It was one fine October evening that a group of friends from college decided that we should go for a trip in the block of holidays that were to be upon us the coming week. After chucking aside numerous plans to places expanding across the breadth of India , we finally decided on visiting the Lake City, a 8 hour drive from the capital city Jaipur. We almost missed the bus to Udaipur and we thanked the gods later for not letting that happen for we might have ended up missing some amazing moments which we would cherish for the rest of our lives. What a trip it turned out to be!Lake Palace from the Ghat

For a big group of college students travelling to a tourist place planning took precedence above everything. We carefully chose a hotel after reading several travel blogs in such a way that we were very close to the major tourist attractions. This way travelling became easier and added to the fun as we walked through the historic lanes. It was not for nothing that the city was fondly called 'City of Lakes'. We could see the Pichola Lake from the terrace of the hotel and on it stood the Lake Palace which was initially built as a palace but was currently being operated as a 5-star Luxury hotel by the Taj group. We could also get a stunning view of the palace from the ghats which we realised later must have been the place where they had shot few portions of the then-released Bollywood movie Ram-leela. There is also another Hollywood movie with which Udaipur prided itself on being associated. It was the James Bond movie 'Octopussy' which had been shot in the palaces of Udaipur and several cafes even had special screenings of the movie every week. 

After catcShot of City Palace hing some quick breakfast we turned to the City Palace which was a five minutes walk away and were surprised to find a school operating from within its premises. Though he might have been exaggerating, the guide insisted that the classrooms had earlier been used as jails!!. The palace was indeed breathtaking but according to a proud Bangalorean in our group , it was no match to the glory of the Mysore Palace. We had a debate as we walked through the huge palace walking from the King's Dining rooms to the bedrooms and even the older version of a jacuzzi which the kings used. The guide kept telling us things about Rajputs, Mughal Emperors and even of the numerous Millionaire weddings which take place these days on the palace gardens. He believes the grandeur of such weddings would have stunned even the Kings! 

The next day was the visit to Fatehsagar Lake where we got some nice pictures and good food. We ate them basking in the tranquility of the lake waters. The lake permitted boating and even employed speed boats which again started a debate on water sports in Goa being way better. Rajasthan weather is supposed to be pretty cold this time of the year but we were lucky to be faced with pleasant weather throughout the duration of our stay.

 Our next stop was Nehru garden which is situated on an island and could only be reached by boat. The weather was pleasant and the timing perfect and we were just on time to catch the sun going into the horizon. We got out our cellphone cameras and went about with the process of clicking pictures in burst mode mostly to get a new display picture for our Facebook profiles. We enjoyed the garden thoroughly and later went to dinner. Udaipur ,being a town with steady influx of tourists had lot of cafes with Italian, Irish cuisines and whatnot. We made up our mind to get a taste of the food and ordered some dish with an odd-sounding name which skips my mind and later decided to never do that again.

The next day was a trek to the Winter Palace situated atop a hill which took most of our time and energy. That evening was shopping for souvenirs and the elusive hunt for authentic Dal Bhatti Churma. We finally ended up having dinner at US Pizza and shared some laughs over Pastas and Pizzas and some wonderful icecream at a Vadilal outlet.The icecream was so wonderfully tasty that I plan to go there sometime just to have it again.

 The next day we had to leave but Udaipur left me with some beautiful memories and experiences which I am unlikely to forget ever.

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Ashwath Balaje
Ashwath Balaje  On Feb, 20
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