I fell under Udaipur’s spell almost as soon as I arrived. Compared to Jaipur, which is colourful and chaotic, Udaipur’s serenity made me feel instantly relaxed. When I was planning my third trip to India, Udaipur wasn’t on my radar. But I’m really glad it was added to my itinerary as it’s now one of my favourite Indian destinations. There are lots of places to visit in Udaipur, from dreamy domed palaces to lovely lakes and the green Aravalli Hills in the background.
The Udaipur scenery is stunning, and beyond the views, lies a compact city with lots of character. Udaipur might seem a little less chaotic than other places in Rajasthan, such as Jaipur or Jodhpur, but you’ll find lots of things to do in Udaipur that will impress you. Most international travellers might only have time to squeeze in a quick visit. Here are five places to visit in Udaipur in 2 days.
Places to visit in Udaipur
1- Lake Pichola
Soak up the scenery while on a cruise around Lake Pichola. You can hardly believe that this massive manmade lake was built in the 14th century. The views are tranquil and the sights are intriguing as you cruise past Lal Ghat, where bare-breasted women soap themselves at the water’s edge and ladies in brightly coloured saris dip their toes in the water.
Udaipur was built in 1567 by Udai Singh II. It was the capital of Mewar until the state was merged with the Republic of India in 1947.
The lake’s main attraction is the City Palace, which is a blend of Medieval, European and Chinese architecture, with mysterious towers, domes and arches.
2- Udaipur’s City Palace
The Udaipur City Palace complex houses two palace hotels, the City Palace Museum and a pleasure palace in the middle of Lake Pichola.
Soak up the historic atmosphere in the courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors and rooms. Encircled by fortifications, the granite and marble palace has terrific views over Udaipur. Wander through the palace complex and let your imagination go wild. It’s easy to conjure images in your mind of the romantic era during the reign of the Rajputs. Visiting the City Palace is Udaipur sightseeing at its best. So take advantage of your time there and don’t rush through the palace.
There are lots of interesting things to see in Udaipur City Palace Museum. The warren of rooms and halls has displays of delicate mirrors, murals, wall paintings, silver and coloured glass. One room has a display of antique cages used by the maharajahs to house their carrier pigeons.
If you’re a keen photographer, you’ll want to photograph the palace from different angles too, so make sure you get there early to leave yourself plenty of time.
3- Udaipur’s Old Town
Udaipur is a terrific place to shop. It’s not as crowded as Jaipur and the streets are packed with small shops selling silver jewellery, miniature paintings, carved wooden toys, wall hangings and brass statues.
You’re expected to negotiate so don’t accept the first price you’re given. It’s best to compare prices and the quality of goods you’re buying. Haggling with the shopkeepers is half the fun.
4- Sajjangarh Udaipur (Monsoon Palace)
Sajjangarh ( or the Monsoon Palace0 is high on a hill above the city. The palace where the Mewar royal family escaped to during the monsoon season. It closed down for a long time and has been restored but the palace is not that well maintained.
These days, visiting the Palace at sunset is one of the favourite things to do in Udaipur for a breathtaking view of the city. Remember James Bond in Octopussy? Sajjangarh was the home of villain Kamal Khan.
It’s about a 30-minute drive to the Monsoon Palace from Udaipur city.
5- Eklingji Temple
Nearby, Eklingji Temple is a haunting 15th-century complex of 108 temples dedicated to Shiva, the ruling deity of the local royal caste. The original temple complex was constructed in the 8th century.
Eklingji is 22km north of Udaipur and it’s worth the trip to see this spiritual and sacred place of the Mewar rulers.
The double-storied temple has a pyramidal-style roof, a silver image of Nandi (the sacred bull) and exquisite marble, granite and brass carvings.
6- Jagdish Temple
What’s the best time to visit Udaipur?
Udaipur is a city with distinct seasons. The best time to visit Udaipur is in winter (December to February) when temperatures are pleasant and cooler for sightseeing. Udaipur temperatures range from 5°C to 30°C. Avoid visiting in summer as Udaipur temperatures can go as high as 44°C (March to June).
Are Udaipur resorts expensive?
Udaipur has a range of hotels to suit most budgets, including low-cost mid-range and deluxe accommodation options. Some of the best hotels in Udaipur are around Lake Pichola. Staying in one of the luxury Udaipur resorts around the lake, such as Taj Lake Palace or Leela Palace Hotel, will make you feel like royalty. These palace hotels have rambling palace-style gardens, amazing views and service fit for royalty.
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