Celebrated as the “The City of Lakes”, Udaipur a spectacular city in Rajasthan with a famed history and fascinating cultural background. The city skilfully reflects the great Rajputana’s architectural superbity and unforgettable history. Udaipur is thought-out to be one of the world’s most romantic cities and is often called the “Venice of the East”. Nothing can describe this place better than its serene lakes, restorative weather, magnificent temples and whirling bazars. Needless to say, Udaipur has emerged as one of the top travel destinations in India.
Amidst the Rajputana royalty and grandeur, here are the fantastic 5 places to visit in Udaipur.
- Udaipur Solar Observatory
Situated on an isolated island in Lake Fateh Sagar, the Udaipur Solar Observatory is seen as Asia’s best solar observing site. This incredible observatory was modeled on the Big Bear Lake Solar Laboratory in Southern California. If you are having your kids on-board, this observatory is surely a fun place to be!
- The City Palace
Constructed in 1559 by MaharanaUdaiMirza Singh, the alluring City Palace is located on the banks of Pichola Lake. To everyone’s astonishment the City Palace homes 11 grandiose palace which are a perfect blend of Chinese, Medieval and European architectural styles constructed by distinguished rulers, during various periods. With beautiful pavilions, courtyards, hanging gardens, exquisite paintings, magnificent architecture; everything about this palace is simply royal and memorable.
- Ghanerao Castle
Located in Ghanerao, this royal castle is located almost 140 kilometers from the classical city of Udaipur. The Ghanerao Castle offers an enchanting insight to the royal and glorious lifestyle of the rulers gone-by. If you are a history buff, this is a place to be!
- Kumbhalgarh Fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort was upreared by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century and is most popular for being the birth place of Maharana Pratap, the renowned king and warrior of Mewar. Guarded from harm by thirteen mountain peaks of Aravali, this fort is the strongest and highest fort of Rajasthan. Kumbhalgarh fort is closely protected by a 15 kilometers long wall, the second longest wall of the world after the Great Wall of China, making this place a must-visit when in Udaipur.
- Lake Pichola
Forged in 1362 AD, Lake Pichola is a factitious wonder in the city of Udaipur, beautifully surrounded by alluring palaces, mountains, bathing ghats and magnificent temples. There are a number of tourist attractions on the islands in Lake Pichola, which can be explored by cruising around in the Lake. The place looks enthralling during the night time. So, when you plan a trip to Udaipur this year, book a boat cruise during the evening hours and see the beautiful city light up as the sun goes down.
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Not only the wonderful scenery, the City of Lakes has a lot more to offer to those looking for an adventure filled trip. Here are top 3 adventure activities offered by Udaipur:
With the backdrop of Aravli range, Udaipur offers some amazing hiking and trekking opportunities to the nature lovers and adventure freaks
2. Elephant Safari
Elephant Safari is among the most popular activity for the young and old visitors alike. What can be better than a remarkably unique sightseeing experience atop this majestic animal?
- Camel safari
How can you visit a desert city and not go for a camel ride? Not just in Udaipur but camel safari is extremely popular in various other cities of Rajasthan. You can hire one through the city to the desert and explore the magnificent palaces, historic temples and serene lakes, all day long.
Lesser known to the tourists but Udaipur’s landscapes make it a great place for adventure sports like paragliding. You can take part in this adventure sport and experience the stunning views of the City of Lakes from above.
Wondering what all to fill your bags with, when in Udaipur? Here are 5 things to shop before you leave Udaipur:
Nothing can beat the beauty of Rajasthani jewelry. If you truly drool over the jewels of actresses from historical dramas and wondering where you can buy these from, then Udaipur is the place to be. You can buy captivating designs of kundan, meenakari and polki jewelry from Udaipur. From meenakari maangteekas to kundan haars and polki jhumkas, this place as aplenty of every kind of jewelry. Bada Bazar and Palace road are among the best places to buy flawlessly beautiful jewelry from but don’t forget to bargain!
Rajasthan is a unique state for a number of reasons. It is most celebrated for the amazing handicrafts made by extremely talented craftspersons. Udaipur is no exception! You can buy marvelously hand carved wooden antiques, handmade papers, hanging kaathputlis, recycled greeting cards and much more from ChetakCirle, Bada Bazaar and Haathi Pol. You can either buy handicrafts from local markets or from Rajasthan Government shopping emporiums. So, give your house a traditional make-over with these beautiful handicrafts from Udaipur.
2. Leather Items
Camel leather items are another popular offerings of Udaipur and can be seen in every local market here. Not only this, you can also buy pure leather items here. From jootis to wallets, from purses to leather handicrafts, you can bag these all from the local markets. If you desire to buy camel leather items, make sure you go to a street vendor as you will have a good scope of bargaining with them.
Udaipur has a lot to offer to the art lovers. You can buy the traditional Rajasthani paintings such as the Phad, Pichwai and Rajasthan miniature paintings at negotiable prices from Hathi Pol bazar. These are the traditional art forms which originated in Rajasthan and then spread to the rest of the country. People from around the country visit Rajasthan to take home a memory of its rich tradition in form of paintings.
Remember the jaw-dropping lehenga-choli worn by Deepika Padukone in the Bollywood hit RaamLeela? if you have desired to buy one for yourself then you are at the right place. Udaipur is home to numerous shops that sell lehenga, choli, sari, bags and kurtis that bear the trademark of Rajasthani style. The beautiful mirror work and Bandhni style will surely leave you in awe!
FOOD & DINING
Once the land of royal monarchs, Udaipur has been famous for the flavorsome cuisine it offers. The city still serves the finest delicacies to its visitors and dwellers. Udaipur cuisine is highly influenced by Vaishnavism and hence doesn’t include non-vegetarian dishes. This place is most famous for Kachori, Dal-Baati-Churma, Gatte-Ki-Sabzi, yoghurt soups, Lentil curries and MirchiBada.
This is not to say that there is any dearth of restaurants which serve non-vegetarian food. if you are interested in trying the famous Udaipuri cuisine, then there are a number of restaurants that serve cuisines ranging from Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian to Continental. Some of the popular restaurants in Udaipur are, Ambrai near the Pichhola Lake, Bawarchi, Natraj, Paratha Hut and many more.
Nightlife in Udaipur
While most visitors retire to their hotels by night, there are others who prefer to explore the city at night. Gorgeously traditional during the day, Udaipur becomes even more beautiful with lights during the night hours. Here are some entertaining things to do in Udaipur at night:
- Feast at a Rooftop Restaurant
Udaipur homes several rooftop restaurants which offer a beautifully perfect view of the palaces and lakes. You can munch some flavorsome snacks and sip your favorite wine while looking at the beautiful landscape.
2. Enjoy the Sound and Light Show
While in this beautiful city, you can enjoy the astonishing sound and light show at the City Palace, which narrates the amazing history of Mewar. The show is held both in Hindi and English, at different timings. The narrative follows 15 centuries of history and is divided into 12 episodes.
3. Take part in cultural event at Dharohar Theatre
If you are looking some cultural entertainment filled evening, then Dharohar Theatre is the place to be. Every evening from 7-8 pm, a cultural event known as Dharohar is held at Neemchowk in Bagore Ki Haveli.
4. Hunt down the streets
The streets of this city come to life once the sun sets with uncountable shoppers filling the streets. You can bag some amazing jewelry, clothes, shoes, souvenirs and much more from the streets. Not only this, you can also satiate your hunger for traditional roadside food.