Rajasthan one of the biggest states in India is known for its history, culture and beauty. In the south of Rajasthan lies one of the most beautiful cities of India, not just Rajasthan, Udaipur. Udaipur is known as the city of lakes because of its sophisticated lake system. It has seven lakes surrounding the city. Five of the major lakes, namely Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar and Doodh Talai Lake. Besides lakes, Udaipur is also popular for its massive historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries, natural locations and gardens, architectural temples, as well as traditional fairs, festivals and structures. After spending a good week in this city, I realised how spectacular and beautiful this small city in Rajasthan is. These are the few places according to me that are a must visit.
1) City palace: Right at the banks of Lake Pichola lies this magnificent palace, The City palace. This palace is a piece of art whereby it took over 400 years to build it. It stands tallon on a hill in a flamboyant fusion of the Rajhastani and Mughal architecture and is considered the largest of its type in the state of Rajasthan, provincial a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. The palaces’ complex has been built entirely in granite and marble. One would be able to spot delicate marble-work, mirror-work, murals, wall paintings, inlay-work, leftover of coloured glass and silver-work. There are various courtyards, terraces, pavilions, rooms, hanging gardens and corridors present in the campus of the palace. The City Palace is so huge that it comprises of 11 Palaces and several other properties in the Palace boundaries.
Note: this place has an entry fee of 300 rupees. If you happen to have a student id along with you, you’ll just have to pay Rs. 100. Also hire a guide to showcase the palaces and some interesting facts about the palace. Go early morning to avoid rush and queue
2) Kumbhalgarh fort: If you’re wondering which is the second longest wall after The Great wall of China, it’s the Kumbalgarh fort in Udaipur. About 2 hours’ drive from Udaipur lies this massive fort built by Rana Kumbha in the course of the 15th century. Built on a hilltop 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above sea level on the Aravalli range, the fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend upto 36 km (22 mi). The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick and the fort has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort ; 300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu. From the palace top, it is possible to see kilometres into the Aravalli Range and the sand dunes of the Thar Desert.
3) Lake Pichola: A trip without visiting Udaipur’s lakes would be incomplete. Lake Pichola ranks as one of the most beautiful and visited lakes in Udaipur. There are several locations to enjoy the serene waters of this lake, but Udaigarh restaurant according to me provides the best views. This restaurant is one of the rooftop restaurants and the view as well as the food is nothing but amazing. Go there at the sunset hours and enjoy sipping your fav drink with the changing colours of the lake as the sun sets.
4) Fatehsagar lake: Another major lake in Udaipur is the Fatehsagar lake that stretches up to 2.4 km. To have the best experience of this lake is to either take a boat ride or enjoy some street food snacks at the famous Bombay market. Being a foodie I obviously chose the latter. Bombay market has tents tied up right besides the lake with several restaurants serving some delicious Bombay street food. Don’t forget to try the mutka rabdi and their cold coffee, I can assure you one won’t be enough.
5) Rope way: If you’re looking for a hilltop place to experience a panaromic view, then this place is just for you. From the hilltop, one can see the best views of Udaipur including Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaivillas by Oberoi, magnificent City Palace Complex, Sajjangarh Fort and the landscapes of Aravali mountains on the other side of lake. Also, at night the lighting done on the different palaces gives a splendid view. Notice how the city of Udaipur is completely white when seen from above. Go during the evenings to have the best experience.
For a person like me who is staying in a city which literally never sleeps, a trip to Udaipur was much more than a mini vacation. That city gave me the most peaceful time to unwind and to enjoy the simplest blessings of the nature. I guarantee you that if you plan on exploring India, don’t miss out on Udaipur. This city will make your soul feel alive again.