Published: January 20th 2006January 9th 2006
So, we left Jodhpur for our longest drive to Udaipur. However, we noticed a couple of places of interest on the way. Boy were they worth the stop.
Firstly was the Jain temple at Ranakpur. Wow what a place. Built in the 14th century, it was a temple built entirely of marble, and not a square centimeter was not covered with the most amazing carvings. 144 columns - all totally different. We all said it was the best temple yet.
Then we drove across the most fabulous Rajasthan high country, through tranquil fields and amazing little villages - and colour colour colour everywhere. Spot Steve on the 1000 year old yak driven water pump. This road got us to Kumbhalgarh Fort which is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh. The fort also offers a superb birds eye view of the surroundings. The fort's thick wall stretches some 36 kms and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. We arrived at dusk, and were the only ones there...apart the monkeys (and the magical Indian music coming from the village outside). Cool.
Anyway, we pitched up at Udaipur, and again another result on the hotel. It turns out
we were on the lakeside - right opposite the Lake Palace and City Palace...stunning views (see pics).
Udaipur is a magical romantic beautiful city and luckily we had three nights to take it all in. We did the normal stuff (City palace - amazing - excellent guide) and the tour around the lake on a boat...Couldn;t get into the Lake Palace unless you paid zillions of quid for a buffet. However, we had the better option for the Lake Palace...we watched sunset over it on the Sunset Terrace (served by an ex member of Queen - see photo for clue), and then went and watched Octopussy on one of the many roof top restaurants that show it everynight...watch it and you'll understand why....very traveller...man.
One of the highlights was finding a cookery course. Three hours of cooking Masala tea, Dhall Makhini (10/10 !!), Stuffed Paratha, Veg Korma and Aubergine mush (not the real name - but that's what it looked like - tasted good though). What great fun...we ate it all for lunch and didn't do much in the afternoon !!
Top place - you must go !!
Steve and Lou
There are more photos below