While Varanasi sits on the eastern side of India, Udaipur is located on the opposite side of the map. By train, the journey would take around 17 hours on the average. Since we do not have much time for long road trips, we chose to fly again (Varanasi-Delhi-Udaipur). After all, the airfare and the first class train tickets cost pretty much the same.
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
India's Golden Triangle is a tourist circuit which includes: Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. For some reasons, we decided to go farther and pick Udaipur over Jaipur. As per Marx, Udaipur is more beautiful and has more character. I believe so too.
Kat and I arrived at Hotel Krishna Niwas in Udaipur at around 8pm. This is a family-run guesthouse near the lake. The location is amazing and the view is impressive. For the price, it's a very good choice. Yes, there's wifi. Actually most of the nearby guesthouses in this area look equally great. Just look at the mesmerizing view from the roof deck.
mesmerizing city lights
Lake Palace at night
Even at night, we felt the different vibe and peacefulness in Udaipur.
Come next morning, well, we woke up late as always. Im never a fan of waking up so early to maximize the day and go to all tourist attractions. 2-3 attractions are already fine for me.
beautiful and serene morning in Udaipur
other guesthouses near the lake
For that day, we decided to explore some forts and temples outside Udaipur. Initially, we planned to take a bus. Thanks to the guesthouse owner for warning us that it could be difficult for us, so we decided to hire a car instead. The rate is fairly cheap compared to the distance we're about to travel. It's around 2 hours from Udaipur. What he warned us about is true, the buses are limited and only few people can communicate in English.
Its architectural brilliance is proved by the fact that in spite of being around 700 years old it is still intact and in a very good shape. This wall is not in a regular straight pattern but it runs through mountain cliffs and valleys.
The walls of the fort of Kumbhalgarh is claimed to be the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China. Awesome! Malayo kaya di kami umeffort na lakarin. From afar lang. ^_^
This grand fort also has 360 temples within the walls. It is a lovely historical place indeed. There's not much tourists. Locals are very friendly. I cannot remember if there's a dresscode in this place, so just come prepared and cover your legs and arms.
Jain Temple in Ranakpur
Jainism is an Indian religion that follows a life of non-violence and emphasizes spiritual independence and equality between all forms of life. This Jain Temple in Ranakpur is said to be the most spectacular among all the jain temples.
Jain Temple in Ranakpur
Trust me, the facade is not even 10% of how beautiful it is inside. We left our bags in the locker for a minimal fee. Btw, there's also a camera fee for this site. Kat paid for her iphone and I paid for my camera. Visitors are required to dress up properly and remove the footwear before entering this temple.
Light colored marble is used for the construction of this grand temple. Over 144 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. Amazing.
no 2 pillars are the same. every pillar is designed with exquisite detail.
While Varanasi is the highlight of my India trip, this spectacular Jain Temple in Ranakpur ranks 2nd. There's a certain calmness inside the temple and the details of each marble pillar are really outstanding.
Cultural and Puppet Show in Bagore Ki Haveli
Before nighttime, we decided to go back to Udaipur to make it on time for the traditional dance show. Bagore Ki Haveli is an ancient structure that has been converted into a museum. At night, this place is the stage for traditional Indian dance and puppet show.
Im always a fan of cultural shows. This puppet show is really entertaining. Dont miss this.
For the record, we went to this place the next day. It's just walking distance from the guesthouse where we're staying. The historical place looks good, but not really something to capture my interest. Im already satisfied with the Jain Temple and the puppet show.
beautiful city of Udaipur
Instead, Kat and I killed time by strolling along the streets and have this henna in our arms. Achieve!
less amazing race, more petiks time!
Among the cities of Varanasi, Udaipur, Agra, and Delhi - the place where I felt the safest and most relaxed is Udaipur. The streets and normal houses are already a feast in the eyes. The food are great as well, yet not overpriced. The people are the friendliest and vendors are never annoying. Im happy I've got to experience what they say is the most romantic and beautiful city in India - and that is Udaipur.
up next: Taj Mahal, Agra