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Published: March 1st 2019
Today I was resolved to find some of the bazaars for which Udaipur is also famous. The main tourist trail in the old city goes south along the edge of the lake, past the Royal Palace and eventually ends up at the end of the lake.
Today we discovered that there is a lot more to old Udaipur than that.
We set off on foot to find the first bazaar I had earmarked, Hathi Pol. I had located it on Maps ME on my phone so knew where to go but MapsME was not terribly clear. This area of Udaipur, an absolute warren of back streets was somewhat off the tourist trail and we found ourselves in the real India. We encountered several donkeys which were rather cruelly being used to carry very heavy lots of gravel and sand. The poverty in this place, as in so many areas of India we have seen is absolutely obvious. It makes me really cross to hear people referred to as living in poverty in the UK when they have cigarettes, alcohol and a 36" Sky Tv but no money left for the children's food. Lots of the
children here don't have shoes never mind good food. Sorry a bit of a bugbear of mine.
We came eventually to a busy shopping area and a sign for Hathi Pol but it seemed to be the engineering quarter. Then found several Indian clothing wholesale shops but suggested they were taking the mickey when I asked a price for some harem style trousers and was told 500 rupees which is more than a fiver and daylight robbery here. I was thinking I might find some bright coloured ones for Izzy but only seem to be in adult sizes so gave up.
Also gave up on finding the bazaar ourselves so jumped into one of the many tuktuks who stopped to offer us lifts and went 500 metres along and there was the bazaar.
A food market and a sight for sore eyes and a click happy camera. Absolutely loved it. Yes I should probably have bought some spices but never know which to buy and always end up with too much so I’ll stick to my handy pots from Tesco and Waitrose I think. The bazaar and all the streets were heaving. This area was for shopping
and shopping was being done.
From this bazaar we then tried hard to move to another, Bada, near the clock tower. Almost came to blows with the tuktuk driver who first of all took us to a ‘Government Emporium”. “No No” I said “I told you Bada market”. Ok says the tuktuk driver and sets off in the direction we came back to where we started ! “Bada Bada Bada “ says I so he turns rounds and off we go again. I’m pretty sure that Bada bazaar and Hathi Pol are pretty well adjacent but suffice it to say we did not end up at Bada having sat in a total gridlock traffic jam for 10 minutes with 3 lanes of scooters coming towards us and no way at all we could get through. He dropped us near the Clock Tower in the jewellery market where lots of tiny shops no more than 6 foot wide were busy selling gold and silver to sari clad ladies who squatted on cushions to peruse the goodies.
We walked back along the way he had driven us and we came at last to Bada bazaar which is the cloth market.
Here we found more sari clad ladies sitting on cushions on the floor of shops where they were surrounded by piles of fabric, presumably choosing new saris.
Bob by this point had given up the ghost, he is not a keen shopper at the best of times and I wasn’t really shopping just enjoying the bazaars though I did get Izzy a rainbow present having failed to find her any harem trousers in her size.. Another tuktuk to Lal Ghat the only place I knew along the lake we were likely to get to. A little wander while we decided where to go next and then another tuktuk to the bottom end of the lake and the Ropeway To Karni Mata Temple. Ropeway sounds a bit flimsy, it was in fact a normal cablecar.
This took us up a to a temple at the top overlooking the lake and Udaipur. We were determined to experience all lovely Udaipur had to offer. Yet another tuktuk back to the Royal Palace approach as needed to buy a gift for George, something I had seen on our way past earlier.
Then on foot at last after
5 tuktuk rides, across the bridge and back to the hotel for a swim. Very surprised to be rained on while swimming and didn’t bode well for our next activity, a sunset cruise on the lake. An absolute must for visitors to Udaipur.
Very fortunately the rain stopped just in time and we did get a sunset as we cruised round The Lake Palace Hotel. An ‘out of our price range’ sort of place. Happy to practice my French as we cruised as the couple beside us were from Nimes so we had a sort of half English / Half French conversation.
Back at our hotel jetty I almost got off the boat wearing my life jacket. To be honest I would expect to be safer taking my chance at swimming in the lake than risking actually being immersed in its waters.
Dinner at the Ambrai Hotel, a rather lovely location at ground level overlooking the lake then back to our room to pack. Another early start in the morning. Quite sad to leave Udaipur and our lovely hotel.
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