A trip towards bliss…
Well, I was going to turn 25 soon and I wanted to pamper myself.Ideas like shopping and spa did come to mind, but they felt really mundane.What I really wanted was to relinquish all the apprehensions and snap out of the daily routine for just one day.As aptly described by Mark Twain-”There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable”.I wanted to visit a place I had never seen before and I wanted to do that by myself.Thus, I decided to take a trip, to explore the beauty of Mount Abu and the enormous yet elegant palaces of Udaipur.
Since, I was on a tight budget , I preferred trains over flights and local buses over cabs.Fortunately, got a great deal on hotels, as I had planned the trip early.
Few tips for all the solo travellers out there-
- Book the hotel which is nearer to a bus stand, it will help in commutation as well as food and you won’t feel isolated.
- Prefer local buses over taxis and jeeps.They are really cheap and very very safe.They can be rough sometimes, but again, they are safe.
- Last but not the least-Mingle.Don’t be a loner.I agree it’s a solo trip, but then, it is your chance to meet new people too.
Now let’s get back to my little adventure.
I was waiting at the platform for the train to arrive and fortunately the Secunderabad-Bikaner express was only 30 mins late.I boarded the train, slightly scared and a lot excited.
I arrived at the Abu Road station at 6:10 in the morning and the first thing that was lingering through my nostrils was of course CHAI.All the chai lovers out there would definitely agree that tea could make anyone appreciate life better.After having this elixir, I proceeded towards the bus stand.There were sounds of temple bells ringing and priests chanting at the bus stand from where I had to catch the bus to Mount Abu.There were many U-pin bends on the way but the view was simply spectacular.I then welcomed the hot paneer parathas that were waiting for me at the hotel.After about an hour, I was all set to embark upon this city, which I was googling about for the past two months.
The trip started with visiting the Shankar Math temple.I met here an elderly couple who had come to celebrate their anniversary.They had made a New Year’s resolution to travel India as much as possible.
That really inspired me, and made me think that it’s never too late for anything.
The next stop was the popular cave temple, Adhar Devi.This is popular for its view and the cave structure, but I remember it for its 350 steps.Images of Kung Fu Panda appeared in my mind while climbing the steps, but proud to say, I finally made it.Now comes the evergreen Dilwara temple.Known for its marble carvings, this one was simply marvellous.I was literally lost in the intricate designs of the ceiling.After the amazement, I listened to my growling stomach and had the famous dal baati.
Thereon, I climbed the steps, this time almost 500, to reach the summit of Guru Shikhar. The view, again, was purely breathtaking.
I made a final stop at the Nakki lake and got absorbed in the tranquility for about an hour.
I headed back to the hotel tired and lightheaded and went to sleep.It was 12:AM and my phone started to ring.
I had turned 25.
The next day, I booked a ticket to advance towards the city of lakes.Here I visited beautiful lakes, cheerful gardens, and grandiose palaces.
The first stop here was the famous Lake Pichola over which stood strong the mighty Lake Palace a.k.a Pichola palace.
I then marched towards Jagadish temple,positioned strategically beside the city palace.I entered into a world of spiritualism and couldn’t think of any thing else for a while.
The highlight spot of Udaipur was of course, the city palace.Built over a period of 400 years,this is a must see.The tales of the Rajputs were inscribed on the walls of the palace.You can picture the bravery of the soldiers and the honor of the kings here.
I then had the famous rajasthani thali which was made using the finest and the reddest chillies.I ate to the fullest and then visited the Fatehpur lake and Saheliyon ki bari.
I headed back to Abu road to board the train to Hyderabad feeling euphoric and nostalgic, reminiscing about the glories of the royals, the carvings of the Dilwara, the serenity of Guru Shikhar and everything else.