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Rajan Shingari - Accenture Gurgaon - Udaipur - The Royal City
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We (5 of my friends and me) had to catch the Mewar Express for Udaipur which starts from Nizamudin Station at 7 PM. We had called for a taxi for 5 in the evening. We were quite excited all day in office, waiting to leave for the station. Before we were to leave, the weather took a drastic change and it started to rain heavily. I got a little nervous, thinking of the traffic condition of Delhi in the rains.

We finally left at 5:15 PM from our office and took the shortcut via chattarpur to avoid the traffic. The rain was getting heavier, changing the mood inside the cab melodramatic with every minute. We could hardly see through the front glass (besides the wiper doing its best). We managed to reach the railway station 10 minutes prior to the Departure time.


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After having dinner all our friends dozed off except Doobs… We sang some Kishore Kumar songs for a couple of hours while the entire compartment was sleeping (I doubt peacefully). After giving a thought to the convenience of others, we too decided to sleep. We were wide awake the next morning much before the train reached Udaipur. I still remember the sleepy faces.

We had tentatively booked a hotel on Lake Pichola. But we had to leave it and take another hotel because of inhospitality. Once we refreshed ourselves, we decided to take a stroll in the local market. The city walls were full with catchy names of hotels and restaurants. I still remember “Savage Garden”. The day was really hot. We were already exhausted when we reached City Palace. We feasted on some rajasthani breakfast before we entered the City Palace.

The City Palace was Riot of Colours. I was into a live fort for the first time in my life. The Family of the King still lives in a section of the Palace. And the rest is open to tourists. In the City Palace, I felt as if the stories which were being narrated by the guides were not of very old times. It seemed as the talks of yesterday. I really get amazed, by the concept of The King having 100 or 1000 wives. I wonder when they got time to look after the matters of the Kingdom.

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We spent our evening in the Fateh Sagar lake. We took a boat to a restaurant which was in the middle of the lake. With the setting sun, beauty of Udaipur had multiplied manifold. The hills in the backyard of the lake were adding to the picturesque moment of the falling night.
It was already night when we returned to the hotel. Since we were a little tired, we decided to have dinner and spend the rest of the night on the rooftop. The view from the rooftop restaurant was magical. City Palace with the Lake Pichola on its front and the hills far in the backdrop of the Palace seemed very illusionary. With the growing darkness the city became cooler. The lights shining in the lake made me feel, as if the stars were down to accompany me that night.  It was midnight, but at some time gaps, we could see boats ferrying people from the Lake Palace Hotel to the City Palace. We were already in the magical bounds of the city. We started to build all sort of nasty stories about the Prince (the theory of 1000 wives). By the time one of our friends was already on cloud nine (courtesy Cobra (beer)). We decided to send him to sleep. But soon most of us went to sleep. Me and one of my friends stayed for another hour on the rooftop trying to catch the sight of the night as much as possible. We went to sleep by 4 in the morning. I can still see the night (the songs on the adjacent hotel’s roof top, the chemistries between my friends, the broken bottles).

The next morning we hired a cab for a round trip to Chittorgarh, which has another famous Fort with a long history.  The Highway from Udaipur to Chittor was fantastic and the drive was very beautiful. I was amazed to find a Dhaba on the highway serving beer in drinks. The fort area is big and there are villages inside the fort walls. This also was a first time discovery for me. I could think of the days of the Maharajas, the Fort and the people living inside the fort. Chittor is famous for the bravery of the Women of Chittor. Once when Chittor was about to loose a war, All the women had sacrificed themselves in fire to save their self respect from the next king and their men. This act is famous by the name of “Johar” and the people of Mewar are still proud of it. We decided to see the light and sound show and then leave back for Udaipur. The day was a Sunday and the light & sound show was free for the locals. This was another new experience. The fort was full with locals. I guess there would have been about 3000 people to watch the show. After everybody settled down, the show started with Amitabh Bachan’s voice. The show was very well directed. There were huge applauds whenever the story narrated good deeds of Mewar. And when the story reaced to “Johar”, we could see the pride of the people in the claps. The Fort was resonating pride and happiness all around.

We reached back late in the night to Udaipur. We managed to find a restaurant. The place had something unique in it.  The walls were all painted blue, the lights were low. I remember some paintings on its walls. Bare bodied men (just covering their manhood) riding on a crocodile. There were three of them on the wall.  Some of the dishes were great but the rest were pathetic. We spent the night back in out hotel.

The Next morning we started for Mount Abu, A hill station in Rajasthan. The drive was a long one, though it took us through different landscapes. Mount Abu is a famous hill station in Gujarati’s. It’s a small lake town in the hills. The distance from Gujarat makes it quite popular. The hotel we had booked was a good one. The room had an open balcony. During the day we visited a historic Jain temple, and one Gayatri ashram. We spent the evening doing the normal tourist hill station stuff. Boating in the lake, stroll on the mall road. We were back to the hotel for dinner. We spent our next 5 hours of the night in the balcony of one of the rooms. We started a game of “Sur Sangram”, where the contestants had to play good but less heard song from the IPOD, and the judge would decide the winner.  I could see Ismail Darbaar in the Judge. I had a very controversial win.  Post dinner we all retired to our rooms, since the next day we had to return t o Udaipur to catch the train back to Delhi.

Early morning we left for Udaipur. After a short turned long session of shopping (courtesy the ladies with us) we reached the station. I shopped for some toys for my nephews (a wooden bird walking down the ladder). We slept back to Delhi. The next morning we had to join the office back.

Udaipur will always be alive in my heart. I am eagerly waiting for my second trip to Udaipur. Nothing matches the night on the roof top restaurant.

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