Udaipur is one of the top destinations of Rajasthan, offering a taste of all things colourful and vibrant about the state. From folk culture to natural wonders and royal palaces to holy temples, it’s got it all. The City of Lakes is also steeped in beauty, making it one of the most romantic places to visit. Equally, its laidback charm means it is hugely popular with big groups and families looking for some bonding time.
On your visit, there are some must things to do in Udaipur so that you can experience the best of the city.
At the heart of Udaipur sightseeing is its two royal gems, the City Palace and Lake Palace, both located at Lake Pichola. City Palace sits atop a hill by the lakeside, overlooking the city down below. The red and pink sandstone architectural gem is a beautiful blend of European, Rajput and Mughal styles, with towering minarets and intricate jaalis alike. See all of its highlights — Udai Pol, Tripolia Gate, Chandra Mahal, Diwan-I-Khas, Mubarak Mahal amongst others. Then, hop on a lovely boat ride of Lake Pichola and make your way to the alluring Lake Palace. Visiting this once summer home of the maharajas is one of the top things to do in Udaipur.
Now one of the world’s most luxurious heritage hotels, the palace also serves as a museum and you can take a guided tour of it to get a glimpse of what real royalty lived like. Once inside, see mesmeric sights like colourful peacock mosaics, delicate mirror-work and finely crafted pavilions, terraces and corridors. Take as many pictures as you can — your Instagram will thank you!
Tip: There’s a light and sound show at the City Palace every evening, if you wish to attend.
Udaipur is a temple town as much as it is one of palaces, many of them are important landmarks. Jagdish Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is not just one of the most revered, it’s also a great Indo-Aryan architectural marvel. Others that you can include on your tour of the temples are the Ekling Ji Temple, Bohra Ganesh Temple and Karni Mata Temple. The first even houses a spectacular 50-foot marble sculpture of Lord Shiva!
Take a boat ride on the idyllic waters of the Fateh Sagar Lake. This is one of the top Udaipur sightseeing tours as well, since the lake holds three islands each with their own special feature. One of them is Nehru Park, a lovely place to spend a few hours of the day amongst green surrounds. It’s also a part zoo, so kids will really enjoy. Another is the Solar Observatory, one of the best in Asia and a must visit when you’re in the city, for a glimpse of outer space.
Make your way to Gangaur Ghat at Lake Pichola to visit this exquisite 100-room royal haveli that’s now a living museum of Rajasthani culture, both royal and folk. One of the popular things to do in Udaipur is attending the evening music and dance show that depicts illustrious stories of the past. Before, you can spend your time exploring the mansion and its many famed exhibits including the world’s longest turban.
Visiting this unique temple is one of the unique things to do in Udaipur for multiple reasons. First, the journey getting there is exciting — you have to take the ropeway, a little cable-car that carries you up the hill. The second reason is because this is also known as the Temple of Rats, and is actually home to thousands of rats that are fed by the many devotees that visit every day. While this is unusual, it doesn’t stop visitors from all over the world seeking out the experience. The temple is also architecturally interesting, with walls adorned by coloured tiles and mirrors.
Many endangered species call the Kumbalgarh Sanctuary their home, including the sloth bear, hyena, wolf, leopard, jungle cats and more. There’s also a large avian population like peacocks, parakeets, red owls and jungle fowls. For a chance to see them in their natural habitat, amazing nature and wildlife photography and a thrilling outdoor adventure, this visit is surely one of the best things to do in Udaipur.
There are many other great experiences to be had in Udaipur. There are landmarks like the Monsoon Palace, Hathi Pol Bazaar and Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary; fun things like camel riding, horse riding and trekking in the Aravallis, and many amazing restaurants and rooftop cafes to sample local delicacies. So, sign up for one of SOTCs all-encompassing Rajasthan or Udaipur packages that includes all of this and more.
One of the top cultural things to in Udaipur is visiting the handicraft village of Shipgram, which puts all of the state’s traditional crafts and skills on display in a terrifically experiential way. Block printing, sculpturing, tie-dye, weaving, terra cotta and marble work, you can see it all happen in front of your eyes and maybe even try your hand at some. There’s no better place to go souvenir picking either!
Tip: There are also many festivals held through the year that you could schedule your trip around.