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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Wrenn-Haye

Udaipur India - The City of Lakes

Updated: Mar 13

General Overview

When visiting Rajasthan, we highly recommend that you include the fabulous City of Udaipur India on your itinerary.

You will not want to miss out on seeing this very beautiful place, founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559 and considered to be one of the most romantic cities in the world.  Known as 'The City of Lakes', or 'The White City' due to the profusion of marble which creates a white aura around the city.

Udaipur is located in the southern region of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border, surrounded by the lush green hills of the Aravalli Range which provide a breeze which is particularly nice as a cool respite in the summer months.

The city itself lies 403 km (250 mi) South West of the state capital, Jaipur and 250 km (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad and can be easily reached by train which takes approximately 7 1/2 hours from Jaipur or by car it is around 6 1/2 hrs. The train fare is very reasonable if you go in second sitting which the lowest class type available. We actually travelled by car as we started our month long journey to India in Delhi and worked our way down through Rajasthan in stages taking in Agra, Rathambhore, Jaipur and Barli in the countryside before reaching Udaipur itself.

You may also hear of Udaipur being dubbed as the 'Venice of the East' as it is set around a series of artificial azure water lakes and is known for its lavish royal residences.

What to See in Udaipur

The famous City Palace buildings blend beautifully with one another along the waterfront and it is a monumental complex taking more than 400 years to complete. Being so massive, there are many things to explore including 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens, famed for its intricate peacock mosaics. You will find it a great way to while away a few hours looking around.  The City Palace is open 7 days a week from 09.30 to 5.30 p.m. 

Another beautiful sight of Udaipur is the majestic Lake Palace located in the middle of Lake Pichola and it is paticularly well known for its appearance in the James Bond 007 film 'Octopusy' shot in 1982. Udaipur is also a popular location for many Bollywood movies and when you visit Udaipur you will see why, with its undulating beauty. Today the Lake Palace is a upmarket hotel run by the Taj brand of hotels.

Floating Lake Palace Udaipur
Floating Lake Palace Udaipur

We recommend a minimum of two days to explore this beautiful City and check off the main things you want to see. In three days you will be able to visit the romantic city's gorgeous palaces, particularly City Palace and also be able to explore the lakes and still have enough time left over to experience the many temples, including Jagdish Temple. Built in 1561 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu the creator of the world, plus you can also visit the forts and temples in the surrounding area.  When visiting the temples please remember to dress respectfully as many are still used for worship today.

Jagdish Temple Udaipur
Jagdish Temple Udaipur

We think that the best way to see the City is on a walking tour with a professional guide who can show you many sights and impart their historical knowledge to you on a 1:1 basis. Our particular guide named CP, was very experienced and also passionate about India and we spent a great few hours full of laughter with him.

During our walk-about we also visited the impressive Bagore Ki Haveli museum with all its artifacts and interesting heritage, as well as visit Ghangaur Ghat on the shore of Lake Pichola, which is a popular location for wedding photography shoots. We also selected to visit the Vintage and Classic Car Museum at The Palace Hotel.

With the extra day, you may alternatively even like to book a day trip into the Rajasthani Desert for more stunning architecture. It is the world's 18th-largest desert, and the world's 9th-largest hot subtropical desert. Or maybe instead visit the incredible Ranakpur Jain Temple and witness the unique carvings. You can book a driver to take you to these locations with prices starting from around 800 - 2000 Rs for the trip depending on the distance of your choice of destination. 

During your time in Udaipur, definitely opt in for a boat ride on Lake Pichola's tranquil waters which will provide a captivating point of view of the City's horizon.  It also provides you with the opportunity to explore the stunning Jag Mandir Island which is a vast open space nestled between arches, palaces and grounds and where you can sit and relax with a drink and a meal if you so wish.  The last boat back to City Palace departs at 6.00þ.m so bear this in mind.

Udaipur can generally be discovered on foot, but of course there are plenty of tuk tuks available, which are cheap to get around with an average journey costing 150 to 200 Rupees.  You can even hire a tuk tuk for the entire day for as little as 800 Rupees.

If you are an early riser something not to be missed in Udaipur is an early morning stroll, which allows you the opportunity to glimpse locals who live by the water. Women wash their clothes on the ghats while others mingle in the morning fresh air. This too is a magical time of day where you can actually observe things that you may miss during the hustle and bustle of the day.

Shopping in Udaipur

Shopping in India definitely is not for the faint-hearted, but if you don’t mind it being busy and noisy, then we would recommend taking a stroll through the paths of Udaipur old city, where the lively markets offer an array of different varieties and a rich source of crafted works. They have everything from traditional lenghas, suits, and sarees to Western outfits, from traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, and souvenirs to traditional silver jewellery, and much more.

Udaipur’s most famous market is The Hathi Pol, locals visit this market and prices are considered reasonable. Most of the shops and markets that we came across were happy to haggle and we picked up some wonderful bargains to bring back home. Obviously this is only acceptable if there are no signs up stating "fixed price".

Evening Time in Udaipur

Dusk travels are an especially heartfelt time in Udaipur and are a particularly beautiful time to witness Lake Pichola, offering a kaleidoscope of colours, glistening reflections into the waters. Book a Lake Pichola Cruise

During the evenings, tourists tend to dine on balconies and rooftop patios as they overlook the cityscape of pastel yellows and whites, while couples stroll the streets browsing the markets and stalls for memories to take home. If you are looking for more in the way of nightlife, Udaipur doesn't have a late night culture or nightclubs, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of amazing things to do in Udaipur besides taking it easy. One such thing is the The Dharohar Dance Show at the Bagore ki Haveli which takes place on all days of the week. Tickets for the Dance show are available from 6:15 pm. Timings may vary on special occasions and festivals. The colourful and vibrant costumes are fantastic to see and the dancing is a real spectacle to behold.

At night, Udaipur takes on a beautiful glow and the views of Lake Pichola are even more breathtaking.  The Royal Palace complex also lights up and the lights of the beautiful architecture and the city reflect in the water making for incredible photographs. We treated ourelves and booked a private candlelit dinner at Badi Mahal with its own private garden at the Amet Haveli hotel. The magnificent views in the photos below were incredible, so if you are looking for truly something special, then we would recomend arranging this in advance of your stay.

Where to Stay in Udaipur

When staying in Udaipur, try and select a hotel overlooking Lake Pichola itself as this will make for an everlasting memory. Just imagine waking up in the morning to the beautiful sunrise over Lake Pichola, you will be aghast at the stunning morning glow. We stayed at the Amet Havil hotel which was simply stunning and as a word of advice, it is well worth paying that bit extra to have a lake view room to appreciate Udaipur at its best. Our hotel was organised by our travel company Audley.

One last tip - don't misstreating yourself to a massage or reflexology in one of the many places around Udaipur. We both had a 45 minute reflexology session for a small fee of 1,200 Rupees for two people. Very much needed after all the walking we did during our stay.

There is so much to see in Udaipur, plan your time wisely. We have offered just a glimpse of what you can expect when travelling to this amazing city in Rajasthan.

Best Time To Visit Udaipur

If you are considering adding Udaipur to our travel itinerary, then the best months to travel are considered to be September to March, however we chose to visit Udaipur in January 2024 as part of our special month long itinerary; January however is a little more chilly and you can expect to wear a lightweight coat or fleece during the mornings and evenings, but this certainly did not mar our overal experience. Visiting Udaipur on the other hand from March to June can be very hot and exhausting if you want to explore the city so think carefully before deciding when to go.

Udaipur Temperature Guide
Udaipur Temperature Guide

Our Conclusion

As we have said earlier, we highly recommend wonderous Udaipur India. We instantly fell in love with the sheer beauty and vibe of this unique city and what it had to offer and hope to return here another time to explore further.

We are sure that it will capture your heart too and you will fall in love with the mysticism, the floating palaces, the architecture, and the spirit that runs through this splendid city.

Don't take our word for it though, be sure to add Udaipur to your Indian adventure itinerary today and you too will be able to experience what this stunning city has to offer; you definitely won't be disappointed and please feel free to let us know about your own personal experience via email if you so wish, or maybe you may have a question about our blog. If so, please do not hesitate to contact us; my husband Richard and I will certainly be happy to help.

Thank you for visiting Escape With Us Worldwide Travel Blog & Vlog site today and we hope that we have inspired you to include Udaipur on your itinerary during your visit to incredible India 🇮🇳.

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20. Feb.
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Thank you for sharing - X

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Vanessa Wrenn-Haye
Vanessa Wrenn-Haye
20. Feb.
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Thank you for taking the time to read our blog Karen. We hope you will travel to India one day & experience it for yourself.

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