Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

Attractions

Overview

Udaipur also known as the “City of Lakes”, is a city in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. It was founded in 1559 by Udai Singh II of the Sisodia clan of Rajput when he shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur after Chittorgarh was besieged by Akbar. It remained as the capital city till 1818 when it became a British princely state and thereafter the Mewar province became a part of Rajasthan when India gained independence in 1947.

The city is located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. It is surrounded by the Aravali Range, which separates it from the Thar Desert. It is around 660 km from Delhi and approximately 800 km from Mumbai, placed almost in the middle of two major Indian metro cities. Besides, connectivity with Gujarat ports provide Udaipur a strategic geographical advantage. Udaipur is well connected with nearby cities and states by means of road, rail and air transportation facilities. The city is served by the Maharana Pratap Airport. Common languages spoken include Hindi, English and Rajasthani (Mewari).

Dubbed “the most romantic spot on the continent of India” by British administrator James Tod, Udaipur is a tourist destination and is known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. It is popularly known as the “City of Lakes” because of its sophisticated lake system. It has seven lakes surrounding the city.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • Udaipur City Palace,  A complex of small and big palaces, museums and gardens encompassing a rich blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Chinese architecture. One of the most beautiful palatial structures in Rajasthan. Originally built by Maharana Uday Singh II, it rises 30 meters above Lake Pichola and extends up to 244 meters. The palace complex has been built entirely in granite and marble. The interior with its balconies, towers and cupolas exhibits delicate mirror work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silver work, inlay work and colored glass mosaics. The complex provides a fine view of the lake and the city from its upper terraces.
  • Amar Vilas- The uppermost court inside the complex is a raised garden providing entry to the Badi Mahal, a pleasure pavilion built in the Mughal style. Its cusped arcades enclose a square marble pool. Amar Vilas is the highest point of the City palace and has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers and terraces.
  • Badi Mahal- Also known as Garden Palace is the exotic central garden palace situated on a 27m (89 ft) high natural rock formation vis-a-vis the rest of the palace. The rooms on the ground floor appear to be at the level of the fourth floor in view of the height difference to its surrounding buildings.
  • Durbar Hall- Built in 1909 within the Fatepraksh Palace (now a heritage hotel), the hall was used by the royal ladies to observe the court proceedings. This hall has luxuriant interior with some unusually large chandeliers. Weapons of the maharanas and also some of their unique portraits are also displayed here.
  • Fatehprakash Palace- Now run as luxury hotel and inaccessible to public viewing has a crystal gallery that consists of crystal chairs, dressing tables, sofas, tables, chairs and beds, crockery, table fountains which were never used. There is also a unique jewel-studded carpet here.
  • Krishna Vilas- Another chamber in Fatehprakash Palance with a rich collection of miniature paintings that portray royal processions, festivals and games of the Maharanas. However, there is a tragic story linked to this wing of the City Palace. In the nineteenth century, a royal princess was unable to choose from two suitors seeking her hand in marriage, one from the royal family of Jaipur and another from Jodhpur. In a state of dilemma, she poisoned herself to death.
  • Manak Mahal- Approach from the Manak Chowk, the palace has a raised alcove inlaid completely in mirrored glass. One of the prominent emblems of the sun is depicted on the façade of the Manak Chowk, which can also be seen from the outermost court.
  • Mor Chowkor Peacock Square – A pillared hall with glass and mirror mosaic decorations is integral to the inner courts of the palace. The elaborate design of this chamber consists of three peacocks (representing the three seasons of summer, winter and monsoon) modeled in high relief and faced with coloured glass mosaic, built into successive niches in the wall area or jharoka. These were built during Maharana Sajjan Singh’s reign, 200 years after the palace was established. The peacocks have been crafted with 5,000 pieces of glass which shine in green, gold and blue. In an adjoining chamber, called the Kanch-ki-Burj, a mosaic of mirrors adorns the walls. The Badi Charur Chowk within this chowk is a smaller court for private use. Its screen wall has painted and inlaid compositions depicting European men and Indian women.
  • Zenana Mahalor Women’s Palace – Proceeding further from Mor Chowk, in the Zenana Mahal or women’s quarters (now converted into a museum) are exquisitely designed alcoves, balconies, coloured windows, tiled walls and floors.
  • Rang Bhawan- The palace that used to contain royal treasure. There are temples of Lord Krishna, Meerabai and Shiva located here.
  • Sheesh Mahal- The palace of mirrors and glasses was built in 1716. A shrine of Dhuni Mata is also located in the complex. This location is considered as the oldest part of the Palace, where a sage spent his entire life meditating.
  • Fateh Sagar Lake- An artificial lake constructed by Maharana north of Lake Pichola in 1678 and to the northwest of Udaipur. Within the confines of Fateh Sagar Lake, there are three small islands. The largest of these is Nehru Park. The second island houses a public park with an impressive water-jet fountain, and the third is the address for the Udaipur Solar Observatory. Every year the Hariyali Amavasya Mela (Green New Moon Fair) is organized at the lake precincts in the month of August/September.
  • Pichola Lake- An artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. The lake’s surroundings and several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, and bathing ghats. The famous Lake Palace (now converted into a heritage hotel) is located in the middle of the lake. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, are located within Pichola Lake. Local buses, auto rickshaws and taxis provide the needed transport.
  • Badi Lake- A beautiful lake nearly 12-14km from Udaipur. You can hire a bicycle or motorbike to have an exciting morning ride with a peaceful destination. Badi Lake is completely undeveloped. There are no toilets, walking paths, shops, or even villages.
  • Doodh Talai- The road that takes visitors to Pichola Lake has another popular destination – the Doodh Talai Lake. The lake lies between several hillocks. The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and the Manikya Lal Verma Garden are part of the Doodh Talai Lake Garden.
  • Saheliyon ki Bari- Built by Maharana Bhopal Singh. Saheliyon ki Bari means Garden of the Maids. This garden area lies in the northern part of the city and has fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants. Each water channel has a distinct sound, and the mingling of these sounds complement the ambience of the place. There is also a small museum here. Sahelion Ki Bari was created for a group of 48 young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry.
  • Gulab Bagh and Bird Park- A rose garden laid out by Maharaja Sajjan Singh near the palace on the east side of Lake Pichhola. A library in the garden has a collection of ancient handwritten manuscripts and books. Children can enjoy the mini train whose track covers the main part of the garden. The zoo was moved from Gulab Bagh in 2015 to the Sajjangarh Biological Park. The former zoo space is being converted into a bird park.
  • Dudh Talai- A rock and fountain garden and the sunset point from which you can enjoy the sunset view in Lake Pichhola and a panoramic view of the old city. Take the aerial tramway (ropeway) which connects the Doodh Talai gardens to the Karni Mata temple.
  • Nehru Garden- A park in the middle of Fateh Sagar Lake. This park covers about 41 acres (170,000 m2), with flower gardens and a lily pond. It was inaugurated on the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The garden overlooks the ancient Moti Mahal of Maharana Pratap and has a view of the Aravalli Hills on three sides.
  • Ahar Museum- The Ahar Cenotaphs are a group of royal cenotaphs located in Ahar, about 2km east of Udaipur. The site contains more than 250 cenotaphs of the maharajas of Mewar that were built over approximately 350 years. There are 19 chhatris that commemorate the 19 maharajas who were cremated here.
  • Bagore-ki-Haveli- A mansion built in the 18th century on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat by Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, now a museum. It has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The building has a large and exquisite collection of Mewar paintings and glassworks. There is a nightly one-hour long dance performance at 7pm.

When to Reach

When to Reach

October to March offer is the best time to visit Udaipur. The winter season is pleasant making it an ideal time to explore the city at its best. Monsoons from July to September is another ideal time to visit Udaipur as it is pleasant and a relief from the torrid climate of Rajasthan. However, summer months must be avoided as the temperatures rise up to 42 degrees.

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a popular tourist destination state of Rajasthan. It is surrounded by the beautiful Aravalli Hills in all directions, this ‘Venice of the East has mesmerising temples and breathtaking Mewar architecture in the backdrop of lakes which makes it a must-visit destination in India. A boat ride through the serene waters of Lake Pichola will be enough to prove to you why Udaipur is the pride of Rajasthan.

Located in a valley and surrounded by four lakes, Udaipur justifies all names ever offered to its charm from ‘Jewel of Mewar’ to ‘Venice of the East’. The Lake Palace hotel is something that offers the city a visual definition. The revered Nathdwara temple is about 60 km from Udaipur.

In the southernmost part of Rajasthan, Udaipur is surrounded by the Aravalli Range and is brimming with natural beauty. It was set up in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the nascent capital of the Mewar Kingdom. Udaipur is well- connected with other parts of India through airway, railway and roadway.

Unlike other parts of Rajasthan, Udaipur is filled with serenity. Away from the urban chaos, it is a blend of regal beauty, elevated slopes and picturesque panorama. Udaipur is also known as the “City of Lakes” because of the presence of numerous interconnected natural lakes in and around the city. The “City of Lakes” is also profoundly called the “White City” because the Rajput style Palaces and Forts in Udaipur are made up of white marbles. Additionally, houses and other structures of the city are also dressed in white.

Udaipur is famous for its historic Rajput-era forts, grand palaces, striking lakes, architectural temples, museums, galleries, traditional festivals and rich culture. The best places to visit in Udaipur which are must-have in your itinerary are Lake Pichola, City Palace, Eklingji Temple, Ambrai Ghat, Vintage Car Museum, Bada Mahal and Shilgram.

People looking forward to doing thrilling things in Udaipur can happily indulge in Trekking, Paragliding, Cycling Tours and Helicopter Ride. Among passive activities, Sunset boat rides at Lake Pichola or Fateh Sagar Lake are excellent options to seek some solace. Others can go on a shopping spree at Shilpgram or Bada Bazaar or Mochiwada Bazaar to hoard exquisite items like Bandhani sarees, handmade juttis, silver jewellery, bags and authentic Rajasthani handicrafts.

Udaipur is particularly famous for its miniature paintings inspired by style of Rajputs and Mughals. You are unlikely to find these items elsewhere in India. These cost as little as ₹100 and make a beautiful gift or keepsake. Items such as handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, wooden toys, antique items and paintings are easily available in the tourist area. Other popular purchases include toys, bewitching puppets, wall hangings, pen stands, cloth lanterns, handmade papers, painted wooden boxes and greeting cards, pottery in both metal and adobe, pots, plates, vessels and containers, brassware, and terracotta sculptures.

Udaipur is famous for its spicy snacks such as mirchi bada and kachori. Other common local cuisines include Dal Baati Churma (Lentils and rice), Pyaz Kachori (onion/flour balls), and Gatte Ki Sabzi (gram flour dumplings with curry). These are common on the menu of just about every restaurant and should definitely be eaten!

Getting Around

Getting Around:

While most of the city can be covered on foot and the narrow alleyways in the old city make any other form of transportation a hassle, a taxi or autorickshaw/tuk-tuk is necessary to reach the Monsoon Palace or the wilderness park. A tuk-tuk will usually cost around ₹50, and should never cost more than ₹100 within the city. If you have a SIM card, Uber or Ola is the way to go. Uber is consistently cheaper than a tuk-tuk and will almost always be a much more pleasant ride.

Weather

Weather:

Udaipur city has a hot semi-arid climate. The three main seasons, summer, monsoon and winter respectively, dominate the city of Udaipur. Being located in the desert lands of Rajasthan, the climate and weather of Udaipur is usually hot. The summer season runs from mid-March to June and touches temperature ranging from 23 °C (73 °F) to 44 °C (111 °F) in the months of March to June. Monsoons arrive in the month of July heralded by dust and thunderstorms.

The climate of Udaipur is tropical, with the mercury staying between a maximum of 42.3°C and a minimum of 28.8°C during summers. Winters are mild with the maximum temperature rising to 28.8°C and the minimum dipping to 2.5°C. The best time to visit is during September to March.