Udaipur’s City Palace

Udaipur was the perfect follow up to Jaipur.  A pretty city on the edge of a lake, the comfy hotel, relatively tranquil streets, and “cool” breeze were exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of the recovery process.  We spent several days here and had a healthy mix of sightseeing time and resting time, got our appetites back and began to buy some souvenirs!
Our first day in town, we toured the City Palace.  Like most cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur has a maharana (prince/king…kind of like a nobleman).  If you spend much time watching Anthony Bourdain’s tv shows, you would likely recognize Udaipur’s maharana.  He has a lake palace, a monsoon palace, and he and his family also live in part of the City Palace.  The rest of it is either open to the public for tours or has been turned into a hotel.
We avoided tours at most sights in India simply because we had trained ourselves to say “no” to absolutely everyone who was trying to offer us something.  At the City Palace we changed our policy and were really glad we did!  Our tour guide was super informative and pointed out all sorts of details about the palace that we never would have noticed on our own. 

There were several of these arches, each one indicating a time when the king gave away his weight in gold.
The palace had paintings of elephants, camels, and horses.  Elephants were widely used in both ceremonies and war in the Rajasthan area.
In battle, horses were adorned with elephant masks because elephants on the rival side would not attack the horses if they thought they were baby elephants.
Hall of mirrors…can you see me and Alex?
Udaipur is famous for its miniature paintings.  This whole room was filled with them!
A view of Udaipur from the palace.

A view of the maharana’s lake palace from the city palace.
A door made entirely of ivory.
Parcheesi on the floor!
Glass mosaics.  Did you know that the peacock is the national bird of India?

We saw a variety of doors like this at palaces and forts around Rajasthan.  The spikes are intended to stop elephants from charging when the building is under attack.
With our tour guide!


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