Travel Guide to Udaipur India - The City of Lakes

Udaipur, known as the "City of Lakes" and "Venice of the East," is a charming city in Rajasthan with a mix of modernity and tradition. The city boasts beautiful lakes, magnificent palaces, and havelis, as well as soothing ghats. 

Visitors can enjoy the historical sites at the City Palace, while backpackers and couples can relax in the laid-back and romantic atmosphere of the lakes. Udaipur is a city that preserves its rich heritage and culture while embracing modernity, making it an irresistible destination.

The Ideal Time to Visit Udaipur

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan, India. The city boasts of its rich history, stunning architecture, and natural beauty. If you're planning to visit Udaipur, it's essential to know the best time to go there. Here's a quick guide:

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Udaipur is from November to February when the weather is cooler and more pleasant. The temperature during this time ranges from 12°C to 30°C, making it comfortable for tourists to explore the city.

What to Pack

It is recommended to pack both cotton clothes for the daytime heat and a few woolens for the chilly nights. It is important to be prepared for both weather conditions to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip to the city of lakes.

How to Reach Udaipur: A Travel Guide

Udaipur is easily accessible from all major cities in India, with various modes of transportation available.

By Air: The Maharana Pratap Airport is located 25 km from the city of Udaipur, and almost all domestic airlines offer flights from major cities in India to the city of lakes.

By Rail: Udaipur is well connected to major cities by train, and the railway station is located in the heart of the city.

By Road: The national highways to Udaipur are in good condition, and private as well as state buses regularly move in and out of the city. Cabs are also a viable option to travel around Rajasthan, but due to the significant distance between cities, it may be expensive. It is important to plan ahead and choose the mode of transportation that best suits your needs and budget.

Getting Around the City of Lakes

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a beautiful place to explore on foot. However, if you want to see more of the city, there are two recommended transportation options.

Option 1: Hiring a Bike or Activa

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace, hiring a bike or activa is the best mode of transport. This option provides the freedom to move around the city and explore the sights as desired. Plus, it's an affordable option.

Option 2: Hiring a Rickshaw wala

For those who are not comfortable riding a two-wheeler on the narrow and busy lanes of Udaipur, hiring a rickshaw wala is a viable alternative. It's a convenient way to get around and enjoy the sights without having to navigate the city on your own.

It's important to double-check the rates with more than one rickshaw to ensure fair pricing. With a rickshaw wala, visitors can be taken to the tourist spots they wish to see.

How Long to Stay in Udaipur: A Guide to Planning Your Trip

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is a popular tourist destination in India. If you're planning a trip to this beautiful city, you might be wondering how long to stay. Here's a guide to help you plan your trip:

Ideal Duration of Stay

The ideal duration of stay in Udaipur depends on your individual preferences and interests. As the city has something to offer for all types of travelers, it is recommended to spend at least three days in the city to explore its top attractions.

If You Have More Time

If time permits, spending a week in Udaipur would make the experience more fulfilling, especially if you plan to visit nearby forts like Chittorgarh or Kumbalgarh, which are located over 100 km away from Udaipur.

Summary

  • Spend at least 3 days in Udaipur to explore its top attractions
  • If you have more time, spend a week in Udaipur to visit nearby forts
  • The duration of your stay ultimately depends on your individual preferences and interests.

Where to Stay in Udaipur: The Best Accommodation Options

Udaipur is a popular tourist destination in India, known for its stunning palaces, lakes, and colorful bazaars. Finding the right accommodation can make your trip to Udaipur more enjoyable. Here are some of the best accommodation options in Udaipur:

Budget Accommodation

If you are a budget traveler, Udaipur has several hostels that offer affordable accommodation without compromising on comfort. Here are some of the best budget accommodation options in Udaipur:

  • Zostel
  • Hide-In Hostel
  • Backpacker Panda
  • The Hostel Crawl

Boutique Hotels

For those who want to experience the charm of Udaipur's havelis, there are several boutique hotels that have been converted from traditional homes. These hotels offer a unique and authentic experience of the city. Here are some of the best boutique hotels in Udaipur:

  • Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel
  • Chunda Palace

Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Udaipur has some of the best hotels and resorts in the world, catering to the needs of discerning travelers. If you are looking for a luxurious experience, here are some of the best luxury accommodation options in Udaipur:

  • The Leela Palace
  • Oberoi Udaivilas
  • Taj Lake Palace

Among these, The Leela Palace stands out for its exceptional hospitality, opulent rooms, and stunning views of Lake Pichola. In fact, it was voted the best hotel in the world by Travel+Leisure in 2023.

No matter what your budget or preferences are, Udaipur has something for everyone. So, book your accommodation in advance and get ready to enjoy the beauty of the City of Lakes.

Top Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Udaipur:

1. Explore the City Palace

The City Palace in Udaipur is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture lovers. Built by Maharana Udai Singh II, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of the Mewar kingdom.

Historical Significance

The Palace consists of 11 smaller palaces, showcasing a blend of Rajput, Moghul, and European architecture styles. It has been developed and extended over 400 years by the Mewar dynasty's 42 rulers.

Tips for a Memorable Visit

To make the most out of your visit, consider these tips:

  • Hire a local guide for a better understanding of the Palace's history and significance
  • Set aside at least 5 hours to explore the Palace and its various palaces and museums
  • Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning architecture and intricate details

Final Thoughts

Visiting the City Palace is an enriching experience that will leave you in awe of the Palace's grandeur and history. With its stunning architecture and rich cultural significance, it is a must-visit destination in Udaipur.

2. Sunset Boat Ride on Lake Pichola

If you're looking for a picturesque experience in Udaipur, Rajasthan, a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola is a must-do. Here are some highlights of what you can expect:

Breathtaking Views

As you glide across the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola, you'll be treated to stunning views of the Aravali hills, as well as the vibrant colors of the lake itself. This man-made lake was built in 1362 and has become a popular tourist attraction in Udaipur.

Surrounded by Luxury Hotels

The lake is surrounded by some of the most luxurious hotels in Udaipur, such as the Leela, Udai Villas, Oberoi, and Lake Palace. These hotels offer stunning views of the lake and are perfect for a luxurious stay.

Government vs. Private Boat Rides

If you're on a budget, you can opt for a government boat ride that costs INR 150-250 and lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes. However, if you want a more personalized experience, private boat rides offered by City Palace cost INR 400-700. These boat rides also include a stopover at Jag Mandir, a popular location for destination weddings in India and the closest access to Lake Palace. Jag Mandir has restaurants with scenic views.

Experience the magic of Udaipur's Lake Pichola with a sunset boat ride - it's an experience you won't forget!

3. Admire the Views from Ambrai Ghat

If you're in Udaipur, a visit to Ambrai Ghat is a must-do activity. Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, the ghat offers stunning views of the city's iconic landmarks.

Spectacular Views

From Ambrai Ghat, you can admire the beauty of Lake Palace and City Palace across the lake. The sight is especially breathtaking during the golden hour when the sky changes colors, and the city is at its elegant best.

Popular Tourist Spot

The ghat is a popular spot among tourists who want to relax and enjoy the beauty of Udaipur. Beautiful hotels adorn both sides of the steps leading down to the river, making it a picturesque location.

Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views from Ambrai Ghat!

4. Discover the Ahar Cenotaphs

If you're a history and architecture enthusiast, a visit to the Ahar Cenotaphs in Udaipur is a must. These remarkable memorials were built for several members of the Royal House of Mewars and are located just 100 meters away from the Ahar Museum.

Ahar Museum

The museum showcases a range of artifacts from the supposed 10th century and requires a nominal entry fee. However, entry to the Cenotaphs is entirely free.

Why visit Ahar Cenotaphs?

The Ahar Cenotaphs offer a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of Rajasthan. They also boast stunning architecture and intricate designs, making them an excellent destination for architecture enthusiasts. Don't miss out on exploring these remarkable memorials on your next visit to Udaipur.

5. Enjoy a Cultural Dance Show at Bagore ki Haveli

Bagore ki Haveli, an 18th-century mansion on the edge of Lake Pichola, is now a museum that showcases Rajasthani culture through modern art, royal paintings, crafts, and costumes. It offers visitors an opportunity to witness the traditional Rajasthani folk dance program, Dharohar, held every day from 7 pm to 8 pm.

  • The Haveli has over 100 rooms, corridors, courtyards, and balconies overlooking Gangaur Ghat, making it a must-visit attraction.
  • Pre-booking is recommended as seats for the dance program fill up quickly.

Visit Bagore ki Haveli to experience the vibrant culture of Rajasthan through its art, architecture, and dance performances. Don't miss the chance to witness the spectacular Dharohar dance program, and make sure to book your seats in advance to avoid missing out.

6. Visit Gangaur Ghat

If you're visiting the city of Udaipur, make sure to add Gangaur Ghat to your list of places to see. Here's why:

Unique Experience

Located near Bagore Ki Haveli and a short walk from Hide-In Hostel, Gangaur Ghat offers a unique experience with its changing vibes throughout the day.

Morning Rituals

In the mornings, visitors can witness chanting and ritual ceremonies, adding a spiritual touch to your visit.

Pigeon-Filled Afternoons

During the day, the ghat is filled with pigeons, adding a lively and playful atmosphere.

Stunning Lights in the Evening

By evening, crowds gather to marvel at the stunning lights reflecting on the lake, making for a picturesque sight.

Must-Visit Attraction

Overall, Gangaur Ghat is a popular spot for people to gather and take in the beautiful surroundings, making it a must-visit attraction in the area.

7. Explore the Jagdish Temple

If you're a fan of history and architecture, then a visit to the Jagdish Temple is a must. This three-storey temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu was built in 1651 and is a true marvel of craftsmanship and design.

What to expect:

  • Detailed carvings of Hindu deities and animals
  • Intricate architecture
  • Perfect spot for photography
  • Rich cultural heritage

Why visit:

Exploring the Jagdish Temple is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and appreciate the fine artistry of the past. You'll be amazed by the stunning carvings and intricate details of the temple. Don't forget to bring your camera and capture the beauty of this historic destination. Plan your visit now and experience the wonder of the Jagdish Temple.

8. Witness the Beauty of Monsoon Palace

The Monsoon Palace, or Sajjangarh Palace, is a must-visit attraction in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Built by Maharana Sajjan Singh as an astronomical center, the palace later became a hunting lodge for the Royal family.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn't miss the Monsoon Palace:

  • Breathtaking panoramic views of Udaipur: From the palace's vantage point, you can take in stunning views of the city, including the lakes and the Aravalli hills.
  • Fascinating history: The palace has a rich history, from its origins as an astronomical center to its later use as a hunting lodge. You can learn more about the palace's past through exhibits and displays.
  • Iconic Udaipur landmark: The Monsoon Palace is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Udaipur, and a visit is an essential part of any itinerary.

So, make sure to add the Monsoon Palace to your list of things to do in Udaipur and witness the beauty of this iconic attraction.

9. Discover the Scenic Fateh Sagar Lake

If you're planning a visit to Udaipur, Rajasthan, make sure to add Fateh Sagar Lake to your list of must-see attractions. Here's why:

The Lake's History and Features

Fateh Sagar Lake is a man-made lake constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678. It features three islands, two of which are parks where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery. The third island houses a solar observatory, which is worth a visit for science enthusiasts.

The lake was later renamed after Maharana Fateh Singh who built a dam on it after floods. Today, it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning views and plenty of photo opportunities.

Boat Rides and Street Food

While at Fateh Sagar Lake, take a boat ride on nearby Lake Pichola to see the many monuments and hotels surrounding the lake, including Jag Mandir. It's a great way to experience Udaipur's history and architecture.

Don't forget to try the street food by the lake, which is renowned for its pakoras (deep-fried snacks) and kulhar chai (tea served in clay cups). It's the perfect way to round out your visit to this scenic destination.

So, add Fateh Sagar Lake to your travel itinerary and immerse yourself in Udaipur's natural and cultural beauty.

10. Escape to Badi Lake

Badi Lake is a hidden gem in Udaipur that offers a unique hiking experience to visitors. Despite being less well-known, the 20-minute hike to the Bahubali peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding scenery.

Why visit Badi Lake?

  • Enjoy a relatively easy hike accessible to all visitors
  • Witness stunning views from the top of Bahubali peak
  • Explore a lesser-known destination frequented by few locals

Don't miss out on the opportunity to escape to Badi Lake and discover this beautiful destination for yourself.

11. Relax at Saheliyon ki Badi

The Saheliyon Ki Bari gardens in Udaipur were built for Maharana Sangram Singh's wife and her 48 maids. The sprawling landscaped gardens are home to numerous fountains and provide a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Experience

If you're looking for a break from visiting palaces and lakes but still want to soak in the romantic atmosphere, the Saheliyon Ki Bari gardens are an excellent option. The serene surroundings and beautiful fountains make this a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking some peace and quiet.

Highlights

  • Sprawling landscaped gardens
  • Numerous fountains
  • Tranquil and serene surroundings
  • Perfect for nature lovers and peace seekers.

Best Places to Eat in Udaipur: A Foodie's Guide

Udaipur, with its beautiful lakes and vibrant culture, is also a haven for food lovers. From lakeside restaurants to street food, the city has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to eat in Udaipur:

Lakeside Restaurants

  • Baro Masi
  • Upre
  • Ras-Leela

These restaurants not only offer delicious food but also provide a stunning view of the lakes, enhancing your dining experience.

Natraj

Natraj is a must-visit for those who want to savor the local delicacies of Udaipur. The restaurant is famous for its Rajasthani Thalis, which are a heavenly blend of different flavors.

Street Food

Udaipur is also known for its street food, which is a must-try for every traveler. Some popular items include Samosas, Kachoris, and Jalebis, among others.

In conclusion, Udaipur is a gastronomical delight that every foodie should explore to experience the unique flavors and cuisine of Rajasthan.

Shopping in Udaipur: Where to Find the Best Souvenirs

If you're looking for traditional Rajasthani art and craft, Udaipur is the perfect destination for you. The handicrafts, clothes, jewelry, bags, turbans, ethnic shoes, lampshades, and handmade paper books are all a sight to behold.

Popular Markets

The popular markets for shopping in Udaipur are Hathipole, Badi Pol, and Bapu Bazaar. These markets are quite large and offer a variety of contemporary and traditional art pieces.

Time to Shop

To make the most of your shopping experience, I recommend setting aside at least half a day to explore these markets thoroughly. With so many options to choose from, shopping in Udaipur can be an exhilarating experience. Don't forget to bargain for the best price!

Nearby Getaways from Udaipur: Exploring the Surrounding Areas

If you're looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Udaipur, there are plenty of nearby getaways that you can explore. One great option is to take a day-trip to Kumbhalgarh, Ranakpur Temple, and Haldighati.

Here are some highlights of each location:

  1. Kumbhalgarh - Famous for its impressive fort and the second-longest wall in the world.
  2. Ranakpur Temple - Boasts intricate carvings and impressive architecture.
  3. Haldighati - A historical battlefield that is now home to various local food stalls, offering a delicious culinary experience.

You can organize the trip through a travel agency, and it usually takes a full day to visit all three locations. If you prefer a private vehicle, it could cost around INR 5000 - INR 6000. Alternatively, a shared tour could cost INR 1000 - INR 1500 per person.

Don't miss out on the chance to explore more of Rajasthan's history and culture with this day-trip from Udaipur.

Essential Travel Tips for Your Udaipur Trip

If you're planning a trip to Udaipur, here are some essential travel tips to make the most out of your visit:

Accommodations

Udaipur has a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets. You can choose to stay in budget-friendly hostels, luxurious hotels, or heritage havelis. Regardless of your choice, you'll find accommodation that's worth the price.

City Palace Light and Sound Show

Don't miss the Light and Sound show at the City Palace, available in both English and Hindi. It's a spectacular display of Udaipur's rich history and culture that you won't want to miss.

Guides

When visiting the City Palace, you can opt for a regular guide or an audio guide. Both options provide insightful information about the palace's history and architecture.

Walking and Bargaining

Be prepared to do a lot of walking to see all the sights in Udaipur. If you plan to take rickshaws or shop at the markets, be sure to brush up on your bargaining skills to get the best deals.