Category : India
To soak in the essence of the vibrant state of Rajasthan, a visit to the capital of the kingdom of Mewar is a must. I’ve always read about the mystical palaces and seen the shimmering lakes of Udaipur in movies. It was time to write about it and witness it with my own eyes. Below is the list of 10 spectacular Udaipur attractions that I believe one should definitely visit on a trip to the city of lakes.
If this list isn’t enough, I’ve got a pack of 25 photos that will inspire you to visit Udaipur. And, assuming that you might think covering all of this could put a hole in your pocket, I have scribbled how I managed a trip to Udaipur in INR 7000. (including transport, accommodation, food, and covering all these attractions)
10 INTERESTING UDAIPUR ATTRACTIONS
The charm of Udaipur, the City Palace, is a palatial complex located at the bank of the beautiful Lake Pichola. It is one of the most alluring palaces in Rajasthan with contributions of all the major rulers of Mewar. The fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal style architecture is sure to keep the photographer in you at work. The complex comprises several palaces, pols (gateways), gardens, towers, murals, paintings, marble work, intricate glass work, and balconies that provide a splendid view of the Udaipur city.
Upon reaching there, I was quite surprised to see myself as the only one there. Cenotaphs are basically monumental structures that are built in honour of a person who is buried elsewhere. Ahar has more than 300 cenotaphs of the maharajas of Mewar, their wives and administrators. I found it to be the most intriguing archaeological site in Udaipur. These memorial structures of the royal families have dome-shaped roofs, huge pillars with sinuous carvings of animals and other figures. This important heritage site is one of its kind!
SAJJANGARH PALACE OR MONSOON PALACE
In my opinion, you can have the BEST views of Udaipur city from this white piece of Rajput style structure. Monsoon Palace, also known as Sajjangarh Palace, sits at a hilltop offering panoramic views of the city. The initial plan of Maharaja Sajjan Singh was to build an astronomical center that could record the movement of the monsoon clouds. But with his demise the plan could not be worked, and the construction was shifted over to his successor Maharana Fateh Singh. However, it is still partially built. It is only recently that the palace got open to public.
The way to reach their is by auto or cab (Ola and Uber). It will only drop you till the gate. Buy the entry ticket for INR 60 and a taxi ticket for INR 80. The taxi is basically a jeep which will take you further from the gate till the palace. The jeep would bring you down till the gate as well. Private vehicles can also enter but you need to pay the parking fees of course.
Needless to say, a sunset next to Lake Pichola can’t be skipped. It is an artificial river named after the Picholi Village which was created in around 1300 AD. Enveloped by palaces, temples, ghats and Aravallis, it is the most picturesque lakes in Rajasthan. I’d advice you book an accommodation with the lake view to make the most of your trip. I stayed at this uber-cool Rajasthani themed hostel with balcony on each floor giving spectacular views of the city in just INR 450 per night.
BAGORE KI HAVELI
An ancient haveli converted into a museum is famous for its evening show. Every evening one can watch the traditional cultural folk dance of Rajasthan along with a puppet show. It lasts for an hour and has decent price for the ticket – INR 120 per person (extra money for photography). The seating is on a first come first serve basis so reach half an hour before the show starts. Enjoy different dance forms performed by talented artists in a semi open courtyard!
Kumbhalgarh Fort has the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China and is the second largest fort in Rajasthan. This reason alone was enough to convince me that I can’t leave Udaipur without keeping foot in this architectural marvel. The fort was designed by Rana Kumbha as a defensive fort and covers a vast 36 km of area encompassing a whole town inside. It separates the two towns of Marwar and Mewar and is strategically built in such a way that you will only get to know it’s there until few meters away. This extensive fortress is also the birthplace of the greatest warrior of Rajput clan – Maharana Pratap. It’s history and sight can put you in awe. It is around 95 km away from Udaipur city and can be reached by cab. Here is my travel expense in Udaipur to know how much I spent for a whole day-trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort.
Holding an important place in the Indian history, Chittorgarh Fort can mesmerize you with its heroic tales and talking ruins. With talking ruins I mean the ruins can tell you so much about the Rajputana bravery. The monuments and temples inside the fort take you back to the time of ancient wars and adventures. If you’ve watched the movie ‘Padmavat’, you will definitely relate more as the history of the Chittor fort goes back to Alauddin Khilji. It is around 150 km from Udaipur and is well-connected by both road and rail. I’ve covered how I made my journey from Udaipur to Chittor by rail in just INR 75 here. Also, you need a whole day to cover this fort as it is spread across 700 acres of land.
FATEH SAGAR LAKE
Another notable lake in Udaipur is the Fateh Sagar Lake lying in the north of Lake Pichola. Within the lake lies an island named Nehru Park which can be reached by a boat ride. However, to make the most of it, I’d rather go for an early morning run along side lake on Fateh Sagar Road. Also, there’s an open gym for public on a cliff on the same road overlooking the lake which I found to be the best place to burn some calories and soak in the view at the same time.
The yellow sandstone structure is located in the southern end of Lake Pichola on one of the islands. It was used as a summer resort for the Royal family and now attracts thousands of tourists for its beauty and history. One can either stay at the Jag Mandir Island Palace or go there for lunch or dinner. It can be reached by a boat ride for INR 400 before 2 pm and INR 700 after 2 pm. A little costly but worth a visit! You could miss the traditional boat ride on Lake Pichola and do this instead as it takes the same route and has the same views. Plus, you get to visit Jag Mandir, too.
Ambrai ghat is located at the bank of Lake Pichola and is exactly opposite to the City Palace. The ghat is where you can get a perfect view of the city including Lake Pichola, the shimmering Lake Palace and the City Palace. Have dinner at the most famous restaurant in Udaipur – Ambrai Restaurant. Go there for a delicious meal, amazing ambience and the serene view it provides of the glittering Udaipur at night.
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