I always fancied Mr. Vir Sanghvi‘s flair for writing on the topics as varied as politics, food, wine and travel. It would be asinine for me to compare myself with legendary Vir Sanghvi, but I do have some flair for writing on politics and films. Though I always fancied and wanted to write on Travel and Food also. But I did not want to start my travel writing on some pleasure trip. I wanted to write about a visit , about a trip which is worthwhile. And I found an opportunity now. I was called to Udaipur to train Dev Patel of ” Slumdog Millionaire ” fame as dialogue coach by the team of a British film, ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “. The film being directed by Mr. John Madden, who incidentally directed ” Shakespeare in Love “, is a comedy based in Rajasthan. I can’t disclose more about the film at this juncture. I will write a separate blog on my this international foray, later on.
I took 11.00 AM flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai on October 04, 2010 and landed at Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur at 12.15 PM. I was thrilled, as Udaipur is the part of Mewar, kingdom of Sisodia Rajputs. It is the clan which gave birth to warriors like Bappa Rawal, Maharana Kumbha, Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. This clan is known by the names of queens like Maharani Padmini and Maharani [ later on Saint Poetess ] like Meera Bai. It is the land of Jaimal and Patta and of Panna Dhai, who sacrificed her own son for the safety of the crown prince Udai Singh, father of Maharana Pratap. It is the land of Haldighati. I got goose bumps when I landed at the Maharana Pratap Airport of Udaipur. I was received at the airport by Casting Director Seher Latif and was driven straightaway to Udaivilas Palace Hotel.
UDAIVILAS PALACE HOTEL :
I had read about this hotel in the column – Rude Travel , of Vir Singhvi, a weekly column which he writes in the Sunday edition of Hindustan Times – Cafe. I was anticipating the grandeur but what I saw , left me awestruck and numb. Udaivilas Palace Hotel is simply beyond words. When I came out my car and started walking inside, the entrance, the courtyard, the lobby and the elegant galleries leading towards the suites left me speechless. There were several people continuously working for the upkeep. No wonder Udaivilas is so immaculately maintained. I have special place in my heart for the staff of this hotel. They are courtessy personified, very polite and humble. I have some really bad experience with the snooty staff of some of the lesser known hotels. But I will always remember warm smile and polite namaste with folded hands of the staff of Udaivilas Palace Hotel. Their dresses are also elegantly done. I don’t have enough money to stay here on my own. But if ever I have my coffers full by any chance, I shall come with my family and stay here for at least one night. It is an earnest wish. I am putting some photos of Udaivilas Palace Hotel here :
1 – Main Entrance of Udaivilas Palace Hotel :
2 – The Courtyard of Udaivilas Palace Hotel :
3 – The Courtyard – One More View
4 – The Corridors Leading Towards Suites :
5 – A Suite of Udaivilas Palace Hotel
Udaipur – The City :
This last capital of Mewar was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559. It is surrounded by Aravalli Hills and adorned by several natural and man – made lakes. It is because of this that Udaipur is known as the Venice of the East. Its largest lake Fateh Sagar looks like this :
CITY PALACE :
Ferguson has described City Palace as the largest in Rajputana. Situated on the banks of Lake Pichola, it is not a uniformed structure. It is a cluster of buildings, made by every ruler as per his needs, whims and fancies since 1571. Nevertheless it is a spectacle to watch. On one side there is the magnificent view of Udaipur city and on the other side there is beautiful Lake Pichola.
The exterior of the Palace ;
The Manak Mahal :
The Khush Mahal :
It is not possible to write the complete account of Udaipur in one blog. So I am concluding it today and shall write another blog about other places of Udaipur and about immortal Haldighati. In the last I am putting a photo of Mor Chouk of City Palace. This is the same peacock, which Dev Anand shows to the tourists in his film ” Guide “.
Udaipur – Rajasthan – India
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