It was Diwali night and we were in the Lake City of India, Udaipur. Couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful than this, could we? Besides, our 5 yr old does not enjoy the loud noise of Diwali crackers. And hence, it was even more perfect – a ‘quiet’ Diwali with only lights and lamps, sans the pollution.
As expected, Udaipur was way quieter compared to the noise in Mumbai in the Diwali week. Focus is on illumination which accentuates the beauty of the city for the lights reflect in the numerous lakes to give a dreamy feel in twilight. We had been recommended the Jag Niwas Palace restaurant for dinner with the promise that it is an experience in itself. And boy, was it one!!!
How is the experience at the Jag Niwas Palace Restaurant? First thing first — Jag Niwas Palace restaurant is located on a little island in the middle of the famous Pichola Lake in Udaipur. Now guess how do you reach the restaurant? By boat 🙂
We were staying at the Trident in Udaipur. This meant that a Jag Niwas Palace restaurant dinner reservation came with an exclusive boat pick-up from the Oberoi Udaivilas’ Hotel’s jetty!! WOW. The hotel van dropped us at the lake-end of the Udaivillas Hotel – a 2 minute drive from our hotel. There, a motor boat was waiting to ferry us to the restaurant.
Jag Niwas Palace, adorned with lights, glittered like gold. The sight from the middle of the lake felt so unreal. We couldn’t help thank the stars above for our good luck. They too were glittering in the heavens, celebrating Diwali with us mortals.
Just a 10-15 minute ride (which we wished had lasted longer) saw us at the palace gates. The palace is impressive and the Diwali lights simply accentuated the grandeur. We were escorted inside the massive courtyard with fountains and open-seating area, flanked by restaurants on both sides. One of them looked like a banquet hall. Probably where the rich and famous held their parties, we concluded.
A ‘jal tarang’ musician, accompanied by table, was playing local music, adding to the charm of the place. The restaurant is nicely done up and quite formal – with turbaned staff serving in true Indian style. Seated next to a large window overlooking the lake, sipping drinks as Udaipur city lay across the other side of the lake all decked up for Diwali and celebrating with beautiful fireworks that lit up the night sky, it was certainly dreamy. Surreal.
Post dinner, we explored the place some more — climbed up to the roof-top for the most amazing view of the lake and the surrounding places/havelis in Udaipur. All lit up.
How is the food at the Jag Niwas Palace restaurant? We weren’t hungry at all. Our lunch had been the ghee-laden Daal Baati Churma, and we were sure we couldn’t so much as ‘look’ at Indian food at dinner. We settled for Italian. A risk considering that we in the heart of Rajasthan!! Well, it paid off!! For the Prawns for starters along with wine & beer were good. So was the Gnocchi in Basil-Pesto sauce (not in menu but staff was more than happy to accommodate our request) and the spaghetti Bolognese.
Jag Niwas Palace restaurant costs you Rs. 2700 plus taxes per couple. Reasonable, considering the experience.
Final word on Jag Niwas Palace restaurant: It was definitely one of the best best best Diwali nights we have had and one of the most magical dinner experience till date. Would strongly recommend everyone to experience this royal dining experience. A must do in Udaipur!
Do you need to make prior reservations as the Jag Niwas Palace restaurant? Yes. Our hotel front-desk helped us with it.