Lakes and palaces

Written by Jane Harris No Gravatar

Last night we arrived in the Udaipur – a beautiful sixteenth century city of lakes and palaces that combines the romance and decay of Venice with a healthy dose of Indian enterprise.

This is the place in which the Bond movie Octopussy was filmed – as a result of which, almost every guest house and backpacker café offers regular screenings.  Last night, as we sat beside one of the city’s four lakes the sky was filled with fireworks.  Stuart told me that the fireworks marked the point in the screenings at which James Bond first, er, ‘bonds’ – and I believed him.  OK, OK … but in Udaipur it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

The scenes inside Octopussy’s lair were filmed at the beautiful island Lake Palace hotel – a former Mahara palace built in the early 1600s. We considered booking in for a night until we realised that it is literally a hundred times more expensive than the £7 we are paying at the Panorama guest house. Talking of which, I really can’t recommend this place highly enough.  A cheerfully decorated room with a small terrace – complete with free roaming tortoises – plus a roof-top cafe with a view to rival any I’ve seen.

Having slept soundly we were woken by a call to prayer and the thwack of washing being pounded against the steps to the river.  It is colder here than in the south so we nursed mugs of coffee and ate porridge while we waited for the sun to burn through a think layer of mist. The start of a great day.

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