In the 3rd-century BC, with the planting of a single tree, the city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, became a sacred place. The tree was grown from a cutting from a holy tree in Bodh Gaya, under which Buddha had found enlightenment.
The lavish Udaivilas in northwestern India opened eight years ago, but it looks and feels as though it has stood along the banks of Lake Pichola for centuries. That’s the magic of this 30-acre resort in Udaipur, which was designed inside and out to resemble a palace in Mewar, one of the ancient kingdoms of India. Landscape architect Bill Bensley of Bensley Design Studios in Thailand researched traditional Mewari gardens to give visitors the royal treatment from the moment they arrive and are greeted by two stone elephants and pink-blooming Bauhinia trees.