Udaipur is the jewel in the crown of India’s Rajasthan area. Surrounded by the rolling Aravalli Hills and situated beside the picturesque Lake Pichhola, it is easy to see why Udaipur has become one of the country’s largest draws for tourists. Appearances in Hollywood films, such as the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy, have only added to this city’s appeal.
Two smaller lakes sit close to Udaipur, but it is Lake Pichola that provides a focal point to the city. With many of the main attractions situated close to the lake, it is an excellent location to be based and is where you will find the best hotels and restaurants.
The imposing City Palace, on the water’s edge, provides the perfect first taste of the local architecture as well as sublime views over the lake and city. Take a boat ride and enjoy views of the staggering Taj Lake Palace Hotel up-close.
South of the City Palace, the Crystal Gallery within Durbar Hall contains an amazing collection of crystal furniture dating back to the 1800s. To the north is the Bagore Ki Haveli with a collection of contemporary and folk art that rivals the City Palace for beauty. The haveli is also home to the world’s largest turban. Traditional dance performances happen every night in the courtyard and provide superb entertainment before or after dinner.
Away from the predominant tourist attractions, the Old City, to the east of Lake Pichola, is surrounded by remains of the old walls. Explore this area’s colourful, winding streets to experience a refreshing step back in time. Shop at markets selling local fruit and vegetables or stop in at a restaurant for some excellent local food.
Car rentals in Udaipur are numerous and, like taxis, are well priced. Over-crowding on the roads can, however, make travelling small distances around the city time consuming. Other options such as horse and carts and tuk-tuks are a fine alternative and provide an authentic platform from which to explore India’s city of romance.
Accommodation in Udaipur
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Taj Lake Palace at Lake Pichola, and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, at Haridasji Ki Magri are two examples of the more stylish accommodation options in Udaipur. Alternatively, in the bargain bracket, you can also check out The Leela Palace Udaipur and the Fateh Prakash Palace. The Leela Palace Udaipur is located at Lake Pichola, while the Fateh Prakash Palace can be found at Lake Pichola, The Palace Complex.