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5 Things To Do In Your Next Udaipur Trip

Published on: January 2, 2024

5 Good Reasons to Make Your Next Holiday a Trip to Udaipur, the City of Lakes. In 2022, readers of T+L voted Udaipur the 3rd best city in the world, based upon its landmarks, lakes in Udaipur, tourist sights, cuisine, shopping options, friendliness and overall value for money. Located just an hour by plane from Delhi and just under 90 minutes from Mumbai, Udaipur is a convenient and beautiful escape from the hustle-bustle of Incredible India’s largest cities, with many hotels near Lake Pichola, the city’s most beautiful destination.

Here are our top 5 reasons to choose Udaipur as your next holiday destination:

Construction work on City Palace was started by Maharana Udai Singh II, the founder of Udaipur city, in the 16th century. Over the next 300 years, succeeding rulers expanded upon the structure to make it what it is today: Rajasthan’s largest palace, with a height of 30.4 metres and a façade of 244 metres long. City Palace as we know it is actually eleven smaller palaces built in such a way as to appear like one single façade. Within its walls, you will find wonderful courtyards, embellished gateways, sunlit courtyards and garden oases. Entering from the main gate, visitors pass along a road lined with craftsmen, miniature art painters, book binders and textile dealers. You can also spot the eight arches where successive Maharajas are said to have been weighed in gold upon their accession. Their weight in gold was then distributed to the local people. Also within the palace is the Manak Chowk, where elephants are said to have fought to show their prowess before going into battle. The former elephant parking area is now a car park. From here, you can see Amar Vilas. Designed as a pleasure garden, it is the highest point in Udaipur and features hanging gardens, towers and fountains. Badi Mahal features a pool which is used during Holi celebrations. There is a glittering Crystal Gallery (Fateprakash Palace), hand painted miniatures in Bhim Vilas and Krishna Vilas, peacock mosaics in Choti Chitrasala, Chinese art and ornamental tiles in Chini Chitrasala, a huge ornamental sun (the symbol of the royal family of Mewar) in Manak Mahal, ladies’ courtyards and people carriers that would have been used on elephants and by servants. City Palace also featured in the James Bond film: Octopussy. From City Palace, you can also access a ghat that offers boat rides across Lake Pichola, Udaipur.

From the ghats near City Palace, you can take a number of boat rides on Lake Pichola. The most authentic of these is in a traditional Shikara; a canopied wooden boat in which the driver is seated at the rear. In a Shikara, you can get a real sense of the peace and tranquility of Udaipur, as well as the serenity of the lake itself and the beauty of Udaipur hotels near Lake Pichola, one of which being The Oberoi Udaivilas, with its traditional domed architecture and vast gardens. Should you wish to experience a romantic sunset over the lake, the concierge at The Oberoi Udaivilas would be happy to arrange a private Shikara boat ride, topped off with Champagne and canapes for you.

Originally built in the late 18th century by Maharana Sajjan as an observatory, Sajjangarh later became his monsoon palace and then hunting lodge, served by what is now the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Nowadays Sajjangarh is government-run and in a somewhat neglected state, but worth the trek up the hill, or ride (if you choose to take an auto rickshaw or taxi to the entrance gate) for breathtaking sunset and lake views that rival even those of the best hotels in Udaipur with lake views.

Bada bazaar, the “grand bazaar” is a lively market where street side stalls and modern showrooms jostle for attention. Excellent souvenirs can be found here, including miniature paintings, jewellery, traditional shibori hand dyed fabrics, camel leather bags and footwear, and much more, at reasonable rates. Try your hand at bargaining to get the best deals and take home some authentic souvenirs of your time in majestic Udaipur.

Our multi-award winning resort, The Oberoi Udaivilas, is ranked best of Udaipur resorts near the lake. And is home to two of the finest restaurants. Suryamahal, the sun palace, is the daytime dining space, with seating under a sky-blue dome. Outside, the al fresco terrace known as Chandni enjoys sweeping views of Lake Pichola and City Palace, which is an unforgettable sight to behold lit up at night. Chandni hosts live performances of traditional music and dance each night. The menu includes pan-Asian and European dishes, pan-Indian and local Rajasthani specialities, all served with the heartfelt hospitality that is Oberoi Hotels & Resorts. For a more personal dining experience, you can book a private table for two through the concierge at the private lakeside pavilion or under the lakeside dome.

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