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Old 11th April 2014, 11:04   #1
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Default To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

Rajasthan - The Land of the Kings/Royals

Well, India has been ruled by kings all over for most part of its history. In other words, the whole of India can be technically called the Land of the Royals then.
What was it then, that made James Tod, that venerable British officer and historian, call this part of the country as Rajast'han in his monumental tome Annals and Antiquities of Rajas'han? Etymologists will perhaps point out that it is to do with the fact that the rulers of this region called themselves Rajputs and the area has been referred to as Rajputana earlier. But I believe that it may also have to do with the glorious acts of bravery, the chivalrous way of life, stories of which were the major basis for his work, aided by images of majestic, impregnable forts and palaces often rising above barren, rocky almost inhospitable landscapes.

It is to this charming land of folklore, chivalry and grandness then that we (me, wife and two kids) traveled sometime around the mid of January. But before starting with the story of that trip, lets roll in some teaser pictures.

Disclaimer: I guess a general disclaimer is in order before I proceed further though. I would not be able to hold a candle in front of the stellar photography quality and brilliant narrative styles that I have witnessed in some of the travelogues in this forum. This is my first attempt at a travelogue and my photos are from a Canon P&S camera, so please tune your expectation levels from this travelogue a notch down and you will find it a lot more bearable .

This is the story of a trip,
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3022.jpg <br />
  a trip to a much-read about, much-dreamed about land.<br /> <br />
As we traveled through its unknown yet fascinating roads<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3478.jpg <br />
  we wondered, what magnificence will it reveal, what stories will it tell us, what amazing art forms will we witness, whom all will we meet?<br /> <br />
  And reveal, it did. What? Most obviously, the majestic forts and palaces. In all shapes and forms, in all conceivable locations.<br /> <br />
  Atop hills.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3234.jpg <br />
  In water.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3230.jpg <br />
  Well maintained ones.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3123.jpg <br />
  Crumbling, yet proud ones.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3187.jpg <br />
  And occasionally, some hidden gems too.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3403.jpg <br />
  And we approached each of these with unbound curiosity,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3539.jpg <br />
  knocked expectantly at their doors.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3371.jpg <br />
    Some opened up and shared their glittering treasures with us,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3305.jpg <br />
  while others remained closed and only heightened their mystery for us.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3256.jpg   <div style=

Last edited by yosbert : 11th April 2014 at 22:57. Reason: Added pictures
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Old 11th April 2014, 23:58   #2
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

We saw fruits of painstaking dedication of craftsmen,
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3042.jpg <br />
  devotion for the celestial ones,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3272.jpg <br />
  or for their kings,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3497.jpg <br />
  or for their dead.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3400.jpg <br />
  We also witnessed opulent ways to live,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3114.jpg <br />
  and opulent ways to get carried in, some drawn by horses,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3066.jpg <br />
  others, powered by horses of a slightly different kind.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3060.jpg <br />
  We also beheld great monuments of victory, some ancient<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3213.jpg <br />
  some, not so ancient.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3474.jpg <br />
  We saw instruments used to achieve the said victories, again some old<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3330.jpg <br />
  some, not so old.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3570.jpg   <div style=
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Old 12th April 2014, 15:31   #3
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

Every place we went had its own story to tell. We heard many of them.

Stories of unflinching courage, some old,
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3081.jpg <br />
  some recent.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3459.jpg <br />
  Stories of heart wrenching sacrifices (perhaps not always voluntary)<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3312.jpg <br />
  Stories of limitless love,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3198.jpg <br />
  Stories of brutal cruelty,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3427.jpg <br />
  And many, many more.<br /> <br /> <br />
  Along the way we met many, some expected,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3423.jpg <br />
  some unexpected,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3182.jpg <br />
some endangered.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3279.jpg <br /> <br />
  We witnessed myriad expressions of the land's fast disappearing art forms,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3523.jpg <br />
  some given a platform, a second chance,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3164.jpg <br />
  some still waiting for theirs.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3300.jpg <br />
  Expressions of art, some well preserved,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3665.jpg <br />
  some badly needing a helping hand.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3415.jpg   <div style=
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Old 12th April 2014, 20:57   #4
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

We also visited and relived scenes from some of our cherished childhood fantasies.

That song from the masala potboiler of your teens,
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3101.jpg <br />
  That elusive fort you grew up chasing with your favourite detective.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3493.jpg <br /> <br />
  And as we roamed the majestic courtyards,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3088.jpg <br />
  gazing at the ivory doors,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3102.jpg <br />
  marveling at the immaculate craftsmanship,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3112.jpg <br />
  or, admiring the royal durbars,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3555.jpg <br />
  and even their magnificent ceilings,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3363.jpgTo the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3562.jpg <br />
  A divine presence always reassured us, towering over us,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3054.jpg <br />
  or, mingling with us<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3257.jpg <br />
  Appearing in myriad forms,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3118.jpg <br />
  some familiar,<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3412.jpg <br />
  some requiring a little adjustment, but reassuring nonetheless.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3624.jpg <br /> <br />
  And that, in summary, is the story of our trip to this enchanted land of forts and valor, beauty and divinity.<br /> <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3138.jpg   <div style=
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Old 13th April 2014, 16:00   #5
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Default Genesis of the Trip

Sometime around the last week of November, my repository of prudence and sane advice noted that since we are the parents of a school going daughter now, we should now sync our vacation plans with that global tradition of exorbitantly priced hotel rooms, indifferent service, crowding and jostling each other - also known as holiday time travel.

Lets get down to the brass tacks then, I thought.

When
A quick search of the travel websites promptly dissuaded us from planning anything around the Christmas – New Year period. It was almost inevitable, but perhaps I needed some reality check (actually realty check would be a more appropriate term here) to knock me back to my senses. We decided to go mildly contrarian and targeted the week after the mad New Year rush to plan our travel. The week around Sankranti would do just fine.

Where
Next question was obviously, where to? Several options were considered.

1. Himalayas – My standard go to, when holidays are mentioned. But with the memories of our trip to Gangtok just a couple of months back still fresh, it was a little difficult to convince.
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_2932.jpg <br /> <b>2. Andamans –</b> Too late. With barely a month left, the airfares were reaching stratospheric levels for the whole month of January.<br /> <br /> <b>3. Lakshadweep –</b> Again too late. All the cruises were already booked till third week of January.<br /> <br /> <b>4.</b> It was then that the thought of Rajasthan struck us. Let me give a little background first.<br /> <br />
  The relationship that Bengalis share with Rajasthan has been put very succinctly by BHPian <i>Sudipto-S-Team</i> in the opening lines of his <a href=travelogue (Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta).

Let me quote the relevant lines here
Quote:
Bengalis learn about Rajasthan from an early age when they are given a book called Raj Kahini, written by the painter and nephew of Tagore called Abanindra Nath Tagore. Essentially a collection of stories from the land of "Rajas" adapted for children from Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan.
Their next brush with Rajasthan is around teenage when most of them would be reading and watching a story and film by Satyajit Ray called Sonar Kella which is set against the backdrop of Jaisalmer but it has lot of reference to Jaipur and Jodhpur too.

After these two, most Bengalis would see the state with their families before getting into college.
I couldn’t have put it better myself!

Well, I didn’t get introduced to ‘Raj Kahini’, but the next two observations are spot on for both me and my better half. But Rajasthan being a vast state, not all of it was covered when we visited there with our respective families. So here was our chance to tick off some of those places missed last time and revisit others.

Rajasthan it is then – we finally decided.

Last edited by yosbert : 14th April 2014 at 19:29.
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Old 14th April 2014, 19:27   #6
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Default Planning of the Trip

We decided to concentrate mostly on West Rajasthan with a bit of south thrown in for good measure. Part of the reason was that we had been to eastern Rajasthan before and other was the attraction of sand and camels (you gotta give the kids something to really look forward to ).

Research followed, where else, but on this very section of Team-BHP. There was enough material available, and I am acknowledging below some of the BHPians whose travelogues I followed and used as guidance in planning my travel

nix1976in - Royal Rajasthan - A 4200km road trip through Rajasthan
v&v - Yet another Rajasthan trip - Sambhar lake, Ajmer, Pushkar, Osian (Jodhpur), Jaisalmer
ranjitp1 - From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)
Sudipto-S-Team - Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

And of course, that legendary one, the almost indispensable

laluks - Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des


Apart from these, I must have consulted several others and the blame lies entirely with me if I forgot to mention any important ones.

What followed next was a week of pestering laluks with my incessant questions, pondering over inane details, drawing and redrawing the itinerary and going through the travel guides and travelogues again and again.

Finally, a shout-out and a big thank you again for laluks sir. For standing up to my barrage of questions and patiently answering them and for those very helpful tips and advice.
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Old 15th April 2014, 20:48   #7
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Default Logistics of the Trip

Getting There and Away

Armed with outline of an itinerary with the places we wanted to visit, I commenced with the next step. Since I was not planning to drive to Rajasthan, this meant searching through various travel portals, looking for the cheapest, convenient, least time-consuming routes to fly in and out of Rajasthan.

Unfortunately for us, since Jaipur was not part of our itinerary it meant that there were no direct flights that we could avail. There were primarily two entry/exits points for us, one was Udaipur and the other was Jodhpur. We tried all the permutations and combinations and zeroed in on Jodhpur as our point of exit. This was a flight via Delhi that would bring us back home.

Since I was not very keen on flying in and out of the same place and the flight prices and time for Udaipur were not very convenient for the dates of our choice, I started looking for some alternatives. After some search it emerged that Ahmedabad is an overnight train ride away from Udaipur and the tickets to Ahmedabad were a lot cheaper than to Udaipur. So another place got added to our itinerary, yay!

I decided to use the opportunity and cover a few places in Ahmedabad as well. This meant we could not take the direct flight to Ahmedabad and instead opted for the flight via Mumbai.


Hotels


For the hotels, my strategy is to look for the highest rated hotels in Tripadvisor that are within my budget (arbitrate between the few potential choices purely on gut feel) and then look for the best deals on them on various travel portals. This time around, Tripadvisor was spot on except for one instance. Got decent amount of discounts on most of the hotel bookings since year end deals were going on in almost every portal. Around the same time GOSF also happened and we ended up cancelling and rebooking some of the hotels to avail the extra discounts.

I must also mention here that we were really impressed with laluks’ description of the Bishnoi Village Camp in his travelogue. Hence we decided that instead of rushing back from Bikaner to Jodhpur to catch the afternoon flight on our way back, we will take it easy and spend one night in Bishnoi Village before taking the next day’s flight.


Getting Around

The plan was to hire a taxi for our travel across Rajasthan. Contacted Abhay Travels as per laluks’ advice and got a quote from them. However, I did not find them very proactive and forthcoming in their responses (may be due to end of year rush), hence I decided to look around. Came across a list of government approved travel agents on Rajasthan Tourism’s website and contacted all of those based in Udaipur.

Finally we zeroed in on Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd. which gave the best quote (lesser than any other quote we got) and were very accommodating and helpful in finalizing our itinerary. Closed the deal over phone, made the requisite payments and they assured me that they would not let me down on my two primary requirements – a car in good condition and an experienced driver. As it turned out at the end of the trip, this was an excellent choice and we were thoroughly satisfied with the service provided (more on that as we go on).

Last edited by yosbert : 15th April 2014 at 23:23.
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Old 16th April 2014, 12:09   #8
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Default Itinerary of the Trip

After all the deliberations and considerations following was the travel plan we set out to follow.

To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-rajastha_itinerary.jpg <br />
  I will note the deviations and changes to this that happened, at relevant times.<br /> <br />
  So, with all the pesky little details out of the way, lets get started with the travelogue now.</div>   <div style=

Last edited by yosbert : 16th April 2014 at 12:13.
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Old 17th April 2014, 09:52   #9
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Default Day 1: Bangalore – Ahmedabad

I will start with a little acknowledgement here. BHPian rutvij was of immense help in planning the Ahmedabad leg of our trip. I just picked up on an offer of help he gave on some thread to someone else and he was gracious enough to share his contact details and help me chalk out a plan to utilize my limited time in Ahmedabad as best as possible.
So rutvij sir, thank you once again!

Our Jet Airways flight was supposed to depart from Bangalore at 6:05 AM and we were supposed to land at Ahmedabad airport by 11:20 AM with a quick flight change at Mumbai. I was fervently hoping that fog does not disrupt departure schedules in Bangalore and we are able to reach Mumbai in time to catch the connecting flight. With a silent prayer on our lips, we dump the luggage and the (sleeping) kids into the waiting taxi and are off for airport by 3:30 AM. Interestingly, our cab driver turned out to be from Yemen (if my memory serves me right), extremely well behaved and a thorough gentleman. Very unusual and a pleasant start to the journey.

Upon reaching airport we heaved a sigh of relief. There was no fog and soon enough we were buckling up for an on schedule departure. The flight was almost empty, kids were up by then and were creating a ruckus with an entire row of seats free for themselves. As the plane floated through the clouds, I decided to try my hand at some airplane-window photography.

To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3025.jpg <a href=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3029.jpg <br />
  We landed in Mumbai on schedule, changed terminals and were soon ready for our connecting flight. The flight arrived almost on time and soon we are aboard, looking forward to a fun filled day in Ahmedabad. And that is when disaster struck. Apparently our flight is also the connecting/onward flight for some international flight of Jet Airways and that plane has not landed yet. Thus began our impatient wait for those remaining passengers and finally by the time those people and their luggage boarded our aircraft and we left Mumbai we were a good 2 hours behind schedule. Landed and then waited for almost an eternity for our luggage to arrive (I swear it was not a figment of our imagination, we got our bags after most of our co-passengers had already left).<br /> <br />
  Since our train to Udaipur was scheduled for 11 PM in the night, we did not require a place to sleep. However, we did require a place to dump our luggage, freshen up a bit and a convenient place to rest as we waited for our train in the evening. After a lot of deliberations and advice to the negative, I decided to book the railway AC retiring room for this purpose. My reasoning for this was simple – a railway retiring room will allow us and the kids the maximum time to rest before we board the train and it also cuts out the hassle of looking for transport, late at night in an unknown city, to get to the station.<br /> <br />
Seems like Indian Railways had woken up just <a rel=recently to the idea of remote booking of railway retiring rooms via internet. However, I was not that lucky and had to make a trip to the Bangalore railway station earlier to book the retiring room (you go the station with your railway ticket, they check retiring room availability on their systems and confirm). All these from an organization that started using computerized ticketing system in the late 80s, talk about living under the rock.
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:05   #10
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Default Day 1: Ahmedabad

It was to the said retiring room that we were headed then, in our taxi from Ahmedabad airport. The condition of the retiring room did not disappoint at all. It was as uninspiring and unwelcoming as I expected it to be. The good part was the cheerful and friendly manager who offered some helpful tips. Anyway, we weren’t in retiring room to admire its breath-taking views or enjoy its cozy luxury, so we quickly dumped the luggage, rested a bit and freshened up.

By 2:30 PM we were ready to step out and explore Ahmedabad. But there was one important detail that needed to be worked out before that. You see the last bit of grub that had entered our stomach was some insipid airline fare that Jet Airways passed off as breakfast long hours back. So we haggled with the auto drivers a bit and off we headed for Agashiye. The traffic in these old parts of Ahmedabad is crazy and it reminded me a bit of the bustling and jostling of the old parts of Kolkata.

Agashiye, of course, is a rooftop restaurant housed in the terrace of a charming heritage hotel called The House of MG (nay, Mangaldas Girdhardas is the full name here). It does all-veg predominantly Gujrati thali served in traditional style. They even bring lukewarm water to your tables to wash your hands with, before and after meal (correction, they just bring the water, you wash hands yourself). The menu, which apparently changes daily, consisted of innumerable items starting with pomegranate juice and ending with kesar kulfi. The apple jalebi was a nice touch in between.

This picture will give you an idea of the spread
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3035.jpg <br />
Did you spot the <i>fresh churned butter</i> there <img src=?

The interior décor was also eye catching, and I particularly liked this
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3033.jpg <br />
Did you spot the kite themed roof fabric there?<br /> <br />
  Thanks once again to BHPian <i>rutvij</i> for this excellent recommendation.<br /> <br />
  With lunch (and almost half dinner) out of the way, our next priority was utilizing the remaining ~2 hours of usable daylight wisely. Right opposite The House of MG stands the <i><b>Sidi Saiyyed Mosque</b></i>. I had read about it earlier and it was on my list of places to visit. As wiki would tell you<br /> <div style=
Quote:
The mosque is entirely arcuated and is famous for beautifully carved ten stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches. The rear wall is filled with square stone pierced panels in geometrical designs. The two bays flanking the central aisle have reticulated stone slabs carved in designs of intertwined trees and foliage and a palm motif. This intricately carved lattice stone window is the Sidi Saiyyed Jali.
And, this was the reason I wanted to visit this.
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3042.jpg <br />
  In case it looks familiar, <i>Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jali</i> is the inspiration for the design of the logo of IIM Ahmedabad.<br /> <img src=To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3044.jpg <br />
  Next, we decided to move on to <i><b><a rel=Kankaria Lake, which is a SBI-logo shaped huge lake in Ahmedabad. The lakefront around it has been developed with toy train, zoo, hot air balloon, water rides, etc. There is an island at the center of the lake called Nagina Wadi which gives the lake its SBI-logo shape. We decided not to rush through everything and instead opted for just the train ride and some relaxation on the lake side. As the daylight started fading, the lake lit up beautifully with lights of different colors.

Kids enjoyed the toy train ride. There were two trains named Atal Express and Swarnim Jayanti Express.
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3050.jpg <br />
  Post this I do not have any photos since the kids were tired by then and decided to hop onto me. So in went the camera into the case.<br /> <br />
  Anyway, it was already dark by now and we decided to round off the day with a quick browse through the <b><i><a rel=Law Garden Night Markets. The place was overflowing with mirror-work clothing and other Gujarat handiwork textiles. Wifey put her bargaining skills to good use as we picked up a chaniya-choli for the kiddo.

We returned to the railway station, finished a light dinner and rested, waiting for our train at 11 PM.

Ahmedabad Udaipur Express is a cute little metre gauge train running between the two cities, covering a distance of 298 km. in 10 hours and 20 minutes. The metre gauge meant that there were no side berths in this train and all the 4 berth coupes had a door for privacy. We boarded, exchanged some pleasantries with the couple opposite and quickly hit the bed (berth actually). Tomorrow begins our journey through Rajasthan!
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Old 18th April 2014, 14:45   #11
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th April 2014, 22:05   #12
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Post Day 2 #1: Udaipur - Hotel

Udaipur served as the final capital of the kingdom of Mewar since it foundation in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II. The mountainous terrain of the place served as a natural defense against the heavy artillery of the Mughals. Udaipur is also known as the city of lakes, prominent among them being Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, etc.

It was to the banks of one of these, Lake Pichola, that we were currently headed. Thankfully, Udaipur Express had kept its promise and we had disembarked at Udaipur City right on schedule at 9:20 AM. Our current destination is a small heritage homestay called Aashiya Haveli just overlooking Lake Pichola and with views of Jagadish Temple and City Palace from its terrace. This will be our base and home for the next two days as we explore Udaipur and its surroundings. The haveli is supposedly more than 200 years old, has been renovated recently and was gifted to the Aashiya family by the Maharana himself.
To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!-img_3229.jpg <br />
  We were greeted by the friendly <i>Mr. Satyadev Singh</i>, the owner and manager of the place, who while completing the formalities also drew up a nice little list of places we should not miss. The last name on this list was a <i>real hidden gem</i>.<br /> <br />
  We will come to that later. For now was the time to freshen up, eat something and enjoy gorgeous views of the <i>Lake Pichola</i> from the hotel terrace.<br /> <br />
  In the meantime, a person from the car rental visited us, gave us the details of the trip, vehicle and driver number. Very professional. We do not need a car today though, today we will explore Udaipur on foot or by an auto.</div>   <div style=
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Old 18th April 2014, 22:50   #13
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

What was the disclaimer for ? Very nice photos and a breezy narrative - so this will be a travelogue to read with much pleasure. The photo titles form a nice narrative by themselves.

Looking forward to your own illustrated Raj Kahini
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Old 19th April 2014, 12:11   #14
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

Excellent writeup... if the summary is so interesting, i am sure the 'detailed travelogue' would be even more. Looking forward for more
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Old 19th April 2014, 13:27   #15
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Default Re: To the Land of the Royals - Rajasthan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Looking forward to your own illustrated Raj Kahini
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Originally Posted by Sandy28 View Post
Excellent writeup... if the summary is so interesting, i am sure the 'detailed travelogue' would be even more. Looking forward for more
Thank you for your kind words. I will try to live up to the expectations.
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