Researching for our trip to Udaipur, we had heard and read about the amazing views of the Aravalli hills from the Monsoon Palace, especially at sunset. The Monsoon Palace was constructed specifically for the purposes of observing the monsoon clouds—and what better time to visit the Palace than in the monsoon!
It had poured heavily the day we reached Udaipur, and it appeared that the heavens above would deny us our visit to this Palace. Amazingly enough, the rain stopped in the early evening, and we headed out to catch the setting sun under a rather overcast sky.
From what we had read in the travel reviews, it was a long trek uphill, and not much upstairs, apart from a neglected building; that one must carry food and water, as there were no food stalls; and keep them safe as there were lots of monkeys who would snatch away your food. And so we went, fully prepared with snacks and water, tucked in a canvas bag, secured safely with the modern miracle called a zip.
It turns out, either this place hasn’t been reviewed by travellers for a while, or I ended up reading every old one!
So I’m going to attempt to set it right, by debunking all the myths (and adding one observation) about the Palace.
The building didn’t really look neglected or decaying.
There is a restaurant there.
There are also public water dispensers (as with most other monuments)
There are no monkeys (except for one big Langoor, that had probably been hired to keep the red ones away)
There are lots of multi-legged insects. Not dozens or scores or hundreds, there were literally thousands of centipedes/caterpillars/millipedes (I have no idea which of those they were) on the stone steps and walls—possibly due to the rains.
What each of the travel reviewers did get right, though, were the views. To quote one reviewer, “the views are to die for”.
Such was the breathtaking view of the Aravalli hills at sunset, that neither my words, nor my pictures could do justice to it.
We spent a couple of hours drenched in the golden hues of the sun, and as grateful as we were to be in presence of such magnificence, there was one greedy thought still lurking within, “if it weren’t so overcast!” Oh well. 🙂
So what were the great views, that captivated us, you ask? I’ll leave that hanging for one more day.