“Under the blue and sunlit skies, I sit with you like the time would never end. But when the sun threatens to dip behind the lake, It only makes the canvas of our love to ascend. Rays of light dance in orange hues, Leaving me bizarre unto which sight should I let to transcend. Then your touch soothes all my bewilderment, And hand in hand we gaze in rapture, the Godsend.” Yes, the recent visit to Udaipur has brought the poet out of me. It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul and I believe that this window opens a romantic sight in places like Udaipur. Rightly called as the Venice of East, Udaipur leaves you in awe of the miraculous lakes and virescent hills crowning the city. So, how about having a romantic affair over the lakes? With pictures and words you may only see a mirage but when you set your foot on the enticing city of lakes, Udaipur, you are left agog seeing the oasis. While Pichola Lake may be the soul of Udaipur and the Legend of Pichola Lake may be the central idea of this post but mind it, it is not limited to that.
When you see the colour of Dreams
Do you remember that time when you opened the box of old pictures and automatically your face got enamored by a beautiful smile? The magical good old pictures! You will experience the similar happiness when you sit down by some of the beautiful lakes of Udaipur. The sheer euphoria which you feel when you lounge on the bank of Pichola Lake as you watch the phenomenal sunset is incomparable. As the mighty orb is about to set, it kindles the water, turning it into liquid gold while the Lake Palace shimmers like the pearl in the shell. But even the climax is not less enticing as when the sky showcases its twinkling attire, the colourful lights of the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir Palace and the City Palace dazzle the lake. It is hard to believe that this an artificial freshwater lake. It is said to be built in 1362 AD by ‘Pichhu Banjara’ and then Maharana Udai Singh entrenched Udaipur on the banks of this lake, enlarging it by building a stone dam, Badipol.
Hold on, this is not it. There is more than what meets your eye. Pichola Lake is not just known for its mesmerizing beauty but also for its mystery. Here I unfold, an incidence lost in history which shook the Royal abode, the legend of Pichola Lake.
The forgotten tale of Pichola Lake
From many lakes, Pichola is the oldest lake in Udaipur and its magnificence make it the soul of Udaipur. The Verbal meaning of Pichola means, ‘The Backyard’ and like the backyard of any house beholds something secretive, Pichola Lake to has a clandestine which tells us why after Maharan Jawaan Singh six out of seven rulers did not have their direct heir. It is said that one of the famous rope walker Natini was challenged by Maharana Jawan Singh of Mewar Dynasty to do a rope walk across Lake Pichola. He promised her to give half of his kingdom if she succeeds. Alas! She was bamboozled and the rope was cut in anticipation of her victory and completion of dare. But before she drowned in the Lake, her hurt soul cursed the Royal family that they will not have any direct successors to take over the kingdom. When I got to know about this fable, I researched and I was taken aback that the curse had really cast a spell on the royal family.
The silver lining the Royal Abode, Udaipur
Reflecting the wisps of cloud floating on the sky, sitting on the laps of virescent environs, Fatehsagar Lake is just the place where you can relish some happy moments with kinsfolk as the sun plays its own drama. This lake attracts families for its experience of amazing water rides, mouth smacking food and other activities. You would be amazed to know that around this lake, Udaipur also has a marine drive of its own. It is a no driving zone so apart from the awed whisper of water from Fatehsagar Lake only the rhythm of some good old memories would make your heart dance to new tunes. And when you go to Maharana Pratap Memorial, the panoramic view of Nehru Park in the Fatehsagar Lake is like seeing a life-size emerald. Simply awesome!
But the game does not stop here, your heartstrings would be strummed by awesomeness again and again as the Venice of East, Udaipur, embraces many fantabulous lakes and Badi Lake, Udai Sagar and Jaisamand Lake are just a few names. The accolades of beauty and the tunes of charm resound on each lake, you just need to sit and relax.
Discovering the Royal Side
Having a home on the top of the hill where clouds seem festooning your windows and when you step outside, the whole city unveils itself. Seems like a dream? But when you visit Monsoon Palace in Udaipur you would know some dreams are the mirror image of reality. While the needle turns in reaching the Sajjangarh Fort, aka, Monsoon Palace will thrill you, the breathtaking panoramas will give you the bird’s view of Udaipur. And in case you plan to watch the sun turn artistic, spreading threads of orange and red over the amber-lit sky as it touches the horizon, you would be bewildered with the stupendous benevolence of nature.
The City Palace is yet another exemplary location in Udaipur which is situated on the banks of Lake Pichola. Seeing just the silhouette of this grandiose palace you may stand with mouth wide open and if you see that in evening you will certainly skip your heart beat. It looks like a divine galore dazzling with lights and exploring it is an experience in itself. No wonder, It took 400 years to complete this grand architecture. In the vicinity of this palace, there is one more royal abode which tells a beguiling tale daily. I am talking about Bagore ki Haveli which will teleport you to the royal times. The enthralling mirror work just stole my heart. Then, ‘Dharohar’ the cultural show held here was like a special takeaway for me.
Udaipur is the vision of wise men who took the sand, the stones, the heavenly water, the magical Sun and weaved a masterpiece with the panorama of hills. Phew! I never thought that I could describe Udaipur in a line but I did somehow. Though it is not complete without the romance. Yes, the romance with your love or romance with your solace or the romance with your long forgotten memories. I would say, Your songs of joy need new lyrics that would recite the folklore of royal families, palaces, gardens and the sheer pleasure of watching the horizon glow. An incredible journey to Udaipur is waiting for you.
Udaipur city is sorted when it comes to accommodations. From premium property to budget hotels and stay in hostels, you will find everything easily at a walkable distance. There are many good family hotels which are reasonably priced. Also if you are travelling with your friends and running low on budget hostel like Bunk Yard Hostel & Gypsy Child Lake Hostel are the best and cheapest option with good facilities. It is bang on at the Lake Pichola and very well maintained. For food junkies, there are many good restaurants at major sightseeing places but best option at around Pichola Lake area which serves some amazing mouth smacking Veg & Non-Veg Cuisines.
Bikes are easily available for rent at the cost of 1200 Rs per day and it is the best way explore the city.
How To Reach Udaipur
Udaipur is a well-connected city by all mode of transport. Udaipur has its own airport which is approx 25km away from the main city. There are the regular flight from the major cities Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata etc. There are daily buses which operate from Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi, Mumbai etc. Also, Udaipur has a good rail network from with a decent frequency from major cities.