Udaipur, fondly called the City of Lakes is a stunning corner of Rajasthan that is bound to endear most visitors. Spend your days walking through alleyways dripping with history, savouring delectable local delicacies, admiring colourful Rajasthan fabrics swaying in the wind, and sharing tales with locals who greet visitors with huge smiles.
Accommodation in Udaipur
In keeping with the list of our favourite things to do in Udaipur below, we’d suggest choose a hotel that alleviates your stay in Udaipur from being a regular hotel stay to an experience in itself. Fortunately Udaipur has plenty of experiential accommodation to suit all budgets. Choose an atmospheric B&B in the city centre if you’re on a budget.
If you’re willing to splurge a bit then choose a room at one of the luxury hotels at Lake Pichola. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Taj Lake Palace, and Leela Palace are the 3 most popular options available. We chose Leela Palace Udaipur and had a sensational time. The hotel is ranked as the #1 hotel in India on Tripadvisor and it’s easy to see why. It’s opulent, scenic, and offers a range of special dining opportunities. Highly recommended.
12 Things to See and Do in Udaipur
Without further ado, here are some of our favourite things to see and things to do in Udaipur:
1) City palace
City Palace is a bit of an icon in Udaipur. It is virtually impossible to visit the city without stopping by this legendary Mewar Palace. Walk through 400 year old courtyards, step into bright blue rooms, and look out through colourful glass-stained windows. The joy of visiting the City Palace is somewhat reduced because most scenic arches and terraces are barricaded and out of bounds for visitors. However that doesn’t stop crowds from thronging the City Palace in Udaipur.
2) Sunset at Lake Pichola
One doesn’t have to wonder too far from the City Palace to witness the other icon of Udaipur. One of the topmost things to do in the city of lakes is to visit the lakes of course! Lake Pichola is the biggest lake here and makes for a gorgeous sight at any time of the day. It is easy to spot Lake Pichola from City Palace and numerous other parts of the old city. However we suggest opting for a sunset cruise at the lake – sip on a drink as you watch the sun set over the Aravallis.
3) Doodh Talai
Everyone makes a beeline for the iconic Lake Pichola but it’s the smaller lakes that have my heart. Check out the tiny lake called Doodh Talai just outside the old city – it makes for some gorgeous photographs, which probably explains its popularity among wedding photographers.
4) Badi lake
Another lake that you must visit if you are in Udaipur is Badi Lake. There is a nice hike in the area, if you are craving some activity on holiday. Badi Lake provides a scenic backdrop for photographs and is definitely one of the most picturesque sights in the area
5) Monsoon Palace
Sajjangarh or Monsoon Palace is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the city of Udaipur. We suggest going to Monsoon Palace in the evening – walk through its delicate archways, absorb the view, and linger on till the sun sets.
6) Ahar Cenotaphs
Onto my FAVOURITE monument in Udaipur. These tombs were made for the Kings of Mewar over 350 years ago. These Royal cenotaphs are in a state of disarray because barely any tourists visit the site. However that does not make them any less special – in fact the lack of crowds at Ahar Cenotaphs actually makes them truly memorable. Make sure you drop by!
7) Walk around the Old City
The historical city centre of Udaipur is full of historical treasures at every corner. It’s the perfect place to interact with locals, pick yourself a colourful souvenir or two, and devour a meal in a local restaurant. If you enjoy luxurious bohemian clothes and accessories, then Ganesh Handicraft Emporium is perfect for a peruse. The emporium of a series of little shops built around a colourful old school courtyard. If you’re not in the mood for a splurge, you can pick up plenty of colourful Rajasthani handicrafts and garments, at affordable rates, in the market as well. Wares are displayed on trunks of trees, in little shops, and alleyways. There’s no dearth of choice here. Just don’t forget to smile and bargain.
8) Eat your heart out
Food is an intrinsic part of any Indian experience. Visiting Udaipur is no exception. You don’t need to spend much money to experience the culinary landscape for yourself. Try out the archetypal Rajasthani pyaz kachori (fried balls of dough stuffed with onions, lentils, and spices) and a variety of Indian sweetmeats at Jagdish Misthan Bhandar (JMB). If street food tickles your fancy, then try out chaat (moorish tangy and spicy nibbles) at Sukhadia Circle.
9) Dine with a view
But that’s not all Udaipur has to offer.Choose a scenic restaurant, that boasts of a great view for dinner each night. There is no dearth of restaurants overlooking Lake Pichola in Udaipur. Ambarai Restaurant and Upre Restaurant are perfect for sundowners and dinner. Rainbow Café and Café Jheel are ideal for breakfasts. A number of luxury hotels have stunning restaurants overlooking Lake Pichola and Udaipur’s historical monuments. One of our favourites is Sheesh Mahal at Leela Palace Udaipur.
10) Visit the ghats of Udaipur
Traditionally ghats are used by locals for celebrating Hindu festivals and offering prayers to the Gods. But they make for perfect pitstops on a sightseeing tour of the city of Udaipur. If you’re a believer you’ll find the temples at every ghat quite fascinating. But even if you’re an atheist (like me), you are bound to find the ghats fascinating from an anthropological point of view. Start at the magnificent Gangaur Ghat in the middle of city. You could also visit Lal Ghat or Ambrai Ghat if you enjoy your first skirmish with the ghats of Udaipur.
11) Visit the scenic Pipliya
If you, like us, enjoy roadtrips, then make sure you drive to Pipliya. This is not something that features on most lists of things to do in Udaipur but it definitely should. The drive to this little village is quite scenic and Pipliya makes for the perfect spot for a picnic with friends of family.
12) Take a day trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort
The magnificent Kumbhalgarh Fort is less than 2 hours away from Udaipur. If you are in the city for more than a couple of days, then make sure you plan a day trip to this Mewar fort. The sheer size of this sprawling historical structure is bound to overwhelm you. But that’s not all. Kumbhalgarh Fort boasts of a 38 kilometre long wall which ranks as one of the longest walls in the world, second only to the Great Wall of China.
That’s it – a list of our favourite things to do in Udaipur. Have you been to Udaipur? Leave your suggestions in the comments below 🙂
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