Photo Credit: Brandy Brown; Susan Manser

DAY 08: UDAIPUR

Highlights: Eating lunch at the best Thali House in Rajasthan at the famous Natraj Restaurant, Taking a sunset cruise across Lake Pichola to view the grand city palace and Jag Mandir island; watching a traditional Rajasthani Folk Dance & Pupet show at Bagore Ki Haveli.

Udaipur is known as being the most romantic city in all of India due to the stunning white havelis (mansions) that line the edges of it’s 22 city lakes.  As Udaipur attracts more and more tourists, slowly the single-family mansions are being turned into luxurious guesthouses, inviting foreigners from all across the world to experience authentic India.  The haveli we stayed in was beautiful and very spacious – with stained-glass windows, antique box windows, and traditional stone floors.  It is located in the heart of the Old City and only accessible by tuk-tuk (or small Indian motorized vehicles).

We spent the morning exploring the winding streets of Old Udaipur, stopping to capture a photo, do some window shopping, or to let the occasional elephant pass by.  By 1:00pm we were ready to move on to our next adventure, dining on a traditional Rajasthani Thali at the best restaurant in Rajasthan – Natraj.

An Indian Thali is a mixture of 10-30 different dishes that are served on a large metal platter and (traditionally) eaten with the hands.  Our Thali plates had dishes such as dal, vegetable korma, shaki paneer, raita, chapati, paratha, mint chutney, puri, samosa, green vegetables, and many many others…   Each dish on the Thali plate has a unique flavor, offering your tastebuds many new sensations. As is customary with Thali, the food just keeps on coming until you can’t eat any more.

We returned back to the Old City with enough time to relax before our sunset boat cruise across Lake Pichola.  Lake Pichola is the most famous lake in all of Udaipur, serving as the home of Jag Mandir Island, the City Palace, and the Old Lake Pichola Hotel.  The sunset was brilliant, as it cast a warm red shadow over the lake and the surrounding white buildings.  When our boat returned to land, we leisurely made our way to the Bagore Ki Haveli for a traditional Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance.  The show was beautiful, with colorful puppetry, amazing dancers, and a beautiful venue.  Following the show we returned to our Haveli where we spent the remainder of the evening on the rooftop dining on vegetable biriyanis, spiced masalas, and fresh fruits.

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