Early morning start today, off to the Domestic airport @ 8am, for our flight to Udaipur flying Indigo. Traffic was light (very weird), we reached the airport by 8:30, instead of 9am as advised by the hotel! Am glad for being early, as the Indian airline check-in process is very time consuming, first the security process, scanning all check-in & carry-on luggage – that took over 30 minutes, then the long queue for checking in bags and getting boarding passes – another 30+ minutes, that was not the end of it, another 15 minutes of queues for passing through the x-ray/security scanning for entering the airside area. Finally into the terminal, which is quite nice, this was my first time into this new terminal, lots of food/shopping outlets – first to have some breakfast for the girls – my throat had me on a liquid diet. Was surprised to find a “PAUL” cafe there – good place for coffee and light brekky.
We still had 1.5 hours to kill, me and Nita went walkabout in the terminal, whilst girls stayed back at Cafe – happy to be left to their devices!
Celebrity sighting – Arjun Rampal
Coming back around 40 mins later, found Neha a bit sad! Was concerned and asked her why, turns out Arjun Rampal was sitting next to her and she was too nervous to take a photo of him – apparently he was in a foul mood and she was scared he would get angry!! And now that he was gone, she was super upset on missing the opportunity!! I was having mixed emotions, laughter and trying to console Neha, well atleast she was the first one amongst us to have seen a Celeb in this trip!!
Boarding was routine, we were seated in the same row, Neha, Pooja & Nita, then I was on the aisle seat on the other side. Flight time to Udaipur was just over an hour, flight was good, nothing to complain about, infact service on this was much better that the Jet Airways full service flight that we later took. Landed safely in Udaipur – it is a very small terminal, all our bags had arrived!!, Organised a private taxi to our Hotel and we were off. Did not realise how far the airport was from the City, it was a fair drive – approx 30 mins!
We were staying at the Le Roi Udaipur. Both our rooms were next to each other, unfortunately the hotel did not have interconnecting rooms , however that was not a problem for Neha & Pooja, they were loving having their own room . Rooms at Le Roi were very good for a 3.5 star hotel. Note, however if you want something quiet than this may not be the best place for you, it is next to the Udaipur train station, you do hear every train whistle. Another sound problem – not massive one, was the the corridor outside the rooms playing music at a level which was a tad loud. Overall however it was good experience and the beds were very comfortable.
Checking with the reception for places of interest that I could do that afternoon, it was recommended we go to “Bagore Ki Haveli”to view the traditional Rajasthani dance show. This was in the Lal Ghatt area of the old Udaipur city, first show was at 7pm.
Made sure everyone had their jumpers/cardigans, Udaipur gets very cold at night!
Bagore Ki Haveli was in the old city, our driver dropped us on the gates of the old Udaipur city, turns out the roads in the old city are so narrow that cars are limited in that zone, especially during evenings. Got of at the gates and walked along asking our way to “Bagore Ki Haveli”.
Udaipur old city in the evening is amazing, am so glad we were walking – you can only appreciate this beauty if were walking, the narrow streets, people avoiding being run over by Autos and scooters, and small shops in all the historic buildings, the night feel was wow! Pity we did not take many pics – I was soo concerned with making it to the show on time . (Neha has some good walking videos in her VLOG )
Got there just before 6:30 and were surprised with the crowd and the long queues! In India, if you are a tourist (from out of India) you are in luck as they have a foreigners section and separate queues for them, of course foreigners do pay extra for the same tickets. I got into the foreigners queue, was not wasting time in the other queue, got to the counter only to be told the 7pm show was sold out, however the 8.30show was still available, got tickets to that – not complaining about the guy charging me local rates – bonus! Headed out of there and time to get a quick dinner.
Close by was Jagat Niwas Palace, decided to head there for dinner. Along the way some beautiful views of the lakes.
Found Jagat Niwas easily, and were seated in a raised nook overlooking the Lake Pichola, and the magnificent Lake Palace Hotel. Neha and Pooja were loving the traditional seating without chairs, it did feel nice! Girls ordered their naans and curries, I was happy to go with soups – my diet till my mouth/throat was sorted – still no sign of improvement!
This place is a must visit, a palace converted into a nice bar/restaurant with amazing views and great food.
Out of there, back on the road roaming the streets and strolling along to Bagore Ki Haveli, am glad we had pre-purchased tickets, in the foreigners queue again, however as per normal in India, it is always a shove and push to get into a venue, both queues were being merged near the entrance and there was no regard for a queue system, it was simply if you can push you way in front of someone else, then you were winning – a sad reality here!
Finally got in – girls decided we should sit in front on the floor (on rugs), not the most comfortable seating for me but we had a good view of the show.
The folk dance and show was very good, lots of traditional dancing, puppet dances, and amazing balancing acts of matkas – all well recorded by Neha in her vlog.
It was time to get back to the hotel, had been a great night. Got an auto outside the venue and headed back to the hotel – riding an auto in cold weather is an experience, the wind chill factor does come into play- we were well frozen by the time we reached our hotel. Finished the night with room service – some nice Ghulab Jamun & Ice Cream.
Tomorrow we had booked a driver for the day to take us around the sights.