Water is the softest thing yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness. – Lao Tzu
Once I arrived in Udaipur I had to say goodbye to my unexpected train companions and found myself lost at the train station. I was supposed to meet a friend of a friend, Yogesh, who would help me to get around in the city, but somehow he overslept a little so I started walking towards… the city palace? At least towards the point google maps was indicating me as such. 😀 However, this adventure lasted about 10 minutes until I received a phone call from Yogesh who came to pick me up a few minutes later – and as it turned out he was a super funny, nice guy and the best company I could have wished for during my short stay in Udaipur, a city famous for its history, culture, scenic locations – and voted as the best city in the World in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. 1
I’m not sure whether I would describe Udaipur as the best city in the world – after all, there is still the typical struggle with pollution that you find nearly everywhere in India. But it is definitely one of my favourite Indian cities. Life feels just so much more relaxed there… In my opinion, this is linked to the many lakes you find in and around the city, as water always has this effect on me.
Sightseeing-wise, I guess we covered everything possible in just one day. Starting with a boat tour on lake Pichola and a breakfast next to the lake, we continued with a guided tour in the city palace, headed towards the other surrounding lakes, visited the monsoon palace on top of a hill outside the city, took the cable car to the top of another hill, from which we could witness the sunset, met another friend of Yogesh who was an equally cool guy, and finished the day with Udaipur’s best (chocolate) chai and the traditional dish “Laal Maas” in the evening (at least for the non-vegetarians among us 😉 ).
In the evening I had to catch a sleeper bus to Jodhpur, which was my next stop. My day in Udaipur was a blast – I fell in love with the city. But I know that on my own, I wouldn’t have been able to do and see even half of the things we did. Also, the reason that I enjoyed my stay that much was clearly that I was surrounded by the right people. Keeping this in mind, I owe my new friend Yogesh a big, fat, tremendously huge THANK YOU! I couldn’t have wished for a better experience in such a beautiful place. 🙂