In the article, we explored the places to visit in Udaipur. And let you know some unsung and hidden facts behind places of the city. The city which holds a prestigious position as one of the worlds best tourist destinations.
Udaipur was once the capital of Mewar kingdom. A kingdom which always fights for its sovereignty, and has a great legacy. Legends of Mewar attracts me to the Udaipur. Birthplace of great warriors who spend their lives for the welfare and happiness of their people. The royal family of Udaipur is recorded as one of the oldest royal family in the world which is still in existence.
We bored the train Mewar express from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station (Delhi) at evening. Somehow we complete our journey and reached Udaipur at morning. The train was late by two hours as expected. We reached their viva Mathura, Bharatpur, Kota, and Chittor. The greenery of the Aravali range circulates the positivity in our sole and made us curious to understand the place and its glorious history. The beauty of Rajasthan is that the cactus and cultivated plants grow like brothers. The Aravalli for Udaipur is like a mother which protects her children from external threat. The beauty of Udaipur creates more curiosity inside me to study deeply about the city. And we headed towards the places to visit in Udaipur.
12 Places to Visit in Udaipur
There is a big painting of Maharana Pratap at the entrance of the station of Udaipur and the painting was of the battle of Haldi Ghati. The station was so clean and the area around the station was also well maintained. We first reached a small shop for breakfast we take kachories and tea and discussed the places to visit in Udaipur that day.
1. Gulab Bagh
We started our tour with Sajjan Niwas garden also known as Gulab Bagh. It is near to the railway station so was our first destination of the places to visit in Udaipur. It is situated below the embankment of Pichola Lake and is spread through 100 acres. The garden was laid by Maharana Sajjan Singh. It has a zoo and Victoria hall (now converted in public library) and is opened in 1890 by the viceroy, Lord Lansdowne to commemorate the 1887 Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Different gardens are appointed different names.
When we reached near public library we saw families enjoying picnic and children playing games, that was a crowded place like any city in India. And it was obvious because of Sunday. We visited the Victoria hall but come back by seeing the structure. Then we move further towards Karni Mata temple viva zoo. After getting exit from Gulab Bagh by consulting the tea seller about the route of Karni Mata Mandir, we headed there. Actually, the gardens of Gulab Bagh didn’t attract me so much because that type of gardens are there in Delhi and nothing new was there for me accept Victoria Hall (now a public library).
Now from Gulab Bagh, we moved toward Karni Mata Mandir via Lake Pichola. We stopped at Doodh Talai and on just a few meters away, there is Lake Pichola and from Doodh Talai other road cuts for Karni Mata Mandir.
2. Lake Pichola
At the northern end of the lake is the old town with its Ghats and ceremonial gate where the picturesque Gangor festival took place amid fireworks and illuminations. The miniature painting of this festival is depicted on view in the City Palace.
Along the eastern bank is the long range of the City Palace and the south is the hill known as Eklinggarh on which the old outer city wall can be seen snaking along the crest and down the banks of the Pichola. A great dam holds the water back from the Samor Gardens.
To the west of the lake is a hunting lodge known as Khas Odi, which also contains the old miniature paintings of Mewar. It was first built by Maharana Sangram Singh II in the 18th century but was enlarged by Maharana Fateh Singh. At the center of the building is a square pit where the fight took place between tigers, leopards, bear, wild boar, spectators watching from the top of the surrounding walls. Further along the direction of the town and spreading down towards the edge of the lake is another large walled enclose known as Hari Das-Ki-Magri where wild boar and few species of dear are allowed to run free.
The place where we stand get a clear view of Sajjangarh Palace at the top of the hill, the view of the Sajjangarh palace from Lake Pichola was amazing. The only thing that I want at that time is to absorb the view of that place in my eyes for a lifetime. This makes us to include this in the list of places to visit in Udaipur.
Story Behind the Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola took its name from the small village of Picholi nearby and was originally created by a Banjara. A man who was responsible for the transport of grain in the 15th century during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Usually, names of common people lost in the pages of history and seemed neglected in front of kings and warriors, but here the name of Banjara is alive in the pages of history. This is the beauty of the place, loyalty about its history. It is said that the Banjara, find that his pack-bullocks could not handle the stream which flowed at the southern end, thus he built a dam across which they were able to walk.
In 1559 when Maharana Udai Singh moved his capital to Udaipur he strengthened the dam and greatly enlarged the lake. Apart from two island palaces, the present Lake Palace Hotel and Jagmandir hotel, there are several small islets. To the west of the Lake Palace is one known as Arsi Bilas which is crowded with trees in which a variety of water-fowl has their nests. A small platform rising out of the west of Jagmandir is known as Natni-ka-Chabutra.
A somewhat unlikely legend has it that a girl of Nat caste, a professional tightrope walker, was promised half the kingdom of Mewar if she could walk across from the village on the west bank of the lake to the main palace on the east bank of the lake. When she accepted the challenge and seemed to be doing well and the ministers of Maharana get worried that she might complete the task so they cut the rope. The chabutra marks the spot where the girl fell into the water and was drowned.
Karni Mata Mandir
Then we move upward for Karni Mata Mandir I am actually not aware of any historical significance of the temple but as per my observation, it might be famous just because of the ropeway. We had to go there through a ropeway. The statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was there and that point is also known as sunset point. For ropeway drive, we had changed the road going towards the left direction from the statue. Karni Mata Mandir is situated at the top of the hill so the clear view of the whole city was easily viewed from there.
There are three things to see at that hill Karni Mata Mandir, Dargha, and a small palace. From the Mandir through binocular, I saw many places. Actually now most of the places are converted into hotels. One of them is Leela Palace where the nuclear deal took place between India and USA.
After coming down from the hill, we had taken a boat ride and saw Jagmandir and Lake palace hotel. We had just seen them from the boat as we did not have that much budget to stay there. But yes if you have a good budget then please spend some time in these hotels and experience the treatment like royals. That’s why we have included them also in our list of places to visit in Udaipur.
It was developed by Maharana Karan Singh the grandson of Maharana Pratap. When he extended and raised the level of the dam about 1620. It also served for short time in 1623 as a refuge for the Mughal Prince Khurram when he was revolted against his father, the Emperor Jahangir. And it was Udaipur where prince Khurram was first saluted as Shahjahan. It is interesting to note that as per local folks he had been influenced by the small domed palace of Jagmandir and that inspiration takes the shape of Taj Mahal later on and becomes the symbol of love. As a mark of gratitude Prince Khurram exchanged his orange turban, the symbol of brotherhood, with the Maharana. It is preserved at Udaipur for three centuries.
During the first revolt against British in 1857, the chivalrous Maharana Swaroop Singh protected the British women and their families and they refuge at Jagmandir. According to him, the fight is among men, women and innocent children should not be involved in this. The place is named on the name of Maharana Jagat Singh who made several additions to it.
4. Lake Palace Hotel
It was made by Maharana Jagat Singh in the 17th century. Its originally named as Jagniwas. The present Maharana Arvind Singh converted it into the hotel and renamed as Lake Palace Hotel and opened it as a hotel on Feb 1963, which brings Udaipur as a major tourist spot at worlds map.
Then from lake Pichola, we walk to have lunch. We went to a small restaurant at Surajpol for lunch. Stay there for some time and then move to City Palace via Jagdish Mandir.
5. Jagdish Mandir
It is situated in the town near Tripolia (three arched) gate of the palace. This is 80-foot high edifice and was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. A flight of thirty-two steps rises to the large central temple which is ornamented with much excellent carving, among which can be found a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagan Nath. The entrance in an enclosed shrine is a fine bronze figure of Garuda.
A big edifice is present at the center and four other similar structures at four corners of the main edifice present. The heights of these four temples were not as big as that of the central one. From the entrance, the temple at the right side is of Lord Shiva, the temple at the left side is of Lord Ganesha, and at the back side of the main temple, the temple at the right side is of goddess Durga and temple at the left side is of the sun. The temple with amazing carving is a magnificent example of the architecture and engineering of that time.
Heart Touching and Proud Story of Naroo Barhat
Naroo Barhat was the legendary personality of that temple. The courageous attempt made by Naroo Barhat, a member of the bardic community, to defend the temple from the destructive hands of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. After the battle of Debari on January 4th,1680 between the Mughal army and the combined forces of Mewar and Marwar, the whole of central Mewar, including the capital Udaipur was laid waste. Maharana Raj Singh, hurrying back to defend his capital, as he was hurrying to protect his capital those loyal to Mewar remaining within the town put up what resistance they could and Naroo Barhat organized a small force to defend the temple this courage and determination in the face of enemy have gained him a place in Mewar’s history.
From Jagdish temple, we moved towards City Palace. Which is a few meters away from the temple.
6. City Palace
The entrance of the palace was so amazing with artilleries at both sides of the main gate, well decorated and maintained. The palace was formed and maintained with great care. The palace is so spacious and the architecture is amazing. There are shops of antiques and Rajasthani traditional items at one side and the wall is present at another side from where the clear view of the whole city was seen. As we move forward there was a small restaurant and happy hour was also there, it is a clear indication they take care of all you expect from them.
We entered into the museum, at the entrance of the museum the logo to Mewar kingdom was present at the top of the entrance. In the logo shield over which Sun is made is supported by a warrior at one side and by a Bhil from another side. It is said that Bappa Rawal took the leadership of Chittor from Mori king of Malwa with the help of Bhils. Bhils elect him as their paramount chief i.e RANA, and one of the Bhils applied his own blood as his tika, the mark of sovereignty, on his forehead. In the museum, weapons are present which were used at the medieval time in Mewar by the warriors and the kings. From there we visited the whole palace it was a little bit crowded but the architecture of the palace was so much attractive that I didn’t bother about the crowd. The thing of interests in the palace is its room with mirrored glass floor with the wall decorated with glass designs and miniature paintings. There are also many small passages present inside the palace. In our list of places to visit in Udaipur, the city palace is a must and very important place to visit.
Story Behind the City Palace
The construction of the palace was started by Maharana Udai Singh when he shifted his capital from Chittor to Udaipur. It is said that one day Maharana Udai Singh went for hunting. He encountered by a holy man and when we went for his ‘darshan’. The holy man told him if he builds his palace round then this place fortune would favor the family. Maharana accepted his advice and first erected a small shrine. This is the oldest part and is now known as Dhuni Mata. The latter rulers of Mewar added other things in the palace as per their requirement.
After visiting the city palace we closed that days plan and decided to stay in a hotel at night. We planned to start our next day early so that we can spend more time at sites. As we asked for a room in few hotels near palace but they were so costly, finally by taking advice from a barber we decided to Surajpol for the room. Decided if we would not get the room then we stay in Dharamshala. But on our way, we find a hotel near the palace and they agreed to provide us the room at an affordable rate.
We decided to leave the hotel latest by 7:30 am and by 12:00 noon we will cover as possible places in Udaipur and then we will move to Kumbhalgarh. And as per our plan to visit the places in Udaipur, we reached Fateh Sagar Lake in the morning.
7. Fateh Sagar Lake
It is present at the north of the Pichola Lake connected by a canal. It was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh, but when the old embankment was damaged by heavy rains, the lake was reconstructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. The foundation stone of new embankment was laid by the Duke of Connaught, the son of Queen Victoria in 1889. A small island is made by the government of Rajasthan, which is a public park with a fountain.
We reached there early and on the way towards Fateh Sagar Lake, there is a statue of Swami Vivekananda. On the other side of the lake, there is a solar observatory, but we didn’t visit that side and board the auto to reach the monsoon palace.
8. Monsoon Palace
Monsoon Palace is originally known as Sajjangarh Palace. It was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1884. It can be clearly seen from Lake Fateh Sagar. During monsoon time Maharana with his family shifted to Monsoon Palace to enjoy monsoon. From the palace panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside can be seen. The place is also the wildlife sanctuary. The shooting of James Bond film Octopussy in 1983 took place in Monsoon Palace. The area now comes under the government of Rajasthan. The beauty of the palace at a hilltop will definitely remind you of the fairy tales. That’s why it is included in the list of the places to visit in Udaipur.
We decided to reach the hilltop by walking, although government cars are available. By enjoying the beauty of nature and the manifold of Arawali hills which surrounds that place we reached our destination by the continuous walking of 45 minutes. The panoramic view of the whole city from the palace is so attractive that a voice from inside insisted me to stay here. It was not monsoon time but I was trying to imagine how it looks like during monsoon season. The place was just like what we studied in fairy tales during our childhood days. In actual we enjoyed a lot during our traveling towards the monsoon palace. The beauty of monsoon palace really gives us the most beautiful memories of Udaipur.
From the monsoon palace, we hired a car and started our tour to Haldighati and Kumbhalgarh.
9. Haldi Ghati
In July 1576 the famous battle of Haldi Ghati took place between forces of Mewar and Mughals. The general of Mewar was Hakim Khan the descendant of Sher Shah Suri, and the general of Mughals was Prince Man Singh of Amber. Glory and bravery of Mewar and Maharana Pratap will remain incomplete if we will not talk about Haldighati. So we reached the Haldi Ghati. The place is known as Haldi Ghati because of the color of hills in the area with are in the color of Turmeric that is ‘Haldi’.
At the entrance of the museum of Haldi Ghati, there is a big bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on his Chetak attacking Man Singh on his elephant. We entered the museum where we find many interesting things but the most interesting thing which attracts me was the armor of Maharana Pratap which he uses during his childhood times. Then there was a short movie about the life of Maharana Pratap. From there we went to a place where the main incidents of the life of Maharana Pratap were picturized through dummies and through the sound system the incidents were described.
After visiting the museum we reached the place where the battle of Haldi Ghati took place, which is now called ‘Rakt Tarai’. It is said that when the fight ends with the bloodsheds the whole region was colored red with blood and thus the whole region is now known as Rakt Tarai. Then we went to the small passage where the color of the sand is yellow as that of turmeric and thus the place is named Haldi Ghati. It is said that people use the soil of the place for tilak on forehead.
Then we moved to the place where Chetek the loyal horse of Maharana Pratap jumped and crossed the barrier of 22 feet to protect him, and it runs up to 500 meters and then died. The place where Chetak died, its Samadhi is formed there and is known as Chetek Samadhi. At Haldi Ghati you will definitely get emotional as well as the overwhelming feeling of proudness generates. So, Haldi Ghati is one of the must-visit places in Udaipur although it is about 50 km away from the main city of Udaipur.
Then we moved directly towards Kumbhalgarh fort. The roads have so many ups and downs, passed between the hills of Aravalli. We passed through many villages. The place was so beautiful and adventurous hills and hills. By crossing the blankets of Aravalli hills we finally reached our destiny the Kumbhalgarh fort. Many beautiful resorts are present near the fort.
10. Kumbhalgarh Fort
When we reached Kumbhalgarh Fort it was closed so we buy only the ticket for lightening and sound show. The show starts from 6:30 pm and the show tell the complete story about Rana Kumbha and the Kumbhalgarh fort along with Maharana Pratap. The ending of the show will definitely let you give the standing ovation.
Actually, the fort of Kumbhalgarh is present in the deep in the hills on the border of Marwar, sixty miles north-west of Udaipur. The fort was built by Maharana Kumbha in 1458. It is 3,568 feet above sea level it gives the impressive view of the rugged Arawali ranges and the sandy deserts of Marwar. The fort is spread over the hill for the distance of almost eight miles, which makes it worlds second largest wall.
When we enter the fort through the great fortified gateway we had to see on the right, the temples of Nilkanth Mahadeo and Kumbhswami and the Chatri of Kunwar Prithviraj, Maharana Raimal’s son. Maharana Kumbha erected total thirty-two fortresses for the defense of Mewar and Kumbhalgarh. And it is said that Maharana Kumbha built the fort over the site of ancient fortress traditionally ascribed to Samprati a Jain prince of Mauryan dynasty.
We all now get so tired and then we directly landed to the hotel. Don’t know about others but I slept immediately. We planned to visit the remaining places of Udaipur the next day. Next day we moved to Bagore ki Haveli. Which holds an important position in the list of places to visit in Udaipur because of cultural significance.
11. Bagore Ki Haveli
To understand the culture of Mewar Bagore Ki Haveli is a must to visit. That’s why we added this in our list of places to visit in Udaipur. We went to the Gangori Ghat which is present on the bank of Lake Pichola. Actually, it was built in 18th century by the prime minister of Mewar Amir Chand Badwa. After the death of Amir Chand Badwa, the haveli comes under the state. The beautiful architecture of Bagore Ki Haveli attracts tourists towards it. It is now renovated and is completely converted into the museum. There are many types of museums present in the haveli which reflects the Rajputana customs and architecture. We first visited the place where puppets are exhibited. Various types of puppets are exhibited which are used in puppet shows and depicts the royal court of Mewar.
Then we moved to the museum where the traditional things are exhibited. The showcase of various types of turbans used by different people according to their profession. It is interesting that in past the identity of people is based on their turban. For different community different types of turbans are used, and all these turbans are exhibited there. There are mirror rooms, structures made by thermocole. The decorating items of royal families are exhibited, kitchen, musical instruments. And from there one interesting fact is known that the word ‘tabla’ of the musical instrument comes from the Arabic word ‘tabal’ which means drum.
Then we moved to the wedding museum, thereby dummies and paintings they tried to show how royal weddings were taken place at that time. The traditions and various steps of the wedding process were showed by them in a very sequential way. Then we moved to weapon area where various types of weapons are exhibited used at that time various types of talvars, bhalas, teer Kaman, guns, rifles, armored, etc.
To experience the sole of the Rajasthan, must plan the Bagore Ki Haveli. The museums exactly depict the culture of Rajasthan. That’s why we included the Bagore Ki Haveli in our list of places to visit in Udaipur.
12. Celebrations Mall
Then we had taken an auto and went to the celebrations mall, the only famous mall in Udaipur. The architecture of the mall was totally inspired by the architecture of the historical buildings of Udaipur, with a dome above it. That’s our last destination in Udaipur then we moved towards the hotel to collect our bags because the time for the train was near. With some shopping and eating biryani, we were on our way to the hotel. The architecture of the mall is a great mixture of medieval and modern engineering. It is one of the good places to visit in Udaipur.
By collecting our items we marched towards the railway station with a cup of tea. With never ending memories of the places visit in Udaipur, we leave the place in the hope that someday I will definitely visit this place again and give tribute to the warriors who always give priority to safeguard their motherland. The land which teaches us what sovereignty is and nothing in this world are as prestigious as our motherland and our sovereignty.
(This is a list of 12 Places to visit in Udaipur prepared by the team Travel Trap. Please share your experience and suggestion in the comment box below. Your suggestions and feedback are valuable for us. Thanking you!!)