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Udaipur, India: Sunset Point, Lake Pichola & Jagmandir Island

by Heidi

We had the rest of March 27th and until the evening of March 28th in Udaipur.

So far Udaipur has been the most scenic place we have visited in India.  The Old City area of Udaipur is situated on the east side of Lake Pichola.  There are two islands in Lake Pichola, Jagniwas Island, which used to be a summer palace but is now the luxury Lake Palace Hotel (rooms $400-$1,500/night) and Jagmandir Island, which has a palace on it as well.  You can only visit Jagniwas Island if you are staying at the hotel or you have lunch or dinner reservations.  (We thought about having a meal there, but never got a chance.)

View of Udaipur from Nukkad Guesthouse

View of Pichola Lake from Nukkad Guesthouse

View from Nukkad Guesthouse roof top, Udaipur, India

Partially dried up Lake Pichola, Udaipur

After cleaning up and checking in at the rooftop restaurant at Nukkad Guesthouse, we headed out to catch the sunset.  The roads in Udaipur are so confusing and we were using a map on a postcard advertisement, but we eventually found sunset point after walking for about 45 minutes.  At the bottom of the hill was a picturesque bathing/ clothes washing pool that we stopped to photograph.

Dried up bathing/clothes washing pool, Udaipur

George taking photos of the pool

Heidi and George, Udaipur, India

There used to be cable cars that would take you to the top of the hill, but the government recently shut down the operation.  Instead we walked up the hill.  There was a great view of Udaipur from the top.

George headed up to sunset point, Udaipur

View of Udaipur from Sunset Point

Sunset over Pichola Lake, Udaipur

We were exhausted on the walk back and decided just to get dinner and call it a night.  We climbed the stairs to one rooftop restaurant, but didn’t like the look of it, and found a different restaurant with a view.  So, approximately 32 hours after our last real meal, it was time to eat!  The last time we had eaten an actual meal was lunch in Mumbai the day before.  George hit the hay around 9pm, and I stayed up doing some itinerary planning.  It sure was nice to get a full night’s sleep!

March 28, 2010:

Heidi on the rooftop before starting our day

View of Lake Palace Hotel from Nukkad Guesthouse

The next day it was time for sightseeing.  We started out visiting the city palace.  The entrance fee was 100 rupees per person and we also paid 150 rupees for a guide, which we thought was worth it.  We enjoyed the tour and took lots of photos.  At the end of the tour our guide showed us into the shops.  We did make one purchase, which our guide probably got a commission for.

City Palace, Udaipur

I could hardly stand the 39 degree Celsius heat anyone, so we left the palace to find lunch.  After our lunch break we headed back to the palace ticket office to get tickets for the boat tour.  The one hour boat ride tickets were 300 rupees a piece and we also had to pay 25 rupees a piece for tickets to enter the palace grounds.  The boat ride was on the expensive side, but it was well worth it!  The half hour boat ride just takes passengers around the lake, but our hour long ride took us around the lake and then to Jagmandir Island.  The view looking back at Udiapur was even more beautiful than the view from the shore looking out to the islands.  We took our time exploring the island, and missed the boat back with the group we had come over with, but caught the next boat back, instead.  The palace grounds on the island were very picturesque.  There are even a few hotel rooms on the island for around $800/night.  It would be a gorgeous place to host a special event!

View of Lake Palace Hotel from the Lake

Shoreline, Udaipur

View of City Palace from Pichola Lake

Jagmandir Island

Approaching Jagmandir Island

g&h on Jagmandir Island, Udaipur

Jagmandir Island

View of Udaipur from Jagmandir Island

After the boat ride we were in desperate need of something cold to drink.  We got some sodas and rested at the roof top restaurant back at Nukkad Guesthouse.  A little before 7pm we headed over to the Bagore-Ki-Haveli museum for the nightly folk dance performance.  The last dance, where the dancer balanced 11 water pots on her head while dancing was the most impressive!  We only had time for a quick dinner so we ate back at the hotel, even though the food is pricey there.  The best part about staying at Nukkad Guesthouse was that Raju let us leave our luggage there during the day and let us take showers before leaving that evening.  It was wonderful to be able to shower and change clothes before boarding our 10:20pm train to Jaipur.  We would only be arriving in Jaipur in the morning and leaving that same night, so we wouldn’t have a hotel room to use.  So it was perfect to be able to head off to the train clean and refreshed.

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