Things to do in Udaipur
Inspired by the BBC’s second series of the “Real Marigold Hotel” that follows 9 celebrities as they spend several weeks in Udaipur in India. We’ve chosen some “things to do in Udaipur” for you.
A city in the western state of Rajasthan and founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559. Referred to as the “most romantic spot on the continent of India” by the British Administrator James Tod, it is also known as the “City of Lakes” and the one I love the most “The Venice of the East”. This is because of the sophisticated lake system that dominates the area and supplies water for drinking and the rural agriculture.
Construction started in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II but has been extended many times over the years and is situated in a commanding position overlooking Lake Pichola with views to the Aravali mountain Range.
The name City Palace is a bit misleading as it more of a complex of Palaces with a further 11 small separate palaces interlinked by a number of chowks (quadrangles) with zigzag corridors. Entry into the complex is via the main Tripolia (triple) gate into Suraj Gokhda, ), the Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), the Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), the Surya Chopar, the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Krishna Vilas (named after Lord Krishna), Shambu Niwas (royal residence now), the Bhim Vilas (miniature painings), the Amar Vilas (with a raised garden) that faces the Badi Mahal (the big palace), the Fateprakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace; the last two have been converted into heritage hotels.
The City Palace complex needs a full day to get around. I would also advise that you join a local tour guide so that you get to see and hear all about its history and significance.
This view of the lake shows one of the islands which is home to the Lake Palace. This is now an exclusive heritage hotel for those with deep pockets.
Take a boat trip around the lake and see, where the lake narrows, the ornamental arch bridges. Hence the name “The Venice of the East”.
Some of the views of Udaipur may seem familiar, as it was one of the locations filmed in the 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy. Also filmed were Shiv Nivas Palace and Monsoon Palace.
Part of the Lake complex of Udaipur with three small islands. The largest is Nehru Park which is a popular tourist attraction. Another island has a public park with an impressive water-jet fountain and the last island in home to the Udaipur Solar Observatory. This site has an ideal location, getting accurate and quality observations of the sun.
This is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a great way to cool down by the lake.
Overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake is the Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjan Garh Palace. Because of its commanding elevated location in the Aravali Hills, this is a great place to view the beautiful Sunsets.
The name Monsoon Palace comes from its use as a lookout post for the monsoon clouds. It was also used as a hunting lodge by the Maharana Fateh Singh.
Built from White marble this former Palace is now controlled by the the Government of Rajasthan and forms part of the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Jagdish Temple is in the middle of Udaipur, just outside the Royal Palace, and is has been a place of worship since 1651.
To reach the temple you have to climb the 32 marble steps. The temple is steeped with Hindu Iconography with brass images of Garuda and God Vishnu and God Krishna.
When visiting Temples remember to cover up and allows view the site in a clockwise direction. This is believed to bring good luck.
These beautiful gardens are located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake and translate as the “Garden of the Maidens”. The Gardens were built by Maharana Sangram Singh as wedding gift to his bride and the 48 maidens in her dowry.
The Gardens have lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant shaped fountains offering a green retreat from the dry lands of Rajasthen.
Moti Magri (Pearl Hill) overlooks Fateh Sagar Lake and is the location of the memorial to Maharana Pratap astride his horse “Chetak”.
The memorial commemorates the Battle of Haldighati which brought back Hindu honour against the Muslim Mughals. It is not known whether “Chetak” was at the battle, but the story is told in many poems from seventeenth century.
The temple is located some 2 Km from the city centre and is believed to be over 350 years old. At the centre of the temple is an east facing idol of Lord Ganesha in a dancing pose.
It is believed by devotees with real trust in Bohra Ganesh will get their wishes fulfilled.
Haveli is word you come across often and means a traditional townhouse or mansion, derived from an Arabic word “Hawali” meaning “private space” usually with a central courtyard.
Bagore Ki Haveli has over a hundred rooms with displays of modern art and costumes. It is now a museum.
This is great place to visit to see around all the rooms and to watch typical Indian folk dancers.
Shilpgram is located 3 km west of the Udaipur. It is a cultural centre spread over 70 acres surrounded by the Aravali hills with live shows and festivals. The idea is to showcase everyday skills still in use as a realistic glimpse of the people of the region and their belongings.
The Shilpgram festival takes place every year from 21st to 31st December.
With stunning views of Jagdish Temple, Gangaur Ghat, City Palace, Jag Mandir and Sajjangarh Fort this is an ideal location by day or night to enjoy the views and sample their tantalizing food.
Booking maybe required.
A new authentic Mexican restaurant and Barbecue restaurant just on the shores of lake Pichola.
The new lakeside garden is serving up the same barbecue as you came to love from Charcoal together with many other grilled delicacies . However, the big new thing is our authentic Mexican food with locally grown ingredients and imported Mexican chillies.
A bit weird suggesting a Mexican Restaurant, but it gives you a change from spicy curry to spicy Mexican. They are also winners of a TripAdvisor certificate of excellence.