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Top 12 Things To Do in Udaipur

 

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is located in the southern part of the Rajasthan on the slope of the mighty Aravalli Hills. Containing ancient palaces and peaceful lakes, this popular tourist destination has so much to offer for solo travelers, honeymooning couples, and history lovers.

The City Palace complex is the top place to visit in Udaipur. Inside you will find many palaces such as the Chandra Mahal, Bari Mahal, and Dilkhushal Mahal. Other great things to do in this city are to take a boat ride on Lake Pichola and ride the Mansapurna Karni Ropeway during sunset.

Highlights

  • Take a boat ride on Lake Pichola to get amazing views of the City Palace with the sunset in the background.
  • Take a cooking class to learn how to prepare authentic Rajasthani cuisine.
  • Visit the Jagdish Temple in the City Palace to see the striking four-armed image of Lord Vishnu carved out of a single piece of black stone.
  • Take a heritage walk through the streets of Udaipur to experience the rustic lifestyle of the countryside and also the chaos of the city center.
  • Ride the Mansapurna Karni Ropeway to get magnificent views of Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, the City Palace, and the Sajjangarh Fort.

1. Explore the City Palace Complex

Recommended visiting time: 3 hours

The City Palace in Udaipur is built on the banks of Lake Pichola and is the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. The palace is a fusion of Rajasthani, European, Chinese, and Mughal architecture with its many towers, domes, and arches.

The City Palace also has several pols or arched entrances. The Badi Pol is the main entrance to the Udaipur City Palace Complex. The Tripolia Pol is a beautiful triple-arched gate made of marble. The Ganesh Deori Pol is the entrance gate to the City Palace Museum.

Several palaces can be found around the complex. Badi Mahal, known as the Garden Palace, is the highest point in the City Palace. This palace is often used to celebrate special occasions such as Diwali and the birthdays of royal family members. The Zenana Mahal, or Queen's Palace, was where the queen used to hold her meetings.

The City Palace Museum contains a remarkable collection of ancient sculptures and weapons. The museum is split into a series of palaces including the Mardana Mahal, or palace for royal men, and Zenana Mahal, the palace for royal ladies.

There are also many beautiful courtyards inside the complex. The most notable is Manek Chowk which is a beautiful Mughal-style garden that was used for meetings and ceremonial processions.

Located near Badi Mahal and Mor Chowk, Badi Chitrashali Chowk is another beautiful courtyard and is decorated with blue Chinese tiles, colored glass, and murals.

2. Take a Boat Ride on Lake Pichola

Recommended visiting time: 2-3 hours

Lake Pichola is a man-made lake that was created in the mid-14th century to serve the water needs of the nearby Pichola Village. It is now a popular tourist attraction where travelers can take a scenic boat ride.

As you slowly float into the center of the lake, you will be greeted with incredible views of the City Palace with the sun slowly sinking on the horizon behind it.

The boat will then take you to visit the Lake Palace located on the island of Jag Niwas. This structure is the former summer palace of the Mewar dynasty rules and has been turned into a beautiful hotel. The palace is made of black and white marble and adorned with semi-precious stones.

The Jag Mandir or Lake Garden Palace is another attraction to visit during your boat ride. It is located at the southern end of the lake and was also a summer palace for Udaipur’s royal family.

3. Visit the Jagdish Temple

Recommended visiting time: 1-2 hours

The Jagdish Temple is located inside the City Palace complex and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. This is the largest temple in Udaipur.

This three-story temple was built in an Indo-Aryan style of architecture with beautifully adorned ceilings, intricately carved pillars, and large halls.

When approaching the temple, visitors are welcomed by two huge stone elephants guarding the entrance. The spire of the main temple is about 79 feet tall and is decorated with sculptures of dancers, horsemen, elephants, and musicians.

The main shrine contains a striking statue of Lord Vishnu that was carved out of a single piece of black stone. It is centrally located and encircled by four smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesh, the Sun God, Goddess Shakti, and Lord Shiva.

4. Take a Heritage Walk

Recommended visiting time: 2 hours

Taking a heritage walk through the streets of Udaipur allows you to experience the diverse culture, traditions, and architecture of the city. Heritage walks are a shortcut to experiencing the rustic lifestyle of the countryside and the chaos of the city center.

On the walk, travelers will be able to visit Udaipur’s most beautiful attractions starting with the City Palace and then proceeding to the Gangaur Ghat, the main stairs that lead down to Lake Pichola.

The walk will continue through many different sites including temples, art shops, traditional merchant mansions, bazaars, and other architectural structures in the old city.

Throughout the walk, a professional tour guide will explain the history of the city as well as the culture and traditions of the local people.

5. Take a Cooking Class

Recommended visiting time: 3 hours

Udaipur has many talented chefs who love to share their cooking knowledge with travelers and eager learners.

Most of the cooking classes in Udaipur take place in the private homes of local chefs. These chefs will invite guests to come over and learn to cook authentic Indian dishes. Once the cooking lessons are done, travelers can sit down with the chef and eat the meal together.

Before the cooking class begins, you will first be taken to a local market to buy the fresh produce needed for the dishes you will learn to cook. Market visits often include purchasing meat, vegetables, and spices such as cardamom, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon.

Some examples of the authentic Rajasthani dishes that travelers can learn to cook include Mohan Thaal, a dessert prepared from dry fruits, and Dal Bati Churma, a crunchy bread dipped in clarified butter and spicy lentils.

6. Make a Miniature Painting

Recommended visiting time: 3 hours

Aside from its lakes, Udaipur is also famous for its traditional miniature paintings. These paintings are like tiny murals that depict events from history and stories from the Hindu Puranas.

The paintings are small, typically 2 to 4 inches on each side, but are extremely detailed and elaborate requiring a high degree of skill and experience. 

Dive deeper into the local culture by learning to make miniature paintings of your own. A typical painting takes 2 to 3 hours to make, but your painting teacher will create the outline and help you with your painting step by step.

7. Unwind at the Sunset Terrace

Recommended visiting time: 1 hour

Located at the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel inside the City Palace, the Sunset View Terrace is the best place in the city for panoramic views of Lake Pichola. This is the perfect spot to visit right before sunset in order to take in the beauty of the lake and floating palaces against the orange sky.

While you unwind on the gorgeous terrace, you can also sip on some delicious and refreshing cocktails or eat dinner while you enjoy the remarkable views.

8. Take Pictures at the Ambrai Ghat

Recommended visiting time: 1 hour

The Ambrai Ghat, also known as Manjhi Ghat, is one of the most celebrated ghats in Udaipur. Ghats are a set of stairs that lead down to a holy body of water and are a common places to relax or worship in India.

The Ambrai Ghat is located on the banks of Lake Pichola and is visited for its scenic views of the City Palace and surrounding lakes. It is also the perfect place to take beautiful photos with the beauty of Udaipur as the backdrop.

At the Ambrai Ghat in the early morning, you can see the locals of Udaipur doing yoga on the stairs or bathing in the water. Travelers can also observe the prayer processions that take place at dusk and dawn.

9. Dine at the Jag Mandir Island Palace

Recommended visiting time: 2 hours

Jag Mandir Palace, popularly known as the Lake Garden Palace, is a glorious palace located on the southern island of Lake Pichola. It is a three-storied structure built with Islamic architectural principles and made out of white marble and yellow sandstone.

Inside the palace complex, guests can explore the Gul Mahal which was the first structure on the island and was built in 1551. Travelers can also dine at Darikhana.

Darikhana offers a variety of seating options as well as food and beverages. The food served here is limited, but the restaurant is known for its wide selection of alcohol. Darikhana overlooks the City Palace and the Karni Mata Temple.

10. Stay at a Palace Hotel

Recommended visiting time: 1-2 days

Udaipur is home to several mansions, forts, and palaces that are relics from the era of the Rajput Kings. Some of these palaces have been converted into luxurious hotels that are an amazing blend of comfort and sophistication coupled with great hospitality.

The Fateh Prakash Palace is located on the eastern shores of Lake Pichola around 1,000 feet from the City Palace. Its rooms and suites have large arched windows, original paintings, period furniture, and satellite TV. The facilities of the hotel include an outdoor swimming pool and a pool table.

The Shiv Niwas Palace is a crescent-shaped palace located just 650 feet from the City Palace. The spacious rooms and suites of this property are equipped with air-conditioning and feature a flat-screen TV, mini-bar, and wardrobe. The facilities provided here include a spa, wellness center, and an outdoor swimming pool.

11. Ride a Bike around Udaipur

Recommended visiting time: 1-2 hours

It’s hard to find a better way to explore Udaipur than on a bicycle tour. The cycling tour is a fun adventure that leads travelers around the city to explore every nook and then head out into the scenic villages.

Pedal through the picturesque countryside at dawn to take in the morning calm. A cycling experience at sunrise allows for less street traffic and provides stunning views of the small villages surrounding this major city.

12. Ride the Ropeway to See the Sunset

Recommended visiting time: 2 hours

The Mansapurna Karni Mata Temple is a remote shrine located on a the top of a steep hill. In order to help the public reach the temple, the ropeway line was built.

The Mansapurna Karni Ropeway not only offers a simple and comfortable means of reaching the temple but also provides a spectacular view of the surroundings and city below.

From the cable car, travelers can get panoramic views of Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, the City Palace, the Sajjangarh Fort, and rolling Aravali Hills in the distance. The best time to take the ropeway is in the evening when you can see the sunset as it covers the walls of the temples and palaces with a soft orange glow.

Explore Udaipur with Asia Highlights

Udaipur, the City of Lakes, is the crown jewel of the state of Rajasthan and is filled with many attractions to marvel at. At Asia Highlights, our experts can help you tailor-make your perfect trip that includes what you want to do and see.