Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur is probably India’s most romantic city. Formerly called Mewar, this city has also acquired the tag ‘The city of Palaces’. A visit to this city is reliving the era of royalty and an experience hard to forget. Here are some top attractions waiting for you, to be explored:

Things to do in Udaipur

City Palace

This imposing beauty towering over the lakes is quite a sight. Graceful balconies, towers and cupolas surmount Rajasthan’s largest palace and the architecture is bound to leave you awestruck. Constructed by Maharaja Udai Singh II, the founder of the city, this palace now has two authentic palace hotels and the city palace museum.

Crystal Gallery

The crystal gallery in the palace showcases the crystal collection of the Royal family which is probably hailed as the only private collection of crystal in the world. This collection consists everything from furniture, dinner sets, perfume bottles and even the only crystal bed in the world! Another amazing fact is, this was customized for the Mewar house and hence the crest of Mewar is etched on each of these crystal objects.

Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake

These are Udaipur’s most popular manmade lakes and the panorama is marvelous. One can go for boats ride from various ghats. Jagmandir and Jagniwas, on lake Picholaare islands which now hold luxury hotels and are open for visitors. The city palace stands on jagniwas island.

Bagoreki Haveli

It was constructed by the Prime minister of Mewar. Located at Gangaurghat, this architectural splendour has been converted to a museum. Inside the Haveli are more than 100 rooms, courtyards, terraces with frescoes and fine mirror work of the Rajput era. It also has a puppet gallery and turban collection with world’s biggest turban. Every night a puppet show and folk dance performance is held there. Make sure you don’t miss that!

Monsoon Palace

As the name suggest, this was the royal home for the monsoon season and is also known as Sajjan Garh. Perched high on a hill, this place is not very well kept but is a popular sunset point due to its magnificent view of the city. For the movie buffs, this palace was also featured in James Bond’s movie Octopussy as the villain’s house. Ring any bell?

Shilpigram

Shipigram, the rural art and crafts village is located 3 kms away from the city. It was set up by the government and showcases Rajasthan’s rural life and traditions along with some other states. The complex has many huts each of which represent a different state. Artisans sell their work here and conduct folk performances. Every year in the month of December, the craftsman hold a fair.

Shopping

Udaipur is famous for miniature paintings done on paper, wood, cloth and stone. Scores of shops are found selling miniatures. Silver jewellery, paper mache, block printed clothes, wooden and stone statues are also on offer. You could explore the array of shops outside the City palace.  A visit to the government run Rajasthani store may prove to be worthwhile.

If you have a little more time to spare on sightseeing, we suggest you go about the following places too:-

Saheliyon Ki Bari

This quaint little garden was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. It has fountains, kiosk, marble elephants and a gorgeous lotus pool.

Ahar

About 2 kms away from the Udaipur, it lies over 250 cenotaphs of the Rulers of Mewar. This city of domes is obviously worth a visit. Nearby are the remains of Sisodiya’s capital and a museum.

Jagdish Temple

North of The city palace lies this Indo- Aryan temple with a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagganath, lord of the universe.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum

A small museum showcasing tribal art, jewellery, musical instruments etc.