The Perfect Udaipur Itinerary
Known as the ‘Venice of the East’ and the ‘Lake City’, the undeniable beauty of Udaipur has made an impression for centuries.
However it was its most famous attraction, the impressive ‘Lake Palace’, which helped to put Udaipur on the map after it was featured in James Bond’s Octopussy movie. But visitors to this quaint Rajastani city soon realise that at least a few days are needed to absorb everything Udaipur has to offer.
There is an abundance of roof top terraces in the city that offer stunning vistas of Lake Pichola and the opulent Lake Palace. On your first morning, take your pick from any one of the restaurants advertising a great view (they all tend to be fairly similar) and enjoy a panoramic view of the city over breakfast.
Then it’s time walk up to the City Palace for 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. Although you can wander around at your leisure, hiring a local guide will give you a unique insight into the vibrant history of this Indian city. Tours generally last for an hour and a half.
Once you have finished there, wander down to 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!
You will then visit Leela Palace and make a stop at 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.
In the morning, choose one of the lakeside restaurants to enjoy breakfast and watch the hustle and bustle of the locals as they go about their morning.
Once you’ve had your fill, head off to visit some of Udaipur’s highlights including Jagdish Temple, Maharana Pratap Memorial, Fateh Sagar and the Gardens of the Maidens which offer a cool reprieve from the heat.
At dusk, wander down to the lake again but this time to watch people pray and make religious offerings. Just don’t mind all of the cows wandering around!
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. Many shopkeepers will entice you with an offer of a cup of sweet milky chai to enjoy while browsing. If you are particularly interested in purchasing some of their goods, why not take up their offer and enjoy a chance to chat to a local. Be warned, you may end up staying much longer than anticipated and depart laden with goods! Such is the art of persuasion over a good cup of tea in India. There are also many stores selling quality scarves but don’t be scared to shop around and bargain hard.
In the afternoon, give your your legs a rest and enjoy a lassi, a traditional Indian yoghurt drink which come in a variety of flavours including banana, mango and pineapple. These are particularly good to drink if you are having any ‘Delhi Belly’ issues as it helps to boost the good bacteria in your stomach.
In the evening, pick one of the hotels advertising a nightly showing of ‘Octopussy’ to watch over a good Indian curry. It’s always exciting to see Udaipur’s crowning glory feature in the film when you are in the city itself. Make sure you pick a roof top terrace restaurant so you can watch the beautiful sun set over the lake beforehand.
Make sure you visit Udaipur during their autumn or winter months or you may be disappointed to find the lake completely dried up or water levels very low. When the lake is full, it transforms the city and is a sight not to be missed!