Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in the Aravalli ranges of Rajasthan. It is the second most visited tourist destination in Rajasthan after Jaipur. Due to its many beautiful and exquisite lakes it is often called “the city of lakes”. It is rated as the most romantic city of India. People from all around the globe visit Udaipur. It is also famous for its rich palaces showcasing its royal Rajputana culture. It was the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar ruled by the Sisodia Clan of Rajputs. It is situated in the southern Rajasthan and is close to the state of Gujarat. It is the abode of five famous and beautiful lakes. It is very easy for the tourists to get there. It is easily accessible and is well connected by air, train and road routes. It has direct flights from major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur daily. Famous tourist luxurious trains like ‘The Palace on Wheels’, ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ and ‘The Maharaja Express’ make their stop in Udaipur. They are one of the most lavish and opulent trains of the world. Udaipur is a city drenched in romance and beauty.
One of the famous landmarks of the city is ‘The City Palace’ of Udaipur. It was built by Maharana Udai Singh and is a complex of palaces with many palaces built in it. It is built on the east bank of Lake Pichola on a hill top which gives a splendid view of the other surrounding temples and palaces. It is a remarkable blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural style. Many other historic tourist places like ‘The Lake Palace’, ‘Jag Mandir’, ‘Jagdish Temple’, etc. surround it and add to its beauty. It is a favourite spot of many film makers. The publicity given to it by them had caused the city of Udaipur to be named as “Venice of the East”. The palace is famous not just for its beauty and splendour but also its historic significance. It is decorated with antiques, paintings and beautiful furniture fit for royalty. The guest houses of the palace like ‘The Shiv Niwas Palace’ and ‘The Fateh Prakash Palace’ has now been converted to rich heritage hotels to boost tourism.
Among other royal palaces of Udaipur is ‘The Lake Palace’ which was built of white marble and is now a five star luxury hotel under the banner of ‘Taj Hotel Resorts and Banners’. It is located in the Jag Niwas Island of the Pichola Lake and is voted as the world’s most romantic hotel. The palace is so beautiful that one can’t believe his own eyes. It looks like a luminous marble structure floating in the lake. Jag Mandir is also a palace built on the island of Lake Pichola. It is also known as ‘Great Garden Palace’. It is visible from the balconies of the City palace of Udaipur. It is adorned with structures of eight elephants on its entrance. The Jag Mandir and The Lake Palace were built together. It is famous for its historic significance as Shah Jahan took asylum in this palace when he revolted against his father. A separate palace known as Gul Mahal was built inside the Jag Mandir to house the Mughal prince. It has a crescent of Islam on top of one of its dome.
Other famous attraction of Udaipur is the ‘Sajjan Garh Palace’, famously known as ‘The Monsoon Palace’ because it was built to keep an eye on the monsoon clouds. It is built of white marble, high on the Aravalli hills such that it overlooks all the lakes of the city. It looks beautiful in the evenings when the whole palace is illuminated with orange light. One can witness the most beautiful sunsets in the world from this palace. The palace looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. The palace is also famous for the Sajjan Garh Wildlife Sanctuary surrounding the palace. It was once the place for shooting and hunting for the royals but now had been converted into a wildlife sanctuary. It is famous for bird watching. The Monsoon palace also had reservoir for rain water harvesting so that there is no water shortage for the entire year. The most famous temple of Udaipur is ‘The Jagdish Temple’. It is a large Hindu temple built by Maharana Jagat Singh. It is a great specimen of Indo-Aryan architecture. Other famous temples include Sagasji Mandir near Gulab Bagh.
Udaipur is not just famous for its palaces, lakes and garden but also its delicious, spicy Rajasthani cuisines. It offers number of Mewari vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to enjoy. The most famous café of Udaipur is Café Edelweiss, popularly known as German Bakery. It is mostly crowded with foreigners. The famous Rajasthani food includes daal – baati churma and gatte ki sabzi. The Mewari dishes are all made with a unique style and are spicy to the tongue which makes it irresistible. There are many restaurants with affordable prices in the city. Even the local vendors and stalls could be found on every street and offer great snacks at a very cheap price.
Udaipur is considered as the ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’ and has rich historical and cultural heritage. The palaces of the city have been well preserved by the city officials and converted to heritage hotels. The city entertains thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Its colourful festivals are enjoyed with all the heart and its exquisite palaces may take you straight to the Rajputana era. It is a must place to visit once in a lifetime.