Resplendent with sparkling artificial lakes and massive shining palaces, Udaipur in Rajasthan is lovingly called the Venice of the East. Nestled amongst the Aravalli Ranges, the small city holds testimony of the grandeur that the Rajputs lived in down the history of India. The city packs into it a heavenly collection of palaces, monuments and temples, each being a sheer architectural masterpiece. The shimmering lakes with their small garden islands and strategically placed floodlights that light up the city in the evenings add a touch of romanticism to the place. Udaipur is easily a tourist’s favorite destination and a treasure for their camera lenses.
Good time to visit (July to September) – Udaipur experiences very little rainfall that makes the monsoon months of July to September a good time to visit. The rain-washed nature sparkles and the view of the lakes against the backdrop of the Aravalli Hills are at its best.
Visit with Caution (March to June) – Being in the desert region, Udaipur has a scorching summer when the temperatures exceed well over 40 degrees. Most of the outdoor activities like site-seeing and boating prove to be tiresome and uncomfortable during this time.
By Rail – Udaipur has a railway station right inside the city itself and a large number of trains from all over India pass through it. The luxurious train ‘Palace on Wheels’ also has a scheduled halt at this station.
By Road – Udaipur is connected to every other city in India via its network of National Highways. Bus services ply daily between Udaipur and other major cities in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner.
Udaipur is all about the outdoors, be it touring around the wonders of its many palaces and temples or boating in one of its blissful lakes. The picturesque city has lots to offer, the finest among them are listed below:
Must Visit Places in Udaipur
1. City Palace, Udaipur
The sprawling campus of City Palace overlooks the Lake Pichola and consists of 11 different palaces that were built over a period of 400 years. The Mughal styled palace dating back to the 16th Century has hints of European, medieval and Chinese architecture thrown in to add a unique charm to it. The ornate interiors with high marble arches, domes, towers and skillfully curved pillars are a treat for the eyes. Walking through the spacious corridors of the palace feels like stepping into wonderland as one browses through the exquisite pieces of crystal and porcelain ware, antique furniture and silver ware. The walls are adorned with a series of miniature paintings, canvases and murals dating back to the Mughal Era. The palace packs into it an impressive array of marble rooms with fascinating mirror-work, hanging gardens with charming little fountains, decorated temples, and beautiful balconies with mesmerizing panoramic views.
- Opening Timings – 9:30am to 5:30pm everyday
- Entry Fees – INR 500 for Foreign Tourists
INR 250 for India Citizen
*Additional fees are applicable for different parts of the palace.
- Camera Fees – INR 200 for still photography
INR 500 for video photography
2. Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola, one of Udaipur’s largest artificial lakes that grace the sprawling City Palace campus takes romanticism to a whole new level. The lake that has quite a few bathing ghats (Hindi for Jetties) was built by Pichhu Banjara in 1362 AD. With a backdrop of the enchanting Aravalli Hills and dotted with several tiny islands and colorful boats sailing in it, Lake Pichola is a tourist’s paradise. A romantic boat ride during the orange sunset of Udaipur is an enthralling experience giving your senses a heavenly fairy-tale feel. As darkness falls over the city during the late evening, the sparklingly clear waters of Lake Pichola shimmers, highlighted with the colorful floodlights and the dark silhouette of the City Palace reflected in the ripples of the water.
Opening Timings – 10:00am to 6:00pm everyday
3. Fateh Sagar Lake
Another of the interconnected artificial lakes in Udaipur is the serene and sublime Fateh Sagar Lake. Located north of the Lake Pichola, it was constructed by Maharana Jal Singh in 1687, further expanded by Maharana Fateh Sagar. The moss green Moti Magri Hill and the Aravalli Range provide a stunning backdrop for this lake while one enjoys a relaxing boat ride around it. The Hariyali Amavasya Mela, a colorful fair-like festival is held at the lake-side during August-September.
Three garden islands situated on the lake attract tourists in large numbers. One island is transformed into the popular Nehru Park that offers thrilling joyrides for the kids. A boat-shaped restaurant and a tiny zoo add further amusement to it. More excitement awaits at the second island with an amusement park with charming water-jet fountains. The third island houses the famous Udaipur Solar Observatory.
|Boating Type||Timing (Daily)||Charges|
|Paddle Boats||9:00am to 6:00pm||INR 15-30 for Indian Citizen
INR 60-125 for Foreign Tourists
|Motor Boats||9:00am to 6:00pm||INR 200 for Adults
INR 100 for Children
|Speed Boats||8:00am to 4:30pm||INR 200 (30 minute trip)|
4. Bagore Ki Haveli
The Royalty and grandeur the Rajputs lived in is evident from their love for building massive houses. One of the most impressive of these houses is the 18th Century Bagorey-ki-Haveli, the residence of the then Prime Minister of Mewar. Located near the Lake Pichola, the Haveli has over a hundred rooms and several terraces and balconies that look over the lake and the surrounding picturesque mountains. The interiors of the house is ornately decorated, beautiful paintings and murals adorn its walls and several antique-ware like Rajasthani jewellery cases, hukkahs, copper vessels and other items used by the erstwhile residents are on display. What catch the eyes are the awe-inspiring multi-colored cut-glass window panes and peacocks inside the mansion.
A one hour Rajasthani music and dance show called Darohar is held inside the Haveli at Neem Chowk terrace every evening from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.
- Opening Timing – 10:00am to 5:30pm everyday
- Entry Fees – INR 25 per person
- Camera Charges – INR 100
Should Visit Places in Udaipur
5. Jaisamand Lake
Basking in the glory of a rich wildlife collection and a group of islands dotting its surface, the Jaisamand Lake dating back to 1685 is the second-largest artificial lake in Asia. Flanked by a majestic palace on one side and a spacious pavilion with 12 intricately curved pillars on the other and an impressive dam, the Jaisamand Lake provides a blissful boating experience. A beautiful set of stairs reach down to the water and the embankment is decorated with six marble columns, its focal point being a Shiva temple. The surrounding forests constitute the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for various migratory birds along with panthers, leopards, wild boars, deer and antelopes.
6. Lake Palace
Sprawled over the 4 acre Jag Niwas Island on Lake Pichola stands the regal and impressive Lake Palace built in the 18th Century. The palace that once held an important historic significance during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 is now run by the Taj Group and is a resort offering a luxurious living experience. Hailed as the world’s most romantic hotel, the Taj Lake Palace is a popular wedding venue for the rich people of India. The shining white marble palace with its eye-catching architecture has been the setting for several Hollywood movies. The resort boasts of a wealthy clientele and has hosted many famous people like Lord Curzon and Queen Elizabeth among others.
7. Eklingji Temple
Located 22kms from Udaipur and just on the side of National Highway 8 is the iconic Eklingji Temple dating back to the 8th Century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the sprawling complex houses a total of 108 small temples. The main temple is an impressive building with a pyramid-shaped roof. The entrance to the spacious pillared hall is graced by a silver figure of the Nandi cow. A magnificent 50 feet high four-faced Shiva idol curved out of black marble and garlanded with a shining silver snake takes the centre place. The idol is surrounded by four other idols that are worshipped as the children of Lord Shiva. The beautiful architecture and the mythological inscriptions on the temple walls make for good photography.
During end February or early March, the temple comes alive with the devotional festival of Maha Shivratri which is observed on a grand scale in the temple.
Opening Timings – 4:15am to 7:45pm everyday
Can Visit Places in Udaipur
8. Vintage & Classic Cars Museum
If you are crazy about cars, the Vintage & Classic Cars Museum housed inside the Garden Hotel in the heart of the city is a welcome break from the lakes, temples and palaces. The grandeur and luxury that the erstwhile Rajput Monarchy lavished upon is evident from this impressive collection of cars that has been preserved from ages gone by. The array of colorful and sleek cars includes a 1938 Cadillac showcasing the Purdah (Hindi for Partition) system of those times. A 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom and big brands like Mercedes, Vauxhall and Aston Martin also form a part of the collection.
- Opening Timings – 9:00am to 8:00pm everyday
- Entry Fees – INR 250 per adult; INR 150 per child (5-12yrs)
9. Jag Mandir
Floating gloriously in all its golden grandeur, Jag Mandir is a majestic palace cut out of yellow sandstone located in one of the islands on Lake Pichola. Built in the 17th Century, the Jag Mandir Palace has been witness to a string of Rajput Rulers who treated it as a summer retreat. The beautiful architecture of the three-storied palace is complimented by the eight massive white marble elephant statues guarding the entrance gate. The palace complex houses several separate buildings and a spacious courtyard. The gardens inside the complex are a nature lover’s paradise, resplendent with the refreshing scent of various colorful blooms like frangipani, bougainvillea, rose and jasmine. A boat ride to the island and a tour of the palace makes for a beautiful day’s outing.
Opening Timings – 10:00am to 6:00pm everyday
In an attempt to preserve and showcase Rajasthan’s colorful folk culture and unique rural art and craft, Shilpgram was established as a Government initiative. The 70 acre of land located 3kms from Udaipur is a real-life walk-through of a Rajasthani village reflecting their lifestyle and culture. Shilpgram is essentially an Artisan’s Village that gives the Rajasthani rural artisans to showcase their handicraft skills and sell their unique products. Among the items on sale are beautifully painted clay pots and urns, unique Rajasthani fabrics with thread and mirror-work, beaded jewellery, miniature paintings, camel leather goods and other knick-knacks.
The Shilpgram Annual Festival held in November and December is an elaborate carnival-like affair. Apart from the wide display of items and various food stalls, the festival also showcases the unique Rajasthani dance and music performances.
- Opening Timings – 11:00am to 7:00pm everyday
- Entry Fees – INR 25 for Foreign Tourists
INR 15 for Indian Citizens
Udaipur is a portrayal of true beauty mingled with the old world charm of a rich history, the grandeur of Rajput Monarchy along with the freshness of Mother Nature. A vacation in the city is an exhilarating experience that leaves an echo in the mind for a lifetime!