Regal & Royal Udaipur

ByAnshu Khanna

No place is more beautiful than Udaipur in fall-winter. The generous lake brimming with crystal blue water, the many havelis by its shore, telling a majestic tale of yore and the statuesque City Palace, built by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittoor to the newfound city of Udaipur.
As tourists flock this city of lakes and as weddings become the flavour of the season here are five top royal experiences I recommend and have curated for the connoisseur tourist. A series of unique ideas that recreate the history and regalia of Udaipur:

1.Book a dinner with Rao Himmat Singh Bedla, a culinarian par excellence, a leading Umrao of the Mewar state and a custodian of a legacy of food as revered as Sailana cuisine amongst the royals. His ancestors were the Prime Ministers to the Maharanas and over the years developed a unique food legacy that has featured in globally acclaimed media. His property, Bedla house has a personal touch and dinners orchestrated involve the Rao Saab himself sit on the table and regale the guests with culinary fables and his kitchen tales.

2.Book a high tea at the Crystal Museum in Fateh Prakash. Legend has it that the items on display were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877 and remained unopened for 110 years. It was in the late 1980s that they were finally displayed in the museum. Nestled inside the Fateh Prakash Palace, a heritage property is the Crystal Gallery which boasts of the largest private collection of crystal in the world. Lovers of the art fall in love with the majestic beds, chairs, tables, consoles and collectibles, all crafted in the finest crystal at European ateliers.

3.Enjoy a royal OTT experience at Jagat Niwas with Akshyaraj Singh, a leading fashion influencer. A voice for all things fine he will personally line up a class where you learn more about the art of pagri draping, the richness of regal dressing and the heritage of Mewari angarkhas. Hear him speak of all this over a champagne evening.

4.Interact with the pichwai artists of Nathdwara as guests of the Kotharia family, leading Umraos of the erstwhile Mewar state. Nathdwara is a Hindu temple dedicated to the worship of Shrinathji. It is an important shrine for Vaishnavism. The deity of the Lord Krishna according to the legend, is self-manifested from stone and emerged from the Govardhan Hills. Pichwai art is basically a gold paint infused painting on cloth of Lord Krishna which hangs behind the idol of the Lord.

5.Visit the beautiful Chunda Polo Club run by Thakur Veeramdev Singh Krishnawat. An avid polo player he has revived the game of polo in Udaipur. He is from the Thana Thikana, 50 kilometers out of Udaipur. First in the line of ascendence, they are the family whose heirs were adopted and placed on the throne of Mewar. In fact, the last maharaja of Udaipur was adopted from his family. Veeramdev Singh Krishnawat has also restored his Chunda Palace into a gracious hotel.