Udaipur today is a city with a population of more than half a million people. Once it was the capital of Merwar, the hilly region of Rajasthan in India, and the city was founded by Maharaja Uday Singh, who named it after himself.
Udaipur is an oasis, the pearl of arid Rajasthan, spread out on the coast of 3 lakes, which visually merge into one and resemble a river. Their water was enough to set up green parks in hot India, which Udaipur is famous for. Tourists and guests of Udaipur have nicknamed the city the Venice of the East – and it is also called the Eastern Versailles, for the palace on Lake Pihkola on the island of Jagnivas. There is a legend that Udai Singh met a sadhu who pointed out to him a place near this lake with special mystical protection. The Maharana built a palace on this site. Today, the best hotel in the city of Lake Palace and a restaurant are located in the palace building. For India climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
How to get to Udaipur
You can get to Udaipur by plane from Delhi and Mumbai in a little less than two hours or an hour from Jaipur.
However, planes in India are optional transport, delays and flight cancellations often occur – so relying on them to plan important trips is not always prudent.
From Udaipur to Bombay (aka Mumbai, as we know) trains run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It is better to buy tickets in advance, and buying them is not so difficult, so be patient, you will have to stand in line. At some stations there are ticket offices for foreigners, working at certain hours. In addition, be prepared for the fact that the trains here are not particularly punctual.
Despite the lower ticket price, the same distance should not be covered by bus, as the roads here are bumpy and there are no air conditioners in the cabin. If you have a license, it would be more convenient to rent a car. To do this, you need to provide a civil liability insurance policy and, in fact, your driver’s license. You can also rent a scooter – it’s more convenient to drive than a car, and it’s easier to go around cows lying on the roadway, but it’s still not easy to fit into the local traffic. The traffic here, by the way, is on the left side.
The rates for car rental are quite high here, because due to the local specifics of driving, accidents occur much more often than in Europe – and the owners of rental offices, of course, include possible damage in the price.
Cuisine and restaurants of Udaipur
Cuisine in Udaipur is mainly Indian, including many delicacies, savory flavors and unusual seasonings. Indian cuisine is influenced by two religions at once – Hinduism and Islam.
Here you should try rice pilaf – biryani, and bread stuffed with almonds, dried fruits and sweet cream. In addition, local bread cooked in the tandoor is considered especially tasty, and curry, the most famous Indian cuisine, is cooked here just perfectly.
Of the restaurants, Hukam is especially popular, featuring a special variety of national cuisines and pleasant live music, and Aroma, where you can taste exotic Indian dishes in a romantic setting. In addition, it is worth visiting Jagdish Misthan Bhandar, a pastry shop where you can try and buy exclusive sweets to take away. The Mansapurna Karni Mata restaurant is located on top of a hill and is notable for a certain inaccessibility – you can get there only by climbing the cable car.
And do not forget the main rule of Indian cuisine – do not overeat. The heat here is usually such that one extra snack may not allow you to fully enjoy the beauties and sights of Udaipur.
Entertainment and attractions in Udaipur
Udaipur is called the “white city” – the fact is that the walls of most houses are painted white and from the height of the rajas’ palace, the whole city seems white. On the walls of many houses there are picturesque frescoes depicting local animals – elephants, camels and horses are especially popular among them – Indians in rich robes, historical scenes and simply beautiful flowers.
Elephants, horses and camels are depicted not only in frescoes, there are enough of them on the streets of the city. So you can ride around the city on an elephant or a camel, and in order to go around the surroundings too, you can take a horse from one of the many local stables.
The main attraction of the city is the luxurious palaces of the Rajput era. The city palace complex is completely made of white stone, only multi-colored frescoes and a golden sun face hanging over the entrance to the palace stand out on it – a symbol of the dynasty that ruled in Udaipur for several centuries.
In the Shambunivas Palace you can see an impressive green dance hall, from where you watched the dances of the raja and his entourage, and many unusual rooms with mirrored walls and ceilings, decorated with glass stained-glass windows in incredible color combinations.
By the way, the descendants of the Maharani still live in it.
The Jagmandir Palace is no less beautiful – there is a unique park and marble chambers decorated with mosaic ornaments, and 8 stone elephants guard the entrance to them.
You can get acquainted with the traditional crafts and art of the city in the Bagurka Haveli Museum, where, among other exhibits, clothes, musical instruments, and miniature paintings are presented. Folklore music and dance performances are held here every evening.
The temples of Udaipur also captivate with their beauty and whiteness. To the north of the city palace is the Central Jayagdish Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, the creator of the universe. In front of the entrance, in a separate tower, there is a figure of gold – this is his assistant, the eagle man Garud, devouring snakes and symbolizing the Sun.
There are many parks in Udaipur, and boats are floating on the lakes, carrying tourists. Most of the parks are located around the third Fateh Lake. In addition to the usual smoky rest, here you can also look at the bas-reliefs illustrating various historical events.
Modern Nehru Park is located on an island in the middle of the same lake. In it, palm trees are spread, rose bushes are fragrant, fountains murmur soothingly. It can be reached by boat or pedal boat.
You can see the whole city in all its glory from the high hills surrounding Udaipur. By the way, the surroundings of Udaipur are a protected area, so a fee is charged for visiting them. There is a museum on the mountain, where the species of animals and birds that are protected here are presented.
In the spring, Udaipur hosts a festival in honor of the arrival of spring, the cultural part of which is distinguished by colorful dances and songs, and an enchanting fire show crowns the event.