Udaipur gives off a whimsical vibe but if you delve deeper, the city's culture and heritage will leave you spellbound. Formerly known as Mewar, Udaipur was one of the longest-standing independent kingdoms. Today, the City of Lakes (as the name suggests, there are many) is extremely popular with travellers for its rich royal beauty, gorgeous landscapes, and, of course, for Insta-worthy photos. If you find yourself in Udaipur for 24 hours, follow our guide to make the most of the day.
WITNESS THE SUNRISE AT FATEH SAGAR LAKE
Ever imagined sitting or strolling by a lake with only the echo of birds interrupting the flow of your thoughts? There can be no better place than Fateh Sagar Lake which wraps around itself in an 8 kilometer-long stretch that is also a car-free zone. Start your day taking stunning pictures bathed in the golden-pink rays of a rising sun. And while on an early morning walk, try the kulhad coffee that vendors sell by the lakeside. The breeze, the coffee and the sunrise make for a wonderful combination.
THE HIGH POINT
After a hearty breakfast (we are assuming kachoris, of course), we suggest you hike up (or drive) to the highest point in the city just to take in the magnificent view below. We are talking about Sajjangarh Fort, or the Monsoon Palace, that is situated at an altitude of 944m. You may have seen jaw-dropping this view on Insta feeds. The intricately-designed palace is also an architectural delight. A sombre green adorns a large part of the palace walls with off-white highlights. Visually stunning, we assure you.
Udaipur has acquired a reputation for rendering its visitors speechless. Whether it’s the palaces or delectable meals, one can never get enough of the city. Adding to the surreal experiences is the ropeway ride to Karni Mata Temple. You can choose to miss visiting the temple but we suggest you do not miss the ride and spend a couple of minutes admiring the city from a vantage point. On a clear day, one can spot Lake Pichola, City Palace and other landmark buildings from the ride.
ENGAGE IN A HAND(I)CRAFTY AFFAIR
Post the ropeway, we suggest that you grab a quick bite at The Patio. A tiny café with vibrant teal interiors and exteriors, it stands out from the quintessential eateries in the city. We also suggest that you keep the lunch light as dinner will not be so (heads up here). The culturally-rich city is filled with museums - don't miss checking some of them out. The Ahar Museum (showing off stunning cenotaphs) and the Vintage Car Museum will be quite relaxing as you walk around.
SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST
Any visit to Udaipur is incomplete without visiting the magnificent City Palace. Situated along Lake Pichola, the complete tour of the palace will take about three hours. A boat ride from the shore to the palace, along with a sunset on the horizon is just what you need to wrap up a long day of explorations. Along the way, a quick halt at the Jag Mandir is a personal recommendation. It is here that Shah Jahan took shelter when he ran away from home. We won’t disclose all details here. Learn about the story on your boat ride. While the City Palace and Lake Pichola are two very tourist-friendly places, we urge you not to miss them to feel like royalty.
AND EAT TRADITIONAL GRUB TILL YOUR TUMMY SAYS NO
Our suggestion is to end the night on a high, eating a traditiional Rajasthani thali (we warned you at lunch, remember). Ask the server to explain the dishes on the thali and what their significance is. There's a food history lesson for you. While there are several lake view restaurants serving traditional Rajasthani food, we suggest you pick either Ambrai or Upre for dinner. Both the places offer an ethereal view of the lake while you eat to your heart's content.