The warmth of Indian hospitality and the custom of welcoming guests is as old as time itself. On arrival, as you step into the hotel, ladies in traditional local costumes greet you with garlands of flowers and perform the “aarti” ceremony. After having your forehead anointed with the traditional red “tikka”, relax with a non-alcoholic welcome drink.
As was in the past, when the victorious Maharajas returned from war, a stunning tableau of decorated camels and elephants unfolds before you on the lawns of the palace-hotel. Ladies in Rajasthani costumes perform the traditional garlanding, “aarti” and “tikka” ceremonies while the music of the “shehnai” welcomes you. Afterwards relax with a gin-based welcome drink.
Grand Royal Procession Welcome
This theme recreates the ambience of the welcome accorded to a victorious Rajput warrior. The entire drive-way to the hotel is lined with caparisoned elephants and camels. Elephants with trunks raised in salute, accompany guests who are taken in royal carriages or on elephant-back to the hotel. A band of musicians and horsemen precede the procession amidst a shower of rose petals. Valets drape each lady with a “duppata” (shawl) and the gents are dressed up with “safas” (Rajasthani turbans). Guests are greeted with garlands and the “tikka” ceremony is performed. Afterwards relax to the music of the “shehnai” while you sip a gin-based welcome drink and enjoy Rajasthani folk dances.
A traditional Rajput wedding ceremony where the group members participate as the “baraat” (the bridegroom’s family and friends who form the wedding party) and the bridal party. The baraat arrives with a local band, complete with “mashaals” (torches). The hosts (the bride’s family) receive the baraat and the wedding ceremony is performed under a decorated “mandap” (pavilion). The “meena- bazaar” (a colourful bazaar for the ladies) also forms an integral part of the setting. A festive buffet meal, laid out for both parties in the illuminated palace-hotel is accompanied by spirited “shehnai” music and folk dances. Also accompanying the ceremony is the traditional “mehendi” (henna) application for the ladies, which is considered auspicious at the time of an Indian wedding.
This gala is held on a cool, open terrace under a starlit sky. Earthen lamps and “mashaals” (torches) lend a rustic look to the terrace. Relax, as royalty would, on soft, satin mattresses with cushions and bolsters. Enjoy a superb Rajasthani sit-down “thali” (a traditional plate) meal while folk dancers perform for you.
A Jungle Experience
We take you back in time to a typical jungle hunting camp. Guests are driven in open jeeps to the camp-site on the sprawling lawns of the palace where they are welcomed by a tribal chieftain. The call of the wild and the sound of the jungle are complemented by tribal singers and dancers. Torches and oil-lamps lend a rustic charm to the tents pitched on the site. The food is cooked on spits over a camp-fire. An elaborate display is set up in front of the hotel. A fire-cracker banner with words ‘SAVE WILDLIFE’ rounds off a magnificent evening.
Grand Rajasthani Soiree
This popular theme is a combination of the Royal Welcome and Rajasthani folk dances. An elaborate barbecue set up on the lawns of the palace, accompanies the celebrations and a grand fireworks display.
In the land of maharajas & princes and palaces & forts, the game of elephant polo was one of the ultimate royal experience. Players are greeted at the palace’s sprawling lawns by a royal military brass band. As in yesteryears, the arrival of the guests is accompanied by the beating of ‘nagadas’ (huge Indian drums) and a tableau of horses End camels, alongwith ladies attired in traditional costumes add to the royal welcome, before the start of the game. Folk artistes regale the audience with music and dance during the change-over. A sumptuous meal ends this majestic event.
Guests with traditional “pagris” (turbans) and “chunnis” (scarfs) are welcomed with a shower of rose petals and “attar” (perfume). Traditionally attired attendants serve a sumptuous meal in silver thalis on “bajots” (low tables) to guests seated on mattresses.
A village setting is created with bamboo huts, benches and stalls. Villagers mingle with guests and display their traditional skills such as doll-making, puppet-making, pottery, “pichwai” painting and other crafts. Entertainment includes a “bandarwala” staging a monkey show, a palmist, a snake charmer, “kachi-ghodi” and “dhamal” (a performance with a dummy horse, dancers and singers). After a splendid dinner, a fascinating display of fireworks brings a memorable evening to an end.
Set in a “chowk” (street market) with all its colourful attractions. Streetside dishes are cooked in front of you. Discover “kadai” and “tawa khana” – hot tasty delicacies, snacks and Indian breads cooked on a griddle. For dessert, visit the “mithai-wala” (the Indian sweet-maker) and the “thelawala” who tempts you with fresh fruits. There is a “paan” shop which also sells “bidis” (freshly rolled Indian cigarettes). A “mehendiwalli” traces intricate designs in red colour on the hands of the ladies. This is done traditionally at all Indian weddings. A bangle-seller offers a glittering array of glass-bangles in vibrant hues.
Mewari Terrace Dinner
On the Mewar terrace of the Lake Palace, a traditional vegetarian feast, culled from the robust cuisine of Mewar (a historic battle-ground of Rajasthan) is regally served to you.
The Lily Pond Dinner
Under the stars beside the picturesque Lily Pond at the Lake Palace, a sumptuous buffet consisting of a variety of Chinese, Continental and Indian specialities (including fiery curries for the strong hearted) and desserts are served. Accompanying the meal are Indian classical music and folk dance performances.
Gangaur Boat Cruise
The Gangaur boat is the antique royal barge of the house of Mewar. The barge is decorated in a regal way and lit up to resemble a fireball from a distance. The guests are taken around the mystical Lake Palace, Udaipur.
The Lake Palace Extravaganza
This theme is a combination of a royal welcome, a cruise with cocktails on the Gangaur boat and a dinner at the Lily Pond with a sitar player to set the mood. This is topped off with folk dances and a fireworks.
Streets of Udaipur
On the beautiful Mewar terrace of the hotel, the city of Udaipur is recreated for you. Balloon shooters, an astrologer, a snake charmer are only some of the local attractions. Streetside stalls offering the choicest of Indian eateries adorn the venue.
Special ethnic and traditional costumes are available on hire for the participants of a Jungle Experience, Rajput Wedding, Grand Rajasthani Soiree and the Village Fair Themes. The hotels can also provide a make-up kit.