Ideal duration: 3 days Major Airports: Maharana Pratap International Airport Best time: September to March (Read More)
The majestic, grand and exquisite beauty of the royal state of Rajasthan, the city of marvellous antiquity, exquisite grandiosity and infinite elegance is what defines the bewitching city of Udaipur. Also referred to as the City of Lakes; the city holds elaborate historical patronage carrying forward the legacy of this baronial state of Rajasthan. The city has earned its august folklore owing to the luring collection of the shimmering lakes in its gorgeous boundaries. Grazing the picturesque ridges of the devouring Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, the city has an awe inspiring aura with complex architecture, enumerable palaces decorated along the crystal shining waters of the beautiful lakes. All these characteristics act as an impulse attracting a lot of tourists from around the globe.
The grand appreciation and famousness the city has in its courtyards is owing to it being regarded as one of the most romantic destinations in the world and the most erotic spot on the continent of India and for the same reason referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’. The city has a total of five streaming lakes namely, Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar and Doodh Talai Lake.
As the city is decorated with many worth a visit places, the city houses some of the most famous hotels and resorts of the world, so accommodation is not a problem in the city. Other than this, the ancient and antique relic, artefacts and memoirs of the city make up a great bucket list of shopping. There are a number of eateries available in the city ranging from traditional cuisines to different platters.
The city has a compelling nature with all its Grandness, Royal Heritage, Exquisite Palaces and an interesting Legend mingled with every spot you explore. The city is a complete kit alluring different types of tourists suiting the tastes of architecture fanatics, history explorers, nature lovers and cultural buffs. A visit to the cultural capital of the state and the romancers spot is a must while on your visit to magnificent India.
The royal abode of Udaipur is known for its exotic culture, traditions and heritage linked to the extravagant and vast history it holds into its books. The rich folklore is divided into a prehistoric era and post-historic era.
The significant history or the majority of its gain of prominence makes the city a worth mention in the historical artefacts, books and texts it explains the journey of becoming a high and highborn place and its establishment into the cultural capital of the state. Maharaja Udai Singh founded Udaipur in the year 1559. The reason of laying stones of inhabitation here was because of its fertile circular Girwa Valley nearby of the Banas River.
Another legend says that the erstwhile king met a hermit while he was on a hunt in the Aravalli Hills. The sage blessed him and hereafter advised him to establish a kingdom in the fertile land, and the grand Aravalli range will protect their kingdom from invaders. Soon after, the Maharaja established a minor residence on the ridge east to the Pichola Lake. Soon after founding the city, it was recognized as the new capital of the mighty Mewar kingdom. Former to the establishment of Udaipur as the capital, Chittorgarh used to serve as the capital of the kingdom. But the city was threatened continuously by enemy invasions and attacks. One such occurrence led to the king exiling to Kumbhalgarh where the king is supposed to have met the sage. What followed is the conspicuity and eminence.
In the year 1568, Mughal Emperor Akbar invaded Chittor. To conserve Udaipur from his siege; he erected a six kilometres long city wall with seven gates namely Surajpole, Chandpole, Udaipur, Hathipole, Amba Pole and Brahmpal. After the Mughal Empire weakened, the Sisodia rulers resurrected most of the Mewar except for Chittor. Udaipur remained untouched and became a princely state in the British Raj in 1818. The city remained out of reach for Mughal rulers due to it being a mountainous region and highly armoured Mughal horses.
Culture of Udaipur
Udaipur holds a rich cultural heritage, owing to its exorbitant rule since ages. The city encompasses numerous lakes, majestic forts and grand palaces all speaking out the rich legacy out loud, it’s a perfect blend of rapid modernization and changing lifestyle and preservations of rituals and traditions. Folk music and dances plays a significant role in enacting the rich heritage of the city.
Significant dance practices and forms followed in the city are Bhavai, Ghoomar, Kachhi Ghodi, Kalbeliya and Terah Taali all adding to the cultural sparkle of it. Ghoomar serves to be an original dance form of the Mewar Kingdom. The dance is performed by community women with all folk attires and graciousness. These dances are performed at all fairs and festivals and are a perfect insight into the former rule of the city.
Traditional music forms an important element of the cultural palate too and is generally played with instruments like Morchang, Naad, Tanpura and Sarangi all being used since court days.
Art has known its definitions since the form of miniature paintings developed during the rulers of Rajasthan. Such artistic creations are followed on walls and old frescos of palaces. Other art forms include Pichwais and Phad painted on cloth or cloth scroll. The best such cultural home is the Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal displaying relics dating back in time.
Religion and Language
The most spoken languages of the city are Hindi and Rajasthani, however, as many tourists visit the place, and it is the cultural hub of the state, so the people are well versed with English for communication. Other than this, Gujarati, Marwari and Wagdi are also spoken amongst the inhabitants. Hinduism is the most common religion in the city, and other religions followed include Jains, Sikhs, Buddhism and Muslim.
Best Time to Visit
The grandeur of the palaces, the mesmerizing views of the lakes, native history and culture of the city and the welcoming nature of the locals can be visited at any time of the year but the most relishing and soothing seasons to visit the city is that of spring and winter. These months include the tenure from September to March. Springs enter with their fierce yet calming winds, and by the time of September, they are about to be succeeded by Winter season. As winter is about to set in the temperatures suddenly drop and the weather around becomes tolerable to canvas yourself with the aura of the city. Pleasant surroundings accompany this weather with maximum temperatures of 28.3 degree Celsius. The entire day is very cool and comfortable, and you can easily step out of your room to tick out your destinations on your bucket list.
What you will like
The architecture was at its peak of prominence in the city. Other than that if you’re a nature lover, you will particularly enjoy the luring greenery of the beautiful and placid gardens with blooming scents of the flowers and the sweet music of the insects. A visit to this city is a must for every kind of traveller and wanderer.
What you might not like
Never visit in the months between April to October as peak burning summers are going to hamper every plan of yours. So you need to watch out for summers at its most. Other than this, the food of the city is all about spices and seasoning so if you’re allergic to spices to need to inform the dine-in about it beforehand.
Wanderer, solo travellers or explorer, Shopping fanatic, family trips, and history buffs and definitely for the nature lover.
How to Reach
By Air– Reaching Udaipur is very easy as the city has its own international airport called the Maharana Pratap International Airport or the Udaipur Airport or the Dabok Airport which is just 22 km away from the heart of the city.
By Rail– The city has two railway stations called the Udaipur Railway Station and the Rana Pratap Nagar Railway Station connected well with all the major metropolitan cities of the country.
Road– Other than this the city has a well-established road network also and travelling from one place to other is not a problem in the city.
Festivals and Fairs
The beauty and grandeur of the royal patronage it carries are reflected in every celebration the city is indulged in. The city has the most extravagant celebration of festivals owing to the vibrancy the city upholds. Many such fairs and festivals are celebrating with zeal and enthusiasm amongst the locals attracting the tourists to indulge in them too.
The major festival of the city is the Gangaur Festival. This festival is known to celebrate the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in conjugal and marital happiness. It is celebrated in the month of March or April where the women fast and ask for blessings of a spouse from the holy couple. Married women keep it in order to pray for the good health and long life of their husbands. Women are dressed in traditional attires and decorate themselves while in some areas this is accompanied by traditional dances being performed by folk artists.
Other such festivities include the Hariyali Amavasya, Jagannath Rath Yatra and Jal Jhulni Ekadashi. Other than this, other national festivals like Holi, Diwali and Makar Sankranti are also celebrated. A local fair called the Shilpgram Utsav is organized displaying the demonstrations by musicians, dancers and artisans from different states.
Shopping at Udaipur
A major perk of visiting is a state like Rajasthan is that you can buy a number of relics, artefacts and memoirs locally from streets. Every market in the city is mingled with ascetic and ethnic values clearly illustrating the culture and heritage still prevalent.
Other than palaces and forts, the city offers you vibrant and mind-blowing shopping arcades. The town is known for its fantastic taste of Handicrafts, Stone jewellery, Bright and Colourful Textiles, Meenakari things, Gemstone paintings, Oxidized copper and silver coins, Pichwai paintings, Miniature paintings, Sculptures, Panels and other marble stone items.
Other than this, you can even opt for home décor items like paintings in semi-precious stones, antique wooden furniture, jharokhas, lovely statues, waterfalls and vibrant coloured furnishings.
The best shopping markets of the city include the Hathi Pol bazar, Bada Bazaar, Chetak circle, Bapu Bazaar, Shilpgram, Rajasthali, Sadhana emporium, Lake Palace road, Jagdish Temple street and Clock tower. The palaces are worth visit and the welcoming nature of the shopkeepers are going to lure you into the essence of the city.
Not only this you can buy memoirs for your loved ones too, and that can be ranging from anything like home décor to handicrafts to textiles or jhootis, or traditional exquisite jewellery. This shopping experience is going to give you the realization of why is the city of lakes referred to as the cultural capital of the state.
Local Food of Udaipur
The savoury taste of the streets is what is worth relishing, and a must treat for locals and tourists alike. No matter how many long alleys of good restaurants you’ve visited, what’s going to blow your mind is the street food in Udaipur. If you want to enjoy the local taste of the city, the streets are what you should hit. Such delicious treats include Daal Baati Churma, Mirchi Vada, Kachoris and Dabelis.
Not only does the taste interests you into having more of it, but it also reflects the heritage and tradition followed since its ruling days. When in the city you should fall into the Mewari Styled curries cooked from traditional Indian spices with their luring taste and aroma. It is available in both vegan and non-vegan styles but is worth some mouth-watering dish.
When walking around the city admiring its essence do try a Kulhad Chai if you’re into tea. It has this unique aroma of the container it is served in that adds on to its taste. There are a number of eateries available in the city some of which are themed restaurants depicting the nature of meals that used to exist during the royal times. The city is known for its spices and seasoning and worth some mouth churning.
The City of Lakes is all set to be explored with this itinerary plan of the visit. It can be followed in this way.
Day 1- Since this is your first day in the city of Sunrise, you need to explore the relics that earned it such titles. A visit to the Udaipur City Palace, the most ethereal and blue beauty of grandeur is beyond description. After this, a visit to the Saheliyon ki Badi, the enchanting garden is worth some time. Have lunch at the Millets of Mewar, a restaurant dedicated to cooking healthy food with natural oils. As sunset is approaching an energising visit to the Pichola Lake and the Palace is what is going to leave you with an amazement mark.
Day 2- After you have your breakfast head for the Sajjan Garh monsoon palace located on the magnificent hills offering you a divine site of the entire city. In the evening visit the Fateh Sagar Lake and engage in a boat ride with your fellow mates. Have a mouth-watering dinner at the Ambrai Restaurant offering you delicacies in Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines.
Day 3- After your breakfast head for some shopping in the Shilpgram market and buy some great authentic items. After that, you can engage in the evening show at the Haveli of Bagore, a cultural program portraying the traditional dances of the city. End your day with some tremendous Rajasthani platter at the Gulab Baug.