Udaipur: Lakes, Palaces and Regal charm.

Tripoto
15th Nov 2013

Lake Palace

Photo of Udaipur: Lakes, Palaces and Regal charm. by Chhavi Srivastav

Lake pichola with the aravallis in background

Photo of Udaipur: Lakes, Palaces and Regal charm. by Chhavi Srivastav

City Palace

Photo of Udaipur: Lakes, Palaces and Regal charm. by Chhavi Srivastav

Udaipur is the city of cream, rose and tangerine hues. Known as the ‘Venice of the East’ and the ‘Lake City’, this quaint rajasthani city has made an impression for centuries. 

For the uninitiated, the place has a lot of historical charm. Majestic courtyards, breathtaking windows, folk-lore filled buttress points, elegant terraces, mosaic-walls, serene waters, teal hillsides, dreamy sunsets, Monsoon palaces, romance-painted havelis – it’s hard to capture the entire hypnotism of this mystic land.

The huge cupola crowned City Palace offers one a glimpse into Udaipur’s regal past. The largest palace complex in Rajastan, it impresses with its sheer size and spectacular views out over Pichola Lake. To absorb the brilliance, take the City Palace jetty for a boat tour out to see the floating Lake Palace in all its splendour from up close. This stunning marble structure was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II and is set on a four acre island. The mosaics in particular are particularly striking. Unfortunately you must be a hotel guest to be allowed inside and at 25,000 rupees a night, most people have to console themselves with a view from the water!                                                                                                                                                                                       

The next stop of the ferry is the Leela Palace and Jag Mandir (the entrance fee is included in your boat tour ticket). This mesmerising structure was built in 1626 and has beautiful grounds which you can wander around and enjoy a drink before being dropped back to the City Palace.

Once you've explored the majestic palaces, soak up the blue hues. This city is dotted with shimmering waters. The big Pichola lake is a splendid waterscape that envelopes water-seated destinations like Jag Mandir or Lake Palace hotel. At the Fatehsagar Lake, one finds city-youngsters and night-birds flock along a winding road of breezy air and frothy coffee all throughout the day. This is also a favourite stretch for morning joggers and elders out for a brisk and uninterrupted morning walk followed by a steaming cutting chai. The Jai Samand Lake is a good resort or getaway point to drive up to. It is also know for seven islands, a dam and some inimitable wind it encapsulates. The Swaroop Sagar and Badi waterbody offer mesmerising views for those who want to be close to the city.

Traverse the city and head off to visit some of the city's archaeological highlights including Jagdish Temple, Maharana Pratap Memorial and Bagor-ki-Haveli and let the explorer in you delve in the rustic architecture. Visit the Saheliyon-ki-Bari which offers a cool reprieve from the heat.

For the shopping enthusiasts, take to the streets and spend time poking and peering into the many stores selling everything from artwork to jewellery and clothing to leather goods. Visit Shilpgram, a crafts village in northwest Udaipur, and get lost in the rich rajasthani culture. Gorge on the sumptuous rajasthani food- baati choorma, dal, gost, chutney, and let the aroma and flavours accompany you much after you have finished

Udaipur is a unique mix of opulent, regal charm and rich cultural heritage.To soak in this magical land is a very hefty task, one discovers a new surprise with every visit. My tryst with Udaipur was 3 days long, but the myriad memories and experience this royal city has given me are priceless.

Travel Tip: Choose a hotel which offers a roof top terrace, and enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Make sure you visit in winter or autumn months, when the lakes are brimming with water, to behold a sight like never before!

Embodiment of Rajasthan's rich rajput past, this sprawling complex houses ancient swords, war armour, traditional paintings, artefacts, manicured gardens, flamboyant chandeliers and magnificent halls. A visit to this grand palace ensures a trip back to the era of the rajput maharajas.
Photo of City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Flowers in full bloom, cool fountains and artistic architecture- this beautiful Badi is a perfect escape from the scorching desert sun. The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art and fountains. English translation of Saheliyon Ki Bari means "Garden of maids". This renowned garden is located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake, presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. It was built in the 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal women. Today, the crystalloid fountains, lotus pool, marbled elephants sprinkling water and many more attractions have made the garden a must visit for Udaipur explorers.
Photo of Saheliyon ki Badi, Panchwati, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Build atop the Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, overlooking the Fatah Sagar Lake, this memorial of the great Maharana Pratap Singh and his horse 'chetak' is an amazing sight to behold. Thousands of visitors flock daily to this site to pay their homage to the Rajput hero.
Photo of Maharana Pratap Memorial, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of Maharana Pratap Memorial, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of Maharana Pratap Memorial, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Photo of Maharana Pratap Memorial, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
A grand example of Indo-aryan architecture, the temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double-storey Mandapa (hall) to a double-story saandhara (with a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell-roof). Apart from the architectural delight, the complex boasts of small shops selling rajasthani paintings, jewellery and handicrafts.
Photo of Jagdish Temple, Silawatwari, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
Bagore Ki Haveli is a perfect place to explore the grand life style of the royal family.This ancient complex catches the traveller's eye with its spectacular architecture and mesmerising dance and music shows. The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors are Haveli work. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are examples of exquisite glasswork. Unique symbols of the Rajput clan, such as jewellery boxes, dice-games, hukkas, pan boxes, nut crackers, hand fans, rose water sprinklers, copper vessels and other items are also on display here.
Photo of Bagore Ki Haveli Museum, Silawatwari, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India by Chhavi Srivastav
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