The jewel of Mewar is Udaipur , the city of Lakes .In his annals and antiquities of Rajasthan , Colonel James Tod described the valley of Udaipur as the most diversified and most romantic spot on the subcontinent of India .Some have dubbed it as the Venice of the east . The city of Udaipur was founded in 1567, when having grown weary of repeated attacks on the old Mewar capital of Chittaur, Maharana Udai Singh asked the holy sage to suggest a safe place for his new capital .The man assured Udai Singh that the new base would never be conquered if he established it on the banks of Lake Pichola ,and thus was born Singh’s namesake -Udaipur .
Find below Swan Tours pick of Top Top 7 sightseeing places in Udaipur:
#1. City Palace
The imposing maharana’s palace—the largest in Ra-jasthan—its white exterior weathered to ivory, stands on a ridge over-looking the lake. Begun by Udai Singh and extended by subsequent maharanas, the sprawling structure retains its harmonious design, enhanced by tall octagonal towers surmounted by cupolas and connected by a maze of narrow passageways. The fifth-floor courtyard centers on a thriving tree. Inside, the rooms contain beautiful paintings, colorful enamel, inlay glasswork, and antique furniture. Each room has its own tale to tell; this is one place to have a full-fledged site publication (buy one in the bookshop) or a guide (hire one at the gate). The City Palace is actually one of a complex of palaces, two of which have been converted to hotels and one of which houses the current maharana, Arvind Singh of Mewar.
#2. Lake Pichola
You can’t leave Udaipur without seeing its Lake Palace (Jag Niwas), floating surreally on the waters of Lake Pichola. A vast, white-marble fantasy, it’s been featured in many Indian and foreign films, including the James Bond film Octopussy. Unfortunately, the palace’s apartments, courts, fountains, and gardens are off-limits unless you’re a guest at the Lake Palace Hotel or have reservations at the restaurant, but it’s fun just to daydream about staying here. The equally inspiring, three-story Jag Mandir occupies another island at the southern end of the lake. Built and embellished over a 50-year period beginning in the 17th century, it’s made of yellow sandstone, lined with marble, and crowned by an imposing dome. The interior is decorated with arabesques of colored stones. Prince Khurrum (later known as Shah Jahan), son of the Mogul emperor Jahangir, was given refuge in Jag Mandir after leading an unsuccessful revolt against his father. One legend has it that Shah Jahan’s inspiration for the Taj Mahal came from this marble masterpiece. Boats to both islands leave from the jetty at the base of City Palace.
#3. MLV Tribal Research Institute
Stop in here if you have a serious interest in Mewar’s tribal communities. The institute has a compact museum of tribal culture .and a good library on tribal life and issues.
#4. Neemach Mata
This hilltop temple, dedicated to the goddess of the mountain, has a good view of Udaipur. Because no taxis or cars are allowed, you must rnake, the climb up on your own, so have comfort-able shoes ready. We recommend the less paved, more scenic path, but formal steps have been etched out for the more cautious. North of Fateh Sagar Lake.
#5. Sahelion Ki Bail (Garden of the Maidens)
Udaipur is famous for its gardens; don’t miss this one. Founded by Maharana Sangam Singh for the 48 young ladies-in-waiting who were sent to the royal house as dowry, the garden features exotic flowers, theme fountains, and a playful ambience. In the 18th century, men were forbidden entrance when the queens and their ladies-in-waiting came to relax (though the king and his bud-dies still found their way in). Interestingly, the fountains, with their carved pavilions and monolithic marble elephants, don’t have pumps—their design utilized principles of gravity to run solely on water pressure from the lakes. Because of this, the garden is actually quite depressing when the lakes are comparatively dry. If the fountains are not on, ask one of the local attendants to open the floodgates. The pavilion opposite the entrance houses a small children’s science center. For a moment of touristy fun, you can dress up in gaudy (and sometimes smelly) traditional Rajasthani garb and have your picture snapped by a local photographer.
#6. Sajjan Garh
High in the Aravalli Hills just outside Udaipur, this fort-palace glows a golden orange in the Udaipur night sky. Once the maharana’s Monsoon Palace, it’s now a radio station for the Indian Army. The panoramic view is spectacular from the fort’s lofty tower, and locals claim you can see Chittaur on a clear day (almost 110 km/70 mi away). The winding road to the top, surrounded by green forests, is best covered by car; you can take an auto-rickshaw, but it’s a long and bumpy ride.
This rural arts-and-crafts village 3 km (2 mi) west of ATI-1 Udaipur includes a complex with 26 re-creations of furnished village huts (authentic right down to their toilets) from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh. It comes alive in December with the Shilpgrarn Utsav, when artists and craftspeople from around India arrive to sell and display their works; but puppet shows, dances, folk music, and handicrafts sales go on year-round as well. You can see it all slowly on a camel ride.
Swan Tours – A leading travel agent in Delhi, India can Customize holidays to Rajasthan, including stay at Heritage hotels, Palaces and Havelis , Services of an English speaking Tour Guide throughout the tour and exclusive Transportation options.