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Udaipur, The City of Lakes

After a long and very bumpy government bus ride, we arrived at the majestic city of Udaipur. Arriving in darkness, our first sight of the city’s lake all lit up by twinkling lights was truly spectacular. We could instantly see why Udaipur takes the title of India’s most romantic city.

We were lucky enough to be staying right on the lake in hotel ‘Dream Heaven’, and for cheap rooms and heavenly views over the water, it was a great place to stay or chill with a beer as the sun went down.

The view from Dream Heaven's rooftop restaurant.

A view of the footbridge.

On day one we visited Udaipur’s main attraction, the City Palace. The impressive structure is a fusion of Rajasthani, European and Chinese architecture that houses thousands of magnificent antiques and artworks from around the world. It’s always hard to do these places justice with photographs, but here are a few of our highlights.

The main gates to the Palace.

Elaborately decorated rooms.

The former homes of the Palace carrier pigeons.

Chairs set up for the evening light show.

We spent most mornings doing yoga with a wise and very charismatic yogi named Prakash, and as usual the rest of the day was spent wandering around the city and taking it all in.

Jagdish Temple

A man sits on the temple steps.

Archways to the lake.

The cobbled streets over the foot bridge are a lot less trafficy, meaning you can easily walk around and take in local life - an exercise that’s usually quite difficult in busier Indian cities.

A small temple near 'sunset point.'

As always Indian cows have right of way!

This lady caught me taking a photograph of her front door!

The lake plays a central role in the life of Udaipur’s residents. Everyday the ghats (lakeside steps) see women washing their clothes, children bathing, and holy people carrying out acts of worship.

On the night of the full moon the lake was lit up with never-ending offerings of candle donations.

It was an amazing spectacle, but we couldn’t help think of a lakebed filled with polystyrene boat shipwrecks and empty candle containers.

We ended up staying in Udaipur a little longer than expected…this time the Delhi belly got us both, and it got us very good! Recovery took a while, so we were grateful to be staying in a (relatively) quiet city.

Once recovered we went on a sunset boat trip around the lake, one of the must do tourist attractions that surpassed our expectations.

A very impressive dance show at Bagore-Ki-Haveli (a mansion built by the former Prime Minister) topped off our memorable week in the city. It was beautiful, a bit weird, and thrilling all at the same time!

The Haveli from lakeside.

The audience waiting in anticipation.

Women perform a traditional Rajasthani folk dance.

Puppeteers join the show.

This amazing woman is in her seventies!

We really ticked off the tourist attractions in the city, but each of them were well worth it. Despite sickness, Udaipur ranks very highly among our favourite places in India.

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