From Mirthful Jampore to the Royal Fatehsagar …. A Visual Delight !
Daman — Surat — Udaipur (13–15 Jan 2016)
From the mirthful, funfilled, carnival party like atmosphere on the beaches of Daman, to the visually enchanting, serene beauty at the Fatehsagar, Udaipur with a brief but truly unforgettable hospitality of a great hotel network in both Surat and Udaipur, this stretch of travel was a memorable one in our entire road trip from Gurgaon to Thane and back.
We arrived at Daman, a small union territory located on the Mumbai — Gujarat border, at around 10 a.m. to be welcomed by quiet beaches and a seemingly sleepy city on a weekday. We drove around the union territory, noticing the strong Portuguese influence in the architecture of the monuments and forts and arrived at the Devka beach. With very few people scattered around the rocky beach, and not much activity around, we were at first tempted to drive ahead to Surat (our next destination) without spending much time at Daman. We also realized that Daman is a typical weekend getaway for people from neighboring Gujarat and Mumbai and is frequented by tourists who come mainly to drink and relax by the beaches, thanks to the cheap liquor available there. Our first impression about the place was that it’s not the right destination for teetotalers like ourselves, however on interacting with a few locals, we discovered that Daman has a lot more to offer with its sprawling sandy beaches & an embracing culture.
At around 2 p.m. the tides in the sea began to rise and the waters came rushing forward. The beach that seemed to be dry and arid a few hours ago, had suddenly transformed into something majestically beautiful and enchanting, with milky white waters flowing in and out on the light brown sand. We drove down to Jampore beach to catch a glimpse of the various beach activities like horse, camel rides and paragliding that go on, continuously attracting visitors & tourists. The edges layered with pushback plastic chairs was a perfect option for those wanting to just sit back and relax by the sea with a tall drink. It was a typical day at the beach watching children play, taking a stroll into the sea waters, feeling the soft sand as it gently pushed forward from underneath our feet, the chilled waters approaching and gently kissing our feet whilst feeling the warmth of the sun, watching the local fishermen as they worked seamlessly to catch fish through the rough sea, a few pictures of the different views , spending time on the Daman fort enjoying the breeze and a spectacular view of the beach etc.
At sunset, the setting sun did wonders by painting the azure skies a golden orange, interspersed with blues and indigo. An absolute treat for the eyes, we didn’t feel like leaving the place. Finally with a contented heart and a memory full of wonderful views of nature, we left Daman heading towards Surat, our destination for the night.
After a very comfortable stay at Hotel Central Excellency organized by OYO rooms at Surat, we left early morning for Udaipur. A wonderful drive through the villages of Gujarat and some stretches on the National highway brought us to Udaipur at around 5:30 p.m.
Udaipur, a historical city, with beckoning fort and palace like structures all over, was truly a warm and welcoming place. A short drive through the city market towards Lake Fatehsagar was enough to get a feel of this culturally rich, tourist friendly destination of Rajasthan where every corner, every building speaks volumes about a rich history that has been wonderfully preserved and respected. We arrived at the Fatehsagar lake at around sunset time, only to be pleasantly surprised by its magnificence and royalty. A huge lake with the Nehru park at the centre that resembles an island potted with tall palm trees, the silvery glitter on the calm waters during sunset and the orange skies with birds flocking back to their nests, makes Fatehsagar undoubtedly the best, visually relaxing place after a long day of touring and work. The astonishing combination of calm serenity and royalty of the lake and the young crowd that flock the lake for fast food, coffee and loads of fun along with the camel rides, pony rides and a host of water sports activities was something we thoroughly enjoyed. As with most other destinations, our time at Fatehsagar was more about photography, trying to capture as many different moods and colours as we could, before returning to our lake facing Hotel Inder Prakash organized by OYO rooms at Rani Road, Udaipur.
This blog is incomplete without a special mention about this wonderful network of hotels OYO rooms who organized our stay at both Surat and Udaipur. This was our first experience with OYO and it has been truly memorable. A demonstration of working in the spirit of gift, OYO hosted us at both places with warmth and comfort .
We stayed at Hotel Central Excellency at Surat, which is conveniently located near the bust stand. The room was very clean with all facilities including free wifi and complimentary breakfast. At Udaipur, OYO hosted us at Hotel Inder Prakash, which is a hotel located facing the Fatehsagar lake. Our room opened to a lovely view of the Lake at night. The hotel has architecture and paintings that are inspired by the Rajasthani culture and pictures of the Rajput queens and princesses adorn the walls. Again the place is complete with all modern amenities and facilities including a free wifi and a convenient location. The hotel managers at both places were very helpful and the OYO team and staff were, in particular, very prompt at their work. It was commendable that they organized our stay at very good hotels at a very short notice of just a couple of hours. The rooms were neat and clean and the services were great, making things super convenient. Also the costs were very reasonable compared to the quality of the rooms and services. For travellers who carry work along with travel, OYO rooms are highly recommended as they offer free wifi and very comfortable, economical stay options at convenient, central locations. A special note of appreciation to OYO for their services.
Written by Ranjana & Rohit