We decided to visit Udaipur this time around. It had been some time we took a time off from Mumbai to not visit family. After informing some folks who were surprised by our choice, my desire to visit the place grew stronger.
On landing in Udaipur my first surprise was the temperature. I had lander at a 13 degree Celsius place from a 31 degree Celsius place. It felt amazing to experience this type of chill after a long time. After settling down at the hotel we decided to start off with a local eatery for breakfast. The food is very good at most of the places. The local cuisine stands out. I wont get into the details of what I ate and where. But most of the websites on the net give you pretty good reviews and places to eat. All food is served with love. Spare a second to let them know how you enjoyed the food and look at them beam with pride.
The next thing that impressed me was the amount of foreign tourists that visit this place. On my return flight 60% passengers were not of Indian origin. The locals have adapted well to the influx of tourists. The taxi driver I spoke to informed me that during the tourist season, he is a taxi driver while the rest of the year he is a farmer. The local businesses speak fluent English with an American accent (very well faked) and broken German and French. Many cafes can be found in the heart of the old city. These cafes serve good burgers, coffee and tea. There are places that fit into all the budgets.
You would not miss the palaces and lakes in the city. The place is well planed with man made lakes. By lakes I mean water bodies which are 700 Ha in size. All these lakes are interconnected. There are around five major lakes in Udaipur. Stay around lake Pichola if you want to be close to the happening places. You will save a bucket load of money on rickshaws.
Last but not the least, travel to Udaipur with an empty bag. You have lots to shop for. clothes, handicrafts, leather goods and memorabilia. The shopkeepers are good. I had one instance where I bought some hand made leather shoes and went my way. As they are hand made you don't find sizes imprinted on them. I was on my way to other stores looking for stuff to buy. After a while and about 500m down the road in a different shop, the guy whom I bought shoes from comes in and shows me another pair of shoes and says that they fit me better. He made me try those shoes and of course they did fit better. After exchanging the shoes he was on his way. That was an experience at customer delight which will stay with me for a long time. Do not miss out buying local clothes,bed sheets,shoes, belts and woollen clothes.
To be continued...