The true reflection of the grandeur of Rajasthan, City Palace is amongst the top places to visit in Udaipur. It is conglomeration of several buildings and towers and is better recognized as a Palace Complex. Belonging to the royal Mewar family, City Palace has a number of features that greatly attract tourist. Needless to say that the architecture is exquisite; there are a few structures that leave the visitor awestruck. The crystal gallery, the vintage car museum, Daawat-i-Aam, Daawat-i-Khas, Maharani Palace and the view of the city and Lake Pichola are the major attractions of City Palace. Visitors also like to stay up late for the Mewar Light and Sound Show that is organized every evening here. City Palace is the identity of the city, and it indeed adds to the exoticism of Udaipur.
Just about everybody knows about the gorgeous Lake Pichola; it’s like another vital identity of Udaipur. It is a 4kms long man-made lake and is believed to be one of the most beautiful ones as well. Visitors to Udaipur cannot miss out on taking a boat ride on Lake Pichola which starts from Rameshwar Ghat in the City Palace. The lake has two famed islands namely Jagniwas and Jagmandir. At Jagniwas Island one has the opportunity to witness another famous place in Udaipur – the Lake Palace (Now known as Taj Lake Palace), whereas on Jagmandir Island, one can visit the popular Jag Mandir, the palace.
Another peek at royalty can very well be taken at the Vintage Classic Cars Museum, which has a car collection of the Maharaja. Housed in the former state garage are 22 vehicles, which includes a seven-seat 1938 Cadillac; 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom, which was used in the famous James Bond movie, Octopussy; and the Cadillac convertible that once whisked Queen Elizabeth II to the airport in 1961. This museum is situated at a short distance of 1km from City Palace and is indeed one of the best places for sightseeing in Udaipur.
It is an Indo-Aryan Temple built by Maharana Jagat Singh. The temple is located near the Badi Pol entrance of the City Palace and one can easily find a way up to it through the elephant-flanked steps. The deity of Lord Vishnu in black stone (in the form of Jagganath) presides over this temple. There is also a brass image of Vishnu’s vehicle Garuda facing the statue of Lord Vishnu in the main shrine. There are many small shrines other than the main temple and are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Sun God, Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva. A large number of devotees throng the temple, especially to watch the Aarti that takes place at every sunrise and sunset.
The charm of Udaipur is incomplete without Fateh Sagar Lake, which is situated in the north of Lake Pichola and is connected to it through a canal. It is also one of the major tourist attractions in Udaipur. Taking a boat ride on Lake Fatehsagar is indeed a must-do activity in the city if you are looking for some fun in the city. There are three islands in the lake out of which Nehru Park is the most famous. It is also an ideal place for family outing as it has a zoo.
It is one of the most attractive places to see in Udaipur. Bagore ki Haveli is situated on the Ganguar Ghat (on Lake Pichola) and thus offers a splendid view of the lake. Known for its architectural splendor, the Haveli is a massive structure that now offers a peek inside the royal life of the Maharajas and the Maharanis. This grand structure has 100 rooms and each room has fine decoration with mirror work. One can also take a look at the jewellery boxes, dice-games, hukkas, pan boxes, nut crackers, hand fans, rose water sprinklers, copper vessels, paintings of Mewar, and beautiful peacocks, which surely are reminiscent of one glorious era. The evening dance and music show is also quite popular amongst the tourists here.
Marvelously built on Lake Pichola, Lake Palace is one of the most visited places in Udaipur. Situated on Jagniwas Island it is now run by the Taj group and is popularly known as Taj Lake Palace. With the Aravalli Hills in the background, Lake Palace makes one of the most romantic places in Rajasthan. Even if one cannot afford to stay here, one should definitely consider taking a heritage walk of this hotel. Built by Maharaja Jagat Singh II, the palace is an exemplary of exquisite architecture that comprises gilt moldings, fretwork screens and sculpted marbles. At Lake Palace, romance gets redefined!
Kumbhalgarh Fort is about two hours drive from Udaipur and is truly majestic! It was built by Rana Kumbha during the 15th century and so far it is considered the most important fort of the Mewar kingdom after Chittorgarh. It is believed that the legendary Mewar warrior Maharana Pratap was born here in the fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort is yet another tourist attraction in Udaipur that one must not miss out on. Along with the fort, one can also visit the famous Haldi Ghati where the great battle involving Maharana Pratap took place.
A 17th century structure that stands gloriously amidst Lake Pichola on the Jagmandir Island, Jag Mandir is an excellent place to visit on Udaipur tour. Jagmandir is an impressive set of structures with the central building being called Jagmandir, which can be recognized by the marble-made elephants positioned outside. It is a three-storied structure and includes sections like Gul Mahal, an elegant façade, a Garden Courtyard and the Darikhana on its northern side, the Bara Patharon ka Mahal (palace of the 12 stones), the Zenana Mahal – a southern extension to the Gul Mahal and the Kunwar Pada ka Mahal. During the boat ride on Lake Pichola, a lot of tourists make sure that they visit this beautiful place.
'The Garden of the Maidens' as it literally means, Saheliyon ki Bari was constructed by Maharana Bhopal Singh. Situated in the northern part of the city, this exquisite place was built for the maids who accompanied the Princess to Udaipur (reckoned to be part of the dowry). Saheliyon kI Bari was one of those places where the maids could make merry, sing, dance and indulge in recreational activities. The garden is festooned with well-maintained fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool. It is one delightful place that is a must visit in Udaipur!