|The Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur|
Lake Pichola was full, due to this year's spectacularly good monsoon. As little as two years ago, due to several years of bad monsoons, the lake was completely empty. It would have been a crashing disappointment to arrive at this fabled locale to find the lake not there. Our room had a lovely oriel window, with comfortable cushions - I called it 'my' window although we did fit in two people at times - which overhung the lake and was a beguiling place to loll in comfort gazing over the lake at the main palace.
The Lake Palace was once the Summer Palace. Though just a couple of minutes boat ride from the shore, it picked up cooler winds in the summer heat. And at the crest of a nearby hill, we could see the Monsoon Palace, more comfortable during the rainy season, pictured at left.
On our boat trip around the lake, we made a stop to tour the so-called Party Palace, the scene of special receptions and parties in the old days. The current Maharana is a consummate businessman and now runs this as a hotel, and also rents it out for parties and weddings. Apparently Bollywood stars like to fly in for special occasions here.