At Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Chitrangda Singh opens up to Praachi Raniwala about her travels and embracing the art of always being in transit
The quiet charm of Udaipur enamors you the minute you land. The rain doesn’t bother you either—the monsoon only heightens the beauty of the city, bringing to life the colors of the surrounding Aravalli hills.
It helps that our mise en scène is the dreamy Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur—the historic 18th-century pleasure palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II of the Mewar Kingdom. Casually planted on an island in the heart of Lake Pichola, the property was originally built for the after-hour escapades of the royals.
It’s a particularly cloudy evening in Udaipur, and we are at the Taj Lake Palace’s Mewar Terrace, the water of Lake Pichola dancing below us. While this fairy-tale-like scene unfolds before us, the neighborhood’s resident pigeons have front-row seats as our leading lady, actress, producer and cover girl Chitrangda Singh, smolders for the camera one last time before the sun disappears behind the clouds again.
The staff at the Taj waste no time in bringing out masala chai and Papdi chat for us as we settle down in a cozy jharokha on the terrace. “Doesn’t this hotel transport you to a completely different world?” she asks me. “You have to come to see my suite. It has the most beautiful artwork and a spectacular terrace.”
This may be Singh’s first time in Udaipur, but she’s no stranger to Rajasthan. Born in Jodhpur, she lived in Kota for a year when she was 13. The actress has fond memories of making market runs to the old city for Namkeen and various kinds of street food.
“My father was in the Indian Army, so we moved around the country a lot. I also lived in Bareilly, Imphal, and Meerut before going to Delhi for college and eventually moving to Mumbai for work,” she says.
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August - September 2019