DESTINATION №. 2 | My three-day love affair with India's 'Venice of the East'
After flying into the Seemingly barren desert state of Rajasthan, the first view of Lake Pichola was like A mirage.
Enveloped by a skyline of purple hills and surrounding a glass-smooth lake, Udaipur is a city that oozes romance. Think a place that boasts all of the beauty, history and majestic architecture of a European city (but one that just needs a little love and restoration), and then throw in a touch of the chaos and culture of India. Within minutes and metres you can transport yourself from the bliss of sitting lakeside to the bustle of the town's streets and markets.
It is so obvious to see why Udaipur is referred to, and raved about, as India's 'Venice of the East'. Prepare to fall in love with the city, head over heels for the view of the lake and a little bit more in love with the person you're spending your time with there (if appropriate, ha).
Lake Pichola Hotel.
A hotel that's as dreamy as the city itself. With pink bougonvilliea cascading down one
side and the lake on the other, a rooftop pool and bar, 180 degree view over the lake,
you'll constantly find yourself in 'pinch yourself' moments.
If you want to indulge in luxury, and live out your Bond girl fantasy, splurge on staying at the
Taj Lake Palace. Sitting right in the centre of the lake, the palace offers accommodation fit
for a queen and James Bond (Octupussy' was filmed here).
Dine either lakeside or rooftop - you'd be silly not to soak in the view and romance of the lake
at every chance you get. One of our faves was Hari Garh (almost right next to Lake Pichola Hotel);
great food, a great array of cuisines (if you're not feeling up to the local Indian cuisine every night)
and a beautiful view out over the water and Ganguar Ghat.
Take a boat cruise around the lake. If you can, and/or you're not the 'group tour' kind of person
(think 20 other hi-viz wearing, snap-happy tourists) opt for a private boat ride.
BEST PHOTO SPOT
Ganguar Ghat - a popular place for tourists and also for pigeons. One of our best shots of
the trip came from the instahusband scaring the pigeons (almost as much as he scared me).
If you don't have a pool at your hotel and want to escape the heat, head to Udai Kothi -
a gorgeous hotel with a beautiful rooftop pool that you can pay to use.