Rajasthan Diaries: Things to do in Udaipur

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Photo of Rajasthan Diaries: Things to do in Udaipur by Shashank

Quite often, the first impression is just a disguise. But that’s not the case with Udaipur. From the moment you enter the city, you can’t help but feel the emotion of nostalgia, the feeling of a long-lost home. Guarded by Aravalli Hills in every direction that the eyes go, the charm of Udaipur takes you back in time, a time when days were simpler, yet grand. The lakes here are so mesmerising, you’ll want the sun to set twice every day. The land of palaces, temples and timeless legends still holds the beauty of the yesteryear intact; maybe a layer of dust here and there.

I have been to Udaipur twice now, and I’m planning a trip later this year. Here’s a list of things to do in Udaipur if you’re planning to visit (or revisit) it.

1. Enjoy meals with a lakeside view

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Photo of Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

How does the idea of a delicious meal coupled with a spectacular view of the lake sound? At the Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel, you’ll get to choose from a host of Indian delicacies – mutton, chicken, fish or veg. The best time to get here is before sunset, so you can enjoy the whole show. Don’t forget to book ahead though.

2. Take a crash-course in Udaipur's history

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Photo of City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

For only Rs 30 (Rs 15 for children), you can spend the entire day at Rajasthan’s largest palace, the City Palace. Built by Maharana Udai Singh II, the palace boasts of a façade which is 244 metres long. If you hire a local guide, you’re in for a treat; these guys will tell you stories you can’t find in any history book.

3. Live like royalty for a day (or more)

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Photo of Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

Set in an 18th century marble palace, one which featured in a James Bond movie, Udaipur’s Taj Lake Palace sits elegantly atop an island in Lake Pichola. If you were looking for a royal treatment, look no further. It might burn a hole in your pocket, but you won’t be complaining. Because this is how the kings and queens of Mewar lived.

4. Experience panoramic solitude from the top of the Monsoon Palace

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Photo of Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace), Kodiyat, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

This 19th-century palace was constructed by Maharana Sajjan Singh and served as his private lookout for monsoon clouds. It also gave him a view of his ancestral home of Chittaurgarh, along with a panoramic view of Udaipur’s lakes, palaces and the endless Aravalli Hills. I looked at it for a long time from the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake, but I’d advise you to take the sunset excursion provided by an enterprising taxi driver in his minivan. (He charges INR 300 per person for the round trip, with the pickup point at the entrance to Bagode-ki-Haveli.)

5. Look for your type of cafe beside the Fateh Sagar Lake

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Photo of Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

A popular local hang-out, the Fateh Sagar lake is ringed by hills and houses the Udaipur Solar Observatory on one of its islands. This is the perfect spot for late night scenes as the shore is full of cafes and restaurants that run deep into the cool Udaipur nights.

6. Watch the sun set from the shores of Lake Pichola

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Photo of Lake Pichola, Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shashank

The best spot to enjoy the sunset in the city, Lake Pichola was also built by Maharana Udai Singh II by flooding the Picholi village. The City Palace extends along the lake’s eastern shore while the Taj Lake Palace rests on an island inside the lake. Don’t miss out on a boat ride of the lake and don’t forget to bring your camera along.

Been to any offbeat places in Udaipur? Tell us about it.

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