Udaipur is a city of lakes and palaces, of crafts and culture, of food and romance. It is often referred to as the Venice of the East because of its many lakes and picturesque sights.
Udaipur came into existence when Maharana Udai Singh founded the city and made it the capital of Mewar. A city rich in culture and history, Udaipur is home to palaces, temples, narrow streets with amazing handicrafts on display and beautiful lakesides. Well known for the traditional Rajasthani and Kathiawadi cuisine, you find many restaurants and cafés here. When you notice every fifth establishment is either a restaurant or a hotel or both, you realise the importance of tourism in this city. Known as one of the Destination Weddings City in India, Udaipur has something to offer for every pocket size.
Here are our top picks from the City of Love and Lakes:
♥ Shop for Mojris, Bandhni and Handicrafts at Hathipole
Hathipole market is crowded but a great place to shop for amazing silver jewellery and colourful, stylish mojris. Pick clothes and traditional attire with Rajasthani Bandhani work. Splurge on handicrafts – wooden, metallic or glass work, take your pick!
♥ Take a Safari at Kumbalgarh Fort
Kumbalgarh Fort is located at a distance of about a 100 km from the main city. Trek and explore the fort or take a Safari and go animal spotting. There are more than 350 temples, pure marvels of architecture. The wall of Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second longest wall in the world at 36 km and is a heritage UNESCO site. The Vedi temple is a marvellous structure supported by 36 pillars where the yagna were performed.
♥ Go to Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh holds a very important place in the history of Mewar. The view from the palace is exquisite. Explore the fort and appreciate a deep dive into history.
♥ Enjoy a Steaming cup of Kulhad Coffee by Fateh Sagar Lake at night
The fast food scene in this area is amazing. Lots of stalls to choose from and lots of variety. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea in a kulhad, and let the amazing view of Fateh Sagar lake mesmerise you.
Take a stroll around the lake (vehicles are prohibited around one section).
Also, if you enjoy a jog/walk, the entire circumference is closed to vehicles in the morning (till around 10 am).
♥ Bask in the beauty of Saheliyon ki Bari
Saheliyon ki Bari is a picturesque garden famous for its pink bougainvillaea covered canopy and fountains. The varied flora, the sound of water and the chirping of birds make this garden a beautiful escape away from the noise and hustle-bustle of the city. It also houses a small museum with some ancient relics.
♥ Hogg guiltlessly at Natraj Thali
Natraj Restaurant is one of the oldest establishments serving lip-smacking Gujrati and Rajasthani Thalis at just ₹200. You can also choose the a la carte options and relish Dal-Bati-Churma.
♥ Go for a café crawl
Udaipur is a tourist hub. And the fact that every fifth establishment is either a hotel/PG or a restaurant/café just goes on to prove it. Certain areas are just bustling with amazing cafés and foreigners enjoying a cup of coffee or a plate of chat like they were locals!
Go for a cafè crawl in the old city area. A multitude of options are located literally at walking distance from each other in the Chandpole-Pichola-Lal Ghat area!
Here are the ones we covered in around 2 hours with a halt long enough to enjoy a good cup of coffee:
♥ Learn more about Udaipur’s blood covered but glorious history with a visit to Haldi Ghati, Chetak Samadhi, Rakt Talai and Maharana Pratap Museum
Take a long drive and get a taste of history at Maharana Pratap Museum.
Visit the famous site – The Pool of Blood at Rakt Talai Garden. Learn about Maharana Pratap and the great battle at the light and sound show at the museum. Buy original Gulabjal (Rose Water) and Gulkand from the shop at the museum.
♥ Shop at Shilpgram
Shilpgram is the rural art and crafts village of Udaipur. The major attractions include textile, wooden and metal artefacts and pottery. Hand weaved sarees and medicated blankets, attar (itar) and beautiful silver/zinc jewellery, you name it, they have it all!
♥ Watch a localite perform stunts, display a time-honoured art or enjoy a traditional dance performance
Jagmandir is a beautiful palace built on an island in lake Pichola. Take a boat ride to the palace and enjoy the beautiful architecture!
♥ Eat at one of the many lake-view restaurants/cafés in the city
Udaipur is the city of lakes, and a vast number of establishments give one a magnificent view of these lakes.
Here are the pocket-friendly options we dined at:
Also, visit –
♥ Jagdish Temple
♥ Take a boat ride at lake Pichola and a Cable Car ride near Mata Karni Mandir
♥ Monsoon Palace
♥ Nehru Garden
♥ Udaipur Solar Observatory
♥ Walk aimlessly in one of the timeless streets and you still will find beautiful sights – beautiful Havelis, walls painted with colourful pictures, minakari work, etc.
Getting around in Udaipur: Cabs and Tuk-Tuks are available easily. Many options to hire two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Commuting is not an issue as the city and surrounding tourist spots are very well connected and traffic is not much of a menace.
Stay: There is an option suiting every pocket in Udaipur. Go lavish and splurge at one of the high-end hotels and resorts like Lake Palace or just pick an apt PG in Chandpole or a budget hotel in the city.