I agree its not too much fun to go on an expedition with five geeks, for whom the normal conversational topics lie in a small subset comprising the web 2.0 and VLSI designing and the language utilized for communication is one of C, C sharp and JAVA but a place like Udaipur receiving a record rainfall, pretty much loosens them up, and I must add, I had quite a time!
Udaipur stands for grandeur, for grandiloquence, for audacity of the Maharanas and for our brilliantly thriving tourism industry. It greets its guests with a touch of royalty and you soon begin to feel the I_belong_here thing, though it never lasts and is not meant to last, for such pomp is a luxury for the filthy rich, for humble program writers like us, a look at the Lake Palace (Hotel!) is an experience enough. According to a popular local joke, jinke baap kamate hain woh yahan aate hain, the Lake Palace Hotel is meant only for people whose fathers earn (a lot!). A private swimming pool and a lady for body massage are a few benefits you pay 2500$ for one night in this white magnificence. Its like a floating hotel in one of the seven man made lakes in and around Udaipur.
July-August is the best time to visit Udaipur. It was even better for us lucky-dudes this year as Udaipur received a record rainfall in the last twelve years. Water from the lakes was flowing in some parts of the city but the efficient drainage system prevented what could have been a major bunk by six engineering students. If its not raining enough one might as well be using his four wheeler to cross the lake to reach the Lake Palace Hotel (minus the lake of course) as we heard was the case last year, but this year the water was upto the road mark.
Nimach Mata is the local Goddess popular in parts of Rajasthan. An 800m trek is the way to her darshan. We cursed our way up but the view from the top is absolutely ravishing. A doctor even gave my suttebaaz friend a few hints to healthy living. All so worth it..
Some 65 km from Udaipur is Nathdwara, the Haweli of Shrinathji, the most important deity of the Gujarati community. The trip to the place is one of its kind, through the clouds, up and down, narrow roads, cute curves, all too beautiful. We planned our trip in such a way that we reach Nathdwara a day before Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna) as the place becomes very crowded on that day. On the way to Nathdwara one can also see Eklingji a 700AD temple complex consisting over 100 temples.
There are a lot of things to see and a lot of history to cover in Udaipur. Typical time would be a week but we were five days short of a week so some popular places around Udaipur like Haldighati and Kumbhalgarh fort each associated with their legends, but we did enough for a couple of days. Visiting a place like Udaipur should not be tourism for Indians, it should be an important part of bringing up your children of telling them about what we were and where we are now. History books do not do justice to Diwane-Khas and Diwane-Am, theyr just too gorgeous to be written on paper by mortals.
Photos by Ujj. For more travel info write to firstname.lastname@example.org