Things to do in Udaipur, The Venice of the East, and a visit to Ranakpur Jain Temple

Things to do in Udaipur, The Venice of the East, and a visit to Ranakpur Jain Temple

Udaipur, The White City, is the jewel in the crown of the Rajasthan region. It is considered the most romantic city in Rajasthan and is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East,’ or the ‘City of Lakes’ and feels seemingly frozen in time, filled with lots of historical charm. It is famously known for being the shooting location for James Bond’s adventures in ‘Octopussy’ as well as the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The best time to visit Udaipur is during the winter season, between September and March. The temperature is more comfortable and bearable then as it can get into the mid 40’s!

Here are the top things to see and do whilst in Udaipur.

Lake Pichola 

Lake Pichola is a man-made lake and is believed to be one of the most beautiful ones as well. A boat ride on Lake Pichola, which starts from Rameshwar Ghat in the City Palace, is highly recommended, and you can stop at one of its famed islands,  Jagmandir Island to visit the popular palace, Jag Mandir.

Jag Mandir is a 17th century structure that stands gloriously amidst Lake Pichola on the Jagmandir Island. 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, you can stop to visit this beautiful place.

City Palace

The City Palace belongs to the royal Mewar family and has exquisite architecture. It is the largest palace in  Rajasthan and has cleverly designed interiors designed to protect the king and his people from the enemy back in the day. It has a breathtaking panoramic view of Rajasthan and I would dedicate at least half a day to exploring its various courtyards, gardens and museum exhibits.

Saheliyo Ki Bari Garden

Saheliyon Ki Bari, which means ‘The Garden of the Maidens,’ was constructed by Maharana Bhopal Singh  for the maids who accompanied the Princess to Udaipur. It has striking features such as a lotus pool with elephants standing on corners spurting water from their trunks, as well as a central pool which showers water in a rain-like effect – a perfect respite from the scorching Rajasthani heat.

Experience staying in a Haveli

Havelis, mostly built more than a century ago by the Marwari community, are mansions adorned with frescoes so exquisite that they’ve become a tourist attraction. Would highly recommend staying in a historical Haveli, such as Amet Haveli, which is one of the top heritage hotels in Udaipur, and experience the opulence & elegance of a bygone era in Udaipur.

Al fresco dining

A lakeside meal is one of the experiences you must do when in Udaipur. I recommend lunch or dinner at Ambrai restaurant, also at Amet Haveli. It has views of both the Lake Palace and City Palace, and is the perfect spot to unwind with some good food and a refreshing drink.

Add on:

A Day trip to Ranakpur to see the Jain temple 

The Ranakpur temple is a stunning Jain temple, dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha, that is beautiful from the outside as well as spectacular on on the inside. It is worth visiting either on the way to Udaipur, or from Udaipur. Dress conservatively for this temple and you will have to bring photographic ID.

The entire temple is carved from white marble and over 1,444 pillars hold up the ceiling. All of the carvings are intricate in detail, portraying people, elephants, flowers, and geometrical patterns, and no two pillars are the same. You can visit with an audio guide and take as much time as you wish.

 


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I booked my itinerary with Somak Holidays, who curated a bespoke one for me. If you are inspired to to visit Incredible India after reading my experience, you can find out more about Somak’s Itineraries here, or you can request a bespoke one:

The Golden Triangle

Classical India Tour

Classic Rajasthan Tour

https://www.somak.com/

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I paid for my trip using my prize money as well as my own funds and booked through Somak Holidays.
Binita Shah-Patel

Hi, I’m Binny – a writer, dreamer, serial wanderluster and travel addict. I am originally from Kenya but now live in London. I set up this blog to share my experiences eating out as well as travelling.

I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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4 Comments

  1. April 14, 2019 / 8:16 am

    I can totally understand why Udaipur is called the Venice of the East! What a stunning place! Beautifully captured images too.

  2. April 16, 2019 / 8:16 am

    What a stunning place and your photos are so evocative!

  3. April 17, 2019 / 7:14 am

    What a gorgeous place Binny! I really want to visit here and thanks for the guide

  4. May 11, 2019 / 12:03 pm

    It looks so beautiful, I love the architecture!