In a valley surrounded by leafy hills and impressive lakes, is the city of Udaipur , also known as the Pearl of Rajasthan, and considered one of the most romantic in India, being chosen by many of its inhabitants to spend their honeymoon .
After spending a few days traveling through the most touristic state of the country, and especially if we have visited Jodhpur and Jaisalmer , in the deep Thär desert, arriving in this city is a pleasant surprise for its greenness and its fresh atmosphere. In addition, although the state of Rajasthan is full of great fortresses, majestic palaces and magnificent temples, Udaipur makes a difference by providing its sophisticated elegance, with its palaces, lakes, temples and gardens that seem taken from a fairy tale.
Recommended time to visit the city
The best season to visit this place is probably between the months of September to March, when the temperature is pleasant and we will avoid the rainy and extremely muggy monsoon. It has winters with temperatures ranging between 28.3 º maximum and minimum of 11.6 º.
History of Udaipur
About its history, it is said that being capital of the kingdom of Mewar and ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1,200 years, it was conquered by Maharaja Udai Singh II, thus founding the city in 1568.
What to see
Udaipur has many places of interest, so it is good to stay a few days enjoying its tranquility. Around Lake Pichola , which was expanded with the construction of a dam and currently measures four kilometers long and three wide, are many of the tourist attractions. On the Island of Jagniwas sits the Lake Palace Hotel, a large luxury hotel that was the summer residence of royalty in the 18th century and the setting for the James Bond film Octopussy in the twentieth. In fact, walking around the city we will find that in many places they announce projections of it. The hotel can be visited, as long as you reserve a table for lunch or dinner, and a boat will take you there.
We also have Jagmandir Island , flanked by a row of huge white stone elephants, and a palace of which it is said that the Mongol emperor Sha Yahan obtained part of his inspiration to build the Taj Mahal after spending a long time there.
Palace of Udaipur
The imposing Palace of the City is the largest in Rajasthan, being a set of buildings fruit of the various additions of the marajás, but respecting a great architectural and aesthetic uniformity and with spectacular views of the lake. It can be accessed from the north end, Baripol and through the door of Tripolia, in which the maharajas had the habit of weighing themselves under their eight marble arches and distributing their weight in gold and silver among the crowd. Only 150 m. from the north entrance of the palace, is the Jagdish Temple, spectacularly carved and with an image of the god Vishnu inside.
In Bagore-ki-Haveli , the refined residence of a former prime minister of the eighteenth century, we can see performances of Rajasthani dances, in addition to its mirror and glass incrustations, the Mewari frescoes and the mosaics of peacocks.
Fateh Sagar Lake
North of the Pichola, we find the Fateh Sagar lake surrounded by mountains and which houses the Nehru Park, a garden island with a boat-shaped cafeteria. On its banks we have the Shaheliyon-ki-Bari or Garden of the Maidens, a small garden built for a princess who loved the rain and used as a resting place and walk for the ladies of the court. It has fountains, marble elephants and a beautiful lotus pond.
3 km. To the west you can visit Shilpgram , a village of artisans with examples of clay huts traditions and decorative objects from various states of India, where artisans carry out performances and exhibitions of their works.
Two other places that I would like to point out are Ahar , former capital of the Sisodias, in whose vicinity we find more than 250 cenotaphs of the royal family; and very special, Sajjan Garh , the palace of the Monzón, point that gives us the best views of the sunset.
A little further away, about 60 kilometers away is Ranakpur , one of the largest and most important complexes of Jain temples.
Udaipur is a very pleasant city for the visitor, relieved of the stress of other Hindu cities, it is one of the cleanest in North India , the traffic is much calmer and we continue to find cows with their sumptuous walk, some elephant or the unmistakable Sandalwood smell, although it has to be said that at present it is much busier than the first time I visited it almost six years ago.
Finally I want to leave some recommendations of where to stay and where to eat that I hope may be useful:
Lotus Cafe : A very good choice, with an impeccable address. The place is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just relax taking a chai, with an intimate, cozy and relaxed. I could say they have the best chef in town! It is also recommended in the Lonely Planet guide.