Udaipur - The City of lakes in 24 hours

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Udaipur - The City of lakes in 24 hours

A lit up city Palace Udaipur in the evening with its reflections in Lake Pichola
A lit up city Palace Udaipur in the evening with its reflections in Lake Pichola

Continued from
Crisscrossing Rann of Kutch and Rajasthan- Modhera Sun Temple - Gujarat's Konark

History of Udaipur

        Udaipur, one of the most romantic destinations of India, is a melange of history, gandeur and culture all set up in the romantic setup of  gorgeous lakes with dreamy backgrounds of Aravali hills, grand palaces and vibrant Rajasthani culture make it a perfect travel destination. This "Jewel of Mewar" was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh, as advised by a sage, whome he had met during one of his hunting campaigns. Chittorgarh was the capital of Siodias till then. In 1568, when Akbar invaded Chittor, the capital of Mewar was shifted to Udaipur, because of its natural fortifications by Aravali Hills.


Udaipur - the city of Lakes was next on our itinerary during our family trip to Rann of Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Starting from Dholavira, and after witnessing the grandure of Rani ka Vav at Patan and Sun temple Modhera, we were finally at Udaipur in the evening. After checking into the hotel, which was a lake view one and freshening up, we came out to enjoy a small stroll on the banks of the lake. After living in harsh Kutchi landscape for last few days, a stroll on the banks of lake with very gentle wind blowing was very soothing.

Reflections in Lake Pichola - Udaipur
Beautiful Reflections in Lake water and cool gentle breeze take away all the tiredness of the day 

   Next day, while Sarthak was still asleep, I and Anupma went out for an early morning walk and to capture the sun slowly waking up the beautiful palaces of Udaipur. Our original plan was to go to Sajjangarh Palace and see sunsrise from there, however it was not open at that time. so we spent our early morning in Udaipur watching Sun slowly drenching the palaces in and around Lake Pichola.
       
Sunrise on Lake Pichola
Sunrise on Lake Pichola
                               
           A beautiful view of Lake Pichola with City Palace and other palaces being kissed by the first rays of Sun. You need to get up early to get this view of early morning at Udaipur.

Fateh Prakash Palace
Another Palace at Sunrise

          After returning from our morning stroll, and getting ready, we were raring to go for Udaipur excursion and we did so in full force. So here is my list of top things to do in Udaipur in 24 hours

1. Jagdish Mandir 

                          This is the first place we visited after having breakfast. Jagdish Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, built by Maharaja Jagat Singh. stands on a raised platform and is the largest temple of Udiapur. Two elephants carved out of marble welcome the visitors and a flight of 32 stairs takes you to the main temple. There stands a brass image of Garuda, standing as the guard to the temple. The garbh grih ( sanctum sanctorum) has four armed statue of Lord Vishnu, carved out of black stone. The temple has beautifully carved pillars, ceilings and halls. The Shikhar or spire, 79 feet high is pyramidical shape and is festooned with beautifully carved figures of elephants, horses, musicians, dancers and people from other walks of society celebrating the gift of God that is life. This temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651 and costed 15 Lakh rupees in those days.

Entrance of Jagdish Temple
Entrance of Jagdish Temple


Jagdish Mandir Udaipur
Jagdish Mandir Udaipur

History of Jagdish Mandir
A board describing the history and legend of Jagdish Mandir


intricately carved outer walls of the temple
Intricately carved outer walls of the temple

2. City Palace Udaipur

                                         After Jagdish Mandir our next destination was City Palace Udaipur. Just at a walking distance from the Jagdish Mandir is one of the most visited attraction of Udaipur, The City Palace Udaipur. This palace was initially built by Maharana Udai Singh. His successors kept on doing subsequent additions later keeping the theme of entire complex intact. This Palace is built on the banks of Lake Pichola and is supposed to be the grandest palace in Rajasthan.

                    There are 11 palaces inside this complex. The architecture of these palaces is a beautiful blend of Chinese, Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. Manak Mahal has amazing figures of porcelain and crystal. Bhim Mahal boasts itself of the beautiful miniature Radha Krishan paintings. If Dilkusha Mahal attracts the  visitors for its Murals and paintings, Badal Mahal amazes with its garden palace built along the slopes of 90 feet high natural rock formation. Other Palaces include Moti Mahal having beautiful interiors, Sheesh Mahal for mirror inlay work and Chini Chitrashala has beautiful Dutch and Chinese tiles. Amar Vilas is the highest point in the Complex with hanging gardens and fountains and terraces which offer breathtaking view of lake Pichola and the city of Udaipur.

Way to City Palace Udaipur
Way to City Palace Udaipur

History behind the spot on which City Palace was built
 Why City Palace was built at this place only

Majestic canons at the entrance of City Palace
Majestic canons at the entrance of City Palace still whisper the tales of the grandeur of old days

way to the Palaces
Way to the Palaces

An imposing outer view of the Palace
An imposing outer view of the Palace

Beautifully Painted Jharokas are a sight to behold
Beautifully Painted Jharokas are a sight to behold
View of Lake Pichola from Palace
 King's view of lake Pichola from Palace

One of the rooms in palace studded with mirrors
One of the rooms in palace studded with mirrors tells the tale of Maharanas of Udaipur

Another view of the Palace
Another view of the Palace
Gardens inside the palace on the top of hill
Gardens inside the palace on the top of hill

3. Gangaur Ghat and Lake Pichola

                               Also close by is the Gangaur Ghat. This is a beautiful ghat on the banks of Lake Pichola. Lake Pichola is a man made wonder of Udaipur.  A visit to Ghat and see the life in Udaipur go by is highly recommended.

Way to Gangaur Ghat
Way to Gangaur Ghat

Lake PIchola at Gangaur Ghat Udaipur
A beautiful view of lake Pichola at Gangaur Ghat Udaipur

4. Bagore Ki Haveli

                               Bagore Ki Haveli is an 18th century Haveli with more than 100 rooms. This haveli has been converted into a museum now. This Haveli was built by Amir Chand Badwa, the chief minister of Mewar. After his death, it became the property of Mewar state. At a later date, when it became abode of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore, it came to be called as Bagore ki Haveli. This Haveli is again at a walking distance from Gangaur Ghat.

5. Vintage Car museum

                    This museum house the vintage cars owned by Udaipur state. A few of them are real beauties. However I personally felt the ticket price quite steep for 12 - 13 Cars. The place reflects the lavish lifestyle of the erstwhile Maharajas. On display are 1934 model Rolls Royace Phantom used in Bond movie Octopussy and some other Rolls Royace vinatge models. Also piece of interest is the Cadilac convertible used to drive Queen Elizabeth around, during her visit to India in 1961.

A Rolls Royce on display at Vintage car museum
A Rolls Royce on display at Vintage car museum

This beauty featured in Octopussy
This beauty featured in Octopussy

Another vintage Rolls Royce basking in the glory of old days
Another vintage Rolls Royce basking in the glory of old days

This Rolls Royce at vintage car museum is a real beauty
This one at vintage car museum is a real beauty

The Vintage Petrol Pump
The Vintage Petrol Pump


6. Udaipur Heritage walk

                This walk in the lanes and bylanes connecting different heritage buildings give you a peep into the real non touristy life of the people of Udaipur. It was real fun to do so watching not so touristy buildings,  trying some local street food, small craft shops, where even  and alot more.

wall paintings in the lanes of Udaipur during Heritage walk
Wall paintings in the lanes of Udaipur during Heritage walk

The wall paintings in the by lanes have all elements
The wall paintings in the by lanes have all elements

7. Shop till you drop

                   Udaipur is a Shopper's Paradise. All the raods leading to City Palace are full with the wares screaming for attraction. The stuff ranges from handicrafts to miniature paintings, colourful clothes and what not. It was fun watching the artisans creating those small handicrafts in their shops only. 

8. Sunset at Ambrai Ghat 

                        I have witnessed numerous sunsets at different places, but this sunset at Ambrai ghat was one of the most romantic sunset I had seen. When the Sun went down in the Aravali hills with waters of lake pichola in the foreground, changing the shades every moment, one wishes that moment to never end. The beauty can not be explained in words, it needs to be witnessed

Sunset at Ambrai Ghat
Sunset at Ambrai Ghat

Sunset at Ambrai Ghat
The Sun while going down changes the colour of surrounding from blue to golden

Palaces are letup and cast beautiful reflections in Lake Pichola
Palaces are lit up and cast beautiful reflections in Lake Pichola
The City Palace
The City Palace

Fateh Prakash Palace
Beautiful reflections

9. Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace

                  Though we could not go there as we missed the place, but if you have time, you must visit this place, as we were doing Udaipur - The city of Lakes in 24 hours

10 Rajasthani thali  


              Udaipur bing the capital of Mewar, boasts of a lot of culinary delight and it did not disappoint foodies in us. As a thumb rule, when we travel, we prefer to go local and how could we  not have Rajasthani Thali.

         Natraj Dining hall  

         The previous night, when we reached Udaipur, we tried Natraj Dining hall for dinner. It offers Thali on first floor, a la' cart'e on second floor and has an ice cream parlour on ground floor. When we reached there, there was a long waiting period. We had to wait nearly 30-40 minutes till we were finally seated. The food was worth the every minute of wait and above all served with dollops of love and Rajasthani hospitality made it a memorable meal. The Dal Bati, which we ordered from a la Cart'e section was also great. At Rs. 250 per Thali, it is worth the money.

Rajasthani Thali at Natraj Dining Hall Udaipur
Rajasthani Thali at Natraj Dining Hall Udaipur

Dal Bati Choorma at Natraj Dining Hall Udaipur
Dal Bati Churma at Natraj Dining Hall Udaipur

          

    Traditional Khana

                This place is slightly costly (Rs. 650 per head), but gives you a feeling of dining like a royalty. Right from the word go, it is an experience in itself.  They serve you 5-6 chutneys, then you are explained which chutney to try with which dish. After the round of snacks is over, when the main course is served, a gentleman appears and explains you about the food. His explanation elevates the level of food manifold for example the Jakolma Puri they serve, is a royal dish and only 03 people in the world know the technique of making it and he proudly announces that out of those three, is with them. The Kadhi served was cooked on traditional chulha for 12 hours calling it 100 ukale ki kadhi. Gehun ke aate ki subzi is when the keep on washing a large dumpling of wheat flour for  many hours to get a small bite size chunk and then cook. The tasty food along with the misty cold  evening of December in open air area of the restaurant coupled with live Folk dance and music was what can be called a perfect evening.

Royal Thali at Traditional Khana
Royal Thali at Traditional Khana
Local artists performing at Traditional Khana
Local artists performing at Traditional Khana


                      This was the our itinerary for best places to visit in Udaipur - The city of lakes in 24 hours. After this satisfying trip of Udaipur, we vagabonds were to move to our next destination Jodhpur, via Ranakpur Jain temples and Kumbhalgarh fort.

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4 Comments

  1. Very exhaustive post on Udaipur, a place I visited 2 decades ago. Nice to have memories come alive again.

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    1. Thank you sir for reading and liking the post.

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  2. Very informative post . we too have been there in 2014 but could not visit so much.Thnx for sharing

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    1. Thank you sir for stopping by and having a look and appreciating it.

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