The best of Udaipur: Rajasthan’s romantic city

The best of Udaipur: Rajasthan’s romantic city

Backpacking India: A travel guide to the best things to do in Udaipur for the independent budget traveller

Both times I visited Rajasthan Udaipur was a welcome respite where I spent a couple of days to recover from India’s chaos. Udaipur is less hectic than other cities in India  and I discovered many romantic spots in the hills.

It is a nice place to relax near one of the lakes, try out the organic food in the vegetarian cafe’s, help out volunteering at the animal aid rescue center or visit Seva Mandir’s projects in Delwara. There is lots to see and do to keep you busy for a couple of days.

Travel Guide to the best things to do in Udaipur

1.Seva Mandir’s Heritage walk, Delwara

The highlight of my stay in Udaipur was Seva Mandir’s heritage walk in the village of Delwara. Seva Mandir is an excellent community based NGO working to improve the lives in the villages around Udaipur.

Delwara is a former royal principality 40 minutes from Udaipur where Seva Mandir worked hard on improving the water situation and garbage collection system. Delwara is an incredible scenic and photogenic village with beautiful Jain temples.

Your walk will support the work Seva Mandir is doing. They also accept long-term volunteers.

India Udaipur

2. Animal Aid Unlimited Rescue center, Badi

Another highlight was my visit to the Animal Rescue center in Badi. You can either come for a short visit or spent one or more days volunteering to help take care of the animals. They have a special section for long-term residents like dogs that are paralyzed but their aim is to release the animals back to where they came from once recovered.

I was very impressed by this project and the dedication of the people that work here. A must visit for any animal lover. Either take a tuk tuk taxi or take the local bus to Badi.

India Udaipur

3. Watching the views from Monsoon Palace

It was a warm and humid afternoon when I took a tuk tuk up to the monsoon palace.  The palace was once owned by the Mewar royal family. The palace itself though is not the main attraction. What makes this place worth visiting is the location.

It is high up in the Aravalli hills, offering panoramic views on the city of Udaipur, the lakes and the surrounding countryside. This is probably the most romantic spot in Udaipur and without doubt the best place to watch the sun set.

India Udaipur

4. Having a picnic at Fateh Sagar lake

Another romantic spot is the Fateh Sagar lake. It’s a quiet lake and the perfect spot for a picnic.

India Udaipur

5. City Palace 

Udaipur’s city palace is a must visit if you are in Udaipur. It’s considered to be one of the largest palaces in Rajasthan that was once the capital of the Mewar kingdom.

The Mewar kings have lost their royal privileges but the descendant Maharana’s still hold ownership of the palaces and part of it is still inhabited. They created the Mewar trust and use part of the profit they earn from their heritage hotels for charitable hospitals, educational institutes and environmental preservation.

India Udaipur

6. Jagdish temple

The Jagdish temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in Udaipur and there are always some ceremonies going on. As a foreigner you are welcome to witness the singing and chanting. It is free to visit, clean and with beautiful carvings on the sides of the temple.

India Udaipur

7. Gangaur Ghat & Hanuman Ghat

In india a ghat is a place at a river where people come to bathe, wash their clothes or celebrate important Hindu festivities. Gangaur Ghat is one of the most scenic ghats in Udaipur. During the day it is always busy with people bathing, washing, praying and performing ceremonies.

Early morning is maybe the best time to visit to see the sun rise over the lake when everything is still peaceful and quiet. Another ghat with a beautiful view on the lake and the city palace is Hanuman ghat on the other side of the lake. There are several restaurants where you can sit down and watch the sun set over the lake.

India Udaipur

India Udaipur

8. Shopping in the bazaar

Udaipur’s bazaars are worth exploring. Around Gangaur ghat you will find shops mostly targeting tourists and selling the famous miniature paintings. The further you venture into Udaipur the more local the experience will get. You will find hidden temples, shrines, mosques and excellent street food.

India Udaipur

9. Have dinner at Al Rehmaniya

If you are not vegetarian like me, and do love your meat once in a while, try the delicious curries at the Al Rehmaniya restaurant. They have two branches, one close to the mosque and one at Pichola lake with a nice terrace overlooking the lake.

India Udaipur

10. Eating organic salads at Millets of Mewar

Udaipur had the best selection of organic restaurants I have seen in India, with menu’s offering something else than the standard Indian food. Millets of Mewar was my favourite because of its creative delicious salads and different curries. All vegetarian and organic for reasonable prices.

11. Dharohar Folklore Dance show at Bagore ki Haveli

I am not a big fan of cultural shows and rarely visit them, but I did really enjoy the Darohar cultural show in the Bagore ki Haveli. The location in the old Haveli is beautiful and the show worthwhile and funny.

12. The jain temples in Ranakpur

3 hours from Udaipur you can find one of the most important Jain temples in India. If you are coming from Jodhpur they are on your way. I took an early morning bus from Jodhpur and hopped off at Ranakpur. The temple is a huge complex of white marble full with detailed carvings of deities.

After visiting the temple I had a cup of chai near the road and quickly got on a bus towards Udaipur. The temples are worth a quick stop if you are travelling from Jodhpur to Udaipur, but unless you are a big fan of temples or have a specific interest in Jainism I wouldnt make my way out there just for the temple. There are some small Jain temples in Udaipur itself as well.

India Udaipur

Accommodation Udaipur

Udai Haveli Paying Guesthouse

Based on the reviews I had expected a bit more of this hotel. When we arrived we were first shown a small room right next to the family’s noisy common area. We said we were not too happy about this and we were then shown a room on the fourth floor which was really nice.

It seems to be a labyrinth of several added floors and rooms and quality of the rooms varies a lot. In between live the owners and their families who seem a bit indifferent towards the guests. They leave the running of the hotel to a very young and friendly guy. The place has a lot of potential if the owners were more committed to it.

Backpacking India: A travel guide to the best things to do in Udaipur for the independent budget traveller

Ellis is a travelblogger from the Netherlands with over 20 years of experience as an independent budget traveller in more than 50 countries. She has a Master degree in Cultural Anthropology and Global Health with a specialization in South Asian cultures and the Caucasus.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Top 10 things to do in Rajasthan | Backpack Adventures
  2. Pingback: A backpackers guide to Rajasthan - Backpack Adventures
  3. Danijela WorldGlimpses at 3:07 pm

    Love how you go off the beaten path and find these gems! Enjoyed reading the post, and your pics are great! I would probably spend few hours on the terrace of that Monsoon Palace. 😀 Thanks!

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