The month of December is harsh on the national capital region of Delhi because of the deadly smog it brings with it and like every year I had to plan my escape. I had one of my friends visiting me from Netherlands and we decided to head to Udaipur for a few days. We looked for air tickets and found that Vistara has a daily service to Udaipur. Vistara has always been one of the most trusted airlines among the dwindling air business in India so we went ahead and booked our tickets. We were all set and very excitedly looking forward to it when I got the news that the day I was supposed to reach Udaipur; I had to attend a very important event in Delhi. Then started the mental stigma of rebooking and the fear of cancellation charges. Thankfully my Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME comes with cancellation insurance which seamlessly allowed me to cancel my tickets and book for the day after the original scheduled date.
Finally, we reached Udaipur, the city of lakes and checked into Lake Pichola Hotel which is right in the old town. I call it my home in Udaipur because of the wholesome moments that I have had in this place in my previous and recent trip. The clear skies and the good view got us all excited then we left to walk around some of the streets in old town and indulge in some street photography. With marvelous frames in every street we ended up eating some of the yummiest Rajasthani street food. Dhoklas, Kachoris, Samosas, Fafda, Jalebis and one of the new finds this time was Papad and sabji. Basically, it comprises of Papad made of Potato which looks like a big Matthi and its supposed to be eaten with some vegetables. My friend was thrilled because all of this is very new to her. We tried these in Bajrang Nashta Centre. I was taken there by my friend who is a local and knows the best places in town. Right after we quickly hurried to catch the sunset in Lal Ghat. The few days that I was there in Udaipur, the weather was quite gloomy, but we at least got to see some drama in the sky that day!
The next day in Udaipur started with the yummy breakfast in Lake Pichola Hotel and of course my favorite view in this part of India. If you ever stay there, you must try out the masala omllette which is prepared just the way you ask for it! Then we hurried to Saheliyon Ki Bari which is one of the most touristy places in Udaipur. We strolled around the gardens which was built for queens. The royal women accompanied by their friends and maids would make use of this garden to while away their leisure time. With colorful Bougainvillea, pretty fountains and lush green lawns this place is great for photography. The entrance fee is Rs.10 for Indians and Rs.50 for foreigners and its open on all days between 9a.m-7p.m After this we made our way to Ahar Cenotaph, it’s a 4000-year-old cremation ground which has around 250 cenotaphs. The massive white structures are made of white marble in memory of the Mewer Dynasty ancestors. Its open on all days except Fridays from 10:30-04:30, there was no entrance fee, but you need to request the guards to let you enter and see the place. You can request the guards for photography too.
Right after we went to Mansapurna Karni Mata Mandir, I preferred to hike up the hillock instead of taking the ropeway because of my brand-new love for walking! The view from the hill is phenomenal, you get the birds eye view of the entire city. We got a little adventurous and took the untrodden path just for and unobstructed view. The temple is open on all days, timings being 4a.m-7:30pm. The ropeway costs Rs.200 per person. You can head over to their official site to check the darshan and aarti timings. We had our dinner in Baro Masi that night, it’s one of the most happening places in Udaipur right now but I would not recommend it for food! You can go and chill there after dinner since its open late night. The view from that place is great!
Our third day in Udaipur was all about shopping. The street shops of Udaipur are extremely vibrant and lively and there are many markets you can shop at. There are shops scattered around the city but Hathipole is one of the best markets in Udaipur if you want to do some crazy shopping. If you are looking for bed sheets, quilts, dohars, duvet covers, this is the best place. There are shops which sell cute and quirky stuff here make up for the absence of any high end retail in the city. The best part about Club Vistara SBI PRIME benefits is the point one gets with every spend which is very useful and super rewarding. For every 200 rupees spent one gets 4 club Vistara points and that includes fuel spends also. And for every 100 rupees spent on Vistara flights. These accumulated points come really handy when you love travelling.
The shopping and dining experience in Udaipur is heavenly and the city offers a wide range of fun activities but sitting in our cozy hotel in the winter sun is the most heavenly feeling one can get. And that is how we spent the first part of our last day in Udaipur. We chilled by the lake, sitting with our books, making future travel plans. That feeling of having no plans is one of my favorite and that’s what we did till 4pm. So much so that we missed the last boat from Lal Ghat which leaves at 4:45pm so we had to go to the other side for the boat ride. We took the auto and went to the other side, funnily the boat ride was cheaper on the other side. We paid 150 per person and got to see experience one of the most beautiful sunsets from the lake.
After the 4 sun kissed days in the city of lakes it was time to head back to Delhi and thankfully, we reached airport on time. With my Club Vistara SBI card PRIME privileges we could again do the priority check in with my extra 5 kg luggage allowance after all the heavy shopping. That feeling of coming back to your own house with a hassle-free experience and knowing that whatever you have spent is also rewarding with the Club Vistara SBI card PRIME is next to none. The way I travel has truly transformed with one card and I never thought that it would be a pleasant change, but it is. For someone who travels very often this card is an exciting way to assist your travel needs.