Welcome to Udaipur
Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of lakes Udaipur is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by lush green hills of Aravallis. The famous Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. It is also home to Jaisamand Lake, claimed to be the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city. The city is also known for its profusion of zinc and marble. Solar observatory in Lake Fateh Sagar is the only observatory in India located on an island and has been made on the pattern of Big Bear Lake in Southern California. The ten-day Shilpgram Festival which starts from 21 Dec to 30 Dec pulls in a large number of people interested in arts and crafts.
Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar.
Things to do in Udaipur
It is great if you had been to Venice. If not and if you would like to know how it would feel like to be in such a lovely atmosphere, you may have to land in Udaipur, famously called the ‘Venice of the East’ and ‘The City of Lakes’. Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan is a stunning location and has a rich cultural background and a great history. The palaces reflect the architectural grandeur prevailed during the period of Rajputs and the scenic landscape is descriptive of how nature could be generous where it chooses to be. Here are the top places to visit in Udaipur, which you just cannot miss.
City Palace was constructed in the year 1559 by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh. The palace is situated on the banks of Pichola Lake. The palace is a blend of European, Medieval and Chinese styles of architecture. City Palace houses 11 magnificent palaces and they were all constructed during various periods and by various rulers. The size of the palace is awe inspiring with the courtyards, terraces, pavilions, hanging gardens and a lot more. Everything about the palace is magnificent be it the architecture, the antiques inside and the exclusive paintings hanging on the walls.
Another man made wonder in the city dominated by nature, Lake Pichola was created in 1362 AD. Rana Udai Singh II extended the lake in 16th century. The picturesque lake is surrounded by huge hills, magnificent palaces, temples and bathing ghats. The islands in Lake Pichola offer various tourist attractions and hence by cruising in Lake Pichola, you are sure to have a whale of a time. Sunset views are stunning. Boat cruise offers lovely views of the town, particularly in the evenings as you watch the sun go down on your eyes, you will find the city lit up. The palaces look stunning with the lights on and it is a great view from the lake.
The symbol of Udaipur tourism and a famous wedding destination, Lake Palace or Jag Niwas is an architectural marvel. The palace is situated on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola and was built in the year 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II. It was later converted into a luxury hotel in 1960s and now is a part of Taj luxury resorts. This stunning location has also been featured in many Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
Jagmandir or Lake Garden Palace is said to have served as an inspiration for the Taj Mahal when Shah Jahan took refuge here in his younger days. This palace has a long history and is considered one of the symbols of friendship between the Mughals and Rajputs. A series of impressive structures give this palace a regal feel and would delight any visitor.
A paradise for all motor enthusiasts, The Royal Vintage Car Museum is a must visit for any visitor. It was inaugurated in Feb 2000 and has become a very popular tourist destination since then. The museum houses many famous vintage cars like the 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom used in the Bond film Octopussy and many rare Rolls Royce models to name a few. The quiet and peaceful environment here is an added bonus.
Bagore Ki Haveli is situated near Pichola Lake. The 18th century construction was built by Amir Chand Badwa, Chief Minister at the Royal Court of Mewar. The Haveli became the residence of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore in the year 1878 and hence the name Bagore Ki Haveli. This was converted into museum retaining the royal touch to the building. The museum presents the culture of Mewar. The antique collections include the stuff used by Rajputs such as jewellery boxes, hand fans, copper vessels and so on. The massive building has over 100 rooms and looks splendid with its unique style of architecture. When you are there, make sure you present yourself for the shows conducted here in the evenings.
Built by Sangram Singh II as a gift to queen and her maids, Saheliyon Ki Bari (Garden of Companions) is a beautiful sight to behold. The king designed the garden himself and strived to make it a relaxed place where the queen could relax with her 48 maids. The garden still serves its purpose in many ways and people come to this place to escape the chaos of the city.
Built in the year 1651, Jagdish Temple is Udaipur’s largest temple. An estimated 1.5 million INR were spent on this stunning Indo-Aryan architectural marvel. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also houses other shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesh, the Sun God, and Goddess Shakti. This temple should be visited not only to offer your devotion but also to witness beautiful wall carvings, elephant sculptures and for the stunning architecture.
Set up in about 70 acres of land and situated in the lap of Aravali ranges, Shilpgram is a rural arts and crafts complex set up to promote the traditional arts and crafts of Rajasthan. It provides employment to many rural craftsmen and is a centre of many cultural festivals which are organised here on a regular basis. Another attraction here is an open air Amphitheatre which provides the centre stage for many art festivals. Visit Shilpgram to experience the simplicity of village life, attend art or dance showcases and shop to your heart’s content.
A fitting tribute to the memory of Maharana Pratap and his beloved horse Chetak, Moti Magri hosts a stunning bronze statue of Maharana on his horse Chetak.It is situated on a hilltop overlooking Fateh Sagar lake and also offers some really beautiful lookout points to not only the nearby lakes but also of Udaipur. Visit Moti Magri to know the stunning legacy of events associated with Maharana Pratap and get some really stunning views.