On to Udaipur via the immense Rajput fortress at Chittor. It is around 250km from Bundi to Udaipur, and I have hired a car and driver for the day. Around mid-morning we stop off at my driver’s village for chai and gulab jamun. I’ve not actually had them before – a buffalo milk dough ball flavoured with cardamom and rosewater, deep fried and served in a light syrup. Very sweet, but absolutely delicious.
The fort, ancestral home of the Mewar Rajputs, occupies a plateau 180m above the Mewar valley, 5km long by 1km wide. Approaching it from east, the ramparts are absolutely breathtaking – fantastically cinematic – like something out of a Ridley Scott film. The top of the plateau is overgrown, scattered with towers and temples.
Chittorgarh was abandoned in the 16th Century. The royal family of Mewar had by this time already relocated 100km to the southwest founding the city of Udaipur by Lake Pichola.
I arrive in Udaipur itself at sunset. The guidebook claims it is the most romantic city in India. Unfortunately the driver has had his window open most of the way from Bundi, and with the combination of dust and fumes I am half asphyxiated by the time I’m eventually decanted from the car, so not really in a position to appreciate it. I head over to the Jagat Niwas hotel for a couple of stiff drinks and then an early night as it has been a long day…