It was a tough challenge for accommodations to compete with the overwhelming stimuli of India – the tumble of colors, sounds, history, people, spiritualism, food – I could go on but suffice it to say it was life changing. I have many plans to explore more of this multilayered treasure trove – sadly they have been on hold due to the pandemic which has hit India particularly grievously. However after much horror the country’s covid-19 cases are finally decreasing and the long and hard task of vaccinating a billion people is ongoing so hopefully the country will return to health soon.
Meanwhile, let me share with you some of the most magnificent, jaw dropping edifices that made my stay even more extraordinary. The top photo is a fortress turned hotel called the RAAS Devigarh Palace. It was not on our original list but due to a super mega Big Fat Indian Wedding we had to leave our lodging (more on that gorgeous hotel later) in Udaipur and spend one day here.
Set on top of a hill overlooking the Aravali Mountains, Devigarh Palace was not only originally built in 1760 using locally mined marble, but that same marble was also employed during its restoration and our accommodations were stunning on multi levels that seemed to be limitless – this is just of sampling of the different areas:
The palace itself is remote and formidable and since the original structure was kept intact externally, exploring the grounds was challenging – lots of nooks, crannies and alcoves, stairs that led to nowhere – it was not easy finding my suite with all the turns and levels.
But the views of the Aravali Mountain Range are priceless:
As unique as this was, we were bumped from our previous accommodation for a reason. Besides being in the center of Udaipur, the Taj Lake Palace as the name implies, is singularly spectacular. And it floated offshore in the middle of Lake Pichola:
My room was sweet and colorful and looking out the window did give a cruise feel:
But there is more. First, I went off exploring and followed a staircase up to the roof- which in typical Indian fashion is multi-level. As I looked around, I could see marvelous private dining cupolas as well as open areas for cocktails etc.:
Asking first to make sure it was okay, I went up to the roof pre-dawn to watch the sunrise:
I even had company of some friendly singing bulbuls and mynahs:
And the grand finale is this performance of a dancer, beautiful of face and form and much older than you think with the grace of an angel:
More of India’s magical palaces to come!!!