Udaipur, fondly known as the city of lakes, is a popular tourist destination in the state of Rajasthan in North-West India. The former capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar is a delight for history, architecture, nature and food lovers. Not only tourists, but the place is also amongst the favourites of many Hollywood and Bollywood directors. A vibrant example of the cultural richness of the Indian subcontinent, Udaipur is a treat for each type of traveller.
Enjoy the alluring beauty of lakes
Udaipur is filled with arresting lakes that make an ideal backdrop to its serenity. Imagine rolling your eyes as far as you can and all you will see is bewitching water bodies enveloped by beautiful hills, palaces and temples. A soothing boat cruise will take you amid the nature to appreciate the artistry of lakes that are visited by tourists and locals alike throughout the year. Lake Pichola, Udai Sagar lake, Fateh Sagar lake, Rajsamand lake and Jaisamand lake are amongst some of the most famous and prominent reservoirs that will want you to never leave the city.
Udaipur is wrapped in the arms of Aravalli hills that make up for a wonderful trekking experience. No matter what type of hike you love; easy, moderate or tough, the city is perfect for each type of adventurer. One of the best walks can be up to the Sahastra Bahu (One with thousand arms) temple, generally referred to as Saas Bahu temple.
Built in the early 11th century, the temple is dedicated to god Vishnu and is surrounded by thousands of lotus flowers which enhance the beauty of the place. The chirping of birds and peacocks will welcome you to the destination where the doors, ceilings, pillars and the porch are lavishly carved with delicate sculptures and designs as a typical feature of medieval India. The trek is the best way to admire the beauty of the city as well as the rural life.
Take a stroll at Shilpgram
Spending quality time at the craft village of Shilpgram is the optimal way to understand the lifestyle, culture and traditions of Rajasthan. People enjoying camel rides and an interesting folk music from inside can be seen and heard even before entering the place. Various artists welcome you with a folk dance and music that is native to the region. Located in the heart of Aravallis, the beautiful village showcases Rajasthani craft, art works, pottery, classic huts and decorations that can make up for a perfect memory of the place.
Rajasthani food has a distinct taste and flavour that makes it special. Having a thali (a plate full of traditional food) is an experience in itself. Dal Bati and Churma is a quintessential dish of Rajasthan that is tangy made with buttermilk and spices. It is best enjoyed with rotis (wheat bread) and rice. Bajre ki roti (millet bread), lashun ki chutney (garlic sauce), mawa kachori, malpuas (pancake) and rasgullas (syrupy desert), are some of the dishes that must be savoured.
If you love great architecture, then Udaipur is for you. With a massive collection of palaces, the city is rightly called ‘Venice of the East’. It is a palace tourism hotspot in Rajasthan with majestic castles and forts. Taj Lake Palace, City Palace, Shiv Niwas palace and Fateh Prakash Palace offer scenic views and ceiling art with various compartments, balconies and terraces that feature original art, flowery marble and colourful glasswork.
The beauty of these palaces couldn’t keep filmmakers away and they are often used as a site for shooting movies, not only Bollywood but also Hollywood. One such movie was Octopussy (1983), the thirteenth film in the James Bond series. Lake Palace, Jag Mandir (Temple) and Shiv Niwas Palace served as the backdrop for many frames in the film.