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The city of Dawn, or the city of Lakes, Udaipur in Rajasthan is the jewel of Mewar, a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years. It is a lovely city around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravallis, a vision in white drenched in romance and beauty. Drive around the fascinating monuments that adorn the stunning landscape in this most romantic city of India, appreciating its palaces, which are straight out of a fairy-tale book, no wonder it has always been a lovely place for Film Shoots, Royal Events and even Corporate Parties. Come to Udaipur and you'll fall in love with it!
Interestingly Mewar continuously defied foreign invaders and has a history of bloody battles until the British intervention in the nineteenth when a treaty was signed to protect Udaipur.
It was this time when Silver Coins of the Mewar State were Used as currency mentioning the alliance with British as Dosti-London and famous as Chitrakut Udaipur Coins.
On a hill top (known as Moti Margi or Pearl Hill), overlooking the Fateh Sagar lake is the memorial of the Rajput warrior and local hero Maharana Pratap. It is a life-sized bronze statue of Maharana Pratap balanced on his loyal and best horse, Chetak. It is believed that Chetak was a faithful horse and was extremely protective towards Maharana Pratap and stood by his master till he took his final breath. Chetak was killed in the battle of Haldighati. People visit this memorial to pay homage to the Rajput hero and to his loyal horse 'Chetak'.
The statue apparently has been featured in a Bollywood movie or two. Also, from the hill you can get some great views of Udaipur and whilst you are in the vicinity you can visit the pleasant Japanese Rock Garden and the remains of one of the forts of Udaipur, which are both located nearby.
The City Palace is an imposing and romantic structure that towers over the lake, on a hill top, and is surrounded by crenallated walls. It's courtyards, pavilions, terraces, rooms and gardens cover a large area - it is really a series of palaces built by the Maharana Udai Singh. The main entrance is through a triple arched gate or 'tripolia' built in 1725 with eight marble porticos. In days gone by the Maharanas were weighed under the gate in gold, they were literally worth their weight in gold to their people! From the large balconies you can get a great view of the 'floating palace' or Lake Palace, the Jag Niwas on romantic Lake Pichola. The Mor-chowk (or Peacock courtyard), takes its name from the beautiful peacock glass mosaics that decorate the walls. The palace is full of antiques and paintings and decorative artifacts and furnishings and naturally receives many visitors every year.
The picturesque Lake Pichola is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, havelis and the bathing ghats and embankments. There are two island, or floating palaces, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) that you can reach by boat. The lake is rumoured to have been here since the 14th century but has since been enlarged by Rana Udai Singh and is now more than 3 kilometres long and more than 1.5 kilometres wide. The reflections in the lake on a clear day and the surrounding buildings create a very magical atmosphere and there is a stillness to Udaipur when you reach the waters edge which is sometimes hard to find in India!
Activities in Udaipur range from roaming the chaotic streets to hoping on to a boat to enjoy a relaxing cruise of Lake Pichola. Various travel companies organise boat trips and the tickets are available mostly on the spot and range from Rs 50 to Rs 500. Smaller boats accommodating 2 to 4 people as well as larger boat ferrying more than 20 people are available for trips ranging from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The most popular cruises depart at sunset, however boats are available for cruises throughout thel day.
Watching Octopussy from one of the many rooftop restaurants overlooking the lake is a a great experience. You can hear the sounds of Octopussy playing in the background on any night of the week in Udaipur. Viewing is typically free if you purchase a meal. Otherwise there is a small admission fee.
The presence of numerous lakes in Udaipur moderates the climatic conditions which would otherwise be experienced in a semi-arid zone. However summers (March-June) can be quite hot with temperatures over 40 °C on most of the occassions. Udaipur receives most of its annual rainfall in the moonsoon months of July to October. There are frequent thunderstorms but flooding is not common in these areas. Wintermonths of November to February have mild temperature in the range of 16 °C-20 °C. The most convenient time to visit Udaipur is the period from November to February when temperatures are mild and there is hardly any rain.
Udaipur Airport, known as Dabok airport is located around 23 kilometres from the city centre and has a number of flights linking Udaipur to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Jodhpur. Recently the airport has been upgraded to an international airport but is yet to begin international flights. Unfortunately there is no public transport from the airport to the city centre and taxis cost around 200-300 Indian rupees.
Rail link between Udaipur and rest of the country has considerably improved after the conversion of metre gauge lines to broad gauge ones. Udaipur now has direct trains to all the major cities of India. Train timings, fares and availability of seats/berths can be checked at Indian Railways, which operates the rail network in India.
Cars can be hired in Udaipur, however most travelers hire their cars in Delhi for an entire Rajasthan tour. Once in Udaipur most of the city can be navigated on foot.
Udaipur is well connected to most of the towns of Rajasthan and some of the cities of neighbouring states like Mount Abu and Ahmedabad by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation buses, which are efficient, safe, comfortable and affordable. Some sleeper bus services are even available to Mumbai but the journey can be long and tiresome.
Buses are either government run or private. The quality can vary from company to company. Tickets may be purchased on the bus or from any of the many hotels or travel agencies. Prices for private companies are negotiable. Prices for government buses are not. Ticket collectors are general fair and honest.
Motor rickshaws are available for day tours for a small fee. They drivers will typically take you to several temples and the palace. The can be arranged through your hotel or directly with the rickshaw driver.
Most of the sites in Udaipur are closely packed together and are easily accessible by foot. You can visit the many temples and Palace by walking from the lake front. Two bridges cross the lake allowing for easy access to the other side.
The streets in Udaipur are very crowded with pedestrians, cars, and rickshaws, however they are also very navigable. Walking is the easiest way to move around the city.
Food in Udaipur is the standard Indian fare. Vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are available at most restaurants. Most of the restaurants are clustered around the lake front with the most popular having high rooftops and stunning fews for sunset.
Dishes include typical Indian lentil, potato, chicken and spinach dishes. For milder flavor simply ask for "no spicy." Nan or roti are available on the side and may come with garlic or ghee (butter). Ordering rice on the side provides a more filling meal.
Desserts are also readily available throughout Udaipur. Shopfronts are lined with the sweet Indian pastries and many are made fresh on the side of the road. You must have a strong sweet tooth to enjoy these favorites.
Hotels in Udaipur range from low budget to high end. Almost all are clustered around the lake and must be reached by a taxi or rickshaw from the bus station. Low budget hotels are often negotiable in price. Check out the room before committing to a price. The quality can vary dramatically. Hotel costs in Udaipur are driven down by the over abundance of accommodation. Currently supply over reaches demand. Reservations are not necessary for budget travelers.
|Anjani Hotel||Haveli Anjaniji 77,Gangour Ghat Marg||Hotel||86|
|Hotel Broadway||Hukam Restaurant, UIT Bridge Saheli Marg||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Kumbha Palace||104, Bhattiyani Chohatta||Hostel||83|
|Hotel Lake Shore||outside chand pole hanuman ghat||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Mandiram Palace||71- Panchdevri, Ramdwara Chowk, o/s Chandpole||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Panna Vilas Palace||758(280) Rani Road Fateh Sagar||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Sarovar||Pichola Lake, Hanumanghat, Outside Chandpol||Hotel||-|
|Hotel The Tiger||33,Gangour Ghat,Near Bagore Ki Haveli Udaipur||Hotel||-|
|Mewar Inn||42 Residency Road||HOSTEL||82|
|Mountain Ridge Resort||Sisarma Village||Hostel||-|
|Panorama Guest House||hanuman ghat,chand pole udaipur||Guesthouse||85|
|Shiva Guesthouse||91, navghat near city palace||Guesthouse||81|
|Udai NIwas Hotel||Gangaur Ghat Marg Near Jagdih Tempel||Hotel||87|
|Shree Jagdish Mahal||Udaipur Rajasthan||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Natural||55, Rang Sagar||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Monalisa||Hotel Monalisa 104 Bhattiyani Chotta||Hotel||83|
|Heritage Resort||Lake Bagela Nagda, Eklingji||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Shalimar Palace||Inside Udaipole near central bus stand||Hotel||-|
|Shilpi Resort||Near Shilpgram Rani Road||Hostel||-|
|Welcome Heritage Bassi Fort||Bassi Fort P.O. Bassi||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Natural||55,Rangsagar Near Lake Swaroop sagar||Hotel||-|
|Thamla Haveli||Outside Chandpole Nr. Hanuman Ghat||HOTEL||-|
|Oriental Palace Resort||Main Road, Subhash Nagar Udaipur, Rajasthan,||Hotel||-|
|The Royal Retreat||Village-Hawala Badi Hawala Road Udaipur-Rajasthan, India||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Swaroop Vilas||6, Ambavgarh Opp. Lake Swaroo udaipur||Hotel||-|
|The Sajjan Villa||75, Gangaur Ghat||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Poonam Haveli||39, Lal Ghat||Hotel||-|
|KALIKA PALACE||F-18, Near hotel hilltop Ambav||Hostel||-|
|Bhanwar Vilas Guest House||74 Gangour Ghat Marg||Guesthouse||86|
|Krishna Ranch||Near Badi village||Guesthouse||-|
|Mewargarh Palace||733,near bade purohit ki haveli imlighat||Guesthouse||90|
|Hotel Kesar Palace||17, Panduwari Gangaur Ghat Marg||Hotel||86|
|Hotel Minerwa||5/13 gadiya devra chandpole gangour ghat road||Hotel||77|
|Hotel Ishwar Palace||4 gadiya devra jagdish temple road gangaur ghat||HOTEL||-|
|Udai Haveli Guest House||40, Gadia Devra, Ganesh Ghati||GUESTHOUSE||90|
|Hotel Kiran Palace||19 Bhattiyani Choutta Main Road||HOTEL||-|
|Udaipur Bed N Breakfast||No. 5 New Manglam Complex Colony, Shobghpura||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Chandra Niwas||43 / 44 Shanti Niketan colony | Bedla- Badgaon Lin||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|ShreeVilas Orchid||Naga Nagri, Behind Hotel Leela||Apartment||-|
|Harsh Vilas Guest House||18, Pandu wari near Lake pichola Gangaur ghat||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vatika Inn||14- Gulab Bagh Road||HOTEL||-|
|The Little Prince||Outside Chand Pole, Cross the Bridge, Near Hanuman||HOTEL||-|
|Jagat Villa Guest House||58, Ganesh Gathi, Gadiya Devra||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Pushkar Fort||Motisar Road, Ganahera Pushkar Ajmer, Rajasthan||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Wonder View Palace||6,Panch Dewri Marg Hanuman Ghat Outside Chandpole O/S Chandpole, Udaipur-313001.Rajasthan||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Udai Palace||11-Agrasen Nagar, Near Central Bus Stand Near Udaipole Gate||HOTEL||-|
Cooking classes are available in Udaipur. Classes can last several hours or a full day. Inquire at your hotel or a travel agency if you wish to attend a class.
Internet is available through many of the hotels near the lakefront. There are also several internet cafes. Most cafes allow you to bring your own laptop and connect into their system.
See also International Telephone Calls
India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost 50rs to 200rs. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.
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