Udaipur Travel Guide : Best ways to explore the City of Lakes, Rich Rajasthani Culture & Heritage, Outstanding Cuisine and Amazing Architecture

  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for. 



  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.  


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.

What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:

  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.
  
Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings. 
  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion. 


  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.

Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently. 

  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.


 I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include. 

  I visited Udaipur with family a few years back. It was part of a larger itinerary that started with Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Chittorgarh, and Udaipur. Udaipur was the last stop and a perfect culmination to our trip.  I had booked two lake-view rooms in the Hanuman Ghat Area, which had a very Paharganj-like feel to it. I remember one funny incident. My family is used to having rusks with the morning tea, so I along with my cousins, went out to buy them. I kept asking the shopkeeper for rusks, and he kept showing me various types of juices. Then I spotted a packet of rusks and pointed at it. At this he laughed and said "oh toasts?" So now I know if I need rusks in Rajasthan, what I should ask for.       Anyway, coming back to Udaipur, it is a multilayered experience. Pretty, crowded, historical, modern, culturally-rich, actually it is a perfect slice of Rajasthan and in particular Mewar. Add to it some spices of its own that make it unique, and you have Udaipur, one of the most interesting cities in India.       Best time to Visit: Because the rest of the year can be so hot here in Rajasthan, Winter is the best time to visit most parts of the state. This is also the time when most of the festivals are held and when the streets are most lively with tourists. This is also the time when the stay options are likely to be most expensive, so book in advance. And don't forget to carry woollens as the nights can be chilly.       How to get there: Let's first talk about how to get here. We took a hired a Toyota Qualis from Pushkar to Udaipur, via Chittorgarh, Eklingji, Nathdwara, and Haldighati. Seeing Haldighati had been a long-time dream of my father. It was so gratifying to see him relishing the drive through the yellow hills so much. He had also always wanted to see Chittorgarh, and was simply delighted to be there. I will talk about Chittorgarh in another post in details.       By Road - You could either do what we did, as detailed above. Or you could plan a drive from Delhi or Mumbai, stopping en route for one night, if only one of you is driving. Or simply book yourself a comfortable night bus.       By Train - If you are travelling in from Delhi and looking for luxury and hospitality on train, you can book your place on the Palace on Wheels. That can be an experience in itself. Or you can book a train from any major city in India. Udaipur is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata.       By Air - The closest airport to Udaipur is the Maharana Pratap Airport, which is about 22 kilometers from the city. One can board flights from all major cities in India. Once you land, a taxi should be easy to book.       Where to Stay: There are several 5-star hotels where you can stay if you are willing to spend a fortune - The Oberai Udai Vilas, the Taj Palace, and the Leela Palace are just some of them. However, you can also opt for other good hotels that offer decent lake-facing rooms and are pocket-friendly too. We opted for such an option, and were pretty satisfied too.       Good accommodation is available starting from a few 100 Rs to whatever you want to spend on your stay. The best location is around Lake Pichola and you can find backpacker friendly accommodations such as dormitories too. Or if you are looking at a more culturally rich experience, you could opt for one of the Havelis converted to a hotel.        What to Eat: Typical Rajasthani food can be spicy, so be watchful of your tolerance and experiment accordingly. If you are in Udaipur, definitely try the traditional Rajasthani Thali. If you are non-vegetarian, you must taste Laal Maas as well. Gatta Curry and Daal Baati Choorma are Rajasthani specialties that one must try. Daal Baati Choorma can be heavy, so plan accordingly. Pyaaz Kachori, Samosas, and Jalebis are popular street foods in Udaipur.        What to See: The city of Udaipur is also known as the "City of Lakes" because of several large lakes inside and around the city. It also has several historical buildings, palaces and temples that you can visit. Here are some of the most popular places that you can plan during your trip:      The City Palace: The City Palace at Udaipur was built by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh in the 16th Century. It is perhaps the largest such palace in the whole of Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh is said to have got this built because he was instructed by a sage to do so at this very location. The palace is located on the banks of lake Pichola very near the Jagdish palace and can also be seen from the Monsoon Palace on the hill top. The Palace represents a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal style of construction and has been used as a location for various films. For example, the song "Ghunghat ki aad se..." from "Hum hain rahi pyaar ke" was shot in one of the courtyards of this palace. The lawns of the palace are now leased out for parties.      The Monsoon Palace: Also named as the Sajjan Garh Palace after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace was built on a hilltop to provide a view of the Monsoon clouds. I am not sure how much it is used for that purpose now, but it definitely provides a panoramic view of the Udaipur City. The drive to the palace is pleasant through a wild-life sanctuary, which is a reserve for reptiles, tigers, nilgai, sambhar, wild boars, hyenas, panthers, and jackals. And, as expected, we did not see any of those during the ride. The Monsoon Palace is also the Sunset Point. When we visited, a quite crowd was waiting for the sun to set with their cameras ready on the Tripods. It was a peaceful, safe, and beautiful place.      Lake Pichola: This is a man-made lake in the city and was created in the 15th century, then extended by Maharana Udai Singh II in the 16th century. This is really the most famous lake in the city. The various islands in the lake are home to more tourist attractions and around the lake are some of the most famous ghats and temples, and also accommodation options. So in a way, this is actually the center of the city. You can also go for a boat ride. If you want to see Jag Mandir then you anyway need to.       Jag Mandir / Jag Niwas: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas were built in the 16th century on two separate natural islands in Lake Pichola. Jag Niwas has now been converted to the luxury hotel Lake Palace and is a luxury property owned by Taj hotels. It is said that Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was the original inspiration behind Taj Mahal. Prince Khurram, who would later come to be known as Emperor Shahjahan, was inspired by this building when he was growing up.       Vintage Car Museum: Collecting vintage cars is a popular hobbies of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. This Vintage Car Museum is popular with car enthusiasts and is known for housing some really beautiful cars. The ticket for adults is Rs 250 per person.       Saheliyon ki Bari: This is a garden that Sangram Singh II gifted to his queen. It has beautiful lawns, fountains and Statues. However, after seeing City Palace, Monsoon Palace, this can be quite underwhelming. If short on time, you can skip visiting this place.         Jagdish Temple: The temple is located near the main market and you will almost certainly run into it if you happen to be in the city. The temple can be visited not only for the purposes of offering prayers but also for great architecture and carvings.       Places to Visit Around Udaipur: If you have some time, I would say that the following places can be explored:      Eklingji Temple: I remember reaching here early in the morning at around 9 and we had to wait for the temple complex to be opened to visitors. The temple opens very early at 4, but closes again at 7. It reopens then at 10. So we had to wait for an hour. But the wait was worth it. Apart from the main temple that has the statue of four-faced Shiva, there are several smaller temples and other structures in the complex. The architecture is marvelous. However, the tour is tightly regimented and photography is not allowed. So if you are going there for photography, then you need to rethink. The temple is about 40 kms from Udaipur.       Nathdwara (Shrinathji) Temple: We reached here one day before Holi and this being a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, the atmosphere here was electric. There was color everywhere and if you happen to be a devotee, the sight might move you. It was difficult to get in, and the temple complex was unbelievably crowded. Crowds scare me, so I wanted to exit the scene as soon as possible, but for religious people, this is a must-visit. This is about an hour away from Udaipur and can be covered along with Eklingji.       Chittorgarh Fort via Haldighati: This can be a day-long excursion from Udaipur. The Fort is about 120 kms from Udaipur. You can also visit Haldighati along with this. This deserves a post of its own, so you will soon see it. The fort is simply beautiful, and must-visit in my opinion.     Kumbhalgarh Fort: I haven't been here, but have heard a lot about it. It is closer to Udaipur than Chittorgarh. I guess, with Chittorgarh, we have that added factor of legends that are associated with it, such as that of Rani Padmavati, so that adds to its charm. But Kumbhalgarh as well is very beautiful apparently.           I have personally experienced most of the aspects covered in this story, except a few where I have mentioned this explicitly. However, this was a few years back and things may have changed since then. So in case there are any corrections or additions, please do leave a comment here, and I would correct / include.

Comments

Very nice detailed post Sir. Being a Rajasthani myself and having spent a part of my life in Udaipur itself, I can relate to it.
Renuka said…
Udaipur is my favorite. I'm still to visit Chittorgarh, which is a day visit from Udaipur. But I'd like to do a separate trip some day... Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Thanks Jitendra ji. It's written by Vibha.

Renuka - I also need to go to this region for longer duration and explore it well.

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