“Blue, limpid, mighty, restless lakes
God’s mirrors underneath the sky….”
Lake Pichola shimmered with its azure waters reflecting like mirror, the equally gorgeous skies above…
A large boat whisked us off , all eager tourists on a ride across the tranquil, picturesque and fairly large Lake Pichola. For an hour we sailed across the lake taking it all in…the beautiful setting sun painting the skies in golden red before plunging in darkness, the distant Aravalli range which dramatically changed colours from green to darker blue to grey as the evening advanced……
The lake palaces which seemed to float like delicate water lilies on the surface…The huge city palace which loomed up as one continuous structure showing off its grandeur on the better side of lake….
The boat took us around the Lake Palace Taj Heritage Hotel which was originally named Jag Niwas after the monarch who built the palace. Built on an island, it lay deteriorating in the lake till the Taj group of hotels took up the renovations adding in the process more rooms and converting it into one of the best Taj heritage hotels.
Well…. I can not afford a room in this five star hotel and I had to be content with seeing it just from outside.
The Jag Mandir has beautiful ornate pavilions, intricately carved jharokhas, well laid out gardens, airy corridors and sit-outs, its periphery lined with stone elephants . Now it houses a beautiful restaurant catering to all palates.
I so wished the boat ride to never end…But as we turned the corner of Jag Mandir, the ride was almost over. The evening had turned into dull grey and a bit cooler by the time we alighted from the boat. The lake like a mirror again changed its colour reflecting the greys of the evening.
With nothing much to do except wait for the light and sound show, we headed to the Karni Mata temple atop the hill by the cable car.
In retrospect, the time spent at the hill top was the best time of the day. We could see the expanse of the city and gradually the lights started glimmering in the far away houses, indicating us to leave…
We hurried to the city palace for the night show after the boat ride only to find we were twenty minutes too late and the show was already half over. Disappointed, we decided to head over to the roof top restaurant near the lake.
The lake, surrounded by palaces, temple, chabutaras and ghats was as spellbinding at night as in day light, in fact even more so. Distant lights mirrored and played on the rippling waves and illuminated the now dark water and I could not bring myself to stop looking at it. I could see the ghats on the other side of lake from the roof top restaurant and sat there long after the meal was over.
I am left wanting for more after this Udaipur trip. It definitely calls for a well planned visit again…