Lay of the Land
“How can the mind take hold of such a country? Generations of invaders have tried, but they remain in exile. The important towns they build are only retreats, their quarrels the malaise of men who cannot find their way home. India knows of their trouble. She knows of the whole world's trouble, to its uttermost depth. She calls "Come" through her hundred mouths, through objects ridiculous and august. But come to what? She has never defined. She is not a promise, only an appeal.”~E.M. Forester
Known as the “City of Lakes,” Udaipur is in the state of Rajasthan in western India, and is known for its stunning palaces and beautiful reflective lakes. The romantic city has five major lakes. Its most famous, Lake Pichola, is home to the Lake Palace, a Rajput palace-island that seemingly floats on the water, mirrored on the surface below. Also on Lake Pichola are City Palace, the home to the Maharana; Jag Mandir, the former summer palace of the Maharanas; and such luxury hotels as the Taj, the Oberoi Udaivilas and Leela Palace. Udaipur is easily accessible from all major Indian cities, with Jaipur and Jodhpur being the closest. Within the city, taxis, rickshaws and buses are available for transport.
When to Go
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere (i.e. November through March) signals the best time to travel to most parts of India. This is the cool/dry season in Rajasthan, where first-time travelers are typically headed. That said, late September and October (technically shoulder periods) offer fabulous weather, dry and cool post-monsoon rains, and off-season rates typically at a 40% discount. In Udaipur, the scenery changes drastically depending on what month you visit. The monsoon months of July and August, leave the land lush and verdant and lakes full for the subsequent months: September, October and early November. The green and mountainous surrounds of Udaipur provide an interesting contrast to the desert-like landscape in the rest of the state.