Udaipur Quick InformationSummarise the city :
City of lakesBest time to visit (High & peak months) :
October - March Experiences :
Regal Heritage City calling code :
+91 294Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2-3 daysBest buys :
Leather bound books, hand made paper, miniature paintings, traditional antique jewelleryEssentials to be carried along :
Sun blocks, glares, woolens for winters, light cotton clothes for summers. All about the city :
Capital of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar, who fought the fiercest battles against the foreign intruders, Udaipur was built on the shores of Lake Pichola by Udai Singh II in 1559, when his former capital, Chittorgarh was sacked by the Mughal emperor Akbar. The 5 lakes that dot Udaipur have earned for it the sobriquet of 'The City Of Lakes'. The history savants throng the city to explore its palaces, havelis and museums while its fabled lakes and beautiful surroundings make it a hot spot for the honeymooners. The picturesque city has lured many Hollywood and Bollywood big shots to shoot here some of the legendry movies like 'Octopussy' (a James Bond hit), 'Jewel in Crown', 'Guide' and recently 'Eklavya' further popularizing the city worldwide.
Besides the local sightseeing options there are a few very interesting excursions that can enhance your experience of the destination. Among them, the fort of Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh testify the grandeur and might of the Sisodias while the Ranakpur temples exhibit their architectural refinement.
As far as accommodation is concerned the city just spoils its guests for choices. Living at the world's best hotel Oberoi Udaivillas or the shimmering Taj Lake Palace amidst Lake Pichola is a priceless experience in itself. The heritage hotels like Shiv Niwas and Fateh Prakash allow you to live life king size. Most of the hotels have roof top restaurants so that the guests can relish their meals and feast their eyes on beautiful vistas all around at the same time. Little wonder, with so many amusements Udaipur is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in India.
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Udaipur Tourist attractions
|Name (suggested time required to see the place)||Description||Entrance charges (if any) for Foreigner ||Close Day (if any) ||Open / Close time|
|City Palace||On the eastern bank of Lake Pichola, stands the lofty City Palace of Udaipur. Although constructed by 22 different Maharanas between the 16th and 20th centuries the uniformity in its design is remarkable. Quite a portion of it is now transformed into museums and heritage hotels. The approach is through the Tripolia Gate - a spot where the rulers were weighed against gold and silver and the value of it was distributed in the public. |
At the entrance of the museum complex is a beautiful marble statue of Lord Ganesh surrounded by dazzling mirror and glass inlay work. The museum houses several paintings depicting important events from the lives of its rulers. The notable feature of these is that many of them narrate a series of events in a single frame. For instance, the painting of the battle of Haldighati shows how Maharana Pratap's beloved horse Chetak got injured but still landed his master safely before breathing his last.
You will be surprised to see trees on the fourth floor of the building. It is simply because the palace is constructed in a hilly terrain.
The Sheesh Mahal is characterized by exquisite mirror work, Krishna Vilas by superb frescos, Moti Mahal by colored glass work, Chini Chitrashala by blue and white Chinese and Dutch tiles and the much talked about Mor Chowk by vivid mosaics of peacocks, the national bird of India.
Another costlier ticket permits you to enter the Royal Durbar (assembly) hall and the crystal gallery, which has a huge collection of rare cut-crystal furniture and ornaments imported by Maharana Sajjan Singh from England in 1877. But the consignment arrived just a day before the Maharana's death, so they were considered unlucky and remained unpacked for almost 10 years.
|INR 50 - City Palace Museum |
INR 500 - Crystal Gallery and Durbar Hall
INR 200 - Camera
|No close days ||9:30 am - 4:30 pm |
|Jagdish Mandir ||Just north to the city palace this 17th century temple has a huge black stone idol of Lord Vishnu. Outside the main temple, right opposite to the idol stands his vehicle garuda, a mythical bird. Usually in the afternoon one can find group of ladies singing devotional songs on the beats of dholak (Indian version of drum) and manjira. Outside the temple there are plenty of handicraft shops lining the street. || ||No close days ||5 am - 2 pm & 4 pm - 10:30 pm |
|Lake Pichola ||Adjacent to the city palace, it has now become the hallmark of this city of lakes. An hour's boat ride here, especially when the sun goes down for the day is really a delight. In the lake are two islands - one is Jag Niwas, one of the world's great hotels, and the other is Jag Mandir, a beautiful sandstone pavilion where once Shah Jahan (who built Taj Mahal) took refuge when he rebelled against his father. It is now a hot venue for top notch parties. The Lake Palace hotel of Taj group gives an illusion of a ship afloat. || || ||Boating time : 10 am - 5 pm |
It is most enjoyable in the evening hours
|Sahelion ki Bari ||With ornamental fountains, lotus pool, and marble elephants, this garden was laid in 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the amusement of the 48 maids who came in dowry of one of the queen's of Udaipur. Appropriately the name of this garden literally means 'Garden of the Maids of Honour'. ||INR 5 ||No close days ||8 am - 7 pm |
|Folk Lore Museum ||Though not very well maintained the museum exhibits masks, paintings and photographs of India's tribal people, their musical instruments and various art forms. One thing you will surely enjoy is an enchanting puppet show that is held daily at 6 pm but, on a request, shorter versions of them can be seen at any time you are there. ||INR 35 ||No close days ||9 am - 6 pm |
|Shilpgram ||On a very huge tract of land, this is actually an arts and crafts village settled within a well defined boundary line. With traditional huts and craftsmen from Rajasthan, Gujrat, Goa and Maharashtra, it is basically dedicated to States lying on the western border of India. Some mesmerizing performances are held everyday, but the place is worth your time only when it comes alive during a 10 days festival in December every year. ||INR 25 ||No close days ||11 am - 7 pm |
Getting there - How to reach Udaipur
|Udaipur Airport namely Maharana Pratap Airport is located near Dabok at a distance of 22 km from the city of Udaipur. Many domestic airlines connect the city to all the major cities of India including Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Jodhpur. ||Rajasthan Railways connects Udaipur station with many other cities of Rajasthan as well as India. There are frequent trains which run to and from Udaipur connecting Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi. One can also travel to this beautiful city by the luxurious Palace on Wheels.||A brilliant network of roads connects Udaipur to other major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. It is 420 km SW of Jaipur, 299 km SW of Pushkar, 185 km east of Mount Abu (a four lane road is under construction), 269 km SE of Jodhpur, 574 km SE of Jaisalmer and 525 km south of Bikaner. It is only 250 km north 0f Ahmedabad. |
|Name of festival||Dates / Months||Festival details with link for more information |
|Shilpgram||December||In over 70 acres of the ground of Shilpgram, an annual fair is held to give a platform and recognition to the rural artisans of the region. It primarily showcases the arts and crafts of the western states of the country and especially that of Rajasthan. Hand woven clothes and camel leather products grab the maximum attention. Besides there is an open air amphitheatre with a good seating capacity where folk song and dance artists perform.|
|Mewar Festival||March - April||It is celebrated to welcome the beginning of Spring season. Whole city is submerged in the fervor of festivity. Markets get dressed up with decorative lights. In this same period the festival of Gangaur is also celebrated. Women dress in their best and carry out a procession of beautifully dressed Goddess Parvati (Gangaur) & Lord Shiva, crossing the entire city to Gangaur ghat on Lake Pichola where the idols are finally submerged. This is followed by rounds of music and dance and other performances.|
|Excursion (distance in kms)||Description|
|Chittorgarh (120 km NE of Udaipur/ 2.25 hrs) |
(Open: sunrise to sunset; Entrance fee: INR 100)
|Sprawling on a 180m high hill, in a huge area this is one of the oldest and mightiest forts of Rajasthan. Though today it is a cluster of deserted ruins of palaces, reservoirs and temples etc but the ruins are very impressive and bear testimony to its illustrious and turbulent past. It dates back to 7th century and was the capital of Sisodia kings of Mewar between 12th and 16th century. In its long history it was ravaged only thrice but every time the valiant Rajputs embraced death before dishonour. While the men laid their lives in the battlefield the ladies performed Jauhar (self immolation to avoid falling before enemy), the most talked about Jauhar being of Rani Padmini. A mere glimpse of reflection of ravishing Rani in pool water seduced Alauddin Khilji to sack the fort and win her. After Mughal Emperor Akbar's assault Rajputs abandoned the fort and shifted to Udaipur. |
It is, perhaps, the only fort in which you can drive in stopping at important monuments that include Kumbha palace, Padmini's palace, Meera Bai's temple, Sammideshwar temple, Gaumukh (reservoir where water gushes out a cow's mouth shaped structure), victory tower and a fame tower near Jain temple.
|Ranakpur (90 km north of Udaipur/ 2 hrs) |
Open from 11:30 am - 5 pm everyday; No entrance fee
|This is a small village with only a few hotels and with just a single tourist attraction-the Jain temples. But this architectural marvel in marble is reason enough to attract good number of tourists to Ranakpur. This biggest Jain temple in the country was built in 1439 in the reign of Maharana Kumbha and is dedicated to Adinath (first Jain Tirthankar or prophet) whose four faced image occupies the main sanctum. It has 29 halls and 1444 profusely carved pillars. No two pillars are alike and they are placed so well that by standing beside any of these you can view images of Tirthankars in all four directions. Its richly carved interior stands in sharp contrast to its simple exterior signifying that Jainism abstains from outward pomp and show. In the same complex are two more temples - one dedicated to Neminath and Parsvanath and other to the Sun God. |
|Kumbhalgarh (64 km in north-west of Udaipur) Timings: Sunrise to sunset; Entrance fee: INR100 ||Kumbhalgarh is a place to relapse in the lap of nature, a destination for those who want to sample the classy Indian history in peace. The main attraction here is fort Kumbhalgarh, built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. Due to its hostile topography it largely remained unconquered falling only once before the combined armies of Mughal and Amber that too because of scarcity of water. The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens, the main palace being Badal mahal (cloud palace). While on its top floor you can actually see some clouds floating in front of you, hence the name Badal Mahal. It is also the birth place of great Indian Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap, who fought all his life but did not surrender before his enemies. The 36 km long and imposing rampart of the formidable fort of Kumbhalgarh is considered next only to the Great Wall of China. The hefty walls are broad enough to stand at least 4 horses side by side, if not 8 as is popularly exaggerated. The illumination in evening is a photographer's delight. The Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary and the nearby intricately carved Jain temples at Ranakpur are added attractions.|
|Nagaur (135 km north east of Jodhpur/3 hrs)||Almost mid way between Jodhpur and Bikaner is Nagaur. Constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar, the historic Ahhichatragarh fort is the major attraction here. Protected by double walls the fort encompasses a richly painted palace and several mosques. It has a unique water system-every drop of it is recycled. Every year in January-February Nagaur hosts the second biggest cattle fair in Rajasthan after Pushkar. |
Suggested Places to eat
|Name of the place ||Phone / Email ||Cuisine |
|Berry's Restaurant, Chetak Circle ||+91 294 2419927||Rajasthani & Indian |
Travel and Tour Program - udaipur, Rajasthan
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