Udaipur - City of Lakes and Palaces

Udaipur Airport Directory (UDR)
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India’s “City of Lakes” often gets overshadowed by the more popular Jaipur, but Udaipur has a charm and elegance that is beyond description. With royal palaces and garden islands in the middle of its clean and clear lakes, it is a welcome respite from the hectic bustle of the rest of Rajasthan. Udaipur’s list of places to visit is brief but impressive. There is the cluster of lakes, of which Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Jai Samand are most popular.

Surrounded by the Aravalis in south Rajasthan, in the Girwa valley is Udaipur, a city most magical. Each year, parched earth is romanced by monsoon clouds, turning the dry caked lakes into a bubbling blue. Slowly the burnt browns of the hills are taken over by green forests and the skies are busy with a rush of birds. In this oasis nestled in the Thar desert, are some of the most beautiful temples and palaces of the Mewar rulers.  Built around Lake Pichola are the finest examples of Rajasthan’s architecture. Admire the City Palace architecture which blends Rajasthani and Mughal styles into a rhapsodic symphony. Visit Sahelion-ki-Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honour) the fountains and orchards provide a pleasant surprise in desert landscape where the Mewar royals would hold lavish parties.

Best time to visit: September to March is the best time to travel across Udaipur when the days aren’t oppressively hot, and you can spend time outdoors.

How to reach Udaipur

By air: The nearest airport to Udaipur is Maharana Pratap Airport, located 20 km away from the city centre. IndiGo operates daily, non-stop flights to Udaipur and Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Chennai.

By train: Udaipur has a vast network of rail, connecting it to the major Indian cities. Some of the common trains that run daily are Chetak Express, Gwalior-Udaipur Express, Bandra-Udaipur SF Express amongst others.

By bus: The city is well-connected to several towns through deluxe, A/C and state-run buses.

Getting around/Transport in Udaipur

Auto-rickshaws and taxis are the most common means of transportation in the city.

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7Kg
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Places to visit in Udaipur

Places to eat in Udaipur

1559 AD and Upre
1559 AD and Upre

Also recommended is 1559 AD, run by Arjun Shaktawat, the man behind the wildly popular Upre, at his family’s Lake Pichola Hotel. While 1559 AD features coffee, a bakery and an al fresco dining area, the latter is a lakeside eatery that serves Rajasthani, Indian and continental fare.

 

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Royal Repast
Royal Repast

For a full Rajasthani spread, stop by at the Bedla family’s Royal Repast, where the ambience and the food come together to create the most memorable dining experience.

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Udai Art Café
Udai Art Café

Coffee lovers should visit Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar and Bakery or Udai Art Café (which claims to make the best coffee in India), both of which form a strong cuppa, and where the conversation flows across tables.

 

 

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Sheesh Mahal
Sheesh Mahal

If you’re looking to treat yourself, look no further than Sheesh Mahal, the fine-dining option at The Leela Palace Udaipur, which features an excellent lal maas and bati dal.

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Wok by the Lake
Wok by the Lake

If all that local food gets to you, make your way to Wok by the Lake, at the Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort and Spa, which serves up some sumptuous but straightforward Chinese food.

 

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Shopping in Udaipur

High-end shopping/luxury shopping/shopping malls in Udaipur

  • Shopping malls in Udaipur offer great retail therapy, entertainment options, gaming zones, interesting and a delectable range of restaurants where you can indulge.
  • Forum Celebration Mall: From a number of shopping options, to entertainment zones, food outlets and more, this place is a one-stop shop for everyone.
  • Lake City Mall: One of the most centrally located shopping malls in Udaipur, the Lake City Mall is one of those most popular shopping spots.
  • RKay Mall: One of the more modest shopping centres in Udaipur, the RKay Mall in the Panchwati neighbourhood is useful for a simple couple of long periods of shopping and some playtime for the children at the gaming zone on the highest level.

Street shopping/local markets in Udaipur

Rajasthan is known for its block printed fabrics and crowded markets.

  • Bada Bazaar: Any first-time visitor should be sure to visit the aptly named Bada Bazaar, where you’ll find everything from silver trinkets and jewellery to bolts of fabric, camel bone artefacts to leather bags and more. Don’t forget to bargain before you leave with your spoils for the day.
  • Bapu Bazaar and Chetak Circle: Other bazaars worth checking out are Bapu Bazaar (where the street food will see you fill your stomach, as you empty your wallet), and the collection of shops around Chetak Circle for local pottery, puppets and more.
  • Individual stores: Spice lovers should visit the Indian Spice Box, where you can get everything you need to stock your pantries - like tea leaves, spices and oils.

Nightlife in Udaipur

  • Hook and Irons Cafe and Bar: Its glamorous ambience, stylish décor and luxurious sitting arrangement are going to hold you in awe. You must try their Chicken Burger, Caeser Salad, Pasta Alfredo, Lemon Chicken and Lasagna.
  • Somras, Valley View Hotel: This place guarantees you with an awesome fun night. Choose from a wide range of imported and domestic brews and have a gala time with delicious snacks.
  • The Wine Rack, Amantra Shilpi Resort: Taste some excellent wines in the stylish outdoor seating area and have a beautiful experience with your friends and dear ones.

Where to stay in Udaipur

Amet-Haveli

Amet Haveli, Outside Chandpole With only 20 rooms, this building was built during the rule of Maharana Jagat Singh II, echoes the design of the sandstone forts of Delhi and Agra. Comfortable and with a grand history stretching back over 250 years, it’s a trip back in time.

Madri-Haveli,

Madri Haveli, Chandpole Situated on a hill, in the midst of the old city, with views of Udaipur all around it, this 300-year-old haveli will transport you back in time. The terrace restaurant is an especially great place to grab a meal after a hectic day of sightseeing.

The-Oberoi-Udaivilas

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Haridasji ki Magri Nods to local architecture, lots of pools and a mean whiskey sour are just some of the reasons to stay at this fifty-acre property. A favourite for those that want to be in the heart of the city, but still away from it all. The Oberoi is the top choice among resorts in Udaipur.

Taj-Lake-Palace

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Pichola Can there be a better location for a palace hotel than in the middle of a lake? This property in the middle of Lake Pichola has service and rooms fit for royalty.

Udai-Kothi

Udai Kothi, Chandpole Besides the charming owner, Bhuwneshwari Kumari, you can look forward to meeting her two dogs Tope Singh and Lado Singh when you stay at the 64-room hotel. A stunning rooftop pool and gorgeous gardens round out the offerings.

Places to visit near Udaipur

Mount Abu

A popular hill station settled in the Aravalli range in Rajasthan is a beautiful short escape from the city of lakes. Take a look at the beautifully carved Dilwara temple or enjoy boating in the Nakki Lake, the place has it all.

Kumbhalgarh

A trip to Kumbhalgarh is highly recommended if you are visiting Udaipur. Kumbhalgarh Fort which is renowned as the world’s second-largest wall after the Great Wall of China is the most highlight part of this region. The fort gives a magnificent view of Aravalli countryside, and you can also enjoy horse riding and camping here.

More reasons to visit and top things to do in Udaipur

Jag Mandir Palace

Settled majestically on the Lake Pichola on an island; the palace is an architectural marvel adorned with shining white marble tiles and spacious courtyards. Built-in mid-17th century, the palace was used by the royal family as their summer resort.

Bagore ki Haveli

Built-in the 18th century, it’s an old Haveli on the waterfront of Lake Pichola. The Haveli features more than 100 rooms, a huge collection of Mewar paintings and glassworks and traditional costumes. Cultural performance and folk dances are a must watch at this Haveli in the evening.

Boatr rides in Lake Pichola

Enjoy a boat ride in Lake Pichola, with its many islands, on two of which stand the exquisite palaces, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas.

The Jagdish Temple

The Jagdish Temple is constructed in a distinctive style, with a massive garuda outside and stone elephants which flank the entrance. Inside, the black stone image of Vishnu leaves the visitors in awe and the devout spiritually fulfilled.

Walk through the lanes

Innumerable lakes and gardens, temples and palaces are located within the fortified city. Walk through the lanes and fall in love with this town, the beautiful jaalis (window screens), art which adorn massive doors which lead into the courtyards of these havelis, the shops selling crafts, jewellery, clothes and footwear.  Overnight stay at The Royal Retreat.

Bougainvillaea

Art lovers should check out Bougainvillaea, which presents art and sculpture including in marble and bronze.

Classic Car Collection Museum

Auto heads should also make it a point to check out the royal family’s vintage car collection at the Vintage and Classic Car Collection Museum on the premises of the Garden Hotel. Get there before lunch to ogle at the sleek machines before sitting down for a meal at the hotel’s famed Garden Restaurant, which forgoes a menu in favour of a decadent thali.

Festivals in Udaipur

Mewar Festival or Gangaur

The festival of Mewar is celebrated in the city of Udaipur with a lot of enthusiasm. It marks the advent of spring and acquired an essential part of the culture and tradition of the city. People residing in and around Udaipur participate in this festival.

Teej

The festival of Teej is celebrating in Udaipur marking the advent of the monsoon season. It is held every year during the Hindu month of Shravan.

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