Udaipur city guide: The Venice of East
“Rajasthan – Jaane kya dikh jaye”- Rajasthan tourism department
A brilliant line quoted by Rajasthan tourism department. It says “don’t know what you will see next“. The line perfectly suits Rajasthan as it always lefts me speechless, every time I think of stories, culture, tradition and royalty related to Rajasthan. If I exaggerate more then from the everlasting bleak of sand-dunes to unusual wild national parks, Rajasthan has made me ponder. Also, from Majestic palaces to hauntingly beautiful forts, and from the untamed rivers to the blue lakes, the magnificence of Rajasthan is unassailable. Every destination of Rajasthan homes some or the other culture which you might have never thought off. That’s why we can never think what next we will witness. Likewise, the same thing has happened to me as well…
After a month of work, I was planning a trip to Rajasthan. This time I was looking for a destination which can rejuvenate my soul. I was looking for something which is exciting, close to nature, culturally profound and should have a feel of Rajasthan. And if it is a traveller’s paradise than I’ll be the happiest person. Therefore, I came up with a list of destinations like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, etc. However, travelling to Jaisalmer and Jodhpur is said to be the best in the month of February. So finally, I came up with Udaipur as my destination of the month.
After travelling 12 hours by bus from Bhopal to Udaipur via Indore in a charter bus, I arrived Udaipur early in the morning. Since I arrived early in the morning, empty roads of Udaipur city welcomed me. Only a few auto-rickshaws were standing near the bus stand. I hired one of them and he took me to a nice budget hotel to get myself refreshed. So after refreshing myself, I went on to explore the city of lakes: Udaipur.
Yes, you read it correctly, “The city of lakes: Udaipur”. Udaipur – the city situated in the southern part of Rajasthan, offers one of the most beautiful getaways in India. Its charisma of Udaipur lies in its beautiful lakes, breath-taking mountains and in its royal Rajputana palaces. Also, the presence of old architectural marvels near the vicinity of famous lakes provides some of the most spectacular views of the city. And if this city is accompanied with the tryst of modernity than it was going to be a surprising experience for me. The stupendous boat ride on Lake Pichola will make you feel like you are in Venice. That’s why with all the above reasons Udaipur is known as Venice of east.
So come along with me and explore the Udaipur city guide:
Udaipur city guide:
I had decided to explore the Udaipur city for the next few days in order to unearth the reality of the saying “Venice of East“. Also, I wanted to present Udaipur city guide in front of my readers. For that reason, I wander along the banks of shimmering lake Pichola and on the alley of the old city. And, here I came up with the list of tempting spots that can be seen on the first day to Udaipur:
Start your day with Lake Pichola:
Lake Pichola is the largest lake in Udaipur created by tribesman Picchu Banjara in the year 1362 AD. The lake got its name after the village Picholi. It was further enlarged by the great Maharana Udai Singh so as to develop the city. However, as the development progresses, it came out as the main centre of attraction for tourists. Since then, Lake Pichola is considered to be the largest artificial freshwater lake, Udaipur. And I started exploring its beauty.
How does lake Pichola look like? There are 4 islands situated in the middle, which provide luxury to our eyes. These islands have ancient floating palaces made by Mewar king. However, these palaces are turned into luxury 5-star hotels. For example, there is Jag Mandir island palace, Lake Palace and Arshi Villas. If you look at the backdrop of the lake, you will see green Aravali hills. One of the shores of the lake is beset by an old giant “City Palace” while other shores have ghats to sit, relax, photograph the sheer beauty. Boating is the best option to experience all these things. And if you are boating in the evening then you are going to witness the most beautiful sunset of your life, like I experience.
Gigantic City Palace:
I was totally impressed with the view of City Palace by the side of Pichola. So, my next spot was City palace. It nearly took 3-4 hours complete to see the palace…
What’s the buzz? Heritage Udaipur city is known for its architectural beauty and City Palace is one such masterpiece. City Palace is the living heritage of Mewar kingdom. Its construction began in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II but the amazing part is that it took over 400 years to complete it. The reason is not that of tardy speed but because of its magnificence. The architecture style of City Palace is the blend of European, Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.
There are different entrance gates (poles) to the palace. City palace is so big that it itself consists of 11 palaces, some of which are converted into museums while some are closed. You will find numerous restaurants inside the palace and number of shops to shop. Moreover, the beauty of palace houses in the antique furniture and paintings made on the walls. All these reflect the life of the king and his families. There’s a lot more to tell you about the City Palace which I will cover in the following post. So stay tuned for it. Till then have a look at the masterpiece.
Gangaur ghat is known to be the main gate to Lake Pichola. The name “Gangaur” comes from the famous local festival Gangaur. For me, the ghat turned out to be the best spot. The reason being, I have taken a nice budget hotel at the ghat only. So I could wander along the ghat early in the morning and even at night. I was able to observe all the activities happening there. Many cafes and restaurants are present at the banks of Lake and near the ghat. That’s why I was able to enjoy my breakfast and dinner sitting at those restaurants while enjoying the view of the Lake. It turns out to be the best point for me to discover myself. Gangaur ghat and Udaipur city shine beautifully in the evening and you can enjoy the music and breeze flowing through the Lake.
This is what I was searching for. The view has made me say that Udaipur is rightly quoted as “Venice of East“.
Cultural beauty of Bagore ki Haveli:
One of my favourite part of Udaipur city guide comes here, Bagore ki Haveli. Bagore ki Haveli is situated at the Gangaur ghat. Actually, a large area of Gangaur ghat is bounded by the walls of Haveli. Bagore ki Haveli was build up in the 18th century by the prime minister of Mewar. Bagore ki Haveli mansions around 130-140 rooms and has a number of corridors, courtyards and balconies towering high on Gangaur ghat. However, the Haveli is converted into a museum showing the glimpse of lives of the royal. It houses some of the best culture, tradition, heritages of Rajasthan and India. Every evening at haveli stages the traditional performances like live dance forms including flame pot dances, puppet shows, feats of Rajasthan, stories of Indian cultures etc. This cultural show is named as “Dharohar“.
Fateh Sagar Lake:
If you talk about the tranquillity of Lake Pichola then Fateh Sagar lake is also not an exception. It is another artificial lake of Udaipur. The beauty of the lake lies in its significance. Fateh Sagar lake was named after Maharana Fateh Singh and was built by Maharana Jai Singh. Moreover, due to the presence of “Moti Magri hill” on its side has made it stupendous. The reason being, Moti Magri hill is known as “hall of fame” and it houses Maharana Pratap statue and war scenes (in the museum). Other than the hill, the lake has a “Solar Observatory” in the middle and different parks by the side. That’s why the lake is the ideal place to enjoy and relax their mind in the calm environment. I also did the same thing.
Therefore, with the above spots and activities, my Udaipur city guide have to say…
Udaipur is perfectly termed as “Venice of East”. Udaipur is that dream you never want to wake up from. Truly speaking I am running out of adjectives to describe it… Thus, I ended my first day of Udaipur in a very delightful manner. On my second day, I trip some of the spiritual destinations of Udaipur.
So, don’t miss a chance to see my second day Udaipur city guide: “Famous temples in Udaipur city“. Finally, I would say that travelling for relaxation and rejuvenation is probably the main reason why people love to visit Udaipur.