In one of my previous articles, I had embarked on a short virtual tour to Jaipur – the capital city of Rajasthan, India. In today’s article, I will hop you into another spectacular city of the state. Its Udaipur, popularly known as the City of Lakes. A city, founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II of Mewar, is a magical mix of tranquillity and historic eccentricity. There are some fabulous places to visit in Udaipur, flanked by artificial lakes and decorative palaces. I will try to briefly describe each of the places so that it’s easy for you to prepare your itinerary.
My recommendation is to not miss the boat rides along the serene lakes of Udaipur. The rides are specifically popular among couples. No doubt the place experiences footfall of thousands of tourists every year. The intrinsic beauty of the palaces and the royal houses (Havelis) is unparalleled. Some tourists love to call the city as the “Venice of the East”, a tribute to its captivating natural beauty combined with ancient historic significance.
The History behind the formation of Udaipur
Let me share briefly a common story about the city, prevalent among the locals. It is a story of the meeting of Maharana Udai Singh II with a hermit. The Maharana was on one of his hunting trips along the majestic Aravalli hills. During his journey, he happened to meet a hermit who suggested him to build a castle in between the hills. The castle will be encompassed by the mountain ranges on all the sides, hence secured and protected from the enemies. Maharana followed the advice of the hermit and built a castle.
Thus the city of Udaipur was born, adorned by 10 beautiful lakes. Nestled amid the Aravalli ranges, its panoramic landscape is enthralling. You will be astounded to watch the city transform into a magical land during dawn and dusk. The rays of the suns cast a golden effect on the city, spreading its sparkling aura on the lake waters.
Udaipur has a plethora of destinations for travel enthusiasts to quench their wanderlust desires. But I would specifically like to mention about 6 best places to visit in Udaipur. These places are a must enter into your bucket list, if you ever happen to visit Rajasthan.
Among all the artificial lakes in the city, Lake Pichola is one of the enchanting places to visit in Udaipur. You will be awestruck to watch its enigmatic beauty and mystic views. The lake was built long back in 1362 AD by Pinchu Banjara. He belonged to the Banjara tribes. It was constructed ease transport of grain during the rule of Maharana Lakha.
During his hunting tour along the Aravalli hills, Maharana Udai Singh II was especially attracted by the lake. He set up the city of Udaipur on the banks of the Lake Pichola. Soon the lake was surrounded by exotic islands, palaces, royal houses, temples, food huts and bathing ghats.
Boat riding along the lake waters is a key attraction of the lake, which you must not miss. You can relax inside the boat and watch the sunset on the horizon. It is a heavenly and divine experience. The lake waters shimmer with the reflection of the setting sun rays.
You can visit the lake all days of the week from 9 AM to 6 PM. There are charges for the boat rides which operate between 10 AM and 5 PM.
The City Palace is an architectural marvel, adorned by intrinsic carvings and artwork. During the reign of the Maharanas, the palace served as their administrative office. It was created originally by Maharana Udai Singh II and had undergone several modifications later.
The palace, designed with a unique blend of Chinese, European and Medieval architectural designs, is sure to leave you spellbound. You will be amazed by the magnificent artwork and the carvings made of marble and granite. By observing the paintings on the walls, the intricate glass and mirror work, you will realize the skills of the ancient artisans.
You can find about 11 small houses are created inside the palace, serving as the offices and residences of the royal families. I was specifically captivated by architectural beauty of the facades, gardens and the halls inside the palace.
You can visit the palace on all days of the week between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM. There are charges for the boat rides. If you wish to watch the Sound and Light show, then you must reach the palace by 7:00 PM.
Sahelion ki Bari
Sahelion ki Bari is one of the major places to visit in Udaipur and a must enter into your bucket list. I was amazed to know that the palace is specifically built for women, a Garden of the Maidens. History says Rana Sangram Singh created the palace for his lady love. About 48 maids came with the queen during the wedding, another reason for creating this wondrous beauty.
You will love the scintillating beauty of the gardens, fountains and marvellous sculptures adorning the place. The special attraction of the place is the pavilion of rain fountains. It is a replica of the maidens dancing and enjoying beneath the rain waters.
The lush greenery of the garden is perfect for you to relax and refresh your mind and soul. The peaceful environment is bound to create a sensational feeling inside your heart. If you want to spend a day filled with serenity and calm, then the garden is a perfect place for you. You can visit the garden all days of the week between 9 AM and 7 PM. There is a minimal entry fee for entering into the palace and garden premises.
Jag Mandir is an astounding palace built on the banks of the Lake Pichola. It took quite a long period of time to construct the palace, started in 1551 and ended in 1652.
You will love mainly to walk around Gul Mahal, the key attraction of the palace. You are sure to appreciate its dome-shaped structure, made of yellow sandstone and designed based on the Islamic architectural style.
The palace has 3 storeys. Both the exteriors and the interiors of the palace comprise of exquisite decorations. You can find precious stones adorning the wall carvings. You will also love the garden around the palace, well-curated and filled with vibrant-coloured flowers and shrubs.
Just like the other places, you can visit Jag Mandir on all days of the week between 10 AM to 6 PM.
Bagore ki Haveli
Have you ever imagined to stay in a house of 138 rooms? If you ask me the question, the answer is a simple “No”. But surprisingly, the ancient rulers of Mewar could dream and eventually create such a structure. Bagore ki Haveli is one such creative places to visit in Udaipur.
You can witness how the artisans have carved each of the rooms in a unique design. As you pass across the rooms and the courtyard, the glasswork and the mirror work will surprise you. The one thing that fascinates me about these constructions is the details in the artwork and craftsmanship.
Another attractive feature of the mansion that will surely entice you is the garden and its fountains. You will also like visiting the royal chambers of the women, carved with peacocks in mosaic form of art.
Fateh Sagar Lake
I would specifically advise visiting the Fateh Sagar Lake, one of the prominent places to visit in Udaipur. You must know that the lake ranks second among the artificial lakes in the city.
I was significantly attracted by the sprawling area covered by the lake, comprising of 3 islands. The lake was originally constructed in 1687 by Maharana Jai Singh.
If you are a bird lover, then you will enjoy observing the wide variety of local birds flocking around the lake. You can also opt for a boat ride or click some amazing photos near the lake. I recommend watching the sunset near the lake.
How to reach Udaipur?
If you are travelling by air, then the nearest airport is at Jaipur. You can also avail flights landing at Mumbai or Delhi international airports. You can hire a cab from the airports to reach Udaipur.
If you want to travel by train, then the nearest railway station is at Udaipur. You can board a bus, hire a cab or auto-rickshaw from the station to reach the city.
You will find ample cabs and buses operating throughout the city connecting to the different tourist destinations.
Best Time to Visit Udaipur
I will suggest to visit Udaipur during the winters. You can enjoy sightseeing the places since the temperate is pleasant and moderate.
You will essentially require a minimum of 3 days and 2 nights to visit Udaipur. Hence when you prepare the itinerary for a tour to Rajasthan, you can set your plan accordingly.
Hope you enjoyed reading the article. Please keep visiting our blog for more interesting articles on the different cities of Rajasthan.
Picture Courtesy: My Mother
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.