A Walk Down Our Very Own Desi King’s Landing – MEWAR

To the ones that are unaware, Rajasthan, one of the largest states in the Indian Subcontinent, is divided into 3 major parts – Mewar, Marwar and Shekhawati. We explored parts of the Marwar and Shekhawati region a few years back and set to explore the mighty Mewar this time around.

Group photo
From R to L : MP, NK, AG, ZM, RT, PS
From the moment that the holidays for the year were announced, one piece of information instantly caught the attention of our travel hungry minds. August! Independence Day as well as Parsi New Year in the same week, add the two weekends surrounding it and we had an undoubted winner. So much so, after considerations ranging from China and Sri Lanka to places rather closer to home such as the North East and Andaman, we zeroed in on the royal land of Rajasthan. From 4 to 6 and subsequently 9, the topsy-turvy nature of participation for this trip continued and eventually, half a dozen of us set off on this adventure.
Right from the scene at Mumbai airport wherein we were told to proceed separately for check-in to corresponding events at Delhi airport where the web check-in was executed for the return flight rather than the onward journey, Rajasthan was an eventful beginning. I don’t think taking actual names of the people who lived these 9 days together would be justified, as the experiences and instances encountered by each one sufficed to lend them their own unique identity. That is for later though. From the beginning then….
Our trip to Rajasthan was divided majorly into two parts – Udaipur and Jaipur!
Udaipur – Our first stop and the city which would account for half of our time. Surprised at the amount of greenery this place had to offer even before technically landing on it to the 4 days spent in the City of Lakes, Udaipur left us with innumerable memories. After a mixture of rest and exploration on the first day, which involved walks around the local markets and other tourist attractions the sightseeing well and truly began from day 2.
Chittorgarh fort, around which revolved the story of the movie Padmavati, was even more magnanimous than its portrayal on screen had us believe. Our enthusiastic, well aware and occasionally funny guide took us around while making sure we knew not only the details on the surface but also the intricacies that adorn the history of this fort. His belief that “Jal, Joru and Jameen” have been the reason for almost all wars over the course of history touched our hearts more than he would ever know. Witnessing architecture partially ruined by the Mughals, understating the true meaning of a Rajput’s pride and visiting temples as well as sacred wells, any inhibition that we had as to what could be interesting about a fort were cast aside. From standing in the room where Khilji saw Padmini’s reflection to passing the land on which she, along with thousands of other woman, committed Jauhar (jumping alive into burning flames) we genuinely felt like we could clearly connect the dots in relation to the history of this fort. The last piece of the jigsaw was, however, when we eventually discovered that we have the reincarnation of Rani Padmini amongst us. Also, we would be reminded about that fact plentifully over the course of this trip, joyfully so!
random photo spot at chittorgarh fort
the battleground where khilji camped while waiting to watch padmini!

Kumbhalgarh fort – Also known as the Great Wall of India, this fort has the worlds second longest boundary after the Great Wall of China and is a major tourist attraction. Though however, apart from this little detail, this fort failed to match the grandeur of the Chittorgarh fort. Be prepared to put on your walking shoes though!

We dint hire a guide here, so we had less of listening and learning to do here but a whole lot of picturesque photography.

An idea of the boundary wall of Kumbhalgadh fort

Udaipur City – Our fourth and final day in Udaipur was all about the local sight seeing. City palace, FatehSagar Lake, Udai Vilas, Taj Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, et all.

Let me tell you, The City Palace has an entire room adorned with finely cut coloured glass [that by far was the thing that made the obsessive glass lover in me the happiest there!]

On the boundary of City Palace overlooking lake pichola, with taj lake palace in the background
UFF! the mesmerizing glass room!

That was about our first day in what we like to call from now our King’s Landing [GOT runs in my blood, Valar Morghulis!]

Some key take -away’s from Udaipur

  1. BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN – If you can’t bargain – stick to Uber.
  2. It’s always good to make an auto-wallah friend there, who appears like a genie whenever you call him in the traffic laden by lanes of the city. Our’s was called TAHIR !
  3. Always carry cold meds with you, as the dust can clog your nose to bits and you may have to run to chemists every day! [we had almost seen all the chemists in our area much to Tahir’s curiosity as to why we needed a drugstore every night. 😛 ]
  4. Don’t get conned into shopping anything from ‘Government Stores’. They will most certainly con you.
  5. There is a rope-way in Udaipur which is entirely misable. Please dont waste your time there.
  6. Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh are day trips away from Udaipur and hence can be managed in a rented car. Always rent cars from local travel agencies. We rented our car through an uber driver who picked us from Udaipur Airport [yes, that happened!], and we are sure we overpaid.
  7. Sit by the promenade on Fateh Sagar Lake, Bombay peeps get all the marine drive feels here.
  8. When it comes to dressing – ladies wear what you want, no fuss! [I wore shorts throughout Rajasthan]
  9. Dont forget to dine at Raas Leela, and Ambrai Haveli, 1559 AD and Upre. You will need to book these places, but its worth the splurge!
  10. Udaipur is not very famed for its shopping, so dont fuss over it here.
  11. The guides at all these forts have enviable photography skills! just hand them your camera and feel like a runway model. They make you pose, and also chide you when you dont pose well 😛

So, thats about the first half of our trip – watch the next part, for what happened once we left Udaipur , and where we ended up.

Our stay in Udaipur was Club Mahindra Holidays courtesy Prateik Sachdev which greatly reduced our per day cost [INR 1000 -1500 per day guys!!!].

and lastly a very big thankyou to my gang – PS, MP, NK, AG and RT …  my holidays are incomplete without you guys!

As a parting note, treat yourself to some ghoomar [rajasthani folk dance] from me and mine, to you and yours :-

 



Ex- Transactional Lawyer who left the comfortable corporate cushion to live a quasi nomadic life in a quest to unearth the secrets of the world, learn and unlearn.

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