Visiting Udaipur in India was a great choice for us. Udaipur is one of the most picturesque cities in Rajasthan with beautiful lakes, hills, and of course, palaces. The famous Lake Palace sits on man made Lake Pichola, which sets it apart from the many other palaces that we had seen so far in India. So we spent an afternoon wandering yet another palace.
One other thing that set the Udaipur city palace apart was the Crystal Gallery. Apparently, in 1877, the Maharana custom ordered a large quantity of crystal furniture for the palace. Interestingly enough, it was never used or even seen by him. He died before delivery, and the new regime placed the unopened boxes in storage, where they remained for 110 years! Their discovery and display provides one of the few places in a city palace that are set up to show the lavish furnishings and home accessories that decorated them. No photos allowed..sorry.
Eating a fantastic and leisurely meal along a lake is surprisingly easy. Part of the appeal of Udaipur is that laid back vibe. We did take a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola. It was a great private ride that provided a different view of the palaces and hotels. We were also able to see how the lake is used by the locals for washing clothes or even themselves. The pictures tell the story of the lake.
One of the last things we did in Udaipur was visit an ancient temple and an active temple. The ancient temple Nagada sits on a small lake outside of town. The carvings in the temple are the main attraction here. Some of them depict the Karma Sutra, and it was kind of fun to wander the ruins to see if we could find some. The active temple we visited was Ekingji which was built in 734 AD. Ekingji is one of only six temples in India that is used to worship Bramha (the creater God in the Hindu pantheon), and is therefore especially revered. Our guide made sure that we followed the correct protocols as we entered. He offered a lei of flowers and we were given them as we exited the complex. We could not take photos in the active temple, obviously.