cops. It’s you versus fast-moving cars and motorcycles and you can hardly see because their lights are blinding you. We walked through this to the temple. This was one of those things my parents wouldn’t approve of. I was probably overreacting but I felt anxious. Once we got to the temple we were forced into lines, told to remove our shoes and go inside. The pile of shoes was strange and hilarious. I had no idea how I was ever going to find my shoes again. Surprisingly I did! We were allowed to go inside, stand in front of the altar for 2 seconds and be on our way. No time to meditate or be really thankful. Going in and out of the temple felt like a carnival. There were men selling blinking lights and funny toys. People were socializing in groups or just hanging around.
We found a scooter taxi and escaped the buzzing.
Next will be the Jantar Mantar!