The 335 citations on India’s Wikipedia page are just one (thoroughly researched) way of saying that there’s a lot going on in that neck of the woods. When my husband Francis and I visited in December 2009, we used our three weeks to get a taste of different regions—Delhi and the north, west and south—without racing around too much and turning it into a whirlwind-slash-logistical-cluster$%&# (it can really go either way in India). And largely because we fell in love with the idea of sleeping like maharajas in a grand lakeside haveli, Udaipur is where we stayed once we arrived in Rajasthan.
Guidebooks call Udaipur the “Venice of the East,” and while water does feature prominently in the city’s charm, I wouldn’t even attempt to pigeonhole all that comprises Udaipur. Seven days? Please, take seven months. And I hope you like the word, “wow,” because you’re going to say it a lot if you visit.
Thank you to Francis for sharing some of his photos with me. Now, here are some ideas for things to see or do during your visit.
Let’s start with the obvious. You can visit palaces. You can even stay in palaces, although Lake Palace will empty your wallet of about $500 a night. (We stayed at Amet Haveli, and it was plenty luxe and still very affordable.)
You can have breakfast with friends.
You can get your pants hemmed for 20 cents.
You can walk the skinny streets and try not to get squished by cars or elephants.
You can go swimming (but not on pool cleaning day).
You can… <snort…giggle…teehee>…
You can take easy excursions to Shilpgram (the festival is in December) or Eklingji (it was built in 734 A.D.).
You can take a cooking class with a former national swimming champion (and his cute-as-pie daughter), after the three of you ride to his house on a very small motorbike.
Or, you can sit lakeside and just be.
Wherever you are, enjoy!