Best Places To Visit In Udaipur In 1 Day
So far on our travels, Udaipur rates as one of our favourite Rajasthani cities. It’s a must-visit destination which has a magical setting. Perhaps you’ve been inspired by the BBC’s recent TV series, Real Marigold Hotel, or you are researching Udaipur tourist places as part of existing travel plans. Our quick guide to visiting Udaipur highlights some of the best places to visit in Udaipur in 1 day. Furthermore, it provides background information about this beautiful city and ideas of things to do in Udaipur so that you can tailor-make your 1 day visit.
1. Where is Udaipur?
Udaipur is found in the southern part of Rajasthan in India close to the border of Gujarat. Lying in the fertile green valley of Girwa, the city is surrounded by the Aravalli mountain range which separates it from Thar Desert. Udaipur is situated almost midway between Delhi (665 km) and Mumbai (800 km).
2. What does Udaipur mean?
Literally translated, Udaipur means ‘a craftsmen’s village’. The city is still well-known for its handicrafts and places to visit near Udaipur include the annual festival in Shilpgram which takes place in December each year.Aside from its literal meaning, Udaipur is also commonly known as the ‘City of Lakes’ and as ‘Venice of the East’. As a result, many people believe Lake City Udaipur is one of the most romantic places in India.
3. Why is Udaipur called the City of Lakes?
Udaipur is called the City of Lakes owing to the network of interconnected artificial freshwater lakes nearby. There are 5 principal lakes in this system:
- – Lake Pichola
- – Fateh Sagar Lake
- – Jaisamand Lake
- – Rajsamand Lake
- – Udaisagar Lake
Any list of places to visit in Udaipur must include a trip to one or more of these scenic lakes. Each lake offers something different and enables locals and visitors alike to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. So, if you are looking for what to do in Udaipur and are looking to escape popular Udaipur tourist attractions, a day trip to the lakes may be just the thing.
Among one of the first places to see in Udaipur for most visitors will be the stunning Lake Pichola. This lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes in the south-west part of the city of Udaipur. It was built in 1362 by Pichhu Banjara during the rule of Maharana Lakha. City Palace is perched above this picturesque lake and the old city runs along its banks. In the middle of Lake Pichola are two islands: Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas. Jag Mandir (or Lake Garden Palace) was built as a summer pleasure resort for the Royal family and Jag Niwas is now home to the Taj Lake Palace luxury hotel. The lake extends to about 4 km long, 3km wide and reaches a maximum depth of 10.5 m.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is found to the north of Lake Pichola and north-west of Udaipur. Originally, constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678, the lake was named after Maharana Fateh Singh who improved it further. This lake is 2.4 km long, 1.6 km wide and approximately 11.5 m deep.
The Fateh Sagar Lake is connected to Lake Pichola via a canal and boasts several Udaipur points of interest. Three islands are found on the lake which can be reached by boat, including Nehru island which is a park and the Udaipur Solar Observatory. Perfectly located near the Fateh Sagar Lake is the ‘Under the Sun’ aquarium. Opened in Autumn 2017, this is a state-of-the-art aquarium with high-tech virtual reality experiences.
At 93 km², Jaisamand Lake (or Dhebar) is reputed to be the second largest artificial lake in the whole of Asia. The lake measures 14 km in breadth with a circumference of 48 km and a maximum depth of 31 m. Built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685, this lake was built by constructing a dam on the Gomati River. If you are looking for places to visit near Udaipur, Jaisamand Lake is situated 48 km from the city and is overlooked by the Moti Magri Hill (Pearl Hill).
Other places near Udaipur to visit include Rajsamand Lake which is a popular lake 66 km north of Udaipur. The lake was built by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660 and is located between Rajnagar and Kankroli. It stretches to 2.82 km in width and is 6.4 km long and 18 m deep. This lake was also created by the dam across the Gomati River. On the southern end of the lake is a marble terrace with stone steps to the lake used for alms-giving by the Maharana.
Udaisagar Lake is situated 13 km east of Udaipur and was built by Maharana Udai Singh in 1565 after a dam was constructed across the Berach River in 1559 to supply water to his kingdom. This lake is 4 km in length, 2.5 km wide and reaches a depth of 9 m.
Other lakes in the Udaipur area include Dudh/Doodh Talai, Jiyan Sagar (Badi Ka Talab) and Swaroop Sagar (Kumharia Talab).
4. How was Udaipur formed?
Udaipur city was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II when it became the new capital of the Mewar region. This change resulted from the former capital of Chittorgarh being taken under siege by Akbar. To protect Udaipur from attack, the Maharana built a 6 km long city wall with seven gates. Today’s old city and many Udaipur famous places (notably City Palace or Udaipur fort and the Jagdish Temple) are still found within these walls and gates.The artificial lakes were needed by Udaipur owing to the scarcity of water in this location. Ruling Hindu leaders built the lakes to guarantee a regular water supply to the people and to fulfil irrigation needs.Udaipur’s lakes are interconnected through a clever channel system and dams which is an early example of harvesting and managing rainwater. Water supply comes from the Berach River and its tributaries. Since Udaipur lies in the Girwa valley, water runs off the Aravalli hills and drains into the Ahar River (a tributary of the Berach River) which flows to the north-east of the city. Since each of the lakes are interconnected, the overflow from one run lake runs into the next and the water balances itself.Today, these lakes are popular must visit places in Udaipur to while away a few hours and take part in leisurely recreational activities.
5. Udaipur India Points of Interest
Apart from enjoying the peaceful lakes, there are plenty of other historical places in Udaipur when visiting Rajasthan.
Today, City Palace is the main residence of Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th custodian of the House of Mewar. This is Rajasthan’s largest palace and gracefully sits on the banks of Lake Pichola. As you might expect, it offers beautiful examples of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, rooms and gardens. City Palace Udaipur entry fee is 300 Indian Rupees for adults over 18 and 100 Indian Rupees for children over 5.
Among Udaipur sightseeing places is Jag Mandir, an island on Lake Pichola built as a summer pleasure resort for the Royal family. The island can be reached by boat from Rameshwar Ghat within the City Palace complex. Boats tour Lake Pichola and end at Jag Mandir where you can walk round the gardens and enjoy the elephant lined view across the lake towards City Palace.
Jagdish Temple is an imposing Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur near to City Palace. It was built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This is a 3-storey high structure with 32 marble steps to the main shrine.
Saheliyon-Ki-Bari (Garden of Maidens)
These attractive gardens are located in the northern part of the city on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake. They were built by Maharana Sangram Singh II as a lush garden for the Royal ladies. Beautiful marble elephant fountains shoot water into pretty lotus pools.
Sukhadia Circle is an intersection in Udaipur’s norther suburb, but strangely it is also a popular recreational centre with food stalls crammed around it. It features a large pond with a 21 ft high 3-tiered marble fountain and is a popular place to walk and eat during the evening. This is great location if you are looking for places to visit in Udaipur at night.
Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh)
Sajjan Garh was built in the 19th century by Maharana Sajjan Singh on top of the Bansdara hills about 9 km west of Udaipur by road. Originally, this palace served as an astronomical centre and then later as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. Although one of the more neglected tourist places near Udaipur, the Monsoon Palace offers great bird’s eye views of the city, particularly at sunset.
6. How to get to Udaipur
Visiting Udaipur is easy as the city is well served by air, by road and by train.
Local and regional flights to Udaipur Maharana Pratap Airport which is 22 km east of Udaipur. Click here for cheap flights to Udaipur.
Udaipur is well-served by an extensive network of bus services to suit different budgets.
Udaipur Railway Station connects with major Indian towns and cities.
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