I set off walking through the town and instantly liked the vibe and compact feel of it. Everything is centered around the man-made lake created in the 1600s, and it’s a great town.
I crossed the bridge to the other side of the lake.
And wound up at a park jutting out into the lake, looking at the ultra-fancy Taj Hotel, which requires proof of reservation to get on the boat to reach the hotel.
Walking through the city had a great feeling.
I wound up at the Jagadish Temple, and I had to backtrack a bit to get to the other side to check out a big parade that was starting.
The parade was coming down the steps from the temple to bring the shrine of their statue of Ganesh, to celebrate the last day of the festival that’s been happening all over India.
I walked through the town some more, wound up on some side streets, and saw some really funny things, like this Gandhi-Che Guevara shirt and a German bakery.
From the hostel’s rooftop that night, we had a great view of some local dance performances, where kids and teenagers could sign up to perform alone or with friends. It was great.
The next day, I signed up for the hostel’s trip out to Tiger Lake (Badi Ka Talab). We piled too many people into a tuktuk and drove on some “is this really a road” roads to get there. At one point, half of us had to get out and push to make it up a hill.
It was worth it.
We swam in the lake for about 2 hours and saw a different side of India. The nearest village has no running water or electricity. Crazy.
I’d been asking the hostel employees about traditional foods from the state of Rajasthan, so they made some, when we got back to the hostel.
This is called Dal Baati. It’s like a cornbread, almost, that you break up into pieces, pour the dal (lentils) stew over it, and then eat it up with your hands. Delicious!
After a bit of a food coma (I had to take my plate to the kitchen to get them to stop refilling it), we played some Taboo for a while, which was a blast.
That evening, I walked around the City Palace just before sunset, and it was really awesome.
The sun went down as I was leaving the palace, and I had this view of the Jagadish Temple while walking back to the hostel.
I sat on the roof just talking to everyone for a while and then got an Uber to the bus station on the north side of the city. We went through parts of the town I had no idea existed; it’s actually quite bigger than just the “old city” part of Udaipur, but the old city is where the action is. I loved Udaipur a lot, and this was definitely the best hostel I’ve stayed at in India. I wish I’d stayed longer.
Next stop: Jodhpur, the famous “blue city.”