Udaipur is a city in the Rajasthan state of India. If you’ve never heard of it before, don’t feel bad I hadn’t either. I’ll note only once that the US public school system makes no effort to educate its students on Indian geography or history. I came in completely ignorant and now know a tiny bit.
Udaipur was our first real stop here in India. Not knowing what to expect, we rolled into a very nice hotel right on one of the Udaipur lakes (there are three), but only on has a palace in the middle of it (ours). Dinner was buffet-style and had a surprising variety of food in addition to Indian foods (mac-n-cheese, Chinese noodles, etc.). There was at least one large tour group in the facility and it made dinner a bit less enjoyable as they all tend to graze at the same time and queue together for buffet foods.
Our guide took us on a tour of the City Palace which is an epic structure that has been incrementally built by the generations of Maharana over the last 400 years. The palace tour was interesting, but our guide just didn’t seem excited about it, so it lost its luster a bit. The one take away is that it is huge; covering about 1 kilometer in length alone. It the biggest palace of this type in all of Rajasthan.
After the palace we stopped by the Jagdish Temple for some photos (outside only). I got crapped on by a pigeon. I was lucky to have my hand up adjusting my ponytail and most when on my hand, but a I got a bit elsewhere. I hear it’s good luck in some culture, just not mine or the one here.
This evening we took a boat ride on the lake. While the scenery was quite beautiful, I noticed that very few boats were out on the water and asked our guide why there were more boats. It turns out that only hotels have rights to motor boats on the lake meaning that the most beautiful natural resource there (for recreational enjoyment) is off-limits to all the residents of the city. Despite it's history and it's beauty, this left me completely underwhelmed by Udaipur and with a rather sour taste in my mouth. It just didn’t seem like a happy city.
Tomorrow we head to Pushkar, I’m looking forward to be surrounded by people who really want to be where they are.