India

Things to do in Udaipur (A backpacker’s Guide)

To be honest, I am not very much fan of forts and ruins. I am a quintessential backpacker who prefers mountains and beaches over any other tourist attractions.

But sometimes, you even get fed up with doing the things and visiting the places you adore so much. And that particular moment, you just want to forgo the idea of likes and dislikes and experience something which is not very widespread as far as your way of exploring the world is concerned.

Udaipur view from karni Mata temple

And for me, Rajasthan is one of those states which I always visit to have some fresh air of experience. Something which just compels you to pack your bags and embark on a journey of exploring India’s glorious past and listening to the countless number of stories it is waiting to be heard.

The city palace Udaipur

Udaipur is one such city of this beautiful state which is seemingly the most celebrated amongst the backpackers across the world. And to be honest, this city deserves all the attention.

Right from majestic palaces to beautiful lakes to perfect sunset views to royal hotels to authentic Rajasthani cuisines. It is completely a delight to ramble in this city they call, the city of lakes.

How to reach Udaipur?

Udaipur is very well connected to the rest of India by flight, train, and bus. It’s totally up to you, how you want to travel to this beautiful place?

Udaipur has its own Airport called Maharana Pratap Airport which is at the distance of 20 km from the Udaipur city.

Udaipur airport to udaipur city

If you prefer the train over other transportation options then Delhi and Mumbai are the nearest metro cities where trains run on a daily basis.

Delhi to Udaipur distance
Mumbai to Udaipur distance

Bus options are also available but not a convenient one as fairs are high and travel time is quite very long.

Buses to udaipur

Since I was already aboding in Delhi so reaching Udaipur was not a big deal.

I just had to book a train ticket but almost two months before the travel date as it is India and you can get the bumper prize in the lottery but not the train ticket at the last moment.

Udaipur by train

Stay options in Udaipur

Udaipur is famous for it’s royal and luxury stay options. Be it Laxmi Vilas Palace or Oberoi Udaivilas or Lila Palace or Taj Lake Palace and many others which surprisingly is a tourist place for the middle-class people.

10 Luxury Hotels in Udaipur

But this place also has plenty of budget stay options like OYO and dormitories like Zostel, Moustache, etc.

Things to do in Udaipur

I had booked Moustache for two nights for around 350 INR ( 5$) per night.

History of Udaipur

The history remembers Udaipur as the capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the precedent Rajputana agency.

Places to visit in udaipur

It was established in 1558 by Uday Singh II of the Sisodia clan of Rajput when he shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh after Chittorgarh being invaded by Akbar.

Udaipur as a city

The moment I stepped out of the station, it appeared like any other city in India but as I entered deep into the city, It felt like every buildings, roads, and wall are evidence of how glorious and magnificent our history was.

explore udaipur city

Splendid palaces surrounded by surreal lakes sprinkled with exuberant Rajasthani food. This city is sheer bliss.

What I did in Udaipur on my trip of 3 days

My train arrived at the Udaipur station at 6 am sharp. As I came out of the station, like any tourist place in India, I was surrounded by taxi and auto drivers in no time.

Udaipur railway station

But unlike the amateurish traveler, I opened the most important traveling app, Google maps to check the distance of my booked hostel from the station. It was just 3 km.

So I preferred to take a morning walk rather than agreeing with the insane taxi price.

Auto and taxi in Udaipur

Moustache hostel

Since I reached early morning and hostels have 12 pm check-in policy so I had no option other than waiting. But even waiting in the dormitories is fun, thanks to their super chill out hangout area.

chill out area in hostels

The guy at the reception, his name was Aniket, told me, we are planning a walking tour to one of the best sunset views in Udaipur, Karni Mata at 4 pm. All the people in the hostel assembling for the same in the evening, if you are interested then can come along.

Why on earth a solo traveler will miss this opportunity to interact and share and listen to the stories of fellow travelers across the globe? So I said yes even before he finished his sentence.

Mustache Udaipur

The Royal City Palace of Udaipur

I had been to Jaipur’s city place and didn’t like it much. So I was not very much intrigued to visit this place. But since it is one of the famous tourist attractions across Udaipur so I decided to give it a shot.

The city palace

And the decision was not wrong either.

The city palace 2

This palace is way better than any other palaces I have been to. Beautiful interiors to sparkling colorful glass windows to the gigantic lake at the backside to interesting anecdotes of our ancestors.

I spent the best three hours there.

The city palace 3

Ticket price is 300 INR ( 5 $) for Adults and 100 INR (1.5 $) for students or senior citizens. If you are carrying digital cameras then have to incur extra charges.

The city palace 4

So I was having this old college Id card with me even though I had left the college almost 4 years ago. So the moment I saw there is a discount on the student card. I tried my luck and somehow it worked but the guy who was approving the student discount in the office did give me a weird look and I thought I am busted but somehow I got through :-P.

The city palace 5

Karni Mata temple

I was expecting more people than actually turned out at 4 pm at the hostel which was actually blessing in disguise for me as I really prefer small groups.

The temple was at the 3 km distance from the hostel in which 1.5 km was steep climbing. Since we were in no hurry so we didn’t look for any taxi or cab and started walking.

Karni Mata

We all introduced ourselves, many travelers were visiting India for the very first time and had a long itinerary to cover across various cities of India.

It took us around 1 hour to reach the sunset viewpoint. There is a ropeway too which can take you to the top for 100 INR (1.5 $).

There is a small temple at the top to worship the incarnation of the warrior goddess Durga, Karni Mata.

Karni mata statue

And the rest is all about sitting at the cliff of the mountain and watching the sun setting off far beyond the Pichola lake.

This place gives a panoramic view of the two most famous lakes in Udaipur, Pichola Lake and Fatehsagar lake from the top.

Top view of karni mata

Upon returning the hostel, we got to know that the hostel authorities have arranged a typical Indian magic show for the tourists, which people from the other countries meticulously enjoyed.

Ambrai Ghat

Ambrai ghat is a place where I can spend countless hours sitting at one side of a lake and gazing at the Royal city palace illuminated with deep yellow light standing tall as the evidence of India’s glorious history at the other side.

Ambrai Ghat
Photo from Unsplash

And the best part is, this place is not quite famous among tourists which makes it less crowded among other tourist attractions in Udaipur and is one of the very few places to visit in Udaipur at night.

Fateh Sagar lake

This is the second most famous lake in Udaipur after Pichola Lake. You will find plenty of roadside food stalls to satiate your hunger.

Food in Udaipur

But I found nothing special about this. There is a pond or lake in every city where you will find some food kiosks to eat and boating options to have some fun.

Fateh Sagar lake

Authentic Rajasthani Thali

Natraj Dining hall is the most famous restaurant in Udaipur to try your luck on authentic Rajasthani cuisine.

But they don’t’ serve the whole day so do check their timing before visiting as you might find the restaurant’s door closed as I did.

Yes, I had to eat at the adjacent Gordhan Thal instead of Natraj. But they were good too but their thali was not authentic Rajasthani but Rajasthani + Gujrati.

Authentic Rajasthani Thali

Things I missed to do on my trip to Udaipur

Jag Mandir

Jag Mandir, also known as Lake Garden Palace is built on an island in Lake Pichola. This place is only accessible via a boat ride.

Jag Mandir
Photo from Unsplash

Sajjan Garh

Also known as monsoon palace, It has been built in the 19th century as a place to watch the approaching monsoon clouds. This place is a perfect gateway to have a panoramic view of the entire Udaipur.

Sajjan Garh Palace
Photo from Unsplash

A visit to Taj Lake Palace

This is one of the most admired hotels in India situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. The stay is a bit expensive but the experience is totally worth it.

Taj Lake Palace
Photo from Unsplash

Conclusion

Udaipur is a place everyone must visit once in a lifetime. There might be other places in India far better and interesting than this but not everywhere you will get the royal treatment and experience. That you can only get in a royal city like Udaipur.

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Ranjan
Ranjan
A blogging and traveling aficionado. Guitar is the only possession I care about. Follow me on Instagram @ thrillwrill for more of my trip pictures.
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