Rajasthan is one of the most visited states in India. There is simply so much to explore in this desert state – from the golden dunes to awe-inspiring architecture in the form of towering forts and colourful palaces, to bazaars filled with trinkets and sterling jewellery. From bustling streets to quiet corners, there is something for everyone in Rajasthan.
If you are looking to explore the quiet part of Rajasthan, you must add Udaipur to your travel plans. Often referred to as the “Venice of the East”, Udaipur can enchant and enthral you at the same time. The idyllic Lake Pichola (the centre of Udaipur’s attraction) is welcoming, to say the least. The city has an equal mix of ornate palaces and Havelis, temples, picturesque lakeside ghats, whitewashed streets and more.
Things to Do in Udaipur with Family
Foreigners visiting the lake city have often remarked how closely it resembles a typical European city (probably that’s the reason why the city is so nicknamed). When visiting the city with your family, you can visit a lot of places. The art scene here is vibrant while the many cultural attractions are worth every penny and the overall relaxed vibe means you can enjoy some quality family time here.
Sunsets at Pichola Lake
The greatest takeaway from Udaipur is the experiences you gather here. One such is watching the sunset across Lake Pichola. As the sun dips behind the Aravalli Mountains, the marble facades of the old town, the Jag Mandir, the City Palace and the iconic Taj Lake Palace hotel shimmer and glows with incandescent light. You will experience the rainbow colours as the sun bids adieu for the day.
The lake during sunset is incredibly serene and must especially be enjoyed if you had a tiring day visiting the many attractions of the city. As you sit on the banks of the lake, you can take a moment to bask in the grandeur of nature with all your family beside you.
A special attraction at Lake Pichola is the sunset boat ride. Make sure you book it in advance!
Walks Around the City Palace
The City Palace of Udaipur is not just another tourist destination here. It is a symbolic representation of what the city is all about. Located on the banks of the Lake Pichola, the City Palace was the brainchild of Maharana Udai Singh though it is his successors who completed the works. The architecture is a mixture of medieval, Chinese, and European styles with domes, arches and towers enhancing the splendour of the palace. The marble and granite structure is surrounded by big corridors, terraces and courtyard, gardens and pavilions.
Entry into the Palace is through one of the pols or gates. The Bara pol is the main gate. Interestingly, 11 palaces within the City Palace were built at different times by different rulers. You will feel that you are transported to the different eras of rulers as you pass the smaller palaces inside.
When visiting the City Palace do not forget to watch the Mewar light and sound show at the Mahek Chowk with your family. It will be an experience you and your children won’t forget easily.
Seek Blessings from Karni Mata
Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Karni Mata, the Shri Manshapurna Karni Mata temple is one of the most visited family destinations in Udaipur. Located on the Machla Magra Hills, the best way to reach the temple is using the ropeway. The journey itself will be memorable though the temple is also an experience worth enjoying.
Marvel at the Bagore-ki-Haveli
The mansion-turned-museum is another top family destination in Udaipur. Bagori-ki-haveli was constructed in the 18th century and is located close to the Gangotri Ghat. There are 138 rooms in this beautifully structured palace. There are many age-old artefacts here such as the longest turban which you shouldn’t miss. There are also several art pieces on display here.
Hidden Places in Udaipur
Apart from the common family destinations with the city of lake, there are also a few hidden places that you must add to your itinerary. Do not miss out on –
The Jagadish Temple
The Jagadish temple is not hidden. It is simply located within the vast expanses of the City Palace. And when there are so many things to see at the City Palace, you may think of missing out on another temple. But Jagadish Temple is not just another religious destination but the largest temple in Udaipur! Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. It is a three-storied temple which is two giant stone elephants acting as guards.
The brass image of Garuda is a special attraction. Do not miss the intricately carved pillars, decorated ceilings, and painted halls of the temple.
Boat Rise at the Fateh Sagar Lake
We have already told you not to miss the sunset boat ride at Lake Pichola but if you are looking for a deserted and calm boat ride, head north towards the Fateh Sagar Lake. Build by Maharana Jai Singh, it is a well-planned lake with small islands within. There are two beautiful parks here maintained by the government of Rajasthan.
Dine at the Jagat Niwas
A trip to Udaipur is incomplete without trying out some authentic Rajasthani cuisine. If you are interested to try local delicacies such as Laal Mass and Red Chilli Curry, take a trip to the Jagat Niwas. It can be a crowded place but that’s because it is famous! Located on the Lal Ghat at Chandpole, Jagat Niwas is just the place for food lovers.
Offbeat Places in Udaipur
Nothing in Udaipur can anymore be termed offbeat, can it? But even then, there are places that you would miss if you have a tight schedule. We suggest you not to, though.
The exuberance of the Dharohar Cultural Show
Another attraction that you can easily miss because of a tight schedule is witnessing the enthralling dance and music of Rajasthan. When you plan your Udaipur itinerary, keep an evening for the Dharohar folk dance show. It is a very popular cultural extravaganza where you witness not just dance and song but also puppetry.
The Dharohar folk dance show is held in a beautiful courtyard under the banyan tree of Bagori-ki-haveli.
Check out the Vintage Car Museum Udaipur
If you are a vintage car lover, then one of the activities in Udaipur that you shouldn’t miss is visiting the Vintage & Classic Car Collection Museum. All sorts of classical and vintage cars are housed at this one-of-a-kind museum. Not only can you witness the cars from afar but also check out how these vintages are maintained.
Wonders of the Udaipur Solar Observatory
The Udaipur Solar Observatory is considered one of the best observatories in Asia. Located on an island on the Fateh Sagar Lake and resembles the Big Bear Lake in California. The observatory aids in the research of modern science and technology.
Since in the desert state, there is always maximum sunlight, the observatory is considered an ideal location to study the solar physics of India.
Take a Shopping Expedition to the Shilpgram
Shilpgram is a crafts fair that promotes local handicrafts and textiles. Since Rajasthan is famous for its local artwork, the Shilpgram is the place to visit if you want terracotta and marble sculptures, clothes with bandhani prints, camel leatherwork, and embroideries and more. You can get anything and everything here.
However, Shilpgram isn’t a year-long market. The fair is only held between November and December.
Finally, do not miss the Kumbhalgarh Fort
You didn’t think we would miss out on the BIGGEST tourist attraction in Udaipur, did you? No, we kept the best for the last!
Kumbhalgarh is the Great Wall of India and the second-longest wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China), it is quite a towering structure! Built-in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, it is an imposing structure that is rightfully the pride of Udaipur.
Cradled in the Aravalli Ranges, it was a common refuge for many Mewar kings. From Maharaja Udai of Mewar (who spent his early childhood here) to being the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is steeped in history.
Among the many things to enjoy here, the Sound and Light show is a must.
Best Time to Visit Udaipur
Summers in Rajasthan are unbearably hot. The best time to visit this city is between September and March. During these months, the temperature hardly goes beyond 30 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature hovers around 12 degrees Celsius. It is the perfect time to enjoy the many wonders of the city, for long walks, pleasant evenings, fun-packed mornings and more.
How to Reach Udaipur
The Maharana Pratap International Airport connects all major Indian and many international cities. Udaipur is also well connected by road and rail.
A trip to Udaipur can fulfil your heart’s desire to travel to a place steeped in history. The grandeur yet the simplicity of the city will make you come back for more!