There's a reason why Udaipur, one of the most romantic cities in the world, goes by the moniker 'Venice of the East'. Set amid a backdrop of the rugged Aravalli hills, the city located in India's northwestern state of Rajasthan is dotted with several shimmering lakes that command attention from the very first glance.
What's more, the city is home to some of the most magnificent palaces that were once inhabited by royalty. These structures have now been converted into stunning hotels that whisper secrets of the era bygone.
While there's much to do in Udaipur, if you are short on time, here are a few experiences you must go for.
1. Soak in the beauty of Lake Pichola
Udaipur has countless lakes—no wonder, it's called the city of lakes. If you aren't taking a long and leisurely trip, forget everything and make a stop at Lake Pichola. Go for a boat ride in the crystal-clear waters, with a backdrop of the majestic Aravalli hills for company. Feel the breeze and soothe your senses, without a care in the world. Of course, it's inviting to take a million pictures of this beauty—but hold back, because the lake is a sight to behold with your naked eyes.
You could make a quick stop at the Fateh Sagar lake too, if time permits. It's another famous lake in the city.
Pro tip: Visit during sunrise or sunset to elevate the experience.
2. Get a taste of royalty in a floating palace
Udaipur has a touch of royalty in every nook and cranny, but nothing can surpass living at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur—the erstwhile summer palace of the Mewar dynasty. The floating palace hotel retains several of its original elements, which makes the experience even more worthwhile.
Today, the property houses 10 luxury garden view rooms, 23 luxury lake view rooms, 32 palace rooms, and 18 suites—each with a unique theme and unique name. The restaurants within the hotel are also bedecked with traditional décor a la the royal times; of course, the food matches up.
Pro tip: Stay a night at Sajjan Niwas, one of their legendary suites that were built in 1880, by Maharaja Sajjan Singh.
3. Dive deep into history at the City Palace
The City Palace in Udaipur is an imposing structure that is a testimony to the rich history of the royals of Udaipur. Take your time to explore the palace that houses some of the most beautiful frescoes and artefacts. Every corner is a visual treat; trust us, you won't be able to stop yourself from going clickety-click. You can opt for a guided tour, if you want to dive deep into the history and culture (make sure to negotiate the rates, since some of them quote high prices).
Pro tip: After gallivanting around the palace, make sure to stop by at the café for a drink.
4. Savour a traditional Rajasthani thali
When in India, don't miss out on the rich culinary diversity offered by each state. The local fare in Rajasthan comprises a mix of delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare that will leave your tummies and hearts full (blame it on the ghee).
Drown in the flavours of Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangri, and Gatte ki Sabzi, if you are a vegetarian. Non-vegetarians should not miss out on the tender Laal Maas or the creamy Safed Maas. Finish the heavy meal with the melt-in-the-mouth Malai Ghevar. Wash it down with spiced chaas or buttermilk, which is another staple here.
Pro tip: Try out Traditional Khana for a delicious vegetarian thali. For non-vegetarian fare, visit Upre.
5. Drown yourself in the culture at Bagore ki Haveli
Rajasthan is a colourful state, and this reflects in everything from its history, architecture, and attire, to the food. So, how can we possibly miss out on the culture?
A visit to Udaipur is incomplete without experiencing a night of Rajasthani folk music and dance at Bagore Ki Haveli. The Dharohar dance show that happens every evening at Neem Chowk is a spectacle to say the least! Don't miss it for anything in the world.
Pro tip: Buy online tickets for the show beforehand that starts at 7pm, every day.