Looking for a holiday where you can be pampered? Royalty, who doesn’t like it! As we were planning this last minute holiday just to get away from the stress of the daily life. Little did we know not only we would end up so relaxed. Head to Udaipur to be pampered as any royalty would.
Walking along the narrow streets and seeing the colourful town. Or sitting in a restaurant with the lake view. Or even walking along the palaces and seeing the colourful paintings.
Or even cruising along the lakes and seeing hotels in the middle of the lake. Everything we saw was like we are in the era of the Kings and Queens- so royal!
Although many people refer to it as “Venice of India” I personally don’t like comparing places and would love to refer to it as “City of Lakes”.
TIME TO VISIT UDAIPUR
Best time to visit is between September and March. During this time the weather is pleasant and would help to enjoy the lake rides and making it comfortable walking along the streets. Personally I would avoid the monsoons which is from June to August.
We took a chance and visited early June for 2 nights. Although this is the rainy season we didn’t experience any rain. Our main reason to visit at this time was to avoid the crowd. We had checked the weather report and accordingly took a chance.
TRAVELING AROUND UDAIPUR
We had chosen flight to reach Udaipur. Within Udaipur since we were four of us we decided to hire a car as it would be cheaper. After all my travel around India I did feel that Udaipur didn’t necessarily have friendly drivers. Everything was very much a business for them and no real passion in showing or telling about the place.
During our visit to Udaipur we had used Uber to reach from the airport to the hotel. However there was a huge waiting time and hence we weren’t too keen on it for the rest of the trip. This might have changed now. Another best way to travel is like the locals by using the rick. But be sure of the fares they will charge because I did read they weren’t honest about it.
If you are coming from inter-state then there are trains and bus options also available. Make sure to do the bookings well in advance.
On the first day we also enjoyed the place on foot and loved it. But we only covered a short distance. Overall the place is safe but I would be mindful while venturing out late at night.
WHERE WE STAYED IN UDAIPUR
We had book Hotel Radisson Blu for 2 nights. We had chosen two separate rooms with two different views, one with the lake view and another with the garden view. The Lake view room was awesome! The rooms were spacious and well looked after. The staff were also polite who handled every details with care.
The property itself is huge, as is most of the hotels in Udaipur. The feeling of royalty is reflected in the sculptures throughout the hotel. There were also puppet shows in the vicinity for guests to enjoy.
We had also tried the rooftop restaurant and loved the food and hospitality. The view of the Fateh Sagar Lake under moonlight was a perfect setting for a romantic dinner.
I had no complaints throughout my stay at the hotel and would definitely recommend it.
THINGS TO DO IN UDAIPUR
FATEH SAGAR LAKE
When you are visiting the city of lakes it’s a given you would like to start with a lake visit. Our visit to Fateh Sagar Lake was in the evening on foot. The man-made lake from 1680s was named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur and Mewar which is to the north of Lake Pichola. Initially this was constructed as an irrigation scheme but is now the second source of drinking water to the city of Udaipur.
There are three small islands within the beautiful lake. Firstly Nehru Park which is popular among tourists; Second is an island which has an impressive jet fountain and the third island is being used as Udaipur Solar Observatory.
Since this was walking distance from our hotel we had enjoyed the lake in the evenings. During the day we could also see it from our hotel. People were enjoying boat rides, watching the sun set or simple enjoying a meal in one of the restaurants.
Here is a palace which was built 400 years ago and still standing strong. The palace was built during the different Mewar dynasty where the construction began in 1553. This is said to be the largest palace in the state of Rajasthan. It was built in a very exuberant style with a mix of Mughal and Rajasthani architectural style.
The place also has an awesome panoramic view of the city which covers Lake Pichola, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir and many known temples in the vicinity.
The palace complex is built completely with granite and marbles. Inside the palace there are delicate mirror work and marble work exhibits. There are plenty of wall paintings and silver work. Everything felt so colourful inside the palace, totally my kind of place.
After seeing all the colour the place also welcomes you to the beautifully carved balconies and towers. As you walk along the corridors you do enjoy the zig zag feel, but it was built this way to avoid surprise attacks.
We had seen the place during the day and also at night. We had booked ourselves for the night light and sound show. As much as we enjoyed the palace during the day we found the night light show not so great.
An artificial fresh water lake which was built in 1362 AD and named after the nearby Picholi village. There are four island namely Jag Niwas, Mohan Mandir, Arshi Vilas and Jag Mandir within the lake. Initially the place was used for transporting grains, overtime Maharana Udai Singh is said to have started developing it as he loved the green hills backdrop.
We have enjoyed boat ride here before sunset and absolutely loved it. Personally I just didn’t feel like keeping my camera down, the views were awesome. I agree with the Maharana, the hills as a backdrop was perfect with the lake.
This is now turned into a hotel, initially it was a summer palace for the royal dynasty of Mewar. It is located on Jag Niwas, an island in Lake Pichola. This was also built in 1746 under Maharana Jagat Singh II. It was said to be built in the direction of Sun, in order to perform prayers. Since we didn’t have bookings we couldn’t see from inside. It is said to be made from black and white marbles with semi-precious stones and ornaments. During the boat ride we did circle the place and were glad to even catch small glimpses of the place.
Udaipur is known for its lakes and palaces, so just imagine having a palace on the lake. Jag Mandir is a palace built by the three Maharana of Sisodia Rajputs of the Mewar kingdom. It was constructed by 1652 and was named in honour of Maharana Jagat Singh.
It was a place where royalties used to have parties and was used as a summer resort. We saw this during our boat ride in Lake Pichola. I would recommend seeing it from inside, during our visit it was closed.
SAHELIYON- KI- BARI
The name translates to Garden of the Maidens. Maharana Sangram Singh had built it from 1710 to 1734 by designing the place himself for his queen. The queen was then accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. It was used by the queen and her maidens to spend some leisure time.
A very popular tourist spot, one which we thoroughly enjoyed. When it comes to garden I am always ready so maybe I am bias to the place.
The place had lovely corners set up for relaxing long with fountains and lush greenery. The elephants at various spots throughout the place gave it that royal feeling. Walking along the paths covered with plants made us totally relax. I could somehow relate to what the king was trying to achieve for his queen.
VINTAGE CAR MUSEUM
We were told this place had many rare vintage cars and hence we went to check it out. Although I love visiting such places I did feel there weren’t enough cars to see for the price paid.
The cars were kept in such way all you really got to see is the front, you can’t walk around them. I wouldn’t really recommend visiting the place.
Rana Pratap’s steed Chetak who had helped him during the Battle of Haldighati died at this very spot. The shrine was built at the very spot which received Monument of National Importance in 2003 by the Archaeological Survey of India.
There is a nice thought of how a horse sacrificed his life for his master, which was felt in the place. There are various spots which tells stories of the king which was worth knowing.
OUR ITINERARY IN UDAIPUR
Took flight to Udaipur and booked Uber from airport to hotel. Evening we walked to Fatehpur Sagar Lake. Walked back to the hotel and had dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Hired private car to explore the place. Visited City Palace, Vintage Car Museum,Chetak Samark. Had lunch in a restaurant along Lake Pichola. Went to visit Sahiliyon ki Baag, did boat ride in Lake Pichola where we saw Jag Mandir, Lake Palace and Hotel Taj Oberoi. Evening went to see the sound and light show. Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Had a relaxed morning where we enjoyed our hotel. Afternoon took the flight back home.
THINGS TO NOTE IN UDAIPUR
- Locals are not all friendly, most of them will think of how they will benefit in every question asked.
- Ricks in Udaipur don’t really follow the meter system. Since we were four we never really used it but be aware. Ola/Uber is a better choice as price is fixed.
- While shopping make sure you check couple of shops before buying. Prices keep changing depending on where you come from.
- Check out all the entry fees beforehand and budget accordingly.
- Advice visiting City Palace as it opens. We experienced less crowd as we were early.
- Lake Pichola would recommend doing in the evenings before sunset as the place gets cooler.
- Check and plan should you want to visit the hotels in Lake Pichola. They do allow visitors but there are timings. Plan ahead to avoid getting disappointed.
- The city sleeps soon after sunset so take necessary precautions.