Udaipur — The Venice Of The East
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Udaipur — The Venice Of The East

March 30, 2022 Share

Udaipur — the Venice of the East or The White City is one of the less talked about secrets of Northern India. It is a place that will transport you to a time when the Mughals ruled supreme over the plains of Rajasthan.

One of Rajasthan’s cities of colour, it is also known as the city of lakes for its beautiful watercourses that provide a romantic backdrop to Mughal style architecture — all of which is painted a striking bright white.

These lakes have provided the arid city with water for generations as well as providing a calming presence for meditative boat rides or quiet evenings spent listening to the lapping ripples.

Getting to Udaipur involves flying to Maharana Pratap Airport some 20 kilometres from the city, the airport is well connected to the rest of the country including Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

View through a keyhole arch of the garden in a hotel in Udaipur.
Keyhole arches are a common feature of Udaipur’s architecture. Credit: Kshitij Gupta

From here get a private car to your hotel, from which travellers will have a plethora of luxury options to choose from.

Highly recommended is the Taj Lake Palace, situated at the centre of one of Udaipur’s great lakes, this 5-star hotel will have you feeling like a Mughal Emperor in their palace — you will want for nothing.

Constructed in the mid-18th-century this lavish palace is seriously lush. Wake up and have breakfast lakeside as you watch the sunrise through the keyhole arch windows. Becoming a modern-day Sultan has never been more achievable.

A building in Udaipur seen through a keyhole arch.
A building on Udaipur’s lake is seen from the shore. Credit: Anuj Yadav

The palace offers stunning views of the City Palace, Aravalli Hills and Jag Mandir — another palace built on the lake.

It has world-class restaurants serving Northern-Indian and Western dishes while the Javi Spa can help you work on your wellness with famed Indian traditions that form some of the basis for common treatments in the West.

The hotel can only be reached by boat so find Taj Palace’s private jetty for them to whisk you away to the heart of the lake.

Rooms start at approximately $650 per night while the Royal Suite upgrade comes in at around $1600 per night. You won’t find a better place to stay in The White City.  

Udaipur at night.
Udaipur at night. Credit: Hardik Joshi

While in the city be sure to check out main attractions such as the Bazar scene—each Bazar will have something of a speciality such as Hathipol Bazar for its artwork or Bada Bazar for authentic Rajasthani apparel.

This is India and bazaars are known for being hectic, noisy places, however, there is no better feeling than walking away with your prize after haggling over the price in a friendly manner.

For a more laid-back experience, book an all-day lake cruise, the Taj Palace can help you out here. The boat will take you around the famous attractions lining the lake from old palaces to centuries-old temples. They should stop somewhere for a traditional lunch as well — make sure that this is included before you book.

Buildings with the lake in the foreground.
Credit: Mitchell Ng Liang An

Udaipur is a wonder — this Indian city has the quintessential hustle and bustle that you will experience while visiting the subcontinent, however, its laidback charm allows time for relaxation — something that is rarely found in cities in this country always on the move.

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