Our Maruti arrived about an hour late, piloted by a grumpy driver. We hired the car for 4000 rupees the day before from an agent in the square near the elephant statue.

Interesting drive through well tilled farms, many with rock walls separating the fields. Turned onto the freeway at a particularly rocky place that led us to Chittor, an amazing walled city on top of a mountain. Passed through some large gates on the drive up. First climbed up the famous honey coloured Tower of Victory, which had great views and intricate carving, and a unique winding stairway. Looked at a few of the temples and then Padmini’s palace with it’s elaborate gardens. The whole complex didn’t feel like other forts, perhaps because of its vastness.  After looking at some monkey infested ruins and a palace in the middle of a lake we headed back into town for lunch at the Pratap Palace hotel, which was very fancy. Nice food and cute turtles wandering in the garden.

Back on the road to Udaipur, reached town quite late and the driver had to keep asking “uncles” the way. After the customary dispute over payment we got to our hotel. The Hotel Udai Nivas is about 6 floors, and we got a guided tour of their soon to open rooms which will be nice. Our rooms were really nice with nice painted ceilings and walls. The kids’ room had nice elephants painted on the roof. Our room looked out to the temple, which of course loved to play loud religious music at odd hours of the night and morning. Went for a stroll down to the lake, where some cows were resting on the ghat, before a nice dinner at the Orange Hill restaurant. Had some nice Rajasthani specialities such as ghatte. Wandered along and had ice creams despite it being cold. Disturbed sleep with the music, dogs and horns. Perhaps they should think about banning cars from the old town here.

 

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