Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

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Travel Features >> Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

Tourist Attractions in Udaipur

October 11, 2012

Udaipur, the 'City of Dawn’ seems many worlds away from the golden sand dunes and desert land that epitomise Rajasthan. Filled with various tourist attractions, the city of Udaipur is made up of shimmering lakes, of elegant palaces built of white marble, of flower-filled gardens and gurgling fountains and of a tradition of regal living that takes some beating: Udaipur is exquisite, alluring and very easy to fall in love with.

There is much to see and do round Udaipur.

City Palace: The City Palace is the largest of its kind in Rajasthan and consists of a dazzling combination of palaces, pavilions, terraces, courtyards, hanging gardens and more, all splendidly ornamented- many of the chambers embellished with art inspired by the Mughal style of decoration. A large portion of the City Palace is today a museum, home to a fine collection of art and artefacts related to the royal family of Udaipur.

The Lakes of Udaipur: Udaipur is known to many as the 'City of Lakes’, and its lakes are truly beautiful- a welcome and very refreshing change from the arid sands of the rest of Rajasthan. The main lake of Udaipur is Lake Pichola, which is fringed by bathing ghats, temples, havelies, gardens and palaces. On Lake Pichola are two islands- Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas- both of which can be visited as part of a boat ride across the shimmering waters of the lake. Boats depart at regular intervals from Bansi Ghat (also known as the City Palace Jetty).

Udaipur’s two other lakes are Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar. The latter is an artificial lake, created in 1678 by Maharana Fateh Singh; in the centre of the lake lies a picturesque garden island known as Nehru Park.

Jagdish Mandir: Constructed in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, the Jagdish Mandir lies in close proximity to the main entrance of the City Palace. The largest temple in Udaipur, the Jagdish Mandir enshrines a black stone statue of Lord Vishnu, known here as Jagannath, the lord of the universe. The temple’s exterior is of polished local stone, its main entrance being through a series of steps leading up between two large statues of caparisoned elephants crafted from white marble. The Jagdish Mandir’s most outstanding feature is its beautiful ornamentation- its walls are decorated with delicate carvings that have been likened to those of the famous temples at Khajuraho.

Jag Mandir: Also known as the Lake Garden Palace, Jag Mandir stands on an island in Lake Pichola, surrounded by a vast courtyard paved with tiles of black and white stone, adjoining which is the Garden Courtyard, an expanse of elegantly landscaped rose gardens around which are scattered flowering trees and carefully maintained flowerbeds. The Gul Mahal building was where the Mughal emperor Shahjahan stayed with his family while in rebellion against his father Jahangir. Other than the Gul Mahal, the most striking feature of Jag Mandir are eight almost life-size statues of elephants carved from white marble, which stand as if guarding the main boat ramp and entrance.

Saheliyon ki Bari: Literally the 'Garden of the Maids of Honour’, the Saheliyon ki Bari is the foremost of Udaipur’s many beautiful gardens. It is a modest sized but pretty ornamental garden with five fountains, four pools of water and a series of elegantly carved pavilions, and ornate elephants. Named for the royal ladies, who came here for a stroll and a change of atmosphere, the garden is even today a beautifully quiet and relaxing place to wander around in, to relax or to take photographs of lotus pools and pavilions.

Travel Folio:
Best Time: Udaipur is best visited in the months between October and March as this is when the weather is conducive for sightseeing forays.

Get there: Direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai operate to Udaipur. Train connections from the metro cities are limited, but there is an overnight train from Jaipur. It is also very convenient to drive or take a bus to Udaipur from anywhere within Rajasthan.

Stay: There are a number of mid-priced heritage hotels –some palaces converted into hotels and they recreate the grandeur of the days of the maharaja. For a truly luxurious stay there is the famed Lake Palace or Oberoi Udai Vilas. Click here to search for multiple hotel options and the best deals available in Udaipur.

Eat: Dal Batti Choorma, Gatte ki Sabzi and Lal Maas are the must-eats in Udaipur. For vegetarian fare stop by at the Jaiwana Rooftop Restaurant and for authentic Rajasthani cuisine try Ambrai at Hanuman Ghat.

Shop: Traditional handicrafts, block printed textiles, embroidered bags and silver jewellery is what Udaipur is known for. The main shopping area runs from City Palace to Jagdish Temple Street and to the Clock Tower. For beaded bags and jewellery head to Chandpole Road and if you are looking for basic handicrafts try the Govt run Rajasthali.

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