Udaipur – The Venice of the East
Udaipur is known as “The Venice of the East” and is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. There are lots of beautiful attractions to see and it is famously known for being the filming location for James Bond’s adventures in ‘Octopussy’, as well as the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’.
The best time to visit Udaipur is during the winter season, between September and March. The temperature is more comfortable and bearable then as it can get into the mid 40’s in summer!
Here are the top things to see and do whilst in Udaipur.
Lake Pichola is a man-made lake and is believed to be one of the most beautiful ones. A boat ride on Lake Pichola, which starts from Rameshwar Ghat in the City Palace, is highly recommended, and you can stop at one of its famed islands, Jagmandir Island to visit the popular palace, Jag Mandir.
Jag Mandir is a 17th century structure that stands gloriously amidst Lake Pichola on Jagmandir Island. It is a three-storied structure and a lovely place to explore.
The City Palace belongs to the royal Mewar family and has exquisite architecture. It is the largest palace in Rajasthan and has cleverly designed interiors to protect the king and his people from the enemy back in the day. It has a breathtaking panoramic view of Rajasthan and we would suggest dedicating at least half a day to exploring its various courtyards, gardens and museum exhibits.
Saheliyon Ki Bari Garden
Saheliyon Ki Bari, which means ‘The Garden of the Maidens,’ is a beautiful haven and was constructed by Maharana Bhopal Singh for the maids who accompanied the Princess to Udaipur. It has striking features such as a lotus pool with elephants standing on corners spurting water from their trunks, as well as a central pool which showers water in a rain-like effect – a perfect respite from the scorching Rajasthani heat.
Experience staying in a Haveli
Al fresco dining
A lakeside meal is one of the experiences you must enjoy when in Udaipur. Ambrai restaurant at Amet Haveli is a top recommendation. It has views of both the Lake Palace and City Palace, and is the perfect spot to unwind with some good food and a refreshing drink.
Other must see’s include The Lake Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake and Kumbhalgarh Fort.
A Day trip to Ranakpur to see the Jain temple
The Ranakpur temple is a stunning Jain temple, dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha, that is beautiful on the outside as well as spectacular on the inside. It is worth visiting either on the way to or from Udaipur. Dress conservatively for this temple and you will have to bring photographic ID.
The entire temple is carved from white marble and over 1,444 pillars hold up the ceiling. All of the carvings are intricate in detail, portraying people, elephants, flowers, and geometrical patterns, and no two pillars are the same. You can visit with an audio guide and take as much time as you wish.
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