Incredible India - The White City of Udaipur

Lake Palace in the centre of Lake Pichola. Photo by Subhashis Das - Unsplash

Udaipur, know as the Venice of the East, is located around a series of lakes framed by mountains, forts and palaces; it’s also known as the White City - the palaces and buildings hugging the lake made of white marble.

The White City of Udaipur. Photo: Jane

Amid the hustle and bustle of India, it was a delight to cruise the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola, in its centre Lake Palace, which seemed to float on the tranquil waters, actually built on a small island between 1743 and 1746, as a summer residence by Maharaja Jagat Singh II, now a luxury hotel. Our tour escort stayed at this hotel, with his wife a number of years ago and said it was divine.

A row of majestic marble elephants greeted us at Jagmandir, another island, another former palace - this one constructed by three successive maharajas between 1551 and around 1640. As we strolled around the garden with its quiet nooks and elegant rooms, we imagined the royal family relaxing here and hosting extravagant parties.

Lake Palace. Centre - views around the lake and the marble elephants at Jagmandir. Bottom - wandering around Jagmandir, looking out to Lake Palace. Photos: Jane

All to soon our cruise came to an end at the gates of the City Palace, which again, and out of necessity after independence, is now a museum. The 450-year-old Palace, was the home to another Rajput clan of Maharajas.

City Palace, one of the entrances, opulent rooms and courtyards. Photos: Jane

It was very crowded as we wound our way up and down steep staircases and around narrow passages, designed to confuse potential invaders, to view the decadent mirror room and reception halls.

Ornate facades, the royal scales, Maharajah's water closet, Mirror Room, View over the city. Photos: Jane

It was time to leave the remarkable state of Rajasthan, to our final destination in India - Mumbai, one of the world's fastest growing cities, currently with a population of 13 million. You can visit Mumbai with me in a couple of days!