Udaipur’s City Palace Complex & Jag Mandir

Udaipur and I had big plans.

And by big plans, I mean I was going to see and do lots of stuff. I couldn’t tell you exactly what kind of stuff, because in case you haven’t worked out by now, I don’t actually plan things and so legitimately had no idea what Udaipur had to offer. That is until I hopped off my bus from hell in the middle of the night and arrived at the saving grace otherwise known as my hotel, and the nice man at reception gave me a booklet jam-packed with information and all the best places to go in and around Udaipur. As it turns out, there’s a lot to do.

But yeah, I only had 2 days in Udaipur so I really was going to make the most of it. I swear I was.

Then the monkey situation happened and my plan to make plans went out of the window.

My first day in Udaipur was mostly spent huddled under my ceiling fan, alternating between hot and cold flushes, shaking like a leaf and cursing the very existence of all monkeys to ever have walked this earth, Curious George included! I’ve made it sound like I was in the middle of some horrifically painful werewolf weremonkey transition which to be honest I may as well have been.

No, that’s an exaggeration. I’m a serial exaggerator and a drama queen to boot.

See, two days prior to my arrival in Udaipur I received the first of what will be a marathon five-session course of Rapibur injections, with a nice little Tetanus booster alongside it. Literally it was along side, along my side – they jabbed me in my side. Have you ever had a needle in your hip?! It’s the most oddly comfortable thing! So strange.

Before I continue, let’s just get something straight: I’m not consciously afraid of needles. My body, however, as a mind of its own. As far back as I can remember, whenever I get an injection/piercing/tattoo, I faint. Unless I take preventative measures such as downing a can of coke and Mars bar before going in (soz to all you dentists out there, I’m a monster) or lying flat on my back for at least ten minutes post-injection.

If I stop myself fainting though, without fail I will feel like absolute hell. It’s as if keeping myself conscious makes all the bad stuff bubble up inside me for 48 hours until it disappears, just like that but fainting just lets it all out in one quick and easy burst. Like a balloon. Fainting is popping a balloon with a needle *POP* there and then, but not fainting is like when you have a helium balloon that just slowly deflates over time. Yah, I know, I’m so deep sometimes.

Anyway, I didn’t quite fancy being the strange white girl who provokes monkeys (I DID NOT PROVOKE THE MONKEY!!!) and then collapses on the floor like a pansy, and so on this occasion I did everything in my power not to be that girl. 600ml of coke, a weird Indian wafer, three minutes of deep breathing and a lot of counting backwards in Hindi later and I waltzed out of that clinic feeling all swish like Danny from Grease.

But bloody hell did I pay for it for the next two days!

There you go – that’s a good 500 words or so detailing how my body is stupid. You’re welcome.

By Day 2 in Udaipur I was feeling fine and dandy and ready to go off skipping through bazars and eating all the spices and doing all the fun things. But of course the universe hates me and wouldn’t want me to have any actual fun, and so it just so happened that Day 2 in Udaipur (and the first day of actually feeling like a human again) coincided with my second lot of Rabipur jabs.

This time I fainted, and it was glorious.

The man who had the privilege of jabbing a needle in my arm this time spoke even less English than the last guy, and my Hindi doesn’t stretch as far as to say ‘Please let me lie on this nice comfortable wooden bench or you’ll have a paler than pale unconscious girl flat out on your floor soon enough’ so I risked it for a chocolate biscuit. I guess I should actually say risked it for a chocolate ice cream, because when I came around a few seconds later with this doctor’s head uncomfortably close to my face (I could count his freckles) he sent his assistant nurse lady to buy me an ice cream, assuming that the fainting episode was due to heat exhaustion and not the fact that he’d stabbed me with the pointy end. But hey, free ice cream! WINNING!

And there’s another irrelevant 200 words for you, this time describing how I got free ice cream. Again, you’re welcome.

That’s the end of my long rambling explanation about why I didn’t actually get to see much in Udaipur, which to be honest could have been paraphrased as “I did not feel well and had lots of injections so stayed in my room like a hermit” but where’s the fun in that?!

Anyway, fortunately I did manage to see at least something in the city, and that something happened to be ‘the‘ thing to see in Udaipur – City Palace Complex. The only reason I actually went here is because the Charitable Dispensary that did the deed of stabbing my arm was just inside the entrance. How many people can say they fainted inside a palace, huh? Gold star for me.

city-palace-complex

The main part of the Palace is now a museum, and the entry fee for this is something like Rs. 600 but I was miserable and grumpy with an achy arm and didn’t fancy spending the afternoon walking around stuffy rooms pretending to know what I was looking at. Also, I think I made it pretty clear in 2 Days in the Pink City of Jaipur that I don’t actually pay for things unless I really really want to see them. And on this occasion? The museum I did not want to see.

Luckily there is an option for anyone like me whose attention span doesn’t stretch further than 5 minutes when it comes to museums unless there’s dinosaur bones, dead people or Quentin Blake illustrations involved, but who still want to check out the complex. A “Complex Only” ticket to just enter the grounds and wander around the outside of the buildings is available for either Rs. 50 or Rs. 30, I can’t remember. Super cheap, and you could easily spend a whole afternoon wandering around.

There is another option too for those inbetweeners who don’t like museums but want more than just a leisurely stroll around the grounds.

City Palace Complex is situated on the banks (do lakes have banks or is that just rivers?!) of Lake Pichola, and for just Rs. 400 you can take a nice little boat ride across the lake, taking in the whole panoramic view of the Complex, snapshots of day-to-day life in Udaipur and just experiencing nature at its best. Except it’s an artificial lake so lol @ you nature. The ride also includes a quick stop off at Jag Mandir, a palace built smack bang in the middle of the lake which these days has of course been converted into a luxury hotel/resort.

The boat ride is a great option for those who want to see the sights without having to put too much effort in. Like me and my achy arm and sulking self.

I’ve droned on for way too long now about completely irrelevant stuff so yeah, sorry and that. So now I’ll zip it and leave you with a bunch of pretty pictures of City Palace Complex, Lake Pichola and Jag Mandir. Although to be honest it’s mostly pretty doors and stone elephants.

lake-pichola-bridge

lake-pichola-udaipur

city-palace-complex-ful

citypalace-complex-view

 

city-palace-door

jag-mandir

jag-mandir-view

jag-mandir-close-up


Oh, if you like these photos then you should probably follow me on Instagram. Because that would be nice and we can be friends.

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17 Comments

  1. 14th January 2017 / 1:38 am

    Ahh what an ordeal! I’m glad you got to make it to the City Palace Complex – you took some great photos!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Thanks Courtney! 🙂

  2. 14th January 2017 / 1:58 am

    Done a trek through the Annapurnas (Himalaya) in Nepal in 2012. We had a layover in Delhi on our way to Kathmandu and a layover in Mumbai on our way home. I’ve always wanted to visit India proper. One day for sure I will. Interesting article.

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Funny thing, I was in Nepal 2012 too! 😀 Didn’t do much trekking but seems like it was the place to be 😉 You should definitely give India a try some day, I’m sure you’d love it!

  3. 14th January 2017 / 5:09 am

    Simply stunning – the architecture is out of this world. I always am in awe by old temples, palaces and forts. And the ones you featured here have such complex design details to them that are beyond breathtaking!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:11 pm

      They really are! Rajasthan is such a beautiful place to visit.

  4. 14th January 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Your photos are beautiful and the architecture is stunning. I’ve never wanted to go to India, but every time I see posts from there it has me wondering if I should add it to my list!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:19 pm

      It gets a lot of bad press but honestly, it’s so worth it!

  5. 15th January 2017 / 12:24 am

    Sorry you didn’t get the chance to enjoy it as much as you would have if you could have avoided all the injections! But the photos are really beautiful. It’s been about 8 years since I went to India, such a crazy place to visit. Scratch away the surface of the dirt and you’ll find something incredibly beautiful underneath.

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:20 pm

      That last sentence is the PERFECT way to describe it! India really is one of a kind 🙂

  6. 15th January 2017 / 2:20 am

    Omg Udaipur seriously looks SO gorgeous! I was born in India (although I moved to the US when I was 2 years old) and every time I’ve visited I’ve only been to Bombay. But Udaipur has always been a place I know I’ll fall in love with if I visit (because, as you mentioned: pretty doors haha!). Your photos look amazing and the details in the architecture is gorgeous!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Oh wow! If you ever go back again seriously, you should branch out! I’d particularly recommend Rajasthan because pretty doors and windows are everywhere. It’s mad to think how all these buildings were made without the use of JCBs and stuff.

  7. 15th January 2017 / 2:34 am

    Wow Udaipur looks amazing! That palace looks so lovely and your photos are amazing. So sorry to hear that your trip was marred with the monkey incident but it looks like you still made the best of it!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Yeah it wasn’t so bad after all 😀 And the monkey made for an excellent tale! Thanks for reading!

  8. 15th January 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Those monkeys can be evil! I traveled for almost 2 months in India but didn’t get the chance to go to Udaipur. It looks beautiful though and hopefully next time I go to India (because there will be a next time), I’ll make sure to go.

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 11:52 pm

      Oh it really is! The complete opposite to Kerala in terms of landscapes, scenery and everything. And I hear you there! When it comes to India there’s always a next time.

  9. 15th January 2017 / 5:50 pm

    The boat ride and the City Palace Complex look amazing! I wouldn’t be a fan of those needles either, but better safe than sorry. Hope you feel that it was ultimately worth it to get all those shots to travel to Udaipur!

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