Nirmal wanted me to see Badi Lake, also known as Tiger Lake, 11 km beyond the western fringe of Udaipur. We went in an auto rickshaw. It was only slightly warm and I hadn’t put on a shawl or socks, which turned out to be a mistake. Rickshaws are open, and in February the breeze from even its slowest movement was chilly.
On the way we passed by the Monsoon Palace, high on a hill above us. We had had intentions of going there, but because it was the wedding season, that threw a monkey wrench into our plans. (Every time I’ve visited India, someone says it’s the wedding season. Every time I hear that, I say, “Wedding season in India is January to December.”) Because of the wedding season, all taxis were busy and we couldn’t get a ride. Rickshaws can’t get to the Monsoon Palace because they’re so underpowered, they can’t manage the steep climb.
Badi Lake, like the other lakes of Udaipur, is manmade, created as a reservoir to capture precious rainwater during the monsoon. It’s far more attractive during the rainy season when surrounding hillsides are carpeted in green, shown in some striking pictures on UdaipurOgraphy. It is much cleaner than the lakes within the Udaipur city limits because of its isolation and lack of development. I was glad I hadn’t read anything about Badi Lake on the internet before I went there, so I had no expectations. Everything that I read afterwards was, to be kind, highly inaccurate.
I read that it’s a “don’t miss” destination. Apart from some ghats leading up to three kiosks, bare of anything but pigeon crap, there’s absolutely nothing out there. No village, no walking trails, no roadside food stands, no boat rides, no toilets, no benches. Apart from Nirmal, me, and our rickshaw driver, there were also no people. I guess a lot of people were missing this nothing destination.
I read a blurb encouraging people to rent a bike or motorcycle and take an “exciting” ride to a beautiful destination. There must be more than one way to get there. My “exciting” ride wound past several places where heaps of garbage were dumped by the roadside.
It is pretty, and it is a quiet place to escape the noisy city center. It’s quiet because it’s desolate, there’s no one there and there’s absolutely nothing to do.
Five minutes of quiet was enough for me, and I was ready to go. A “don’t miss” destination? I love Udaipur, and I love to promote it, but let’s not get carried away. Yeah, you can miss it.