Lake Pichola has always been a place for dreaming, ever since a visionary created it in Udaipur’s heart in 1362. However, its four natural islands remained uninhabited until Maharana Jagat Singh II built a pleasure palace there in 1746. We are not sure what attracted him to this isolated place in northwest India relatively close to Pakistan. Perhaps the lofty mountains created his artist’s canvas. Perhaps he just wanted to make a grand statement with Taj Lake Palace Hotel Udaipur. He was after all the 62nd Mewar ruler, and therefore a descendant of the Sun God.
Four Very Different Ways of Traveling to Udaipur
Some call the Indian settlement of Udaipur the City of Lakes. Others prefer the title Venice of the East, or even the Kashmir of Rajasthan. It watches over an ancient trading route between Delhi and Mumbai, (about 700 kilometres / 435 miles from both cities). The highway is paved and negotiable by car. However, we recommend overnighting somewhere on the way.
Udaipur also benefits from a small airport (20 kilometres / 12 miles distant). Air India, Jet Airways, IndiGo, and Spice Jet all serve it daily. However, if you want to travel leisurely, several famous trains stop here too. Task your pick from The Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharaja Express, and The Indian Maharaja. However, magnificent as these are none could possible compete with Maharana Jagat Singh II’s utterly extravagant, white marble Taj Lake Palace.
Staying at Taj Lake Palace Hotel Udaipur is like Floating on a Lake
Approaching by fast speedboat from the shores of Udaipur reveals a huge palace than completely straddles the 4-acre island. There is no road to get there, and no chance of day-trippers disturbing the magic. Taj Hotels lovingly restored the 83 rooms and suites to regal standards. Descendants of palace retainers provide a royal butler service.
Lord Curzon, Vivien Leigh, Queen Elizabeth, the Shah of Iran, the King of Nepal, and Jacqueline Kennedy all stayed here, and Taj Lake Palace Hotel Udaipur has been the set for seven movies as diverse as James Bond’s Octopussy, and The Jewel in the Crown. Words cannot describe the exquisite experience. Pictures may come closer. However, you should stroll through the manicured gardens on a quiet afternoon, to really experience Maharana Jagat Singh’s private pleasure palace.
This place is utterly surreal as waiter’s glide past silently in dining rooms literally fit for kings. The Neel Kamal delights with Rajasthani and Indian cuisine, while the Bhairo has a European flavour. You could also spoil yourself at the Jharokha all-day restaurant over delicacies from all over the world. But, the ultimate experience is a table for two on a balcony overlooking the lake.