When people ask us about places in India to visit that are filled with intensity, color, and culture, but without being too overwhelming or filled with tourist-schlock, Udaipur is one of our top recommendations (Southern India is another). The setting of Udaipur on Lake Pichola is beautiful, and seems to provide a calm presence to the city.
So what are some of our favorite experiences and memories from our time in Udaipur? Keep reading.
Udaipur Fresh Market
We're often asked about our favorite markets around the world. The photo below puts you in the middle of one of them: Udaipur, India.
When we visited Purani Subzi Mandi, the old vegetable market at Udaipur's Delhi Gate, it was a warm day which would cook up gray skies that eventually opened up to rain. But before all this, we spent time with vegetable vendors and basket weavers, moms and kids. It's no secret that we love street markets, a typical first stop when we arrive somewhere new. Markets help us get a feel for the people, the energy and the culinary pulse of a place.
This was no different. The whole scene was so perfectly representative of India's notoriously colorful Rajasthan state.
Thinking Cycles of Renewal: Sunset Puja (Prayers) in Udaipur
The sun sets on another day in Udaipur, India. People gather at the lake's edge to watch the day wind to an end and to take part in evening puja (prayers). This ritual, a daily cycle, elegantly pays reverence and homage to one day while preparing for the next.
As we move from reflecting on and closing out the past year to engaging in the new one, I thought of this ritual and scene from the beautiful city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Colorful, peaceful and connected to the rhythm of the days, the years, and life.
An Elephant Encounter in Udaipur
Where in the world can you wander through a market and almost run right into an elephant?
A lot of places, we're sure. But most certainly in India. India is a place where truth is often stranger than fiction, where each day features an adventure, and where sensory overload is the norm. Perhaps, then, there is no better place to bump into an elephant than in India.
We did our share of elephant bumping, but one stands out, quite literally — this one, poking around the street markets of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
If you do see an elephant crossing the street, perhaps you should ask him why he crosses the road. Maybe you can follow him for a blessing at the temple for a dose of karmic fortune. Elephant blessings are, well, a blessing. Along the way, you'll have to dodge all the motorbikes, carts, people — and maybe even other elephants — coming at you from every direction.