Udaipur, the capital of the former princly state of Mewar, is a beautiful city in Rajasthan, India famous for its lakes and palaces. A current tourist favorite, especially for up-market Westerners, it was a backdrop for numerous movies including the James Bond flick "Octopussy".
Udaipur is referred to as the "Venice of the East", the "Most Romantic City of India" and the "Kashmir of Rajasthan" (a reference to Dal Lake) and not without reason. Tourists flock to this enchanting old & modern town in the heart of the Aravalli Mountains, which offers three interconnected lakes within the town - the Fateh Sagar Lake, the Lake Pichhola and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake; along with forts, palaces, temples, gardens, mountains and narrow lanes lines withdrawn with stalls, relives the reminisces of a heroic past, valor and chivalry.
Udaipur was the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia clan with jhala's loyalty. The founder of Udaipur was Rana Udai Singh, father of Maharana Pratap. The ancient capital of Mewar was Nagda, located on the Banas River northeast of Udaipur. Legend has it that Maharana Udai Singh came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range on the banks of the lake Pichola.
In 1568, the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittorgarh, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his residence, which became the city of Udaipur. As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar district. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818.
After India's Independence in 1947, Mewar was the first princely state that acceded to the Dominion of India, and was integrated into India's Rajasthan state. The Maharana of Mewar was given honorary title of the MahaRajpramukh of the newly formed state of Rajasthan.
Udaipur receives a large number of tourists from all over the world every year. The city is inhabited by people of Bhil tribe. Udaipur dwellers are really friendly and good to be with. On your first look, you will find them rugged, but these people are really good at heart. Here, people usually prefer wearing bright colored clothes. Colorful festivals and fairs depict the cultural prosperity of Udaipur.
Udaipur offers moderate climate all through the year, but the best season to visit the place is from September to March.
Winters (December to February) offers pleasant climate with a temperature not going beyond 32°C. The pleasing weather is perfect for enjoying holidays and indulging in various tourist activities.
Summers (mid-March to June) has hot weather with a temperature maximum of 45°C, especially April to June. The hot climate is not preferable for Udaipur tourism. tourist activities.
Monsoons (July to September) offer very little rainfall. The scanty amount of rains in Udaipur makes the place very humid. However, during monsoon, the lush green environs of the place become very attractive. Even the lakes are filled with rain water.
Winter months are comparatively cooler than summer months which make it perfect for holidaying and all types of tourist activities of all ages. Plan your travel or book packages for Udaipur during these months. March offers comfortably hot weather and is ideal for sightseeing and adventures. Summer months are very hot and it’s better to avoid visiting during these months. September to November has pleasing climate making it really a good time for sighting and other tourist activities.
Udaipur is easily accessible from every major destinations of India. The city is well connected with Agra 630km, Delhi 670km, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) 739km, Ahmedabad 260km, Ajmer 265km, Chittorgarh 115km, Jaipur 405km and Jodhpur by 275km.
Frequent trains are available to get in Udaipur and the rail route goes through extremely serene and pleasant environment. Though it is bit time consuming but rail journey is definitely worth doing.
Maharana Pratap Airport Udaipur is located at Dabok, 22 km away from the heart of Udaipur city. Many domestic airlines connect the city to most of the major cities in India including Kolkata, Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai. Regular flight services are available from Udaipur to Delhi and Mumbai. Taxi services are offered at a rate of Rs 400 from airport to Udaipur city. International travelers can get connecting flights from Delhi International Airport, which is at a distance of 670 km. You pre-pay for the taxi inside the airport. Come prepared with cash since they don't take credit cards and there is no ATM at the airport.
Train service has improved over the last few years after Udaipur was converted to broad gauge railway line. There are now daily trains from New Delhi and Jaipur. You can take Mewar Express (Train No. 2963DN) from H. Nizamuddin Station, which leaves at 7PM and reaches Udaipur at 7AM next day. One can also travel by broad gauge trains up to Ajmer and then take bus or train from Ajmer to Udaipur.
12963 Mewar Express, daily from NZM at 7:05PM, arrival UDZ 07:20 AM
12981 Chetak Express, day 1,2,4,6 from DEE at 07:40 PM, arrival in UDZ 07:50 AM
Trains Jaipur - Udaipur:
12965 Gwalior-Udaipur Express, daily from JP at 10:30PM, arrival UDZ 6:10AM
Trains Ajmer - Udaipur
12965 Gwalior-Udaipur Express, daily from AII at 00:50 AM, arrival UDZ 6:10AM
12992 Ajmer-Udaipur Express, daily from AII at 4:15AM, arrival UDZ at 9:30PM
Trains Mumbai - Udaipur
12995 Bandra-Udaipur SF Express, 3,5,7, from BDTS at 3:45PM, arrival UDZ 8:55AM
If you coming from Western or Southern India, take a train to Mumbai and then an overnight train to Udaipur. Alternatively, you can take a train to Ahmedabad and then, travel by any express train that leaves in the evening for Udaipur for an overnight journey.
Udaipur is connected by an efficient bus service with most Rajasthani towns including Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Mount Abu. Buses also head south to Ahmedabad with connections to Mumbai but it is not a short journey. There are comfortable sleeper coaches available for longer trips.
The city lies on the Golden Quadrilateral, midway between Delhi and Mumbai National Highway (NH) 8; it is around 700 km from either metro. The roads in this part of the country are paved and fit for private vehicles.
State Transport Authorities and private tour agents operates daily buses between Udaipur-Jaipur, Udaipur-Delhi, Udaipur-Ahmedbad, Udaipur-Jodhpur. Some of these buses also have sleeper coaches for a comfortable journey.
Most of the sightseeing places in Udaipur centered around the Lake Pichhola and can be seen on foot. However, hiring a local cab or three-wheeler is the best alternative as you could possibly do the bargain.
By car rental
You can easily visit Udaipur by hiring a car to drive. There are many car rental companies available which provides cars on rent. You would require to submit the photocopy of your international driver's license to rent vehicles. Prices depend on the kind of transport you rent and the length of time you rent it for.
Remember taxis or private cars ask for return charges even if one prefer to go in one way.
A taxi is needed for viewing more of the surrounding areas such as the nearby wilderness park and Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) - which provides a nice view especially at sunset. In Udaipur, you will not find black and yellow taxis, which are regularly visible in the metropolitan cities. If you are touring the city, you can hire taxi/cab that is available in variety, ranging from luxurious cabs to average ones. You can choose taxi as per your preference, comfort and luxury. The luxurious you opt, higher the rent you have to pay.
The best option to travel around Udaipur's old city is to opt for autorickshaws or three-wheelers, which are easily available throughout the city.
Do bargain with the drivers for the autoriskshaw fare: The usual price for Rickshaws is split into day and evening prices. During the day, you can get most tourist places for Rs 30-50, in the evening, it will be almost Rs 100 as a flat-rate.
The drivers are sometimes overly courteous, especially to single female foreigners. If you are staying in Udaipur for a significant amount of time, then you can collect the numbers of a few drivers, and call them when you are close to their area, and give them some time in advance.
Use your better judgment while traveling to distant locations alone.
Horsecarts or tongas (as they are known locally) is the cheapest mode and available mostly within the tourist areas. Tongas being the cheapest mode to travel, is used by local people to a great extent.
To make your trip interesting, you can also enjoy bicycle ride. Udaipur is a small city and not crowded with vehicles, so one can get around the city on a bicycle. You can hire bicycles that are available all around the city.
As Udaipur has plenty of narrow lanes, you can cover some important places on bicycle; it can be a bit time-consuming, but the overall journey is worth doing.
Udaipur offers numerous tourist attractions to gratify the thirst of tourists. Places of interest could be different for different persons. The beautiful palaces of the city depict the lavish lifestyle of the ancient rulers. The temples of Udaipur are known for their striking architecture and impressive structures. The gardens of Udaipur would definitely help you to lighten up with their refreshing appeal. Apart from these, the city has one of the best solar observatory worth visiting.
Udaipur City Palace
The splendid City Palace, posing over Lake Pichola, is one of the most beautiful palatial structures. The elegant palace originally built by Mahrana Uday Singh II rises 30 meters above Lake Pichola and extends up to 244 meters.
The City Palace of Udaipur has number of small and big palaces, museums and the gardens. There are many popular palaces inside the City Palace Complex. The unique aspect of this conglomeration is that the architectural design (a rich blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture) is distinctly homogeneous and eye catching.
The palace complex has been built entirely in granite and marble. The interiors of the palace complex with its balconies, towers and cupolas exhibit delicate mirror-work, marble-work, murals, wall paintings, silver-work, inlay-work and leftover of colored glass. The complex provides a fine view of the lake and the Udaipur city from its upper terraces.
Key destinations in City Palace
- Amar Vilas - The uppermost court inside the complex, which is a raised garden. It provides entry to the Badi Mahal. It is a pleasure pavilion built in Mughal style. It has cusped arcades enclosing a square marble tub. 'Amar Vilas' is the highest point of the City palace and has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers and terraces.
- Badi Mahal - Also known as Garden Palace is the exotic central garden palace that is situated on a 27 metres (89 ft) high natural rock formation vis-a-vis the rest of the palace. The rooms on the ground floor appear to be at the level of the fourth floor in view of the height difference to its surrounding buildings.
- Durbar Hall - Built in 1909 within the Fatepraksh Palace (now a heritage hotel), the hall was used by the royal ladies to observe the court proceedings. This hall has luxuriant interion with some unusually large chandeliers. Weapons of the maharanas and also some of their unique portraits are also depicted here.
- Fatehprakash Palace - Now run as luxury hotel and inaccessible to public viewing has a crystal gallery that consists of crystal chairs, dressig tables, sofas, tables, chairs and beds, crockery, table fountains which were never used. There is also a unique jewel studded carpet here.
- Jagadish Temple - Located 150m north of the palace in Indo-Aryan architectural style, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple walls and the shikara or tower are decorated with carvings of Vishnu, scenes from Lord Krishna’s life and figurines of nymphs or apsaras. The street square, where the temple is located, is also known as Jagdish Chowk from where several roads radiate in different directions.
- Krishna Vilas - Another chamber in Fatehprakash Palance with rich collection of miniature paintings that portray royal processions, festivals and games of the Maharanas. However, there is tragic story linked to this wing of the City Palace. In the nineteenth century, a royal princess was unable to choose from two suitors seeking her hand in marriage, one from the royal family of Jaipur and another from Jodhpur, and hence in a state of dilemma, she poisoned herself to death.
- Manak Mahal - Approach from the Manak Chowk, the palace has a raised alcove inlaid completely in mirror glass. One of the prominent emblems of Sun is depicted on the façade of the Manak Chowk, which can also be seen from the outermost court.
- Mor Chowk or Peacock Square - A pillared hall with glass and mirror mosaic decorations is integral to the inner courts of the palace. The elaborate design of this chamber consists of three peacocks (representing the three seasons of summer, winter and monsoon) modeled in high relief and faced with coloured glass mosaic, built into successive niches in the wall area or jharoka. These were built during Maharana Sajjan Singh’s reign, 200 years after the palace was established. The peacocks have been crafted with 5000 pieces of glass, which shine in green, gold and blue colours. In an adjoining chamber, called the Kanch-ki-Burj, mosaic of mirrors adorn the walls. The Badi Charur Chowk within this chowk is a smaller court for private use. Its screen wall has painted and inlaid compositions depicting European men and Indian women.
- Rang Bhawan - The palace that used to contain royal treasure. There are temples of Lord Krishna, Meerabai and Shiva, located here.
- Sheesh Mahal - The palace of mirrors and glasses was built in 1716. A shrine of Dhuni Mata is also located in the complex. This location is considered as the oldest part of the Palace, where a sage spent his entire life meditating.
- Zenana Mahal or Women's Palace - Proceeding further from the Mor Chowk, in the Zenana Mahal or women’s quarters (now converted into museum) is exquisitely designed alcoves, balconies, coloured windows, tiled walls and floors are seen.
Udaipur is a lovely blend of water, lush green hills that set fire and passion in poet and considered as Venice of East. The city has 5 beautiful lakes that adds to its kaleidoscope.
- Fateh Sagar Lake - An artificial lake constructed by Maharana in north of Lake Pichola in 1678 and to the north-west of Udaipur. Within the confines of the Fateh Sagar Lake, there are three small islands.; the largest of these is called the Nehru Park, the second island houses a public park with an impressive water-jet fountain and the third island is the address for the Udaipur Solar Observatory. Every year a festival called the Hariyali Amavasya Mela (Green New Moon Fair) is organized at the lake precincts, in the month of August/September.
- Pichola Lake - An artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. The lake’s surroundings and the several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries, with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, and bathing ghats. The famous Lake Palace (now converted into a heritage hotel) is located in the middle of the lake. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake. Local buses, Tongas, auto-rickshaws and taxis provide the needed transport.
Though, the city is otherwise small and most of the tourist places will take approximately 20-25 minutes for viewing but visit as each one has its own unique architecture that worth viewing.
- Aapni Dhani - A very good place to spend your evening. This place has a small zoo, magic show, puppet show, nat ka tamasha, dance shows and to top it all a nice Rajasthani dinner - unlimited of course. The ticket is about Rs 250 per person. The shows start in the evening around 5-6PM.
- Ahar Museum - The Ahar Cenotaphs are a group of royal cenotaphs located in Ahar, about 2km east of Udaipur. The site contains more than 250 cenotaphs of the maharajas of Mewar that were built over approximately 350 years. There are 19 chhatris that commemorate the 19 maharajas who were cremated here.
- Bagore-ki-Haveli - An old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The building has a large and exquisite collection of Mewar painting and glassworks.
- Doodh Talai - A rock and fountain garden and the sunset point from which one can enjoy the sunset view in Lake Pichhola and a panoramic view of the old city. Also one can enjoy the Aerial tramway (rope way) which connects one of the dudh talai gardens to Karni Mata temple.
- Gulab Bagh and Zoo - A rose garden laid out by Maharaja Sajjan Singh is situated near the palace on the east side of Lake Pichhola. A library in the garden has a collection of ancient handwritten manuscripts and books. Within the garden, there is a zoo with tigers, leopards, chinkara gazelle, birds, and many wild animals. Children can enjoy mini train, track of which covers the main part of the garden and the zoo.
- Nehru Garden - This is a park situated in the middle of Fateh Sager Lake. This park covers about 41 acres (170,000 m2), with flower gardens and a lily pond. It was inaugurated on the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The garden overlooks the ancient Moti Mahal of Maharana Pratap and gives a view of the Aravalli hills on three sides.
- Saheliyon ki Badi - Built by Maharana Bhopal Singh. Saheliyon ki Bari means Garden of the Maids. This garden area lies in northern part of the city and has fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants. Each water channel has its distinct sound and the mingling of these sounds complement the ambience of the place. There is also a small museum here. Sahelion Ki Bari' was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry.
- Sukhadia Circle - A large roundabout in the city's northern suburb of Panchwati, on the road to Ranakpur and Mt. Abu. centrepiece of the Circle is a large, three-tiered fountain just over 21 m. high, with scalloped dishes surmounted by a wheat-ear motif, representing prosperity. Illuminated at night, it is now a well-known landmark.
- Udaipur Solar Observatory - Located on an island in the Fateh Sagar Lake, the observatory is claimed to be one of the Asia's largest. The observatory was built in the year 1976 by Dr. Arvind Bhatanagar following the model of the Solar Observatory at Big Bear lake in Southern California.
Udaipur offers great excursions to its outskirts. Hire a cab or explore by yourself to the some of the great escapades on the city outskirts.
- Eklingji Temple - 22 km north of Udaipur is one of the most famous temples of Rajasthan. The magnificent architecture of Eklingnath Temple is simply remarkable.
- Haldighati - An important historical site in the context of Rajasthan at a comfortable distance of 40 km from the city of Udaipur. The term Haldighati has been derived from the yellow colored soil of the place that gives a sense of turmeric (in Hindi)
- Jagat Temple - Being located at the village called Jagat, at a distance of 58 km in the south-east of Udaipur. Built in 961 A.D, the Jagat Temple is renowned for its intricate carvings in the exteriors.
- Kankroli - A small town, located at a distance of 65 km from the city of Udaipur mainly known for its temple, which is sited on the banks of renowned Rajsamand Lake.
- Nagda - Located besides Bagela Lake at a distance of 23 km in the north-west of Udaipur on the way to Nathdwara. Nagda comprises many small and big temples, but the main attraction is gained by its 'Sas-Bahu' temple.
Since the city has been the home of the Royalty, the methods of leisure are distinctly imperial. Entertainment in Udaipur doesn't match the tune of Discos and parties of the metropolitan cities. The city is quite and pleasant, this is one of the reason its a biggest tourist destination and one of the most popular wedding destination.
What camel riding is in Jaisalmer, horseback riding is in Udaipur, a must! Situated in the middle of the Aravalli-Mountains, Udaipur offers a fantastic landscape and unrivaled views. Various operators offer horse rides here:
Princess Trails, run by an Indo-German couple. They have around 15 very well kept Marwari horses and always some foals and young ones on their farm, approximately 8 km outside Udaipur. They organize trail rides for individual riders and small groups of 2 hours, 4 hours and full day through the tribal villages of the Aravalli foothills and also arrange overnight accommodation in comfortable Swiss Tents (with attached bathroom, AC and private terrace) on their farm. Horseback lessons and nature hikes are also arranged and non-riding companions can spend a relaxing morning/afternoon in the garden of their farm with a beautiful Hollywood swing. They offer free pick up from the hotels in town and have a collection of riding helmets and half-chaps which they lend out to their riders. Longer horseback safaris with overnight stays in a Safari Camp, are also arranged. Very safe!
Dinesh Jain's Krishna Ranch A very popular and excellent choice. Dinesh organizes professionally guided horse-rides, starting from his ranch which is located 7 kilometers out of Udaipur in the beautiful Arravali mountains.All rides include a visit to the beautiful and unspoiled Tiger-lake and pass through small traditional villages.The horses are very well looked after and the experienced guides are all fluent in English. Hotel pick-up and a tasty vegetarian lunch are included. Imported riding helmets are being provided and the size of the groups is kept small (max.6). Possibilities: 2.5 hours, half day, full day and multi-day safaris with camping. Treks by walk also can be organized. Stay at the ranch in comfortable, nicely decorated rural cottages is also possible.
Pratap Country Inn
Camel Safari is another feature of entertainment in Udaipur and would be really a memorable experience for you. Tourists usually enjoy this unusual ride mounting on the back of camels roaming in the deserts of Rajasthan. The adventurous Camel Safari will acquire your one whole day. In this expedition, you will start from a definite point in the city and get into the interiors of the desert. If you want to meet the tribals, you can encounter them on your journey. During your trip, you need not to worry about your food as our tour operators would arrange for your breakfast and lunch. Enjoy the beauty of lofty lakes, architectural temples, majestic forts and palaces of Udaipur.
Puppet shows make the best part of Udaipur recreation. Being an inseparable aspect of Rajasthani culture, Puppet shows of Udaipur are really captivating. These shows are arranged by the hotels to entertain their guests during their stay. Otherwise, you can always go to Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum to enjoy the exclusive puppet show in the evenings. The puppets attract people with their innocent faces, bright colored dresses, and dazzling jewelry.
You could go to Chetak and Swapnalok theatre that are located near Chetak Circle. Other options could be Ashoka theatre and Picture Palace in Surajpol. There is also a new PVR cinema located in the Celebration Mall - try the 'first class' seating for a cinema experience that you can't get in the West!
There is a dance and puppet show at the Bagore-ki-Haveli, which is located near Gangaur Ghat in the heart of the old city. It starts nightly at 7PM. Charge 60rs + 40 for camera. The show demonstrates many dying tribal rituals of Rajasthan.
The Gavari is a popular dance drama performed by the Bhils in the Southern Rajasthan. This form of art dance drama is mainly describing the story of Goddess Amba and Mahisasur Vadh in a different unique way, along with the fragrances of spirituality, rituals, originality wrapped in humor and typical melodious sound of "Madal."
Ropeway in Udaipur
Spend the evening overlooking the city lights from the high altitude. Udaipur's ropeway services gives a chance to have bird's view of the entire city. Recently started Karni Mata Ropeway has been getting popular amongst domestic and international tourists. Its a ride of about 500m from Doodh Talai Garden to Ropeway junction (to the adjacent hill). A multi-cuisine Restaurant adds up to the reason for staying longer on top of hill and keep staring the natural beauty around.
- Where to reach : Ropeway Point, Din Dayal Garden, Dudh Talai, near Lake Pichola.
- Timing : 10AM to 10PM (So you can dine till fairly late at the Ivy view Restaurant on top of Hill)
- Cost: INR 60/- per adult and INR 30/- per kid
Animal Shelter and Rescue Center
No doubt you have seen injured street animals in your travels in India. At Animal Aid Unlimited about 200 animals are treated, nursed back to life, and encouraged to thrive each day.
Did you ever scratch a donkey under his chin? Have you ever bottle fed a baby goat? Ever helped a dog who lost her leg learn to walk again? Here's your chance. Visits and tours are free (you may need to call in advance). You can also volunteer your time for one (or many) 9AM-5PM day/s. Donations are encouraged but those are not mandatory.
While passing through the markets of Udaipur, you would trace many articles that can make part of your wardrobe and lifestyle too. These markets present an assortment of items covering handicrafts, pottery, jewelry, wooden toys, antique items and paintings. Udaipur is particularly famous for its miniature paintings inspired by style of Rajputs & Mughals. These range in price from as little as a INR 100/- and make a beautiful gift or keepsake.
They may range from toys, bewitching puppets, wall hangings, pen stands, cloth lanterns, handmade papers, painted wooden box to Greeting cards. Udaipur has an assortment pottery too that can be availed in both metal and mud. Pottery covers all kings of pots, plates, vessels and different kinds of containers. Apart from this, brassware and terracotta sculptures are also popular.
Coming to the shopping places, Hathi Pol, Bada Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Bada Bazaar and Palace Road are some of the popular shopping arcades of Udaipur. While shopping in these markets, don't forget to bargain with the shopkeepers to get the value of your money. If you are running short of time to explore the markets, the Government of Rajasthan has made adequate arrangements for you. The only problem at these places to shop is terrible & Un-organized traffic. Better to vsit these places in two wheelers or with proper guide, the shop keepers even bargain up to 50% if you are good at it.
There are few malls to in Udaipur, The Celebration Mall and Lake City Mall in the center of city.
- City Palace Museum Shop, City Palace. A good place to purchase miniature paintings (it has its unique style, but if you're looking for a bargain, you're better off purchasing in off-the-beaten-track towns, like Bundi) and pichhwai paintings -- wall hangings painted on cloth or silk.
- The Celebration Mall, Nh-8, Bhuwana, ☎ . 10AM to 10PM. A place with shopping, dining, entertainment, masti & fun
- Mangalam, Sukhadia Circle, Udaipur, Raj., ☎ . The shop is best for textiles, handicrafts, dhurries, and a variety of products.
- Pushpa Arts Pvt. Ltd. & Pushpa Exports, N.h.- 8, Handicraft Market, Bhuwana, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A store that offers a wide variety of products like wooden furniture, antique reproduction, marble handicrafts, silver furniture, meenakari enameled handicraft furniture, inlay product & furniture, marble & stone inlay products, Rajasthan furniture, white metal furniture, glass inlay work and semi precious stone work.
- Rajasthali Emporium, Chetak Circle. The government fixed-price emporium is worth dropping into to gauge handicraft prices.
- Rukmani Art Gallery, Main Road, Hotel Oberoi Udaivilas, ☎ . This gallery offers a range of art pieces including marble art, ethnic furniture and gifts and souvenirs.
- Sadhna, C/O Seva Mandir (Take a rickshaw to Seva Mandir's NGO Campus, and walk through the large gate with the grate over the threshold), ☎ . 10:00-19:00. Browse for hand-stitched garments, homewares, and linens. A purchase here means contributing to the income over 1000 rural and tribal women who are involved in this enterprise. The aesthetic is very western so that it is possible to take these items back home and feel comfortable in them as well.
- Smile Merchants, Bhattiyani Chohatta (near Jagdish Temple), ☎ . An exclusive collection of leather Items including belts, wallets, ladies handbags, laptop bags and accessories, jackets mens and womens, leather luggage.
- Soma Shop, Lake Palace Road, Near Hotel Mahendra Prakash, ☎ . An exclusive boutique for block print clothes and homeware.
You are in Mewar! You must not miss the opportunity to have the really loaded Daal-Baati-Choorma. It is an experience you will remember forever. Look out for a helping of Gatte-ki-sabzi, as well. Udaipur is also famous for its spicy snacks - Mirchi bada, Kachori, etc. Also, for those with insatiable appetites and no desire for self-service, there are a couple of worthwhile Thali restaurants where you can get unlimited servings of a selection of Rajasthani and Gujarati dishes (rotis, savoury bites, daals, vegetables, rice, sweets and more):
- Ambrai Hotel, Outside Chandpole (Nearby Lake Pichola), ☎ . situated at water level right on Lake Pichola across from the Lake Palace Hotel and the City Palace Museum. Beautiful place to relax after a long jaunt on the road and to take in the nightly fireworks show. Most rickshaw drivers know the place by name. Reservation mandatory.It is the place to have a romantic dinner. Slightly on the expensive side. INR 200.00 and above.
- Bawarchi Restaurant, 6 Delhi Gate, E of Gangaur Ghat. A jumping local Thali joint where you can eat well and be merry for not a lot of money. Serves thali at Rs.80 per person served upstairs at this popular restaurant in Delhi Gate - clean, bright, tasty and delicious food. INR 80.00 for Thali.
- Berry's, Chetak Circle. A decent, clean indoor restaurant with good food at Chetak Circle. Mostly visited by locals reasonable prices.
- Cafe Edelweiss, 71, Gangaur Ghat, ☎ . Serves & delicious Espresso, Cakes, Salads, Sanwiches. INR 40.
- Hotel Natraj, 22-24 City Station Rd (near Bapu Bazaar), ☎ . , A new and very popular restaurant near the train station serves Gujarati (sweet) and Rajasthani Thali for Rs.140 per person - bluish lights but very good food, clean and modern. INR 140.00.
- Hukam, the Family Restaurant, Hotel Broadway Burman Chamber UIT Bridge Saheli Marg, ☎ . A multi-cuisine restaurant serving traditional Indian, Mughlai and Rajasthani dishes. Also serves Chinese, Continental, and Sizzlers.
- Jashn Foodcourt, The Celebration Mall, Nh-8, Bhuwana Udaipur, ☎ . 10AM to 10PM. More than 1000 variety to server, with variety of food menu which suits your pockets.
- McDonalds, The Celebration Mall, Nh-8, Bhuwana Udaipur, ☎ . 10AM to 10PM. The only McDonalds of Udaipur, the most loved food joints by tourists and locals of Udaipur
- Mewar Haveli Rooftop Restaurant, 34-35 Lal Ghat, ☎ . , Situated at view of Lake Pichola and behind Jagdish Temple. Coverd dinning and rooftop restaurant with beautiful and romantic Lake View.
- Paratha Hut, Lake Palace Rd. it used to be super ghatiya no more in existence.
- Restaurant Gateway, shop no.2 Jagat siromani Temple Out Side City Palace (Out Side CIty Palace Main Gate), ☎ . 8:30. A place for gathering more than 100 person. Its located close to the city palace and hence is perfectly located for a late lunch after checking out the city palace the whole morning with huge range of vegetarian food. We serve many different pastas pizzas and real Italian food. We also serve some typical Indian dishes like spinach and corn kernels. and Adrkai malai mushrooms. You can also enjoy view of palace and Jagdish temple. INR 45-350.
- Savage Garden, 22, Inside Chandpole, ☎ . Set over several floors of a pleasant building with cascading bougainvilleas and a towering banana tree in its blue-walled courtyard. Besides some standard Indian fare, you can order toned-down, simplified versions of traditional cuisine, such as "spinach mutton," served with boiled potatoes (boiled, not fried!), or grilled fish with mash, and even an unusual vegetarian "Kela curry" or "Banana curry". INR 70 - 100.
- Shiv Niwas Palace Restaurant, City Palace, ☎ . Inside & outdoor restaurants in this beautiful old palace. Traditionally dressed waiters serve superb food from a varied menu. A great place for that special occasion.
- Silver Emporium, Bapu Bazaar (Main Market , Udaipur.), ☎ . The best place to find Traditional and Antique Jewelery, it also offers a Gem Testing Lab for the convenience of the Customers with a gemologist available at all times.
- Subway, The Celebration Mall, Nh-8, Bhuwana Udaipur, ☎ . 10AM to 10PM. The famous SUBWAY in city of Udaipur
- Trident Hotel Restaurant, Haridasji Ki Magri, ☎ . Superb in every way. You can choose between a-la-carte or the marvelous buffet which is one of the best in Udaipur; a visual delight & a gourmet's paradise at a very reasonable price. The restaurant is attractive, luxurious, relaxed & has a traditional touch.
- The Whistling Teal, 103 Bhatiyani Chohatta (inside Jhadhol Haveli), ☎ . , 094-1416-3727One of the most romantic dining spot in Udaipur with relatively nice view of oasis in the city. Sitting arrangements are done either at lawn or under canopies with exquisite traditional Rajasthani thalis.
- Sukhadia Circle. 10 AM to 12AM. As said in the Places to See Section, A large roundabout in the city's northern suburb of Panchwati, on the road to Ranakpur and Mt. Abu, beside the circle there's a smaller roundabout where 20-25 stalls all of eatery are present. Delicious dishes available at lowest prices are one of the main thing about this place. If you go there and come back without having the Shahi Falooda, then it wouldn't be worth going there.
- Cafe Coffee Day, The Celebration Mall, ☎ . 10AM - 11PM. Cafe Coffee Day is famous coffee shop in Udaipur. The chain serves a wide varieties of coffees with Pizza & Sandwiches. All major credit cards are accepted.
- Fatehprakash Palace Hotel, City Palace (On Lake Pichola), ☎ . 7:30AM - 10:30PM. The open air Sunset Terrace at the Fateh Prakash Palace hotel becomes the heart of the City Palace Complex. People flock there to have a drink, and watch Lake Pichola.
- Garden Hotel Udaipur, Gulab Bagh Rd. Guests choosing to stay at the Garden Hotel Udaipur will be able to dine at the onsite restaurant. They will also be able to have a drink at the garden bar.
- Govinda's Cafeteria, 169 city palace Rd (jagdish chowk). 9AM-9PM. Serves real Lavazza espresso. They have a nice real espresso machine and serve a huge variety of excellent Italian coffee. Shakes and frappes also available. Espresso Rs 50, caffe latte Rs 65, cappuccino Rs 60. Spoil yourself with an amazingly yummy brownie shake (made with a whole piece of brownie, chocolate ice-cream and milk, tastes to die for) for Rs 120. With A/C.
- RTDC Hotel Kajri, Shastri Circle, ☎ . 10AM - 11PM. Let your spirits soar high at the well stocked bar of Hotel Kajri in Udaipur. The bar features an eclectic selection of both Indian and Rajasthani liquor and wine.
- Soul Meet Cafe, next to Dyaji Bridge (walking bridge) (big green building—you can't miss it), ☎ . This place has been opened very recently and King the owner is slowly building the place up from scratch. A perfect place to take in outstanding scenery of the Old Town and the Lake, whilst relaxing with a 'special' lasi and a sheesha.
- Tehkhana (Restaurant & Bar), Hitawala complex,Saheli marg (Saheliyo ki bari), ☎ . 12:00. The Tehkhana Restaurant is a pleasant and elegant contemporary restaurant ideally located near the Sukhadia Circle .With hazelnut coloured walls and vivid paintings this is an ideal place to hang out Choices of Indian, Chinese, Continental, South Indian & Italian cuisines is available to satisfy the taste buds.
There are many hotels in Udaipur which suit to the requirements of all categories of traveler. Majority of the Udaipur hotels offer a view of the placid waters of the Lake Pichola. For those who want to have a luxurious as well as completely fulfilling time in Udaipur, the luxury hotels in Udaipur are the best choice. The luxury and heritage hotels of Udaipur include some of the best known hotels in northern India.
For the large number of tourists traveling on a budget, there are numerous low cost places to stay in Udaipur. These hotels are clustered around the City Station road which is a bustling area. There are also many hotels between the Bandstand to the City palace. Their scattered location and low tariffs make them attractive to most tourists.
- Anjani Hotel, 77, Gangour Ghat Marg (north side of near Dechra Mata), ☎ . A royal palace converted to a hotel is a blend of traditional Indian hospitality and modern day conveniences. All rooms are with attached bath, balcony and jharokha facing towards lakes, fort, hills and swimming-pool. The roof-top restaurant serves various kinds of Indian, Continental, and Chinese cuisine.
- Bhairav Garh Resort, Near Maharana Pratap Khel Gaon, Chitrakoot Nagar, Maharana Pratap Khel Gaov, Ahead of Bhuwana Bypass, Sukher (8km from bus stand), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12.00 Noon, check-out: 12.00 Noon.. The resort is in Sukher, in the Aravali range with all modern facilities to make your stay comfortable. INR 5500 - 14000.
- Hotel Gangaur Palace, 339, Ashoka haveli, Gangaur Ghat Marg, ☎ . This is classic cheapie with faded haveli charm and is set around a courtyard. Pay the extra rupees for a window seat and bathroom. The rooftop restaurant has an island calm. INR 400.00 for double bed.
- Hotel Kumbha Palace, 104, Bhattiyani Chohatta, ☎ . , 9828059506Run by Dutch-Indian couple. Charming and peaceful hotel with spacious, clean and bright rooms. There is a beautiful, lush, big garden backed by the City Palace wall. All rooms have attached toilet/shower. The hotel has an excellent roof-top restaurant with great views on the City Palace and the old city. Free Wi-Fi for hotel-guests. Room-prices:INR 450 - 550.
- Hotel Padmini Palace, 27, Garden Rd (0.5km from bus stand), ☎ . Check-in: 9AM, check-out: 9AM. Hotel with modern facilities. INR 1300 - 5500.
- Hotel Rajkamal International, Bhuwana, 123, Bypass Rd, ☎ . The restaurant's food is like excellent home-cooked food.
- Krishna Ranch, Near Badi village, ☎ . The ranch is located at a very peaceful spot in the beautiful Arravali Mountains, 7 kilometers out of Udaipur. There are spacious, very clean cottages available, nicely decorated with regional handicrafts. They provide very tasty traditional meals that are prepared from vegetables grown at their ecological farm. The ranch is an excellent starting point for walks and bicycle rides to nearby villages. Professionally guided treks by horse or walk can be organized. Rates: . 1,250 per person for double occupancy, including all meals and pick up/drop from/to Udaipur city.
- Mewargarh Palace, House 733, Imlighat (Near Chandpole Gate and Purohitji Ki Havell), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: any time, check-out: 10AM. Small, exceptionally clean guest house with Wi-Fi, rooftop dining overlooking the city, hot showers in single or shared bathrooms, and rooms with twin and larger beds accommodating from 1 to 4 persons. The innkeeper is extremely helpful finding cheap travel options elsewhere, cooking for guests, and assisting with errands. Currently only 6 rooms, so booking in advance is recommended. Upon request, inkeeper will also ensure guests are picked up from the train station free of charge (likely in a rickshaw). Cost is currently INR 500 - 675, but will likely increase in 2011.
- Pleasure Guest House. A quiet place with a garden restaurant and lovely view.
- Hotel Boheda Palace, Boheda Haveli, Kalaji Goraji, Near Lake Palace Road, 313001 Udaipur, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A comfortable, family-run haveli-style hotel situated in a quiet backstreet of the Old City. The rooms are large, airy and quiet with modern bathrooms and amenities. The roof top restaurant offers prime views over the City Palace. Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas.
- Hotel Broadway, Burman Chambers, UIT Bridge, Saheli Marg (next to UIT circle), ☎ . , 401The hotel offers 20 spacious air-conditioned double bed rooms & six family rooms, all with attached bathrooms and modern amenities. Most of the rooms provide breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. INR 1650 - 2650.
- Hotel Lake Shore, Outside Chand pole, Hanuman Ghat, ☎ . A 200-year old heritge haveli on the shores of Lake Pichola. All five bedrooms have views of the Lake Palace, Lake Pichola and bagore ki haveli. All rooms are decorated in traditional Rajasthani style and have attached bath, hot water and a private window seat overlooking Lake Pichola and the washing ghats.
- Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel, 24 - 25 Lal Ghat, ☎ . A 17th-century building with its rooms restored to their old charm and glory and surrounded by the ancient havelis and temples, situated around a central courtyard which is approached through a narrow archway from the Jagdish temple and the old city. INR 1700 - 6500.
- Jaiwana Haveli, 14, Lalghat (eastern bank of Lake Pichola), ☎ . The private residence of the Thakur of Jaiwana converted to luxury hotel accommodates guests in its 24 rooms with views across the lake and island palaces, to the Aravali Mountains beyond. The roof top restaurant with its panoramic views has become a popular venue for visitors. An excellent choice of Indian, Mewari and continental cuisine is available. INR 1000 - 1800.
- Mahendra Prakash, Gulab Bagh Rd (5 minute driveway from Udaipur railway station), ☎ . , Check-out: 12PM. A family-run haveli-style hotel with 26 rooms, situated on Lake Palace Road overlooking the Sajan Niwas Gardens. All rooms are well furnished and can accommodate a family of four. Also offers ayurvedic massage and horse riding facilities. Accepts Visa and Mastercard. INR 1200 - 3000.
- Mewar Haveli, 34-35 Lal Ghat, ☎ . Delightful newly-built hotel in the style of a traditional Rajasthani haveli that stands on the banks of the lovely Lake Pichola. It offers amazing views of Lake Pichola, the Old City, Lake Palace, Jagmandir Island Palace and the Aravali range. The hotel is elegant and tastefully designed. INR 1000 - 1500.
- Mountain Ridge, Mountain Ridge, Sisarma, ☎ . , Outside the ancient village of Sisarma, the hotel offers a peaceful environment. INR 1700 - 4000.
- Raj Niwas (Aashiya Haveli), Lal Ghat, ☎ . A dazzling lake view rooms in heritage hotel opposite Lal Ghat Boating area and nearly touching the lake. mid range.
- Vishnupriya Hotel, 9 Garden Road Near Gulab Bagh, ☎ . A heritage hotel with 51 rooms and tasty food.
- Fateh Prakash Palace, City Palace Complex, ☎ . It is located on the eastern shores of Lake Pichola.
- Inder Residency, Goverdhan Vilas, Ekling Nagar, Shikharbadi Rd.
- The Leela Palace, Lake Pichola.
- Sheraton Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa. Opened on 1st Aug 2010. From Rs 11,000/night.
- Shikarbadi Hotel Udaipur, Goverdhan Vilas Sector 14, Hiran Magri, ☎ 0294 258 3201. The hotel is spread over 250 acres and set amidst the serene wooded landscape of the Aravalis.
Udaipur is safe place and local people are very helpful. However, visitors are advised to take care of their personal belongings, particularly if they have very large cash, credit cards or carrying passport. To avoid pick pocketing, concealed money belts are helpful tools.
Don't leave cash or any valuables in the hotel room. Cross check all hotel, restaurant and lounges bills for errors. Never pay anyone for anything upfront, including taxi drivers. If you are traveling alone then it is advisable to take hotel in Udaipur itself and not in remote areas.
There are many clinics and hospitals in Udaipur which provide quality treatment at affordable prices, and health tourism is on the upswing. The blood bank services are in quick time and it not only serve blood within Udaipur but most of the small towns around the city.
- Ayurvedic hospital, Moti chohtta (Tel: 2-421968)
- Maharana Bhopal general hospital (Tel: 2-528811-19)
- Natural hospital, Bhatyani chohtta (Tel: 2-422700)
- T B hospital (tel: 2-560310)
- Women's hospital (Tel: 2-523989)
- Aravali Hospital, 332 Ambamaata Scheme, Mullatalai, Udaipur (Tel: 2430222, 2431222)
- Goyal hospital, 328-A, Vasant Vihar, Sector-5, Hiran Magri, Udaipur (Tel: 0294-2465764)
- J.K. Hospital & Research Centre, Bhupalpura, Udaipur (Tel: 2418544)
- Jagrati Orthopedic Hospital, Hospital Road, Udaipur (Tel: 2529234)
- Sanjeevani Nursing Home, Sevashram Chowraha, Udaipur (Tel: 2412770)
- Shreyas Children & Maternity Hospital, Fatehpura, Udaipur (Tel: 2560861)
- M.B. Govt. Hospital Blood Bank, Udaipur (Ph. No. 0294-2528811)
- Udaipur Americal International Hospital, 101, Kothi Bagh, Bhatt Ji Ki Bari, Udaipur (Ph. No. 0294-2426000)
- Udaipur M/s Saral Blood Bank, 30, Bhikharinath ka math, Bhupalpura, Udaipur. (Ph. No. 0294-2416285)
Fairs and festival
The city of Udaipur celebrates all the fairs and festivals with equal fervor. The important fairs and festivals that are closely associated with Udaipur are Mewar Festival and the Shilpgram Fair. If you want to catch the vigor of these desert people, catch them during their famous fairs and festivals.
- Mewar Festival - Mewar festival is observed to welcome the arrival of spring season (March/April). The festival is especially meant for women and offers the best time when they dress in their finest clothes and join the celebrations of the fest. To conduct the ceremony, women assemble to dress the images of Isar (Lord Shiva) and Gangaur (Goddess Parvati). After dressing the idols, they carry them in a traditional procession passing through different parts of the city. In the last, the procession makes its move towards the Gangaur Ghat at Pichola Lake. At this point, the images are transported into special boats and immersed in the deep waters of the lake. When this religious part gets over, people engage into various dances, songs and other cultural events revealing the culture of Rajasthan. Mewar festival is concluded with a glittering show of fireworks.
- Shilpgram Crafts Fair - Shilpgram Mela is held annually in the west of the city of Udaipur in the month of November/ December. The fair is organized to promote art and craft of Rajasthan. This fair is a perfect destination to try out the hand woven clothes, embroideries, mirror works and handicrafts. The hand woven clothes and camel leather items grab the major attention of visitors in this fair.
- Ajmer - An ancient town located 288km from Udaipur is famous among the spiritual and religious sects for the shrine of Khwaja Ajmer Sheriff and the only Brahma temples by the banks of Lake Pushkar.
- Bhilwara - The administrative city of Mewar region located 168km from Udaipur. The city contains some of the exquisite neolithic temples that adorn the Nagar style of architecture.
- Bundi - An ancient town located 275km from Udaipur inhabited by local tribesmen famous for its historical fortresses and kunds (holy wells).
- Chittorgarh- About 140 km from Udaipur, Chittorgarh was the capital of Mewar from 734 AD to 1559. Chittorgarh Fort is a massive fort situated on a hilltop near Chittorgarh town in Rajasthan state in India.
- Jodhpur - A popular gateway to the Thar Desert located 269km from Udaipur with the massive Mehrangarh Fort and access to Osiyan desert.
- Kumbhalgarh - A 15th-century fortress, built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, with 36km of walls. Over 360 temples are within the fort. It also has a wildlife sanctuary. Located in Rajsamand District, 64 km from Udaipur. The vista from the top of the palace typically extends tens of kilometers into the Aravalli hills.
- Mount Abu - A popular tourist hill station located 185km from Udaipur. highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar, at 1722 meters above sea level. Mount Abu is home to a number of Jain temples especially the Dilwara Temples.
- Nathdwara - Shri Nathdwara (a pathway to Lord Shri Krishna) lies 48 km from Udaipur and literally means the gateway to the Lord. Devotees throng the shrine in large numbers during occasions of "Janmashtmi", the day of the Lord's birth, and other festivals like Holi. It is famous for its 'pichwai' paintings, with Shri Krishna in the centre and is recognized for profuse use of gold colour.
- Ranakpur - Ranakpur is widely known for its magnificent marble Jain temple devoted to Lord Adinath and is a "must see".Ranakpur is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. Easily accessed by road,Ranakpur is around 100 km north of Udaipur. Its architecture is said to be better than even that of famous Taj Mahal.It is said that the experience of visual treat inside the temple can hardly be described in words. Light colored marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple. The temple, with its distinctive domes, rises majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. There is one beautiful carving made out of a single marble rock where there are 1008 heads of snakes and numerous tails over the head of Lord ParsvaNatha. One cannot find the end of the tails. The image faces all four cardinal directions. The temple is designed as chaumukha—with four faces.The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Jain Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.