Udaipur - The City of Lakes
This was the capital city of the Mewar region ruled by Maharana Udai Singh-II back in the 15th Cetury. Udaipur is one of the most fertile regions in the desert hot sandy state of Rajasthan. This city is famous in the world for more than one reason. It houses the best solar observatory and the largest artificial lake in the whole of Asia. Rich in minerals like copper and zinc, it hosts one of the most popular festivals called Shilpgram which is a crowd puller. It is also famous for best miniature paintings.
Major Attractions of Udaipur:
Although there is no dearth of forts and palaces in the Mewar region there is one palace that stands out from the rest. The Royal abode with several cupolas and towers overlooks the exotic Lake Pichola. The entry is from Big Gate called Bari Pol that leads to another gate called Tripolia. The ornamental tiles, mirrored tiles and delicate glass work will surely take your breath away. Check out the part of the palace converted to a museum for ancient artefacts.
Seated royally on Bansdara Hilltop of the famed breathtaking Aravallis was started for astronomical measurement. Also called Sajjan Garh Palace this magnificent structure turned into a hunting lodge. Visitors view the magnificent vistas of the countryside and the beauty of white marble with complex carved pillars. The massive central court, high turrets adds to the beauty of Rajasthani Palace when lit up.
Fateh Sagar Lake:
Formerly called the Connaught Bundh, the lovely blue waters are surrounded by greenery and woods. There are three islets over this artificial lake where tourists throng. Visit the islands by motorboat to view one with Udaipur Solar Observatory. The other island has a popular public park housing a water jet fountain. The largest has the fabulous tourist attraction called Nehru Park.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park:
A favorite destination for a quiet evening out, this spot gives the best views of surrounding destinations like Jag Mandir, Musical Fountains, City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola & Taj Lake Palace.
Sajjan Niwas Garden:
This is an amazing garden spread over 1,000 acres. This is known popularly as 'Gulab Bagh' which simply means Rose Garden. This is a dream place for botanists and those with a penchant for flowers especially roses. There are various varieties of roses here. It also extends to a zoo with spectacular species of wildlife.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal:
This is a must see for those interested to learn Cultural Heritage. Udaipur's colorful cultural institute is dedicated to folk culture, traditional arts and performances, festivals and folk songs of various states in India. There are amazing artefacts about Rajasthani culture in the museum that it houses.
Best Time to Visit Udaipur
Like all other places in Rajasthan, summers are hot. So, visit during monsoons for dry and arid land to wet. A visit during the winter months – October to March makes the trip most pleasurable.
How to Reach Udaipur
The closest airport is 20 km called Maharana Pratap Airport with well connected domestic flights throughout major cities in the country. From airport book a pre-paid taxi or hire a cab to get to the city.
Udaipur is well connected to the other cities of Rajasthan. Udaipur is connected to a vast network of trains to major cities in India such as Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Mumbai and Kota. In fact, the famous and luxurious trains are also running in Udaipur named as Palace on Wheels train, Maharajas Express and Deccan Odyssey train.
There are state run ordinary busses, interstate/ intercity deluxe, A/C and Non-A/C Coaches.
Shopping in Udaipur :
Famous shopping spots in Udaipur include Hathi Pol Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar for crockery, khadis, etc. Chetak Circle is great for valuables, precious stones and jewelry. Bada Bazaar is known for colorful shoes, textiles & sarees with Batik and Bandhani print. A government emporium called Rajasthali offers mirrored & semi- precious fabric, brass crafts and other marble handicrafts. Shilpagram hosts the Shilpagram Mela, a trade fair to shop accessories and clothes. Situated close to Udaipur’s Fateh Sagar it offers rural items like pottery, hand painted items, wood furniture, etc.