Udaipur India – Top 10 Tourist Attractions Not to Miss
Udaipur, the city of lakes, is a tourist gem in Rajasthan, an arid desert state in northern India. It has lots to offer and it has many interesting tourist attractions located in quite a small area so it is easy to have fun there. In this article we will focus on the most interesting places to see in Udaipur, covering the main attractions, mostly related to historical places.
1. Lake Pichola
This is an artificial lake, the centre of the city, built in the 14th century, which belongs to the group of lakes around Udaipur constructed for irrigation purposes and as a source of drinking water. The city of Udaipur was then built on its banks and it also happened to be the ‘home’ of two islands with lake palaces on them. Here you can enjoy walking along the lake and see the scenery of the city and palaces during different times of the day.
2. The City Palace
The City Palace is a symbol of Udaipur and it is one of the most stunning palaces in India. It surely reflects the royalty. The museum it houses is worth visiting although you may expect crowds there. There are different exhibitions such as the armoury, galleries, colourful Zenana Mahal or textile gallery. Do not rush, it is nice to pay attention to details and notice especially gorgeously ornamented decorations, observing multicoloured objects and the views from the windows.
The entrance fee is 300 INR per person and opening hours are from 9 AM to 5:30 PM.
3. Jag Mandir Island
One of the palaces on Lake Pichola is called the Jag Mandir Palace and luckily it is possible to pay a visit there. The best way to do it is to combine the trip with visiting the City Palace Museum as you can then proceed to the boating spot and board the boat. You can buy a ticket for boating at the entrance to the City Palace museum for 400 INR and additional 30 INR per person to enter the permitted areas which basically allows you to walk to the boating area. The ride takes you around the Lake Palace which belongs to Taj hotels now and only those accommodated in the hotel can visit the island and then you continue to Jag Mandir Island where you can spend some time, have lunch or just relax and enjoy the views and then take a boat back to the City Palace. This is a popular wedding destination in India. The palace is wonderful and the elephants guarding the entrance are fascinating.
4. The Lake Palace
We have to mention the Lake Palace that will surely catch your attention when you look over the lake. Unfortunately, for security reasons, you can visit the island and the palace only when you are accommodated there. In the past there was a possibility to book lunch or dinner which is not so now.
5. The Jagdish Temple
This is a very nice temple just near the entrance gate to the City Palace and if you stay somewhere close to the temple you will certainly know its location as the morning and evening offerings are very loud. It is a quite classic Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu with a bronze Garuda statue opposite the main temple. You need to enter the temple without shoes which can be left at the entrance storage area. There is no entry fee.
6. Bagore ki Haveli
Down the road from the City Palace on the way to Lake Pichola, at Gangaur Ghat, you can find the entrance to Bagore ki Haveli. It is a lovely small museum housing the exhibitions of costumes, textiles, a very interesting display of turbans, crafts such as jewellery boxes, pan boxes, musical instruments or paintings, and it is well known for its glass mirror work and nice views over the lake. It also shows some living standards of the royal Mewars. The entry fee is 60 INR plus 100 INR per camera and it is open from 10 AM to 6:30 PM.
7. The Monsoon Palace
The Monsoon Palace, also called the Sajjangarh Palace, is located about 10 km from the Udaipur city and it is situated inside the Sajjangarh Biological Park. It was built to conduct astronomical observations and the royalty used the area as a hunting reserve. At present, it is well known as a popular observation point, especially for sunset views. To get to the Monsoon Palace you have to hire a rickshaw or a taxi to take you to the parking. From there it is possible to walk up the hill, which is not recommended, you can pay an entry fee for a taxi or you can get shared cars from the park premises for 90 INR per person instead. The cars will take you up the hill and after you are finished with the tour you will take the available car back down. The entrance fee to the palace is 300 INR per person. There is nothing much inside the palace so come here if you want to enjoy the view.
8. Fateh Sagar Lake
If you like Lake Pichola, you can check Fateh Sagar Lake as well. It is another one out of four main city lakes although not so popular as Lake Pichola. It is possible to hire a boat and visit the island in the centre of the lake with an interesting Solar Observatory, unfortunately not open for public visits and to visit Nehru Garden, a park area in the centre of the lake. Here you can relax, see the fountains and the greenery and have some snacks.
9. Vintage and Classic Cars Collection
There is a small collection of vintage cars approximately 1 km away from the City Palace. It is the newest museum in Udaipur. It shows 22 cars that had been a part of Maharaja’s collection. The museum is open from 9 AM to 9 PM and the entry fee is 300 INR per adult and 150 per child. In the building there is a Garden Restaurant, famous for its Rajasthani thali.
Ahar is located about 3 km from Udaipur city and it is famous for the cenotaph of Mewar rulers. You can get to Ahar by bus or taxi and you can admire the memorials decorated with marble and beautifully carved. This is the place where the royalty were cremated. Before you decide to pay a visit here, check if it is open for visits. It is open from 7 AM to 4 PM, without any entry fee.
There is also the Archeological Museum in Ahar with a small collection of some interesting exhibits. It is open from 10 AM to 4:30 PM and the entry fee is 3 INR. It is closed on Fridays and national holidays.
As you can see, Udaipur has lots to offer and the choice basically depends on the purpose of your visit and your expectations. One can spend a lot of time roaming around or enjoying the atmosphere sitting in one of the rooftop restaurants with the views over the lake and palaces, especially in the evening when the lights are on. If you are on a scheduled trip with a fixed plan, you should spend a couple of days here. During the first day you can visit the City Palace, the Jagdish Temple, do the boating on Lake Pichola but without a long stop on Jag Mandir Island and also enjoy the sunset views from the Monsoon Palace.