FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. THAT’S how long it took to build the City Palace in Udaipur. Each crevice is thoughtfully constructed, each walkway meant to throw off enemies and everywhere you look there are stunning paintings. At first the Kia Sonet seems out of place here — a thoroughly modern machine built to make commuting easy, sitting pretty in a palace dating back to 1553. But look closely at the Sonet, and some similarities start to come alive. While it didn’t take four centuries to build the Sonet, there is a lot of intricacy and symmetry in its design, with details inspired from historic monuments just like the Udaipur City Palace, and it’s certainly got a lot more horsepower than the King’s horses did. But why did we go to the City Palace in the first place?
India is a country with rich heritage. So rich in fact, that Kia’s designers travelled the length and breadth of our country getting inspired before going to work on the Sonet. One thing that kept coming up in all our conversations though were the palaces and historic monuments in Rajasthan, the intricate and complex architecture of the numerous forts and palaces of the Land of Kings delivering inspiration in plenty. And one of the finest examples has to be the most lavish, perhaps even the biggest, palace of its kind — the City Palace in Udaipur. Centuries ago Udai Singh II chose this site for the Mewar kingdom because it was surrounded by lakes on one side and the Aravali Hills on the other. With multiple facades, sprawling courtyards and an illustrious history, it served as the perfect location to drive one of the best-looking cars in the country to. And it also made for an excellent 1000km road trip from our home base, perfect to test a car’s long-distance cruising abilities. Heck, even James Bond came here!
Indian at heart
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