Tag Archive: Udaipur



And it’s a wrap! Kaput. Enough. Pen down. Laptop off. One off the bucket list. Who knows when we’d return to explore more of this exotic country? But for now…… we rest our pens.

 

 

Photo Credit: BobI Francisco

Photo Credit: BobI Francisco

A Shutterbug's Haven.

A Shutterbug’s Haven.

 

 

FROM MAHARAJAHS TO MAHARANAS

 

Jaipur

Amber Fort

Dressing Up for Diwali Festival

Mehrangarh Fort in Johdpur

Ranakpur’s Jain Temple

Taj Mahal

The Sikh Temple in Delhi

Shah Jahan, the Master Builder

Qutub Minar

 

 

The opulence and poverty alternate in quick succession.

The opulence and poverty alternate in quick succession.

 

 

MUSINGS AND RAMBLINGS

 

 

A Birthday In India

The Colors, Sounds and Scents of India

 

 

 

A TOURIST’s PRINCELY PLEASURES

 

 

A Posh Birthday Lunch in a Royal Manor

First Impressions of Taj Lake Palace Hotel

Day 2 in Taj Lake Palace Hotel

 

 

 

Street Food

Street Food

 

FOOD PORN

 

As Spicy As It Gets

Feeling Royalty in Jharokha

 

 

It's good to be home 😄

It’s good to be home 😄


 

Slept after a leisurely walk around the pond and the pool from where the illuminated City Palace — now part Museum, part Hotel — stands in view across silvery Lake Pichola. After a gruelling bus ride from Johdpur through Raknapur to more quiet, cleaner Udaipur, I felt soooo rewarded with a most comfortable sleep. Can’t even recall if I managed to switch off the TV, but I do remember staring blankly from the room window and waking up to the same majestic view this early morning.

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The birds woke me up as they chorused around the Lily Pond made even more famous in the 1983 James Bond film “Octopussy”. Too late for yoga lessons now as I went in search of my new friends. I can do with some stretching and more relaxation but it can wait till tomorrow morn. The Octopussy pond with all the chirping birds beckons and I promptly obliged.

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Praveen and Lekha of Taj Lake Palace Hotel are my new friends. You know you get good service when you sit under one of those colorful umbrella tents by the pond and someone quietly serves you your double espresso without being told. You linger longer without going in to check the breakfast buffet and you’re presented with a bread basket, jams and marmalade. A menu was left on my table, where I easily picked Eggs Benedict to start my day. No one pushed me to get more from the sumptuous breakfast buffet. Praveen and Lekha knew I was savoring the moment. My friends either still asleep or stretching on the rooftop terrace while catching the morning breeze. Me? I enjoyed the solitude. Praveen and Lekha, good early morn companions, should there be any need for human interaction.

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By the 2nd morning, I was ready for yoga lessons and a full breakfast after. Someone has already claimed my fav prized spot by the pond but I found a choice seat inside with a full view of the lake and this long boat in vibrant red nearly framed by the arched window. Post-yoga, I was famished. Couldn’t decide between an Indian brekkie or Continental fare, so I had both. Poori, that deep-fried unleavened bread, all crispy and golden, and all those excellent dips compete with my fav cheeses and cold cuts. Happiness. Gluttony wins!

Poori!

Poori!

Fresh Almonds for Brekkie! lavash and some cold cuts and cheese.

Fresh Almonds for Brekkie! lavash and some cold cuts and cheese.

My only regret here in Taj Lake Palace was dining in the same dining outlet for breakfast and dinner. There is this posh Indian Restaurant within the hotel that I should have tried. Plus I should have ordered a bottle of wine (rather than my beer) till I’m so drunk I’d crawl back to my hotel room via this long corridor mindful I don’t stray and fall into the pond. Pipe dreams!

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Lovely morns at The Taj.

Lovely morns at The Taj.


I feel useless with my cam. No photo does justice to the vision in front of me. Incredible India, indeed. The monarchs of the olden days then had it real good. The fortresses, palaces, temples as well as the erotic imagery expressed in some architectural bits, friezes, and at times, columns all point to a royal’s life of leisure and pleasure.

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Pure hedonism? Who’s to say? Based on what I’m seeing now, I see EXTREMES. Dirt. Poverty. Even negligence? Juxtaposed against the remains of a palace’s grandeur. Incredible indeed. In India, there’s symmetry even in the prevalent chaos. I need to brace myself for the next few days’ surprises.

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From the time we waited for our small boat that ferried us to our palace hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola to the moment we rested our backs in beds inside rooms with windows facing the City Palace across the lake till the time we ungrudgingly woke up for early morning yoga sessions….. it was dreamland.

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Built in 1746 on a 4-acre rock foundation, it was initially called Jag Niwas. Its founder Jagat Singh intended this architectural masterpiece as a resort palace for his descendants. In 1961, this white-washed island palace on a manmade lake was converted into a luxury resort and expanded in 1971 to house 83 rooms. Undeniably among India’s best, it is now ranked among the world’s top 10 hotels.

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It’s hard to describe our Taj Lake Palace experience without sounding like it’s an exaggeration. I confess I was so looking forward to a luxurious experience…… and got it! Upon arrival, we were accompanied to our room and shown around in a hushed, low key, quiet elegance. On our way to our room on the 2nd floor, we could hear the birds flitting from one tree branch to another, reminding us to proceed with serenity. I knew then I would want to stay longer than the 2 nights we booked here!

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Watch this page. The Taj Lake Palace Hotel adventure continues. (Thanks Ernie Albano & Bien Anupol for a couple of photos on this spread)

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