The great Persian poet Rumi has said “Travel brings power and love back into your life” which I believe to be completely true. I am an ardent devotee of traveling as I feel that experiencing the glories and the troubles of the world strengthens your belief in life and also makes you modest.
Traveling does not only open your eyes to the world but also enlightens your mind and soul. And the best way to make the most of any trip is to travel light and approach the journey with an open frame of mind. Be curious, be at ease and go with the flow. Let the child inside you get hold of your mind and heart.
Well, the child in me was getting impatient to travel back in time, to the times of the Rajputs. And no place in our country can offers a better glimpse than Udaipur.
“The Venice of the East” is a bouquet that offers a glimpse of the past along with the beauty of the landscape and the religious relics. The historical monuments and palaces simply took me to the era of the Rajputs. The beauty and the splendor of the palaces speak volumes of the authentic royalty and luxury that existed at that time. I was complete in awe with the culture of this “City of Lakes” a nickname that it has rightly got due the fabulously beautiful lakes.
Let me take you through the places in Udaipur that are a must visit and I completely fell in love with them. They include:
Places to visit in Udaipur
Voted as the most romantic hotel in India and the world, Lake Palace was built in the 18th century as a royal summer palace and serves as a 5 star luxury hotel in the present times. Situated in the large and placid Lake Pichola, the royal abode is a fantastic place to stay in and even if one cannot afford the luxury, the opulence can be strongly felt from the outside.
With the boat ride, I got the full-blown views of the exotic palace. Built in creamy-white marbles, it looks all the more ethereal when the shadow of the domes and the arches falls on the surface of the lake along with the poised grey mountains.
Udaipur is filled with castles and the City Palace is the most charming of the lot and my favorite too. A series of palaces, it houses artifacts and souvenirs of the yesteryear. The lovely courtyard, imposing corridors and well-manicured gardens enraptured me within moments of entry.
I was astounded by the beautiful Krishna paintings in the Bhim Vilas, displaying classic colors and plenty of creativity. Further explorations bring many more “aha” moments, culminating at the one-of-a-kind, “Celebration Mall”, the only “Heritage Mall” in India.
Another palace that I visited was the Jag Mandir, which is brimming with regal appeal and majestic brilliance. Situated in Lake Pichola, it looks like an intriguing island where you are welcomed by elephants at the jetty entry, not real ones but statues.
Still, it is quite imperial, reminding you of the legendary times of the kings and queens. Adorned by Gul Mahal, Bada Pattharon ka Mahal, Zenana Mahal, Darikhana, Garden Courtyard and Kunwar Pada ka Mahal; it treats you to the most magical monumental glory. I simply feel in love with this place.
If fairies existed in the real world, they would have definitely chosen Saheliyon-ki-Bari as their home stay. This beautiful garden is a treasure trove of greenery in the desert.
Built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his wife and her maidens who had accompanied her as part of her dowry, it is home to many intricate fountains, a lotus pool and marble elephant statues that sprinkle water from their trunks. The beauty of the place is intriguing and will surely let you forget all your worries and woes.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Udaipur is also known as the city of lakes and the Fateh Sagar Lake is one of the four well-known lakes of the city. Nicknamed as “the Second Kashmir” because of its limpid blue waters and the cool backdrop of lush green mountains, it offered a fantastical delights to my soul, courtesy the three islands housing two parks and the famous Solar Observatory.
The boats ferried me to the beautiful spots and spending time at any of the island felt like a picnic in one of the corners of the heaven.
So if you have read this far then it means that you want to explore Udaipur. So if you want a nice deal to visit all these destinations then view our tour package for Udaipur.
Places to visit near Udaipur
The land of brave hearts has also given birth to many saints, prominent among them being Mirabai, who devoted her entire life to Lord Krishna. The rulers of Rajasthan have been staunch patrons of temples and the Nathdwara Temple is a fine example of the culture of patronage.
It houses an infant idol of 7 year old Krishna and is thronged by people from across the country who believe praying with a pure heart makes wishes comes true. The town of Nathdwara is also renowned for “Pichwai Paintings” that celebrate the vivid and colorful life of the Lord.
Apart from the places in Udaipur, I also visited some amazing places near Udaipur, which were as beautiful. I would rather suggest that if you are planning a trip at Udaipur, you must also visit these places as otherwise you will miss a lot. I explored:
Amongst all the places around Udaipur, Mount Abu is the most sought-after because it is situated in the only hill station of the state. My visit to the Mount Abu was nothing short of marvelous.
The salubrious climate felt all the more benevolent with the twin temples in tow. Glowing with exquisite architectural brilliance, they are dedicated to the 1st and 22nd Tirthankars, Adinath and Neminath. You can only marvel at the intricacy and the delectable details that dot the temples from top to bottom. Really, the builders were mavericks and so were the craftsmen who toiled for 15 long years to erect this wonder.
Known as the home of the country’s biggest Jain temple complex, Ranakpur brings you face to face with a majestic temple, located in a quiet place.
Far away from the hustle bustle, it exudes a meditative charm that I loved. A groovy getaway, its understated and elegant character will please you, in a jiffy. You can get a feel of the famed peace that only hermits and saints are said to experience just as I did.
Said to be the birthplace of notable warrior, Rana Kumbha, the Kumbhalgarh fort welcomes you into its majestic folds gently, just like the attendants of the kings and takes you to a nostalgic tryst with the past.
Just two hours drive from the city; it is located in the old and rugged Aravalli range, where I soaked in the solitude and royal fervor in an ample dose.
Shining in the glory of royal legends, Chittorgarh has many forts and havelis that tell the valiant tales of the bygone era. The walls of the Chittorgarh Fort stretch up to 6 kilometers and look brilliant with the charming Padmini Palace, situated in the vicinity.
If you want to get a closer look of the palaces and the regal relics then it is advised you stay in the Padmini Palace. Here, you will have all the leisure and the convenience to hang out with the historical delights.
Villages and Countryside
Real India resides in its villages and if you are keen to explore the kaleidoscope called Rajasthan then a visit to the countryside is must. The camel safari will introduced me to the nitty gritty of the rustic life at a very easygoing pace. The Ship of the Desert is a very obedient animal and I loved to ride on its humpy back. If you want, you can also go for horse rides and the trained Marwari horses are the best for an exhilarating journey. In case you have a penchant for walking, which I do, strolling around the villages and explore things by myself was another experience all together. Well, a tribal guides, who is well-versed with the language and the culture of the countryside showed me around.
Amazing resorts at Udaipur
Staying in Udaipur was a completely royal experience. My one week tour was going to be long and hence, I decided to get a wholesome experience of royalty. And why restrict the revelry to one palace, when more are available? The more the merrier!
I chose to stay in hotel Taj Lake Palace and the Oberoi Udaivilas. I stayed at Hotel Taj Palace for the first part of my trip and what a fabulous place it is! You have heard of people taking trip to an island but have you ever heard of a trip to an island that is studded with a palace?
If not, then you must visit this hotel. Hotel Taj Palace greets you to a fairyland of bliss where you can get the best view of the city from the balconies. With the amazingly lavish rooms equipped with all the modern facilities, my stay here was fabulous. The great cuisine offered by Hotel Taj Palace made my experience nothing short of super luxurious.
For the second leg, I moved to Oberoi Udaivilas which is as good as Taj if not better. Spread in an area of 50 acres, on the banks of Lake Pichola, the opulent resort feels exactly like a palace. Apart from the super deluxe rooms, which were more than comfortable and lavish, the beautiful courtyards, and gardens adorned with the fountains oozed a royal appeal. I only wished if I could stay here for lifelong. Along with the best services in the world, I also relished the amazing food and also learned a few tricks from the in-house chef. Full marks to both Hotel Taj Palace and Oberoi Udaivilas for its excellent hospitality.
My trip to Udaipur was a complete package. The air and the culture that exists till date speaks a lot of the royal past of this city in Rajasthan. Along with hospitality that is beyond comparison, my trip to Udaipur will always be etched in my mind and will remind me of the majestic past.