Udaipur: the city of lakes

My recent visit to Rajasthan has certainly been one of my most memorable trips. Before starting, I would like to thank Rajasthan Tourism for giving me the opportunity to explore and promote one of the most beautiful states of India: A place that need no adjectives to describe, a place that is unimaginably stunning and a place that has a rich culture, tradition and history.

On my very first visit to the ‘City Of Lakes’, I was spellbound by the charm and the royal beauty of this place. This city is impossible to not to fall in love with, with all its beautiful forts, stunning lakes, gorgeous palaces and rich culture and history. Crowded by tourists from all over the world, this city is popular for its exquisite arts and crafts, handprints and bandhani clothes, pottery items, miniature paintings, marble paintings, silver jewellery and household items.

You’ve probably heard the city named as ‘the Venice of the East’  because of its pristine lakes and beautiful architecture. The best part is – this place holds a balance between keeping up with the modern advancements in lifestyle and conserving the old rituals and traditions. The people of rural areas still wear kurta and dhoti (men) and ghagra choli (women) with lots of oxidised jewellery. The throbbing dance music and the colorful folk dance performed at the times of fairs, festivals and other ceremonies reflects the traditional and the cultural roots of the place. Udaipur is the city that transports you back to history the moment you set your foot here. 

  Things that made me fall in love with this beautiful city:

1) The City Palace: It is one of the majestical marvels of Rajasthan. Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, it is an attractive, pleasing and remarkable sight to the eyes. The architecture of City Palace is a beautiful assortment of Rajput, european and mughal style. The palace has vast courtyards and museums surrounded by a number of arched smaller palaces. City palace has three gates which leads to Tripolia gate, Virendra Pol and Udai Pol. The courtyard of the palace has four small gates which leads to the Chandra Mahal. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that these gates were constructed to represent four Hindu deities – Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Parvati. The palace has maintained the history of the city and is a symbol of grandeur, extravagance and royalty. So, if you are in Udaipur, you should visit this place.  

2) Lake Pichola: As the title ‘the City of Lakes’ itself describes, Udaipur is surrounded by a number of mesmerizingly beautiful lakes. Lake Pichola is one such artificial lake that is situated right in the middle of the city popular for its sunrise and sunset captivating views. The pristine blue waters and the scenic views of this lake will leave you mesmerized. Surrounded by islands, palaces, mansions, ghats, temples, this lake is one of the most popular attractions in Udaipur. 

Places you should not miss when you are at Lake Pichola::

  1. Lake Palace: for royal architecture
  2. Jag Mandir: a religious place
  3. City Palace: a magnificent site
  4. Arsi Vilas: a bird sanctuary
  5. Mohan Mandir: for Gangaur festival
  6. Jag Mandir: for marble carvings
  7. Bagore Ki Haveli: for cultural shows
  8. Gangaur Ghat: For serene ambiance

3) Taj Lake Palace: Towering right in the middle of Lake Pichola, Taj Lake Palace is a             sight of elegance and extravagance which symbolises royalty. It offers you astonishing views of City Palace, Jag Mandir and Aravalli hills. The walls of this magnificent beauty are made of white and black marble and are embellished with stones and ornaments.  The Palace comprises beautiful gardens, courtyards, fountains, pillared terraces and has the most unique view with the lake and the Aravalli mountains. Taj lake palace is a unique blend of tranquility and opulence. It is perhaps Rajasthan’s most iconic and luxurious choice to experience Udaipur in royalty. 

4) Kumbhalgarh Fort: Located on a hilltop of the Aravalli range, Kumbhalgarh is the second most magnificent fortress after Chittorgarh in Mewar. The hill serves as an unbreakable boundary as it has witnessed innumerable wars. The fort has seven gates and 360 temples within. It offers a picturesque view of the dunes in the Thar Desert. The wall of the fort is considered to be the longest wall in the world and is popularly known as the ‘The Great Wall Of India’. A visit to a kumbhalgarh fort and attend the remarkable sound and light show should definitely be on your list. 

5) Udaipur Food with a view: When it comes to Udaipur food, you can savour the culture of Rajasthan in their food. Rajasthani cuisine boasts the specialities like Daal Baati Churma, Dabeli, Gatte ki Sabzi, Pyaaz ki Kachori, Malpua and is famous all over India. From street food to fine cuisine, there is nothing that won’t satiate your hunger. A trip to Udaipur gives you a break from your boring regular menu and can be the best treat for a foodaholic. 

My recommendation for street food would be Sukharia circle chaupati. 

And if you want to have a royal evening with a perfect view and romantic music. I have quite a few recommendations:

  1. Khamma Ghani: Offers Multi-Cuisine, North Indian, Italian, Continental cuisines.  It is a beautiful lakeside fine dining restaurant located near the Rang Sagar Lake in Udaipur. The food is absolutely delicious and the ambience is to die for! 
  2. Ambrai: Part of Amet haveli, Ambrai has a very beautiful lakeside view specially in evenings. This place has it’s own vintage vibe to spend a romantic evening.
  3. Enigma restaurant: Everything is just so perfect about the place – the food is absolutely delicious, the ambience is a perfect blend of aesthetically pleasing elements and the gorgeous 360° view of the city – that will take your breath away!

These are my recommendations for appetizing food with the best views and service. Also, for an authentic Rajasthani meal with an amazing view, do visit the Jaiwana haveli.   

6) Ambrai Ghat: Ambrai Ghat also known as Manjhi Ghat is the most popular ghat located near the waterfront of Lake Pichola, opposite to the Gangaur Ghat. It is known for its location and is surrounded by a number of famous hotels and restaurants. It offers you a panoramic view of Udaipur, City palace and the lakes nearby. This place is filled by local residents and tourists after the sun goes down. In the early hours, you can enjoy the sunrise, do yoga, meditate, bathe in the lake and do a few other activities. Six aartis take place at the ghat starting right at 5:30 in the morning till 6:30 in the evening. So if you are in Udaipur, this place is a must-visit. 

7) Fateh Sagar Lake: Located in the north of Lake Piachola, Fateh Sagar Lake is an artificial lake which is tourists one of the favorite spot in Udaipur. This lake is the second largest glistening lake and it offers a view as pretty as a picture. Encompassed by the Aravilli hills, this place provides tranquility and serenity which is enough to fall in love with it. The lake comprises of three small islands and offers a number of water activities. Being one of the most popular destination, people drive here to enjoy boating on the crystal clear water and look at the beautiful view  it provides. You should definitely visit this place to witness beauty, happiness and fun all at one place.    

8) Handicrafts: If you’re a shopaholic, you cannot miss exploring shopping streets and bazaars in the quaint lanes of Udaipur. People from all over the world admire the arts and crafts of Udaipur which reflects the Rajasthani culture in them. Udaipur Handicrafts market, apart from the show-pieces includes footwear, books, clothing, jewellery, bags, paintings everything. 

 I’ve accumulated some of the best places to shop:

  1. Bada Bazaar: It is a one stop shop place where you can buy footwear, camel leather bags, silver jewellery, famous bandhani, batik and printed sarees at a reasonable price.
  2. Shilpgram: if you are an admirer of Rajathani handicrafts, leather products, paintings, handmade goods, terracotta craft items and traditional Rajasthani food then this place is for you. The puppet show here is a must watch.
  3. Rajasthali: Rajasthali is a Rajasthan government emporium which deals with everything weaving, woodwork, gems, exotic paintings, blue pottery, valuable stones, miniatures, brassware, mirror work, furniture, terracotta and textiles at fixed prices.
  4. Bapu Bazaar: Here you can find everything clothing, gadgets, bags, jewellery, books, footwear in one lane.  
  5. City palace street: This place is highly recommended for leather lovers. They sell the highest quality leather products like bags, belts, wallets and journals at fair prices. 

Udaipur is a place which you would promise yourself to come back to. This place has reserved a special place in my heart and I would love to visit here again. Plan a visit to this place to learn about new traditions, rituals and culture, to be lost in the beauty of the mesmerisingly beautiful palaces, stunning lakes, old temples and panoramic views of the city. 

That is all for today 🙂 Do comment if you want to know more about Udaipur or if you need any help with the Itinerary.

Below are some pictures from the city:

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