Things you actually shouldn’t miss in Udaipur

In my last post about our Udaipur trip, I had mentioned the few places on which you could probably spend more time and skip a few which at least I didn’t enjoy much. If you haven’t read it, you should head over there.

Here’s a short list of top places and things to do in Udaipur which I think you should not miss when you visit there.

City palace

The city palace is the main attraction of Udaipur. Most people know Udaipur only by the images of this iconic palace. It is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve visited and it is really worth a visit. I think we spent at least a couple of hours just exploring this place.

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City Palace, Udaipur
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Inside the city palace

The views from some of the rooms at the top are just amazing. You can see the lake and much of Udaipur.

Jag Mandir

The Jag Mandir is another one of the popular attractions of Udaipur and its quite beautiful. Although it is called Lake Palace, the main Lake Palace is a Taj Hotel. You cannot visit that one if you aren’t staying there. However, you can take a boat ride where they take you near the Palace for a closer look. Jag Mandir is separate from the main Lake Palace where you are allowed to get down and see the place.

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Jag Mandir Palace

Rajasthani Food

Rajasthani food is closer to Gujarati food in taste and both tend to be usually somewhat less spicy, some items even being sweet. So people used to eating super spicy food are not too crazy about it. But I’m a huge fan of Rajasthani food and the elaborate thali with 10 different curries! Have you noticed how they always seem too little in quantity while being served but you’re never really able to finish all of them?

Being in Rajasthan, it’d be criminal not to indulge this food fantasy. We ended up at the popular Natraj Restaurant to relish the famous Rajasthani Thali.

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Delicious Rajasthani Thali

You can get a delicious Rajasthani treat for yourself at this chef’s house. If you’re a foodie like me and just one delicious meal isn’t enough for you, you can even book a complete food tour to get a sampling of a string of local foods of Udaipur.

Vintage car museum

Here you’d see some really cool vintage cars including the ones being used by the royal families of  Rajasthan. Among the other vintage cars, there is a Rolls Royce Phantom featured in the movie Octopussy and also a Cadillac convertible which was used by Queen Elizabeth on her visit to India.

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Cars at vintage museum [Source]
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[Source]
You can book a ticket for the City Palace museum using this link.

Dharohar cultural show

We went to Udaipur with very little pre-planning so we had no idea what we were going to do or which places we were going to visit. On the evening of the first day, we heard low celebratory music playing mildly in the distance throughout the evening. We kept wondering where the music came from. It sounded like it’d be a fun place to see. We asked around and we came to know about this unique gem of an experience which you absolutely shouldn’t miss when visiting Udaipur.

It is a cultural performance event which happens every night called Dharohar (meaning heritage). It takes place at Bagore ki Haveli near Gangaur Ghat, the river bank. I think it was for about two hours where I was transported to a completely different world. True to its name, it really gives a glimpse of the cultural heritage of Rajasthan. I’m not sure if it was an hour or two, I sat enraptured in the fusion of colours, music and visuals which was like experiencing a unique high, the kind of which I’d not experienced before.

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Woman dancer performing for Dharohar [Source]
The entire event was simply mesmerizing. As the women dancers performed act after act, depicting the unique ways in which the ancient traditions which celebrated every festival, every season with equal enthusiasm of celebrating life. There were songs and dances dedicated to different seasons and occasions. In fact, the Mewar festival is held every year even now to celebrate the coming of the spring season. For a moment, I found myself re-living the thoughts of Ernesto. These were the exact words that passed through my mind.

After the performance, we walked around the river bank of Gangaur Ghat. We lingered there and watched the moon glide through in the clear night sky for about an hour. It was surreal and the one hour felt like a blip.

You can book your ticket for the Dharohar show using this link.

Boat ride on Lake pichola.

Both me and my wife absolutely do not like doing cheesy, romantic stuff. Never mind being in the most romantic destination in the country. Hence boat ride was not really on top of our mind.

But after some time thinking over it, we decided that we had nothing better planned for the evening.  Also, since our hotel was right on Lake Pichola, it was very easy to walk up and book a tour. It actually turned out to be not so bad. We shared the ride with a bunch of foreign tourists Chinese girl who was roaming around the world and making her living teaching English! It was a really fun chit-chat.

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Night view of the Lake palace Image credits

Spa at the palace

I enjoyed every moment of visiting the wonderful, majestic City Palace. What most people don’t know is that there is a less known but an excellent Spa in the palace complex. We pampered ourselves with an hour of excellent relaxing massage after a tiring tour of the palace. You should definitely give it a try.

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Dinner with a view

Finally, what can be more romantic than having dinner at a rooftop restaurant by the lake? Fortunately, we were put up at a hotel (Jaiwana Haveli) which already had an excellent lake view and also an excellent rooftop restaurant. We sat there for hours even after finishing our dinner just soaking in the night sky view and the shimmering lake reflecting the bright outline of island palace. The rooftop restaurant at Jaiwana Haveli itself is quite popular and tourist staying outside also visit there. Apart from that, there are a lot of great options available for having your perfectly romantic dinner such as Ambrai, Upre and the Sheesh Mahal. Sheesh Mahal Restaurant is a part of the Leela Palace hotel. It has a stunning view but will probably cost you way more than other places.

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Sheesh Mahal Restaurant [Source]
You can book an excellent offer of a boat ride along with Buffet dinner at Jag Mandir Palace. If that sounds interesting to you, you can book your seat using this link.

Other touristy things

Apart from that, there are a few other things which seem to be very popular here, at least among foreign travellers, such as yoga classes, cooking classes and Mehendi classes. Not to mention the tattoo shops at every corner. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of any of these experiences since I didn’t try out any of these. Hard for me to say but might as well be an enjoyable experience for them.

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If you’ve been to Udaipur and have had other unique experiences, I’d love to know about it. Please do share in the comments below.

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Also Read: Udaipur: Things to know before you go

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