Udaipur, often referred to as the “City of Lakes” and the “Venice of the East,” is a city that captivates the hearts of travelers from around the world. With its rich history, architectural marvels, and serene ambiance, Udaipur offers a unique experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. In this guide, we will take you on a journey through the best things to do in Udaipur. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a romantic getaway, Udaipur has something special for everyone.
Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, Udaipur’s City Palace is one of the most renowned attractions in India. The complex took almost four centuries to complete and was built by twenty-two generations of royals, resulting in an eclectic mix of designs. A major highlight here is the Light and Sound Show that will take you through Mewar’s rich history and lineage with spectacular visuals and a captivating presentation. It is considered one of the top light and sound shows in India.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit the City Palace Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of artifacts, including royal garments and antique weaponry.
A boat ride on Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake (connected by a canal) is one of the best ways to take in Udaipur’s City Palace Complex. You can depart from Rameshwar Ghat at the palace gardens for 500 rupees per person during the day or 800 rupees per person for sunset rides, or opt for cheaper public boats departing from Lal Ghat jetty. Another option is renting a boat from Dudh Talai near Lake Pichola, or explore Fateh Sagar lake via Moti Magri (Pearl Hill). Whichever you choose, it will be an unforgettable experience!
Tip: Opt for an evening boat ride to witness the spectacular sunset views that cast a golden hue over the city.
Jag Mandir, also known as the “Lake Garden Palace,” is an enchanting island located in Lake Pichola. This serene paradise provides a tranquil retreat for visitors looking to escape into nature and explore historical architecture from the Mewar dynasty era. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, this palace offers breathtaking views and a unique experience that will transport you back in time.
Tip: Don’t miss the “Darikhana” restaurant at Jag Mandir, where you can relish delectable cuisines with a view of the lake.
Visiting Under the Sun Aquarium in Udaipur is an exciting and educational experience for kids. This modern aquarium houses some of the most fascinating aquatic creatures, with interactive breathing and swimming exhibits that will capture your child’s imagination. There are also many interesting marine-themed installations and giant informational images on display here, making this a great place to explore with children.
Saheliyon-ki-Bari, or the Garden of the Maidens, is a stunning historical landmark that offers an insight into the luxurious lifestyle of royal women in ancient times. This garden features beautiful fountains, kiosks, marble pavilions and a delightful lotus pool – making it one of Rajasthan’s most popular tourist attractions.
Tip: Early morning or late afternoon visits provide a tranquil atmosphere and better photo opportunities.
For automobile enthusiasts and history buffs, the Vintage Car Museum is a treasure trove. It houses an impressive collection of vintage cars, including Rolls-Royce, Cadillacs, and Mercedes. These vintage gems offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the royal families.
Tip: Take a guided tour to get fascinating insights into the history of each car.
Udaipur and its surrounding areas are home to many significant religious sites, one of the most notable being the Jagdish Temple. Built during Maharana Jagat Singh’s reign, this Indo-Aryan-style shrine is a hand-carved tribute to Lord Jagganath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex also houses shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities such as Shiva, Ganesha and Shakti. A towering mandapa with spires adds grandeur to the site making it a must visit for all spiritual seekers.
Tip: Plan your visit during the morning or evening aarti for a spiritually enriching experience.
Udaipur is a shopper’s paradise, with its bustling bazaars offering an array of traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, jewelry and souvenirs. Popular shopping destinations such as Hathi Pol Bazaar, Bada Bazaar and Rajasthali allow visitors to haggle for unique treasures at great prices.
Tip: Bargain with the local shopkeepers to get the best deals on your purchases.
The Rajput rulers of the Mewar region, who founded Udaipur, were avid hunters and this is reflected in their cuisine. Meat-based dishes are a common feature of traditional Mewari food, which contrasts with the predominantly vegetarian fare from other parts of Rajasthan. Laal maas (red mutton curry) is an iconic dish that’s known for its fiery hot flavor – legend has it that royal cooks used to spice up game meat by adding lots of chili peppers! This popular dish can be found on many menus at restaurants serving authentic Mewari cuisine in Udaipur such as Hari Ghar, Khamma Ghani, Upre, Ambrai and Paantya at City Palace. Additionally, Royal Repast – a heritage restaurant run by the Bedla family – serves recipes that have been passed down through generations.
Tip: Ask for a thali (platter) to sample a variety of dishes in one meal.
Q1. What is Udaipur famous for?
Udaipur is renowned for its picturesque lakes, historic palaces, and vibrant culture. It’s often called the “City of Lakes” and is famous for its stunning architecture.
Q2. How many days are needed to explore Udaipur?
To fully explore Udaipur’s top attractions and immerse yourself in its culture, plan for at least 2 to 3 days.
Q3. What is the best time to visit Udaipur?
The best time to visit Udaipur is from October to March when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are enjoyable.
Q4. Can I hire a local guide in Udaipur?
Yes, you can hire local guides in Udaipur to enhance your experience and learn more about the city’s history and culture.
Q5. Are there any water sports activities in Udaipur?
While Udaipur is more famous for boat rides, you can also enjoy activities like paddle boating and jet skiing on some of its lakes.
Q6: Are there any dress code restrictions for visiting temples in Udaipur?
While there isn’t a strict dress code, it’s advisable to dress modestly when visiting temples out of respect for local customs.
Q7: How can I get around Udaipur for sightseeing?
Auto-rickshaws, taxis, and rental scooters are readily available for local transportation. Many tourists also prefer walking around the city to explore its beauty.
Q8: Can I hire a guide for a more informative experience in Udaipur?
Yes, hiring a local guide is an excellent way to learn more about the history and culture of Udaipur. Guides are available at major tourist attractions.
Udaipur, with its regal palaces, serene lakes, vibrant culture, and natural beauty, offers a unique and captivating experience. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Udaipur has something to offer everyone. As you explore the city’s top attractions and engage in various activities, you’ll truly understand why it’s considered one of the best tourist destinations in India. So, pack your bags and embark on a memorable journey to this enchanting city of Udaipur.