Traveling to Udaipur was always on my top 10 bucket list destinations!
And, I am happy to confess that this is one of the most gorgeous cities in Rajasthan, India. Udaipur, often known as Venice of the East, is truly spectacular!
From dreamy palaces of the GOLDEN Rajput era to the most SCENIC sunset backdrops around beautiful lakeside, Udaipur is a dream city to explore for an avid traveller. It is also widely known as the city of lakes and treated as a romantic destination by couples for their perfect weekend getaway.
Udaipur has been a preferred destination of many film producers as well, for instance the 13th James Bond franchise Hollywood movie, Octopussy starring Roger Moore and Maud Adams was filmed here!
Likewise, many popular Bollywood movies of India, such as Yeh Jawani hai Diwani and Ram Leela are also shot in Udaipur. Well, given such beautiful and scenic backdrops, we certainly can’t blame the producers.
This famous capital of the kingdom of Mewar region in Rajasthan state, was discovered long back ago in 15th century by a Mughal dynasty ruling under emperor Akbar and today, it’s well known for historic palaces, beautiful gardens, enchanting lakes, glorious temples, yummiest Rajasthan food and so much more!
Although, entire Rajasthan state in India is truly magical and has so much to offer in terms of touristy, but I would be a little biased towards Udaipur, owing to its magical charm of hospitable culture, great food and above all touristy.
I would say this is the best city in India to visit and given below are some of the best places to see in Udaipur city!
Best tourists’ places in Udaipur
Udaipur city is surrounded with four beautiful lakes and amongst all, Lake Pichola is the most popular and stunningly beautiful. This is India’s largest artificial fresh water lake and was created in 1362 AD to meet drinking water needs of the locals. An evening boat ride around Lake Pichola, costing somewhere between 300-500 Indian Rupees, is highly recommended for tourists to capture beautiful sunset pictures!
This is a beautiful palace built on an island in Lake Pichola.
It was built and completed in 16th century by Maharana Jagat Singh. And, it was often used by royal families as a summer resort and also for holding parties.
Jag Mandir palace is within easy reach, if you take a boat ride around Lake Pichola!
Lake Palace (or Taj Lake Palace Udaipur)
Situated right in the middle of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace Udaipur is stunningly beautiful. This was formerly a palace for the royal dynasty of Udaipur but today it operates as a hotel.
In 1971, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces took over the management of Lake Palace and after adding some additional rooms, this was reopened as a 5-star luxury hotel. This is one of the finest and most expensive luxury hotels in India. However, to visit this hotel you need to consume room nights and only in-house guests are allowed to be on this hotel. Tourists, however can take a boat tour around the property and click pictures.
Well, this is the most beautiful palace to visit in Udaipur and was literally a visual treat for my eyes! It’s breath taking architecture will leave you speechless and you might run out of camera battery to click beautiful pictures.
Going into history details of City Palace; it was built in 15th century under Rajput ruler Maharana Uday Singh II and was later ruled by his son Maharana Pratap. Rich history and stunning architecture of City Palace is vintage impressive.
Monsoon Palace (Sajjangarh)
To enjoy the most stunning panoramic views of entire Udaipur city and beautiful lakes, you should definitely visit Sajjan Garh palace (also known as the Monsoon Palace). Just few minutes’ drive outside Udaipur city centre, it is located high in the Aravalli Hills and was built in the year 1884. It was named after Maharana Sajjan Singh, who was the ruler of Mewar Dynasty (1874-1884).
In 1983, Sajjan Garh palace was also used as a residence of an actor, while filming the famous Hollywood James Bond franchise movie Octopussy! Pretty interesting!
Bagore Ki Haveli
Bagore Ki Haveli is one of the most famous tourist’ attractions in Udaipur and pretty well known for traditional Rajasthan folk dances, which are organized almost every evening! From famous puppet shows to cultural dances, this show is greatly liked and admired by locals and also tourists visiting from different countries. This show is also acknowledged positively and reviewed greatly by TripAdvisor.
So, should you be in Udaipur at any point, you just can’t miss this!
And just right next to Bagore ki Haveli is Ambrai Ghat (just a few minutes’ walk); so, after watching the cultural show at Bagore ki Haveli, you can spend some time at Ambrai Ghat. Ambrai Ghat is located right in the middle of the city, surrounded by Lake Pichola and offers great views of the City Palace on the front and Lake Palace on the right. This is a beautiful and amazing place for photography!
Fateh Sagar Lake
Udaipur, which is indeed India’s Venice is surrounded with artificial lake bodies and apart from Lake Pichola, to the north is Fateh Sagar Lake which is another popular tourist attraction of the city. This beautiful artificial lake was created in 1680s and was named after Maharana Fateh Singh, the ruler of Udaipur and Mewar. You will find locals and tourists here often strolling around the lakeside and relaxing in evening. Boat rides are also allowed here to explore the city and visit nearby islands such as, Nehru Park and Udaipur Observatory.
Saheliyon Ki Bari
Saheliyon ki Bari is a major garden located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake and was built in 1734 by Maharana Sangram Singh, for the royal ladies of his family.
The garden was primarily made for the queen and she was assisted by her maidens, to enjoy personal time off from mundane & political routines. This beautiful garden has fountains, lotus pools and marble elephants. There is also a small museum inside to visit. And, just right at the entrance of this garden, you can dress up in Rajasthan attire and get yourself clicked!
There are 2-3 local photographers at the entrance and you can select package as per your budget and convenience. The cost usually varies from Rupees 100-500 and you can bargain with local vendor to opt for low cost picture + attire.
Udaipur best time to visit
I would suggest visiting Udaipur anytime between October until March. This is the winter season in India and probably best time for touristy activities in Rajasthan state, should you need to avoid HOT summers.
And, if you travel in the month of March then do consider visiting Mewar Festival also which is celebrated every year by locals with great enthusiasm.
Travel Guide for Udaipur - How to reach Udaipur?
Air travel – If you are running short on time then booking a domestic flight would be feasible. In fact, flight connectivity (all over India) to and from Udaipur Maharana Pratap Airport is superb as there are plenty of domestic flight options available like Vistara, Air India, Indigo and so on.
Also, cost for these airlines is not expensive either and should vary from 3,000 to 6,000 Rupees per person.
Train travel – Traveling by train is another great and cost-efficient option. Should your train be booked from New Delhi, then you can expect to reach Udaipur in only 3-4 hours. Likewise, connectivity options from other cities in India like Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai etc. are also available and you can book with Indian railways (IRCTC) here.
For those, who are not budget conscious can also explore upper deluxe train and luxury India train options like Majestic Rajasthan and Palace on Wheels. In case you want to experience LUXURY, then these carriers will be great!
How to travel around Udaipur?
Uber taxi – Just like metro cities, Delhi and Mumbai, booking an Uber taxi with mobile app is very convenient in Udaipur, it’s pretty fast as well and you can easily track your journey.
Auto-rickshaw - You could also hire a local auto-rickshaw (which is ubiquitous in India) for a complete day sightseeing in just Rupees 500.
You will find these everywhere along any StreetSide, and may be parked just right outside your hotel/hostel! Just look out for them!
Rent a Bike/ Bicycle - Another cheap way to travel is to hire a bicycle or motorbike. Some local vendors to consider are Bike Rental Udaipur and Heera Cycle store.
Where to stay in Udaipur
Radisson Blu Udaipur Resort & Spa – I preferred staying at this lovely resort!
This beautiful property is located adjacent to Fateh Sagar Lake and also very close to major tourist’s attractions like City Palace and Saheliyon Ki Bari. Spectacular backdrop and great customer service makes this hotel a perfect stay option for both business and leisure travellers!
Taj Lake Palace – If you can afford a luxury stay, then booking your room nights at the Taj Lake Palace will be once in a while and a GREAT luxury experience. You will thoroughly enjoy your stay along with great customer service & food, right in the middle of Lake Pichola!
Hostels – For budget conscious travellers, some good hostels are, Musafir hostel, goStops Udaipur and Hide-In Udaipur.
Lakeside HAVELI (The mansion) hotels – To experience Rajasthan style hospitable ambiance, one can also consider staying at a lakeside HAVELI in Udaipur.
Some good options are – Amet Haveli, Hotel Rampratap Palace, Udai Kothi and Jagat Niwas!
Best places of Udaipur to eat
Ambrai restaurant Udaipur – This is the MOST FAMOUS restaurant in Udaipur!
It’s well known for British style architecture and a relaxed ambiance for guests. And, located right next to the Lake Pichola, it also offers great views of the City Palace and Taj Lake Palace.
Chunda Palace Restaurant – Located on top of Aravalli Hills, Chunda Palace restaurant is a good option to enjoy Udaipur city views & authentic Rajasthan food. This restaurant is popular amongst locals for cosy candle lit tables and romantic dinners (wink)!
1559 AD - This is an impressive restaurant with live music and yummy food. You can order from a wide range of Indian, Thai and Continental food items! And, enjoy stunning views of Fateh Sagar lake along with meals!
Best Street Foods of Udaipur
In addition to dining out at restaurants, there are some famous street foods available at local food outlets of Udaipur, which you can try during your visit!
Boiled Egg Bhurji,
Kulhad Coffee and so much more!
Shopping Guide for Udaipur
With some of the best shopping markets around, this city of lakes is also a true paradise for shopaholics!
You can visit some famous shopping streets and markets in Udaipur -
Rajasthali – This is one of best shopping places in Udaipur and offers a wide range of handicrafts. You can find a large variety of jewellery, turbans, god idols, puppets, fabrics, stones and all kind of artistic goods, at this government led shopping emporium!
Lake Palace Road – This is a great shopping street to visit and easily accessible by auto-rickshaw or any other public transport. You will find here great ranges of precious gemstones, textiles, hand printed clothes and wooden statues.
Clock Tower – This is one of famous landmarks and a shopping district in Udaipur. It’s pretty well known for jewellery (gold, silver, kundan and meenakari). You can also buy some metal souvenirs from here, before you fly back home!
Day Trips from Udaipur
If you are able to find time in your traveling schedule, do consider taking following day trips from Udaipur –
Chittorgarh Fort – This is a historic place, recognised by UNESCO and very famous for stories of RANI PADMAVATHY in 16th century, who sacrificed herself by jumping in the fireplace (the act was known as JAUHAR) as she wanted to prevent enemy clan (Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi) to capture her after the death of her husband Ratan Singh.
This famous love story of war and sacrifice is a great legend in India.
The legend of RANI PADMAVATHY (Queen Padmavathy) also inspired a famous Bollywood movie called PADMAVAT in India and some parts of the movie are shot at Chittorgarh Fort.
Badi Lake – Badi Lake is the hidden tourist’ gem of Udaipur. This is located at least 12 KM away from Udaipur city centre and should you want to spend some quiet time at a serene beautiful place, then visiting Badi Lake will be worth it!
This is a trekking spot, so please make sure to wear comfortable sport shoes and also carry a water bottle (mandatory)
Some other interesting tourists’ places in Udaipur to visit
Visit the Vintage Car museum –
Vintage Car Museum Udaipur showcases amazing collection of royal antique cars – such as 1939 Cadillacs, 1936 Vauxhall-12, classic Rolls-Royce, some rare models of Mercedes, solar operated rickshaws and many more vehicles!
Climb the long staircase at KARNI MATA Temple –
This is a famous house of worship for locals and they say you need to climb at least 555 stairs to reach the temple and complete prayer, for almighty to bless one with prosperity.
Another alternate route to reach temple is to take a ropeway of course!
Solo Female Travel and safety
I can proudly say the end of my Udaipur SOLO travel journey, that this is a SAFE city for any solo traveller, particularly females can easily go around the city. Just keep in mind some basic precautions though – like avoiding dark streets or taking public transports late at night (after prime travel time), which one should be careful about in any major city as well.
Above all, ALWAYS trust your gut instinct and SAY NO to strangers, should you are not comfortable interacting with them.
Last but not least, enjoy your trip, click amazing Instagram pictures (wink) and have a great time!
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