A bundle of must have experiences at the ‘City of Lakes’
Udaipur city stands as a testimony to the living heritage and eternal legacy of the Sisodiya dynasty. Sisodiyas ruled the city for over 1200 years. The origin of Udaipur dates back to 1559 AD when Maharana Udai Singh met a sage who blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorably located spot.
Udaipur is a visual treat with it’s shimmering lakes against the backdrop of Aravali Hills, formidable palaces showcasing heritage and enticing structures with distinctive artwork.
Honestly, you must stay in Udaipur for at least 2-3 days to soak in the beauty but even if you can visit this beautiful city for a day, here is how to get the best of it –
Where to Stay?
There are several options located in proximity to Lake Pichola, depending on the tourist flow the charges might vary. The tariff lies between INR 2,200 – INR 4,000 for a decent room subject to further negotiation.
Placed in tiny lanes these hotels look precarious at the first sight but not to worry they are fine 🙂 So find a place close to Lake Pichola, you’re going to love the dawn and will have a dinner to remember overlooking the ethereal Lake. Almost all of them have open roof top restaurant where you can enjoy candle light dinner with the moon gazing at you It’s awesome!!!
Rent a Bike
One can easily get a Motorcycle for full day here at reasonable prices, you can choose from a variety of options! Having a scooter / bike makes movement much easier and adds zeal to the experience. You’ll need important documents namely – Driving License, Address Proof and Passport size photo for submission. They may ask for Passport / Visa if you’re a foreign tourist.
Let’s begin with Fateh Sagar Lake
Named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur and Mewar, Fateh Sagar Lake is one of the four lakes of Udaipur. The construction of this Lake first was completed under the supervision of Maharana Jai Singh in 1687, however it got washed away two years later in floods, was reconstructed by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1889.
The Lake is pear shaped, surrounded by Aravalli Hills on three sides and contains three small islands – the largest being Nehru Park, second island is also converted into a public park & the third one addresses Udaipur Solar Observatory, which is the best solar observing site in Asia. The islands are accessible by inboard motor boats.
City Palace and The Charming Lake Pichola!
City Palace is a palace complex situated on the banks of Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within, the construction of these Palaces took over 400 years with improvisations from each succeeding ruler. Lake Pichola is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha in 1362.
City Palace is an architectural blend of Medieval, European and Chinese styles. It actually comprises of 11 palaces, there have been additions to the original palace with change in the rulers. Main entrance is through the triple-arched gate – The tripolia, built in 1725.
From the main gate one is directed to a series of courtyards, terraces, corridors and retail stores within the premises. In 1974, a part of the City Palace and the ‘Zenana Mahal’ (Ladies Chamber) have been transformed into a museum, which is open for public. However, only parts of the Palace, Jag Mandir and Museum are open to public.
Usually there is heavy tourist influx at the City Palace, there are ticket charges for entry to the palace, then the boat ride (INR 400 during the day; INR 650 in the evening), the Jag Mandir and the museum too. Jag Mandir, is not literally a temple, in fact it houses finest restaurant inside offering best of the cuisines.
Hit Hathi Pol straight away, you’ll have to analyze the shops though. There are so many varieties of sarees, dress materials, skirts, shoes and accessories! There are shops housing amazing wooden carved stuff including designer tables, storage boxes, toys, and souvenirs at unbelievable prices. We felt like buying the whole place. If you like ethnic and unconventional stuff, then you will certainly enjoy shopping at Udaipur.
Where to Dine?
Ambrai Ghat in Udaipur is a fascinating and most popular ghat offering uninterrupted view of the Lal Ghat and the City Palace. The strategic location makes it a must visit !! Enjoy your dinner while the illuminated City Palace gives a feel of an absorbing painting enriched with dark natural canvas.
Wishing you Happy Travels!!!