I was trying to figure out why I’ve never even thought about traveling alone. Save for the ambitious, dreamy motorcycle-perched escapades to the Himalayas and Mongolia, the notion just didn’t come to my mind. Maybe it’s the programming, maybe the community, because most people, and particularly Indians, tend to think of traveling as a very social activity that one should only do with other members of the gang of evolved apes you belong to. And with good reason to do so, because in the right company, it’s a total blast, sometimes quite literally (don’t ask). But, that said, gunning it alone is intensely liberating, quite like the first time you hang upside down from the branch of a tree. Don’t want to sound like a hippie but you flip the world around just like that and are puzzled as to how a concept so uncomplicated never sparked between your two ears in all this time you’ve existed. You sit there looking out over a mesmerising lake glowing in the golden dusk radiance, chuckle a bit to yourself, and wonder. Both are quite simple really and require a similar technique the first time around – you hang on right at one end, say a lil’ prayer and all that is left for you to do is to let go. All of a sudden, the world is a very different place!
In my case, the opportunity presented itself and the destination of choice was Udaipur – possibly the epitome of Rajasthani exotica. Udaipur has many names to it – ‘The Venice of the East’, ‘Lake City’ and going by the translation – ‘The city of the sunrise’. Granted, the last literal translation does not lend much meaning to it at first, making complete sense only after you’ve experienced the full blown rush of sensory delights the city offers. Founded as the new and final capital of the Mewar kingdom back in the 16th century by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city of Udaipur sits at the foothills of the glorious Aravalli mountain ranges, amidst three splendid lakes. On offer are a whole lot of sights with deep history and much folklore accompanying them. There are so many in fact that it’s quite easy to end up just running from one spot to another, forgetting that it’s the quality of one’s travel that matters.
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