Bad pun, Ok, terrible pun. It’s pronounced something closer to OO-dah-pur. In any case, Udaipur is unlike anywhere else we’ve been in India. The setting is idyllic: a lush green valley cradling two serene lakes with historic buildings and romantic island palaces dotting the shoreline. (February is an astrologically important month for getting married in India, so the lake islands were very busy with gargantuan wedding productions.)
The lakes are man-made, but that doesn’t diminish their historic context. They were created in the 16th Century by a local maharaja who decided Udaipur was an overall excellent strategic location for his new capital. Evidently the landlocked geography lacking any water views was the only thing he didn’t love about the place. But being the king he took care of that.
We surrendered to the obligatory and very touristy (but still lovely) boat ride across the larger lake, Lake Pichola. Then we wandered the narrow halls and chambers of the old city palace. We also needed a break from the constant travel, and our hotel up in the hills was the perfect respite. Along with magnificent, calming views of the valley and water below, it offered the best spa prices of the whole trip! Even India isn’t too far afield for a little western-style pampering now and then.