Fairy tales seem possible in Udaipur, where ancient palaces and revered temples overlook the verdant Aravalli Hills and crystalline waters of Lake Pichola. This old-world city is blessed with atmospheric bazaars, buzzing restaurants and a rich art scene, while the surrounding countryside reveals an array of natural spoils.
Things to do
Make sure to explore the City Palace in Udaipur, which took about 400 years to build and showcases Mewar-dynasty architecture. It’s nestled on the edge of Lake Pichola and features mesmerising structures housing elevated gardens, priceless artwork, royal treasures and an opulent swimming pool. The adjoining Crystal Gallery showcases the tremendous wealth of India’s royal families.
Immerse yourself in the city’s rich religious traditions at Jagdish Temple, an iconic Hindu temple featuring intricate carvings, artwork and statues. Step back in time at the Ahar Cenotaphs, a fascinating archaeological museum where you can see over 250 cenotaphs of the former maharajas of Mewar, along with artefacts dating back to the 10th century.
Want to meet some of the local wildlife? Venture to the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary and get up close with bears, elephants, deer and tigers. It’s positioned near the white marble facade of the hilltop Monsoon Palace, which offers interesting historical exhibits and panoramic views of Udaipur.
Shopping and dining abound within the centre of Udaipur, where lively bazaars sit alongside local boutiques, Indian restaurants and street-food stalls. You can purchase unique clothing at the Sindhi Bazaar, footwear and trinkets at HathiPole Market or fresh local produce at the Dhan Mandi market.
Udaipur is easily reached by flying into Maharana Pratap Airport, which has domestic flights and is 30 minutes’ drive away. The best ways to get around town are using the auto rickshaws, hailing taxis or hiring a bicycle or motorbike.