Our hotel, located in the old city by Lake Pichola, had immediately brought us right into the action in Udaipur. Even though clearly a tourist area, the overall atmosphere created by the mix of hotels, restaurants, shops and village type of life supporting this important industry made us decide this would be a nice place to slow down for a couple of days, and experience the immediate surroundings and attractions on foot.
Obviously a boat ride on the lake could not be missed and allowed us to be immersed into the picturesque scenery, although I think it will take a few more visits before I feel like being immersed into the water! The stop on Jagmandir Island (a former Island Palace built in 1620 which now contains a small hotel), also created a few good photo opps and allowed us to imagine the grandness of this prime location. All the while we could see the all famous Lake Palace Hotel which we’ll save for next time or another life. The afternoon was spent at the City Palace (Rajisthan’s largest) giving us a glimpse of the life of the various maharanas over the centuries.
Amidst all of this and a constant experience as a tourist in India are shipowners, rickshaw drivers, hawkers, restaurant owners, and guides etc.., waiting for the ever so slight glimpse of your eye or indication of interest in their products or services. On one hand, from their perspective it could be the difference between a bad and a good day in this highly competitive industry. On the other, a sad reality of requiring to ignore the attention of many whom in other circumstances may either exploit your naivety or engage an interesting and insightful conversation and honest transaction. I guess we may never know out of the few transactions that we did conduct which was the outcome, but I guess it is only our own point of view that matters…