Udaipur, Ranakpur, and Jodhpur, India travel tips

Nearly the world record for longest ear hair - Udaipur, India
Nearly the world record for longest ear hair | Photo by Lauren Girardin

Where we ate:

  • Five Star Fruit Juice – This ice juice stand is a decent spot to watch the claustrophobic traffic surrounding the main market traffic: YEH
  • Mid Town Restaurant – The ‘Maharaja Thali’ is big enough to fill up two for lunch. They also have an interesting selection of special local dishes like kabuli, a strangely appealing soaked fried bread dish: YEH
  • Aranyawas Hotel & Restaurant, near Ranakpur – Though we only tried one dish, paneer butter masala, made-fresh-to-order paneer was indulgently scrumptious, the view impressive, and the staff really friendly: YEH
  • Maxim’s Restaurant – Ugh. This place was…ugh. Really bad rice and bland food: NAH
  • Bawarchi Restaurant – Mmm…thali. Really good, though Natraj was a notch better.: YEH
  • Sunrise Cafe – Eating at this place confirmed for us that we should never, ever eat in the backpacker area again, no matter how far we had to walk: NAH
  • Natraj Lodge – Mmm…more thali. We were the only white people there, and were a major attraction for the other diners, especially when Lauren popped the cap off of her soda bottle with her special ring. The Gujarati thali was fantastic. Don’t be surprised to get your sweets early on since Gujarati’s nibble on their dessert while they eat their spicy dinner: YEH!

Where we stayed:

  • Yogi’s Guest House, Jodhpur – They have super budget rooms with no window and stylin’ rooms with panoramic views of the fort. Plus the friendliest and most helpful staff we encountered in India. The food at the rooftop restaurant is just ok, but make sure to ask for it very spicy: YEH
  • Udai Niwas Hotel, Udaipur – Such a shame they had lots of little roaches in the first room we stayed in. Though they were responsive, changing our room quickly and giving us a can of spray, they really need to work out the bugs: MEH

What we saw:

  • Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur – This memorial to a maharaja is worth the haggle with the rickshaw driver you’ll need to get there: YEH
  • Meherangargh (Fort), Jodhpur – There are a LOT of forts in Rajasthan. This one’s admission fee includes a decent, if sometimes dull audio tour: YEH
  • Ranakpur Temple, Ranakpur – It’s a schlep to get to this impressive Jain temple, but since there’s currently no easy way except hired car to travel from Jodhpur to Udaipur, it’s easy enough to make a stop: YEH
  • City Palace Museum, Udaipur – Lovely, if heavily restored mosaics, bizarre art made from artillery and weaponry, and a kitsch collection of portraits of the current maharaja makes this pricey attraction worthwhile: YEH
  • Jag Mandir, Udaipur – It takes an expensive boat ride to get to this island, the one that isn’t the Octopussy island. The boat ride is not very long, and the island is disappointing. Look for the stairs that lead to a landing where you can enjoy the scenery without dealing with the overpriced restaurants that block most of the views: MEH
  • K.K. Art by Rakesh Soni, Udaipur – One of the most memorable miniature painters that fill Udaipur’s streets, this friendly artist claims that, at 8 cm, his ear hair is one centimeter shy of the world record. Talented with the brush as well, we bought a little pink Ganesh painted on an old postcard: YEH