A weekend getaway to Udaipur in times of COVID19, Circa’ Nov 2020
Hi, everyone as we all are desperate for a comfy relaxing (mask-free 😷) trip, I was lucky enough to sneak out for a short weekend get-away amidst this pandemic. It is crazy and I was quite anxious initially, but eventually, the travel bug in me took over and I took the plunge.
So, shortening the planning process for you, first, we decided the place 🌏 > then what experiences 🌊we would prefer > then the days 📅 > then the hotel 🏨 > then the flights 🛩 (A blog on how to plan a trip is coming soon 😝).
It was a crazy ride to plan a trip. But worked completely fine as we didn’t go overboard (I usually add 3/4 spots more than we can go to. As we end up missing out on a few of them and keeping in mind COVID19 trying to hinder our plans and places being shut).
The day was here… packing it light (no, I am kidding… I packed almost double the clothes needed for a 3-day stay) – one thing to keep in mind… **check the weather before packing and just to be safe pack 1 comfiest pair of sneakers you have** >> helps… I have OCD so I even packed my slippers .
Seeing Delhi T3 Airport in such a state where I could count the number of people was a relief. Everyone was masked and maintained social distancing. Vistara, my favourite national airways was a cakewalk, and finally, after a couple or more hours, we were at our first Hotel Aurika, a mammoth hotel with luxury rooms and a magnificent view to where you can have an endless number of coffees, absorbing the view and reading your fav book.
Me @ Delhi Airport T3
Art House Cafe
After a scrumptious breakfast, we ventured outside the first day to explore few temples but to our disappointment, most of them were shut, still, we managed to pay a visit to the temple of Eklingji. Do read about the magnanimous Shivalingam 🙏🏼who is considered to be the king of Udaipur. Then on popular demand, our driver took us to Saheeli ki baadi 🌺, it was considered that the queen used to bathe and play with her friends and folks in the area. It was quite lush and the photographer in me felt liberated clicking zillions of images. Won’t negate but bougainvilleas were my guilty pleasure, clicked like 100s of pictures and still felt I could click more.
Till then we were literally famished and rushed to Art house cafe, as the name suggests it was quite arty-farty and I love the vibe of it, food was good but to our amazement, on a weekend afternoon, we were the only to be seen dining. Then I rushed to the hotel for taking up an official call while the rest explored the pool area as it wasn’t accessible cos of the COVID norms. Finally, after a good long walk exploring the property we wrapped up with a light meal – nooooo, there is no light meal when you are on vacation. We went for veg biryani (I know half of you would say it is pulao and that is a never-ending debate).
A local musician
Taj Fateh Prakash Hotel
Royal Palace of Udaipur
Woke up late the other morning 🤗 as there was no pool or gym access > the only reason for me to get up early while staying at a hotel. The other day started with exploring a few eating joints and the city of lakes – Udaipur. For brunch we rushed to 1559 AD, which was quiet and decent, it is quite colonial in architecture with seating indoors as well as in the garden (but due to covid we were the only ones and I must say the food wasn’t that great as was mentioned on trip advisor reviews).
Then we spent time sipping coffee and enjoying the lake at the banks of Gangaur Ghat (was blissful). Enjoying the local performers at the Ghat and the spring essence in the environment was unwinding, a bunch of Bougainville hanging from the magnanimous gate of the ghat was adding on to the vibe. After a good long sunbathing session, we rushed to Jheel’s ginger coffee bar and bakery as the growling sound of my stomach was making people sitting around uncomfortable. The lake-view was to die for, food was good but the view was spell bounding. Sitting on the terrace next to a lake and enjoying that desi-pizza along with an ice-cold glass of coke is pure bliss.
Then we moved to our second hotel (the final destination, yes this was a weekend getaway but we still booked two different hotels for the experience) this was Taj Fateh Prakash, on the banks of the lake Pichola and the I am not exaggerating but the view from my window could not have been better. It panned out to be the most fun evening as we strolled through the gates of the palace (without buying the entry ticket – if you are staying at Taj you need to show a card and you get free entry, every-time 🤫 ). That was the date night for me, so I was super excited and dressed in finery (no, not at all – It was a usual all-black look for me). The place was already booked and was lit AF, upre – is an across the lake terrace restaurant & bar that was lit with candles and perfectly summed up the mood for the evening. The night ended with a view of moon clad Taj lake palace from the window complimented with hours of chatter till wee hours in the morning (for the rest of the details, you can directly ping me).
Taj Fateh Prakash
View from Sunset Terrace
We were up by 9:30 AM sharp, pushed ourselves out of the bed to sunset terrace (breakfast area of the Taj Fateh Prakash) lavish buffet spread on request to meet the COVID 19 norms impressed me. Safety and cleanliness were given much importance and that is the reason Taj hotels have become a go-to choice for me most of the time. After a tummy bursting meal, I went for a bubble bath as we plan to head to the palace tour. Palace is mammoth and the architecture is quite intricate. The preservation is also taken care of and the palace is in a good shape.
After exploring the rooms of the old Rajas and Maharajas, we grabbed a bite at the restaurant on the patio of the palace, quite selective menu but the preparation was class apart. With sunset in the background and a coffee in hand while we appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the palace builders it was the time for a light and sound show. Pre-booking for the show is always suggested, though there weren’t many people it is always good to be safe than sorry. The show depicted the legacy of Udaipur and how the oldest and most successful run kingdom is still making statements.
The show was the highlight of the day for us and then it was time for us to leave. The stay, the room, and the break from the mundane work life was much needed. Also, it made me realize how much I missed Travelling and the feeling of looking out of the plane window while flying. Looking forward to many more travel stories in 2021. Please share your go-to places in Udaipur in the comments below.