Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
A weekend getaway to Udaipur
Delhi Couture Week - Day 2
Delhi Couture Week- Day 4
Style high, style ho
Sun, sand and hi style in Goa
A salute to our bride Farah
Radiant bride Harveen Kaur
Modern Indian bride Maanya Kohli
South Indian bride Anushika Babu
My journey from Cannes to LA
Delhi Couture Week- Day 5
Delhi Couture Week - Day 1
Delhi Couture Week- Day 3
Five years of Fashion Frenzy
A super hectic day and a spectacular show in Paris
Ambika's shopping guide to Lebanon
From Paris to Cannes
Devotee of Lord Krishna - Srishti Mittal
Ambika's guide on Dressing up for Wedding
Deesha: A strong girl with a stronger spouse…
Russian beauty Elena
Bold and beautiful bride Shruti
Posted By: Ambika Anand
I hate birthdays! So much so that I need to make the days around it extremely exciting, in order for me to forget that it is ' my birthday' - a day that I think is so over rated across the world. I believe like Valentine's, it is a day that has been sold to us by the World of Marketing!
To switch off and avoid answering questions like, what am I doing for my birthday, or what should I do, or whom am I inviting for a party/dinner/drinks? I ran away. For everyone's sanity my boss encouraged me too. So, I fled to Udaipur.
While booking, Udaipur seemed like an easy get away from Delhi just 1 hour and 20 minutes away by air. Since it was my virgin trip to Udaipur, I picked the Taj Lake Palace as my home for my two night stay. Built between 1743 and 1746, the Taj Lake Palace is where The Bond movie Octopussy was shot.
Once I reached the Lake Pichola, I was spell bound. Udaipur’s beauty belied my imagination, it reminded me of Istanbul. From the banks of Lake Pichola a ferry took me to the Taj property, which is leased out to the chain by the Royal Family. On two sides of the room, there are windows that literally open out into the lake. So, whatever time of the night or day it is, you can see the lake.
The Jharokha where breakfast is served also has huge glass windows, that ensure you always have the lake view every time you look around the room. The food round the clock, even at four in the evening is awesome I tried the chicken wrapped in bacon, impeccable. Taj being great hosts precede the meal with some little tidbits, like Brusshetta with eggplant or with lentil and coconut soup or with Capsicum stuffed with spicy besan. Cappuccino or green tea on demand, a chocolate cake that leaves you drooling hours later, you really feel pampered.
Food apart, there are surprise baths that leave your skin aglow or the massage at the spa that leaves you rejuvenated for the holiday that lies ahead, you really feel like a royalty!
We also made a prior booking to the Udaivillas and the Leela which are situated on the banks of Lake Pichola. It has to be said that these are both spanking properties. However, Udaivillas makes more sense as the chosen property, if you are travelling in a large group, as few of the rooms there are situated next to each other and open out into this long swimming pool!
But if you are choosing to travel alone, then Leela is fabulous and their ’LIBRARY BAR’ is a well decorated lounge, which opens into a huge courtyard situated on the banks of the Lake. This is a great venue for weddings.
As I sat and sipped some wine, I saw a group of people sitting with maps and drawings for a potential wedding set up. As I slowly took another sip, I remembered a strange anecdote. A few years ago, when I was a reporter on the business desk, my mother met an astrologer and asked what will I do in the future? The astrologer said, I will get girls married! I thought I was going to become a wedding planner, as it turned out I was meant to anchor Band Baaja Bride!
The day ended with some exotic Rajasthani Food, back at the Lake Palace. My favourite were the thin slices of grilled lamb and this roti that our server called the ‘Varq Ki Roti’. It was layers of dough and butter first baked and then heated on a ‘Tawa’. Thanks to the high intensity of butter, the Roti melted in my mouth and induced a food coma, that simply put is, 11 hours of sleep!
Many hours of day two in Udaipur, were dedicated to the City Palace.
Walking through one of the largest palaces in the country, I couldn’t help but reflect on the business acumen of its owner Arvind Singh Mewar.
The property includes two hotels, Shiv Niwas and Fateh Prakash. There is a part that is open to the public to wander, yes, it is called the Museum! Then there is a part that is dedicated to the residence of Arvind Singh Mewar. Regular people or strangers like you and me are allowed to enter the premises of Arvind Singhji on the 13th of December, from the morning till afternoon. It is his birthday and that's the reason behind the open invite. In addition, another museum can be found at the Fateh Prakash hotel. It’s called the Crystal Gallery. These precious crystals were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh from Birmingham, England around 1877 A.D. Although, the Maharana could not see the most valuable crystals due to his premature death, these are now there for us to enjoy.
Now Udaipur is also a great option for a temple trail. Jagdish Temple, Eklingji temple, Nathdwara, Ranakpur temple, the list is endless. Because of lack of time, I managed only one - The Eklingji Temple. It is a Lord Shiva temple, where according to the locals, the royal family also offers prayers.
This stop is enroute Devigarh, where we headed for dinner. Devigarh is a stunning property which looks magical at night, thanks to the lights. The food is impeccable. The trip ended with a sneak peek into the rooms, that were predominantly decorated in white and silver. Fairly well priced, Devigarh is a great option if you are travelling with several people.
The next day, I left for New Delhi and as I sat on the ferry and moved away from the Lake Palace, my heart broke, never have I felt so shattered leaving a property. But then, all good things have to come to an end. In two days, I was scheduled to leave for Macau on work.
How is Macau? Well, more on that in my next blog!
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