16th September, 2015

If you wonder About India the first thing u get is Taj Mahal and the second one is Rajasthan. Udaipur is one the best places to start your exploration to Rajasthan. The city of Lakes, Palaces and Colors – Udaipur. There are rumors that some statues here commit eye move.

I found the Best time to be in Udaipur is October to February. When the heat starts retreating and cold winds start blowing. One who wants to experience the luxury of palaces and havellies starting from the mid range of stay to high seven star properties you will all find in Udaipur.

The best place to for stay in Udaipur is lake pichola. you will find all kinds of hotels, havellies and palaces to stay in. the city on the eastern bank of the lake gives you the mesmerizing view of the city. the major attractions of the city are built on this bank of the river.

Once you arrive in Udaipur from the Airways you land to Maharana Pratap Airport and railways you come to Udaipur City well connected to other parts of India. Lake Pichola will be your next step to come and explore the city. We can plan a trip of Udaipur for 4 days to 5 days. the Itinerary for the same can be taken as follow.

New Delhi to Udaipur.

Day 1. Arrive in Udaipur Evening with the Cultural Show. 

Take a taxi/ Auto from Airport/ Railway Station and arrive at your hotel at Pichola lake. Take a rest on that day and explore the local market all around the Pichola lake just a walking distance from your hotel and visit the Jagdish Temple.
Take a dinner in your hotel or you can try a restaurant for that I did’t remember the name but the location I remember. Go towards the city palace from Jag Narayan Temple and after hardly 100 to 200 meters you will find a restaurant after climbing the stairs on your Right Hand side, which offers all kind of food from continental to Chinese to Indian. Amazing Restaurant and a nice place to eat of you wanna save some money.
Jagdish Tample – Udaipur

Evening time you can just start your trip with the cultural show at Bhagore Ki Havellie which starts at 7 in the evening in summers and 6 in the evening in winters. you need to be very particular about the timing to get the good seat for the watching the show. If you are late then you will not the place to see and you need to stand back in the crowd to watch the show. This show takes a entrance fee of about Rs. 25 per person and Rs. 100 for camera. This havellie is situated close to Gangor Ghat and walking distance from the major havellies turned hotels in the Pichola Lake Area. 



Day 2. Explore Ekling Ji Temple, Nathdawara and Haldi Ghati

You will have lot of tour operators around the market area and near your hotel. Don’t forget to explore the deals with two or three tour operators as lot of foreigners stay in this area and they tend to ask much higher prices.

Wake up early in the morning after your breakfast and move towards the Ekling ji Temple your first stop over of the day. The temple opens for very less time so you need to be very cautious about the timings you leave in the morning. This temple is built by the Maharaja of Udaipur and dedicated to Lord Shiva. You will not be allowed to take any cameras and mobile phone in the temple premises. If you reach the temple on time it will be good you get the few lockers available to keep your stuff. 

Timings of Ekling ji Temple: 
4:30 AM – 6:30 AM, 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM – 8 PM. 

Next stop over for you will be the Nathdawara Temple dedicated to the Lord Krishna. The Idol of lord changes clothes and decoration four to five times a day. They are given food and chapan bhog (56 types of foods) to Lord Krishna every day and every time. Again the timings for the Temple needs to be followed. As the temple opens for the short duration and you need to wait for the temple to open again. Again you cannot take mobiles and cameras in the temple premises but here you can keep your stuff in the lockers that are available with the temple trust.   
There are different lines for men and women to enter the main area of temple. There are temple priest you take INR 100 per person for darshans and get the prasad for you in the same. Again here you need to negotiate with these priest for the showing the temple. Now you can even book the cottages and rooms available for booking on the website of Shrinathji/ Nathdawara. 

Timing for Nathdawara Temple:(Taken from Nathdawara Temple Website)
Mangla 05:30 to 06:15
Shringar 07:10 to 07:40
Gwal 09:10 to 09:30
Rajbhog 11:25 to 12:10
Uthapan 03:40 to 04:00
Bhog 04:45 to 05:00
Aarti 05:10 to 06:00
Shayan N/A

For more details of the temple you can visit the offical website of the temple: https://www.nathdwaratemple.org/
Shrinathji/ Nathdawara

Do not accept much restaurants in the area. Better take a heavy breakfast here and take some munching snacks with you so that you can eat in the day time. Yes fruits are readily available on the way and area near Nathdawara Temple. 

By the afternoon your next step will be Haldi ghati where the famous battle of Haldi Ghati between Maharana Pratap and Mughals was fought. this place is known as Haldi ghati because the soil here is of yellow color. You can see the place where exactly the battle was fought. You can even see the museum on the way dedicated to the Maharana Pratap and how the battle was fought and a small movie is been prepared depicting the how Maharana Pratap fought the battle and how he spend his life fighting for his country.  

After a hectic day get back to your hotel and enjoy the sun set and lake in the evening on the terrace of your hotel if staying in the pichola lake area. 

Day 3. Explore the City Palace of Udaipur and Local Sightseeing. 

Recommend you to start exploring the city Palace of Udaipur with the Guide by 10 AM in the morning as this palace has lot of things to observe and get around. form the main palace to the crystal Art gallery. This take away your breath  for the whole day and you will see how the Indian Architectural can be admired. Its good to hire a guide as this will take you to the long story and significance of each and every part of the palace. Thy charge you with 200 rupees. Guide makes it more memorable as these people are well aware of the palaces and know how to take the pictures. At some of the places you will not be able to take the pictures on your own because you would not know where to take the correct picture to cover the entire background. 

Fees is charged for the palace visit entry Plus crystal gallery plus boat ride to Jag Mandir on Pichola Lake. Take a complete Package you will save a lot of money. Cameras are also charged for taking them to the Palace but will not be allowed to be taken to crystal gallery. 

Crystal gallery is a must to visit. you will be able to know about the richness of the Indian Royal Dynasty and some of the rarest and expensive crystal collections.  

While covering this entire trip will recommend you to take a break and come back and rest in your hotel after you visit the Main Palace building and then go for crystal Art gallery and boat ride to Jag Mandir. 

The main Palace building will take say around 2 – 3 hours to see each and every corner of the Palace. 

Day 4.  Full Day Excursion to Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh Fort. 

Hire a Taxi and start your journey to Kumbhalgarh Fort and Ranakpur. Do not forget to take sun glasses and umbrella. Both the places are situated in the hilly region of Aravalli. Remember to wear the full clothes that’s jeans and tops for the girls with sleeves. As short clothes are not allowed in the main temple area to both males and females. Otherwise you will suppose to wear a long coat that they give to wear. 

Kumbhalgarh fort is the longest wall of India and with more than hundred temple complexes with the fort. the site was under repair and one must see the you can see the long wall running in vast area and maximum part of the fort is now under the forested land. but still the beauty if the palace surrounded by the aravalli hills is a must watch. Still fort was built much before the construction of the great wall of china. People tell there that it might a Chinese visitor has taken the inspiration of such a long wall and to china and then they might have built it there.   

Lot of good restaurant are there in between Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh Fort so plan accordingly to take a lunch in one of these restaurants. Admire the beauty of the temple and domes. this is one the pilgrimage for Jain Religion. One of the most silent and peaceful place located on the way in the forest. 

   


After this you can go back to your Hotel and enjoy the evening on the hotel or you can stay at Kumbhalgarh for the Light and sound show at Fort. the Choice is yours as most of the taxis don’t return back late evening from this route. As they its not a safe travel in the dark. 

Day 5. Day at your leisure. 

You can enjoy the day relaxing at your hotel or you can go to the rope way in Udaipur to see the spectacular view of the Udaipur city. and Go for some shopping in the local market and explore the city on your own. You can even see the Vintage car exhibition as well. 
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12th September, 2015…….
Do we Really need to go to tour operators for our trips? 
Is is that they can understand better our needs? 
I always wonder why we need a tour operator to do all these things for us. When no one else can understand our needs better than ourselves. Every time we have a disappointment from our packages and tour operator and every new trip is organized by a new tour operator. We keep our time wasting in searching good deals from 20 odd operators every time. Comparing the deals and hotels and in last we tell them what is the best for us. 
They just enjoy the coordination work and make hell lot of money from us for the all packages that we want. Let me share my experience how do Search Engine and Facebook can help you on planning your trip weather its a abroad or within India. Just its a matter of 30 minutes to devote from your schedule. 
  1. Always decide on when you want to go and where. 
  2. Simply type the best time to visit……………(where you want to go)on google search bar. 
  3. Once you know the best time and off season just choose the time when the season is about to start and a week before. 
  4. The best site I found is sky scanner and Trip Advisor to create the Alert for the flights to book the tickets. If travelling by Airways. 
  5. Book the lowest fare that you get from these sites and you will really don’t need to hire a tour operator. 
  6. Same way you can create the alert for the hotels and they keep sending you the lowest rates and offers for the hotels as well. Tip: I don’t know how many of you know or not the google will show lot of advertisements on the browser of your last search always. Same way join and like the pages of your favorite tour operating sites and Facebook will also show you the same things. 
  7. And the last one just track these things while you are busy doing your work at office or exploring on net and rest all work is done by these search engines to plan your travel and holidays all according to the needs of your family 

So Next just devote 30 minutes to plan your Trip. and Pack your Bags to your favorite Destination… 
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