Our flight from Leh was delayed 1 hour which out us in a very tight position with our connecting flight to Udaipur. Arriving in Delhi we had to run to the next boarding gate. Air India were great and held the flights got for us and our baggage. We arrived Udaipur transferred to our hotel the amazing Fateh Prakesh Palace, built 400 years ago and situated on the eastern shores of the picturesque Lake Pichola, the Palace seems to have floated straight from a fairytale. I had arranged for all of our rooms to have a lake view, waking up to this incredible view, and decorated with original period furniture from the Royal staterooms, cocoon you in a velvet luxury as you soak up the ever changing hues of the lake from large arched windows. Staying her for 3 nights is good for the soul.  The history soaked interiors, dotted with miniature paintings, portraits, royal artefacts and the armoury of the Mewar dynasty transport you to legendary times. Yesterday we met our guide who walked us into history by visiting the City Palace Museum, spread out over 20,000 square meters and part of the three Palace complex built in the 17th century. The museum holds rare murals on both walls and ceiling, glass inlay work, original paintings. Next we visited the beautiful colourful Garden (The Maids Garden) situated in the city, this garden was once only open for women to visit and established in 18th century, until the drought in 2005 the gardens were still maintained by an all natural electric pump. Next we visited the art school Rajasthan has a harsh, arid climate and houses the Thar Desert, which is known for its oppressive heat and extreme temperatures. The art and food of Rajasthan all portray its hardy nature, through the mediums and materials used, but the intricacy and ornate nature of some of the paintings that the artisans make reflect the opulence of life of the Maharajas. The miniature paintings of Udaipur manage to display the raw but opulent culture of Rajasthan with ease. The paintings are made using a rigorous process which involves manufacture of the pigments and colours from scratch. Very often, these paintings reflect real life events and are portrayals of such events. To purchase a painting to take home is purchasing a piece of history.

Next place  we visited we were in our element, beautiful textiles, silk, cotton, pashmina, linen, this place is a women’s paradise, of course we all purchased, either jackets, shirts which are being made and delivered to our hotel today, bedlinen which is being shipped home for a very reasonable price. Exhausted and starving after our shopping frenzy we went to a quiet garden restaurant to revive. After lunch our guide and Tanu took us to the local markets which I would have to say was the highlight of the day’s events. Wandering through the narrow chaotic clean streets, dodging motor cycles soaking up the aroma of spices and teas, savouring the magnificent display of fruit and vegetables, watching the faces of the old and young go about bartering and selling their produce the women dressed in their beautiful sari’s was  exciting and colourful. Udaipur with its Lake Pichola has a romance about it that no other city in India can match, so if you are planning a trip to India do not miss visiting Udaipur. 
Filed under: Jewels of India