Situated on the southern slope of the gentle Aravalli hills, Udaipur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. With its historic palaces, glittering lakes and laidback vibe, it’s a disarmingly charming city.
Rana Udai Singh established Udaipur as the capital of Mewar in 1559, when he fled from Chittorgarh under threat of losing to Akbar. He built the unimaginably beautiful City Palace as his residence here, and it has remained the iconic symbol of Rajput opulence over the centuries. The current Maharana and his family, tracing its lineage to Maharana Udai Singh, live in the palace even today.
Because of its many man-made lakes, Udaipur is often affectionately likened to Venice (though really it bears no resemblance). There are nine major lakes in the city, all of which are fed from the river Berach. Of these, the most popular and scenic lakes are Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Swaroop Sagar and Badi. It is this wealth of water which has led to Udaipur’s moniker The City of Lakes.
The labyrinthine Old City is the heart of Udaipur, and where most tourists prefer to stay – within walking distance of major sights like the City Palace, Pichola Lake, Bagore ki Haveli and Jagdish Mandir.
Wandering around the Old City makes you realise that the old and tired cliché about India being a ‘riot of colours’ is actually applicable here. It could lead to sensory overload if it wasn’t so delightful, and as a result you can easily spend a day walking around the city and still not tire of the bustle.
We recommend visiting Udaipur for 4 days, which would allow for a relaxed tour of the city and all its major sights, shopping, and perhaps a day-trip to one of the forts or temples nearby.
Udaipur Top 6
- The City Palace.
- Sunset boat ride on Pichola lake.
- Dinner at a lakeside or rooftop restaurant.
- Shopping in the Old City.
- Walk along Fateh Sagar lake.
- Amazing forts, a day trip out of the city.