Way back in the year 1829, Colonel James Tod, an officer of the British East Indian Company and a scholar, called this place ‘the most romantic spot on the continent of India’. Though a lot has changed over past the two centuries, the city of Udaipur still has a charm that has swayed many travelers who have stepped foot on its land.
This beautiful city in Rajasthan lures many visitors to its palaces and picture-perfect lakes! Read on to find some of the must-have experiences in Udaipur!
Visit the City Palace
One of the most popular tourist attractions of Udaipur is the City Palace. The largest palace of Rajasthan, it was built by Maharaja Udai Singh II in the year 1599. Several other maharajas extended the construction over time and what we now have is a conglomeration of structures.
This includes 11 smaller palaces which appear uniform; on deep observation, they will reveal a unique vision of beautification in each of them. It receives throngs of visitors every day and would greatly appeal to those interested in culture and heritage!
Get Impressed by the Glitzy Durbar Hall
The Maharajas of the bygone eras believed in leaving a lasting impression with their durbars! And it was a job well done when we talk about the Durbar Hall of the City Palace.
Do visit this section while exploring the City Palace (you will need a separate ticket for it, though!). It houses some of the country’s biggest chandeliers; also on the display are weapons and portraits of Maharanas spanning 76 generations.
Travel Back in Time in the Vintage Car Museums
Located a few kilometers away from the City Palace is the vintage car museum – if you are history buff or an admirer of machines, do give this place a brief visit (say, for half an hour). The rare collection of vintage cars would let you take a peek into the life of the Mewar Royals.
There is a small open section where one can even sit in a vintage car and get pictures clicked. You can also enjoy a vegetarian thali here after learning about the interesting history behind the cars (you will need a guide for that, though!).
Take a Boat Ride on Lake Pichola
The names Udaipur and Pichola are often taken in the same breath. The tranquil lake was named after the nearby village of Picholi, which was submerged for expanding the water body. Watching the sunset over its calm water is a view worth your dime!
There are other lakes in the vicinity as well, but we recommend time spent at Pichola will suffice.
Marvel at the Beauty of the Lake Palace
The former Jag Niwas and now a five-star property, the Lake Palace is built right in the middle of Lake Pichola. It was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singh II between 1743 and 1746. This beautiful property is open to visitors from 9 am to 6 pm every day. The entry is free through the boat ride that takes you there comes with a price tag (Rs. 400 for adults, Rs. 200 for kids).
Watch Clouds Float by from the Monsoon Palace
The construction of the Sajjangarh palace was initiated by Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar dynasty in the year 1884.
The construction of this beautiful marble structure perched on top of the Bansdara Hill was intended to be utilized as an astronomical center, but this vision did not materialize into reality due to the Maharaja’s untimely death. The palace went on to be used for watching monsoon clouds and also to serve as a hunting lodge for the coming generations of the royals.
Apart from the floating clouds, witness the magnificent view of the Fateh Sagar Lake and Udaipur countryside from the precincts of the Monsoon palace!
Stroll with Your Sahelis in Saheliyo ki Bari
Located on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake, this beautiful garden was built by Maharana Sangram Singh as a gift to his queen. The queen would come here with maids and female companions to spend peaceful time – hence, the name Saheliyo ki Bari!
The King specially constructed Fatehsagar lake so that it’s stored water can be used in this garden. The fountains here function without the use of electric motor – because of the higher elevation of the lake, water easily flows into the fountains! Do visit this well-maintained garden that is also an architectural marvel.
Go Island Hopping in the Fateh Sagar Lake
An artificial lake constructed to the north of Lake Pichola in 1678, this beautiful water body is surrounded by a number of hills on three sides and the Pratap Memorial on one side.
The lake surrounds three islands – the largest among them, the beautiful Nehru Island, is popular with tourists and has a boat-shaped café. The second island houses a public park and a stunning water-jet fountain; the third island is where the Udaipur Solar Observatory is located.
All the islands can be visited by motorboats. Kids can enjoy camel, horse rides or can visit the aquarium just opposite the lake.
Soak in the Rajasthani Culture at Shilpgram
We would say that this is a must visit place in Udaipur. Shilpgram reflects the culture of entire Rajasthan in a beautiful manner – there are mud houses that display the way of traditional life, plenty of stalls to shop for souvenirs and handicrafts, and amazing performances by local artists. Local delicacies like Dal Bati Churma, Mount Abu Rabri, in fact, an entire Rajasthani Thali can be relished here at very reasonable prices.
Visit Nearby Places to Complete Your Trip
Once you have explored Udaipur to your heart’s content, there are other places nearby to the city that demand your attention. The beautiful Ranakpur Jain Temple is a must visit attraction between Udaipur and Jodhpur.
The second largest wall after the Great Wall of China, the Kumbhalgarh Fort, is also easily approachable from Udaipur.
- Nearest Airports – Udaipur (connected to all major cities in India), Jaipur, Jodhpur.
- Nearest Railhead – Udaipur railway station is connected to major rail routes of the country.
When to Visit?
- March to June (Summer) – Although the temperature soars pretty high during this time, the evenings are pleasant and one can attend the annual Mewar festival that is held in the months of March and April.
- July to September (Monsoon) – The nearby mountains become carpeted with greenery. Weather is pleasant and this is an apt time for budget travelers.
- November to February (Winter) – Winter is the peak tourist season, the annual Shilpgram craft fair is also held during this period.
So if you are out to explore the royalty of Rajasthan, do spend some time in this romantic city – where you may not just gaze at the grandeur of a bygone era, but also soak in the tranquility of the surroundings.