May 192013

Nestled around Lake Pichola in southern Rajasthan, Udaipur’s imposing marble architecture catches the late afternoon sun and glows with grandeur. Sometimes referred to as ‘The Venice of the East’, the city of Udaipur is ingrained with character that mixes ancient palaces with sprawling Havelis – the established homes of a wealthy merchant class. Tucked away behind the opulent arches, discover unique travel experiences; whether you’re sleeping in a palace, dining in the tower of a fort or leaving your mansion to explore Udaipur’s night markets – a truly fantastic exploration awaits.

  • Devi Gargh Hotel, Udaipur

    Devi Gargh Hotel, Udaipur

  • View Across Lake Pichola to Udaipur

    View Across Lake Pichola to Udaipur

  • Devi Gargh Hotel, Udaipur

    Devi Gargh Hotel, Udaipur

  • Jag Mandir Palace, Udaipur

    Jag Mandir Palace, Udaipur

  • Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

    Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

  • Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

    Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

  • View from Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

    View from Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

  • View of Taj Lake Palace Hotel on Lake Pichola, Udaipur

    View of Taj Lake Palace Hotel on Lake Pichola, Udaipur

  • Udaipur, the Venice of the East

    Udaipur, the Venice of the East

  • City Palace Complex, Udaipur

    City Palace Complex, Udaipur

  • View of Udaipur

    View of Udaipur

  • Colourful Artwork

    Colourful Artwork

  • Oberoi Udaivilas Palace hotel, Udaipur

    Oberoi Udaivilas Palace hotel, Udaipur

  • Amet Ki Haveli Hotel, Udaipur

    Amet Ki Haveli Hotel, Udaipur

  • Mangos!


Things to see

City Palace

The 450-year-old City Palace complex evokes images of Udaipur’s regal past. The largest palace of its kind in the state of Rajasthan: a series of courtyards, overlapping partitions, terraces, corridors and gardens. The eclectic style and flamboyant architecture houses a museum and luxury hotel whilst still playing host as a royal residence. Affording panoramic views of the lake and city this is the perfect place to connect with Udaipur’s glorious past whilst being treated to some of the state’s most intricate masonry.

Lake Pichola

Taking a boat ride on this, the main lake of the ‘city of lakes’, is essential. Created artificially in the 14th century to provide fresh drinking water, its islands are home to ancient pleasure palaces built by the ruling classes in order to enjoy the tranquility of the azure waters among the Aravali hills. One island, Jag Niwas, is now home to the renowned Lake Palace Hotel. Floating on the lake, Udaipur can be viewed from the unique angle of that which sustains it and the waterfront architecture truly appreciated.

Jag Mandir

The other of Lake Pichola’s two pleasure palaces built by the ruling class as a summer escape and party venue. The three storied structure is an impressive feat of stonework with spacious courtyards, beautiful rooms embellished with onyx, jade, carnelian, jasper, agate – and paintings – are a few of the splendours of the palace. Four magnificent carved elephants guard the jetty and entrance to the palace – well worth a visit.

Night Market

Missed by many travellers on a fleeting visit of the city, Udaipur’s night market is typically Indian. Overflowing with people, produce and sheer vivacity a night market visit is always an enjoyable Indian memory.

Nehru Garden

Within the Fateh Sugar Lake, which is contiguous but to the north of lake Pichola, lies the island of Nehru Garden. Some 40 acres of gardens are set into the lake, providing a relaxing walk for travellers in need of respite from India’s chaos – a lily pond sets the scene for peacefulness.

Monsoon Palace

Atop the Aravali hills, the Monsoon Palace provides stunning views over all of Udaipur, especially at sunset. The palace is able to collect rainwater for year-round consumption and also featured in 007 movie, Octopussy!

Jagdish Temple

Popular with tourists, this Hindu temple stands in the middle of Udaipur amidst a throng of visitors, faithful and enterprising Rajasthanis selling artwork and traditional clothing.

Gulab Bagh

A delicate rose garden commissioned by a maharaja on the eastern side of lake Pichola, its library houses ancient manuscripts and books. Tigers, leopards and gazelle are some of the animals boasted by the zoo here, also. A minature train weaves through the zoo, making it a favourite with children.

Doodh Talai

Perched on a sunset point, this rock and fountain garden provides beautiful views of the old city as the day draws to a close.

Places to Stay

Taj Lake Palace

p1230972The iconic place to stay in Udaipur, the Taj Lake Palace’s pure white marble glimmers across Lake Pichola: an island of tranquil seclusion amidst the hustle of India. Once the summer residence for a ruling class of old, the Taj spares no expense in immersing its clientele in a splendid opulence. From the heart of Udaipur be spoiled by the hotel’s very own spa boat, Jiva. Surrounded by history, the Taj Lake Palace takes you to a bygone age where you are the regal Maharana of centuries before, adorned with all the luxuries of now.

Oberoi Udaivillas

Yoga at the SpaEncompassing 30 acres of manicured gardens and courtyards, The Oberoi Udaivilās is designed as a Mewari palace, recreating the luxurious ambiance of a royal residence, complete with decorative water bodies and carved stone pillars. Expect all the luxuries of an Oberoi experience but with spectacular views across Lake Pichola to the City Palace and two 17th-century island palaces on the lake – Jag Mandir and Jag Nivas. We particularly loved the opulent rooms with private outdoor terrace and direct access into the enormous moat style pool. Gorgeous.

Devi Garh Fort

Private Suite PoolClinging to the Aravalli hillside, Devi Garh fort emerges out of the desert valley imperiously: its solid marble exterior as impressive as it is imposing. The interior, however, belies its façade; here a modern, minimalist style fuses seamlessly with traditional Rajasthani, with expert attention to design and detail this hotel is seriously stylish. Utilising every nook, cranny and chamber at their disposal, Devi Garh has created bespoke private dining getaways, cosy sitting areas and a tranquil spa. Wonderfully unique bedrooms, fantastic dining and a huge pool to boot, Devi Garh is a fine example of the boutique, heritage hotel we love and is our top place to stay in Udaipur.