Udaipur is one of the most beautiful and romantic getaways in Rajasthan. A far cry from the deserted lands of Rajasthan, Udaipur will sweep you off your feet with its royal magnetism, its intense history and its authentic traditions. Rightly deemed ‘The Venice of the East’, you are met with shimmering lakes, winding alleyways, colourful bazaars, royal palaces, alpine mountains and friendly locals.
Read on to find out our most-liked things to do in Udaipur, and why they should be yours too.
A lake brimming with history and beauty – Lake Pichola is surrounded by palaces, temples and bathing ghats that are absolutely beautiful when you see them up close. You can catch a view of the four main islands – The Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir and Aris Villas while cruising around in your boat. You can visit Jag Mandir but the Lake Palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel so you need a reservation to visit.
Elegantly perched on Lake Pichola at the Gangori Ghat, Bagore Ki Haveli has over 100 rooms. It houses a museum and a cultural centre. Go there for its brilliant architecture – jharokhas, balconies, courtyards, cupolas, ET all. And while you are in Udaipur, you cannot give the Dharohar a miss. This art and culture show is pure magic, where the Rajasthani women dance fiercely with flaming pots and musical instruments tied to their bodies, played by means of the dance. One mustn’t miss out the evergreen Rajasthani folk dance, “Ghoomar,” where the ladies are dressed in colorful poshaks.
Bagore Ki Haveli
The City Palace looks like a breath of sunshine painted in yellow during the morning and transforms into a majestic grandeur at nighttime as the palace lights fall into the shimmering waters giving the illusion of floating gold. The best part you ask? It took 22 generations that followed Maharana Uday Singh and approximately 435 years to completely build the palace. Encircled with fortifications the interiors of this massive palace comprises of secret passages, tiny doorways, bejewelled rooms, music gallery, hanging gardens, pavilions, courtyards, silvery gallery; the palace is full of places to discover.
This artisans’ village located 3 km from Udaipur is a unique way to see the city through its arts, craft and artisans. It is one of the best places to visit near Udaipur. Culture art and traditions galore in this aesthetic traditional paradise. The fair held at Shilpgram in November and December hosts workshops for those interested in learning the art and craft of Rajasthan. Fall in love with the mud huts, extremely talented aerobatic dance performances, handicrafts, painting, pottery, and what not. It is open Monday to Saturday.
This is where the royals headed to get the best view in the monsoons. Located on a hilltop, the palace looks straight out of a fairy tale and the view from there is sure to astound you. It is one of the highest points of Udaipur from where you can get a panoramic view of the city. It is open from 10 to 6 pm.
Where to shop?
You cannot go to Rajasthan and not shop. The colourful bazaars are what hippie dreams are made of. Shop for those elegant jootis, buy traditional jewellery, souvenirs, handicrafts, etc. and guess what? You will get everything at a steal deal. But most part of the old city is built on slopes and the tiny lanes are not forgiving of vehicles; you might find walking at most times an uphill climb. Some of the favourite places to shop include Bapu Bazaar, Jagdish Emporium, Lake Palace Road, Hati Pol Bazaar, Bada Bazaar, and Clock Tower.
There are certain other places to see in Udaipur. So if you have time, include these in your list. Take a stroll on the lakeside or opt for a boat ride from the base of Moti Magri hill. The lake houses one of the best Solar laboratory in the whole of Asia. If you are car crazy, you have something in common with the Rajput royals and the Vintage Car Museum is a dream come live for all the car lovers. Hop onto the Mansapurna Karni Ropeway to enjoy a bird’s eye-view of the city.
What should you keep in mind?
Every tourist faces the problem of being ripped by the local transportation. Read, Rickshaws. If you are around the old city area, the roads are extremely narrow and more often than not, you will find your ride refusing to get to such parts. So be prepared. If you have to travel by rickshaws, you have to bargain. Never ever just simply go ahead with the price quoted by the rickshaw driver. It will be unreasonable. However, Udaipur has the option of Uber & Olas. Therefore, you can be sure of a safe journey devoid of any deception.
When to go?
The best time to visit Udaipur is September to March when the place is not thronging with tourist and the weather is pleasant. You can enjoy the Shilpgram festival that attracts talents from all over the country, held in September.
How will you get there?
By Air – the Maharana Pratap Airport is well connected to major cities of India. Located 20 km from the city center you can hail pre-paid cabs from there to reach your destination.
By Road – If you are planning a road then you can hit the NH 8 highway that is well connected to Delhi and Mumbai. And the highway NH48 is the best road for people traveling from Ahmedabad, which is 263km away from Udaipur.
By Rail – the cheapest option and one that connects you to Udaipur from most parts of the country.
You do not need a big budget to go to Udaipur unless of course, you plan to stay at the Lake Place and the likes. THE BYKE RIDDHI INN located close to Bagore Ki Haveli offers a luxurious stay that is not heavy on the pocket. Its restaurant, Farm Fresh, is a pure-veg restaurant offering the best options for multi-cuisine delicacies When it comes to budget travel, the best bet is to experiment with food and stay cheap and safe. Because in the end, it is not the train, the plane or the boat that matters; it’s the experience you take back from a place.