I have always been curious to visit India. India has this certain vibe that makes you want to explore and understand their culture more. Himanshu of Pearls India Tour is here to bring us to The Lake City – Udaipur and to make us fall in love with their country.
T O P 10 A T T R A C T I O N S
Historically speaking, Udaipur is one of the richest sites in India. Named after the Rajput ruler, Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur used to be the capital of the Sisodia clan of the Rajputs (“Son of a King”). Udaipur is located in the western state of Rajasthan in India, and is the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district. It is about 403 km from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.
Udaipur has also been nicknamed the “Venice of the East” owing to its many lakes and majestic palaces from the ruling era of the Rajputs. Due to its picturesque look and prosperous air, made even more prominent by the impressive structures, Udaipur has been the site of many Indian as well as international productions. If you are planning your first expedition to India, in particular western India, be sure to visit the “City of Lakes” as Udaipur is endearingly called, with ample time on your hands. Short tours are also possible with a good understanding of the plethora of sights well beforehand.
You’ll be smitten with this imperial consignment from the past and will end up feeling like royalty yourself! We bring you the top 10 most sought after destinations of this regal city.
Bagore Ki Haveli
Bagore Ki Haveli is the perfect time machine for the history lovers and will take you through a magical walk in the royal past of the kings from eons ago. The enchanting mansion was built in late 18th century, between 1751- 1778, by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Shri Amarchand Badwa. Located on the scenic bank of the Pichola Lake at Gangauri Ghat, it brings to light many windows that show us glimpses of the rulers in the era of their primes. The interior is beautifully furnished with various artifacts of the Haveli itself, as well as modern art. Two peacock glassworks are among the most popular adornments in it. Items used in the heyday of nobility such as floor coverings, costumes, paintings, hookahs, low tables, traditional arts and crafts with other everyday household objects are displayed, in addition to some of the rooms having been converted to imitate living conditions of the royal era. A puppet gallery can also be viewed, with the turban collection, which houses the world’s largest turban. The Haveli is open all days of the week (10 am to 7 pm) with a puppet show and a folk-dance performance in the evenings from 7 pm to 8 pm. With 138 rooms, corridors, balconies and courtyards there is a whole world to explore in the royal quarters, dressing rooms, living rooms and many other alcoves from the stately times.
City Palace is a stunning complex of many palaces which have been standing for hundreds of years and they hold innumerable stories from the legendary days of the Rajput rulers. An astounding conglomeration of different palaces, City Palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture which were built across an impressive duration of more than 400 years. This was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodiya clan. The balconies of these palaces bestow a panoramic view of the Jag Mandir on one side with the city of Udaipur on the other. Gardens, courtyards, corridors, terraces and intricately decorated mosaics of the interiors await you as you enter through the Tripolia- a three-arched doorway, built in 1725. City Palace also houses the world’s largest collection of crystals; additionally, two palace hotels and the City Palace Museum are also located within the palace complex. Make sure you attend the hour-long Mewar Sound and Light show at the complex. It is in the list of things to do in Udaipur. City Palace has been the location of many movie productions too. You can visit it daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Lake Palace (Formerly, “Jag Niwas”)
The ultimate luxurious quixotic getaway for all your romantic wishes, the Lake Palace will impress you and leave a lasting imprint on your mind.
Renowned as one of the most romantic hotels in India and the whole world, the Lake Palace is located on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola. The most gripping attraction of Udaipur, Lake Palace has 83 rooms which are exquisitely adorned, with the upper room built in a perfect circle. The floor is assembled of black and white marbles while the walls are lavishly decorated with different colored stones. The beauty of this palace is further emphasized by the Aravalli Hills and the city itself in the milieu of the sight. Concept of the palace is like that of Jal Mahal Palace in Jaipur, a must-visit.
A watery wonderland of endless sights and beauty, Lake Pichola will take you on imaginative journeys as you take a tour of the lake. Lake Pichola, along with Fateh Sagar Lake to which it is connected by a channel, make up the largest of the man-made lakes in Udaipur. Lake Pichola is the domicile of four islands, the “Jag Niwas” island on which the Lake Palace is built, the Jag Mandir which houses a palace of the same name, the Mohan Mandir and the Arsi Vilas. You can indulge in the charming views of the Lake Palace as well as the City Palace complex with a beautiful view of the havelis and the Ghats that line the lake by taking boat rides on the lake. Boats can be boarded from the Rameshwar Ghat (from City Palace gardens) and Lal Ghat (which includes stopping at Jag Mandir) with reasonable fares.
The rustic yet charming nook of rural Rajasthan is beautifully re-created in this expansive location with lots to see and buy!
Translated as “Village of Craftsmen”, Shilpgram is best described as a living museum of Rajasthani lifestyle, costumes, crafts and villages. About 3 km away from Udaipur, this was established in 1986. Countryside style of living comes to life in this life-size representation of not just Rajasthani culture but also of the neighboring states. Admire the authentic architecture and spend delightful hours of shopping traditional craft items and wares. Folk dances are also performed here. It is a sprawling complex of 55 acres that is packed with revelry during the Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair, or the Shilpgram Utsav (celebration) held in late December. It is open from 11 am to 7 pm.
Be it lovebirds of the introspective traveler, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari is just the thing where you can get some serene privacy and sit in nature’s copious lap of graceful beauty.
This “Garden of The Maids” was fabricated by Maharana Bhopal Singh for the 48 lasses who had been a part of the dowry of a princess, and had escorted her to Udaipur. This garden is an idyllic setting for romance and love and had been portrayed in many Indian movies. The fountains, marble artifacts and sculptures and pools make for a relaxing and tranquil experience. It is open every day during the week from 8 am to 7 pm and a small nominal entry fee is needed to be paid for accessing this soothing nook of Udaipur.
Udaipur Ropeway, or, “Karni Mata Ropeway”
Exciting, yet mesmerizing, the Udaipur ropeway offers an incredible view of the lakes and islands with palaces and other structures.
The famous Karni Mata Ropeway features short one way trip on a ropeway in red cable cars in between Deen Dayal Park (Dudh Talai) to the Karni Mata Temple. Being a popular tourist appealer, the queues can be extensive at times. Once you dismount from the cable cars, you can catch a stunning yet leisurely view of the sunset from a viewing platform.
A touching and fortifying boost awaits you in this hypnotizing place of worship. The Jagdish Temple is one of the most impressive beacons of Udaipur that simply cannot be missed. With its striking white structure and rich embellishments of elaborate carvings immersed in a fusion of Indian and Aryan architecture, it is a hard-to- miss milestone. Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, it is located in the City Palace complex, near its entrance. The most revered deity is a black idol carved from a single slab of stone, representing Lord Jagannath, one of the many manifestations of Lord Vishnu. It is open daily from 5 am to 2 pm, and from 4 pm to 10:30 pm. The “aarti” (ceremonial worship) held every morning and evening is reminiscence-inducing and leaves you feeling touched and uplifted.
Vintage Collection of Cars Museum
The ultimate destination for the lover of olden ages and mechanical buffs, this museum has a splendid compilation of old cars in functioning states.
For the car aficionado, this is a must-see. Classic cars borne from the era of sophisticated and lavish routines continue to rumble and run in this car museum. This archetypal anthology of four-wheelers from the day’s bygone belong to the current Maharaja and all preceding royal lineages. With all the automobiles in working condition, you can not only admire them, but also be awed by the living, reverberating machines which have seen and moved through many pages of history. It is open from 9 am to 8 pm, all days of the week.
To honor one of the greatest and most loved warriors of ancient India, this memorial boasts of a remarkable full-sized statue of Maharana Pratap riding on his beloved horse, Chetak. The Pratap Smarak is a memorial dedicated to the famous warrior and ruler, Maharana Pratap and his loyal steed, Chetak. This is life-sized bronze statue of the Maharana on his favorite horse is evocative and alluring to the history buffs as Chetak was known to be faithful and very protecting of his master. Before he died of his wounds in the battle of Haldighati, this heroic steed whisked away the Maharana away from the perilous milieu of the raging conflict. Located atop Moti Margi (Pearl Hill), this is a reverential site to pay homage to the warrior and his devoted companion. For the photographer, this location is bountiful with scenic views and magnificent angles.
Much More to Behold
The City of Lakes has much more in store than you can possibly fit into one single journey. Do make sure to also visit the Sajjangarh Palace, the Ek Ling Nath Ji Temple, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Gulab Bagh and Zoo, Dudh Talai, Pratap Museum and Ahar Museum.
Smitten by the lavish views of Udaipur, Himanshu yearns to share his trips and travels to other breathtaking locations in India and share them with the world through PearlsIndiaTour.