What clicks your head when I say Rajasthan?
If its desert, you definitely need to visit Udaipur, a small city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, also called the Venice of East, formerly the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar. Surrounded by Aravali hills, the city stands out among the sand covered Rajsthan and is known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces.
Udaipur, with its picturesque landscape, lakes, and historic palaces and architecture, is a major destination for most tourists, both domestic and foreign. With numerous hotels to serve visiting tourists, Udaipur is home to some of the world's most renowned and the country's best luxury hotels and resorts. The Oberoi Udaivilas has been ranked as the world's number 1 hotel in 2015.
This city alone houses seven lakes- Pichola, Fateh Sagar , Swaroop Sagar, Udai Sagar, Badi Lake, Jai Samand, Raj Samand. Monsoon would be the best time to visit the city amidst brim full lakes and overflowing dams.
Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta. The Shilpgram festival is a platform where regional handicraft and hand-loom products are showcased. This festival is organized every year in the last week of December, and artists and craftsmen participate in it with full enthusiasm.
Last month, Udaipur Lake festival was organized- and various events like kayaking, kite flying, fire dances, rock band performances were conducted. In this 2 day festival bands like Indian Ocean and Prem Joshua ,swept the city with its songs and rhythm. The city lakes were decorated like never before. A floating market was set up and it was amazing. The city celebrated it with enthusiasm!!
Udaipur still houses and respects the Royal Family. Arvind Singh Mewar is functioning as the Managing Trustee for the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation and is Chairman and Managing Director of the HRH Group of Hotels, a Company that claims rights on family property even though it was formed much after stay orders of the courts were applicable on the family property in the ongoing partition suit. You can meet them if you take an appointment, stay in the hotels and cherish the royalty treatment.
The city boasts with a number of tourist attractions such as - The City Palace And Its Museum, Jag Mandir, Monsoon Palace (Sajjangarh fort), Maharana Pratap Smarak- if you are interested in history, these places serve as an apt mixture of architectural beauty and fine craftsmanship. Sukhadia Circle, Sajjangarh wildlife Santuary, Saheliyon Ki Badi, Gulab Baagh, Nehru Garden (Situated amidst the lake), Udaipur solar Observatory, Doodhtalai, Karni Mata Gondola Ride, Rajeev Gandhi Park, Shreenath ji Temple, Jagdish temple, Eklingarh Temple would surely serve you an appetite. My personal opinion would be never to miss out on – Sajjan Garh, Fateh Sagar, Doodhtalai, Karni Mata Gondola Ride after 5-6, as the late evenings are a bliss- the entire city is lit up and the view is breathtakingly beautiful, Jag Mandir if you fancy a royal dinner amidst the lake, Jadhish Chowk, and Sukhadia Circle’s Bombay market.
The best restaurants that do not hit your pocket hard but let you have an amazing evening would be Ambrai, Hari Garh, Jheel’s Ginger café, and a lot of other small restaurants on lal ghat.
And as they say- females crave shopping, they have an unusual taste- I recommend visiting the old city market if you have ample amount of time and Kajri Art Cottage- a definite stop that houses all the art that city is famous for, under one roof, at an affordable price and the best part- u just have to select---these guys get it delivered to your doorstep so no tension of overloading your baggage! :-D :-D.
I will never be able to describe this city in words; it is a world in itself, a world that gave me so many memories and helped me develop an appetite for historical places- for this is a place where beauty and history shake hands.