This post is a travelguide with the best places to visit in Udaipur in 2 days.
Udaipur is one of my favourite cities in Rajasthan. Both times I visited India, Udaipur was a welcome respite from the overwhelming experiences elsewhere in India. Udaipur is less hectic and the relaxed atmosphere enticed me to stay much longer than I initially planned. The scenic location in the Aravalli hills made Udaipur perfect for a small break in my travel itinerary.
Udaipur is not a big city and it is easy to see all the places to visit in Udaipur in 2 days. After that the charm of Udaipur lies in meeting its friendly people, relaxing in one of the organic restaurants or wandering along the ghats of Udaipur Lake. If you are interested in charities you can help out volunteering at the animal aid rescue center or visit Seva Mandir’s projects in Delwara.
The best places to visit in Udaipur
1. City Palace
The city palace is one of the largest palaces in Rajasthan and one of the top places to visit in Udaipur. The palace was built over a period of 400 years and is actually more a complex with several interlinked palaces each with their own gateways, courtyards and gardens.
The city palace flourished when Udaipur was the capital of the Mewar kingdom. The Mewar kings have lost their royal privileges when India became independent in 1947, but the family still owns the palace. Furthermore, they still see it as their duty to work in favour of the development of Udaipur.
A large part of the palace complex is now a museum while the Shiv Niwas palace and the Fateh Prakash palace have become a heritage hotel. The Mewar Maharana’s created the Mewar trust to use part of the profit they earn for charitable hospitals, educational institutes and environmental preservation.
2. Lake Pichola
I found Lake Pichola to be one of the most romantic places to visit in Udaipur. The lake was man made in 1362 to meet drinking water and irrigation needs of the then small Pichola village.
There are two islands in the lake. The Jag Mandir island with the Garden Lake Palace and the Jag Niwas island with the expensive Taj Lake Palace hotel.
My favourite time at the lake was sun set when it really is a magical place to be. It is very popular to take a boat ride on the lake to see the beautiful view on the city palace and the ghats of Udaipur or to visit the Garden Lake Palace.
3. The Garden Lake Palace
The garden lake palace on the Jag Mandir island is another former Mewar palace that is certainly worth a visit for its marble elephant statues and its beautiful garden. Boats that will bring you to the island leave from the City palace.
4. The Ghats of Udaipur
Ghats play an important role in India. Ghats refer to places where steps are leading down to a river or a lake. It is where people come to pray, bath or celebrate important Hindu festivals. Most famous are the ghats in Varanasi, but Udaipur has it’s own ghats at the beautiful Pichola lake.
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 this place in Udaipur. Everything is still peaceful and quiet and you can see the sun rise over the lake.
Another ghat with a beautiful view on the lake is Hanuman ghat on the other side of the lake. From here you can also see the city palace and get a sense of how big this complex really is. While Gangaur ghat is perfect to see the sunrise, Hanuman ghat is the best place in Udaipur to see the sun set. There are several restaurants where you can sit down to see this magical moment.
5. Jagdish temple
The Jagdish temple is one of the largest and oldest Hindu temples in Udaipur. The construction of the temple was finished in 1651 and has an idol of the deity Jagannath, a form of Vishnu.
The temple is one of the best places to visit in Udaipur to see Hindu religious ceremonies. The temple is always busy with devotees that come to pray. As a foreigner you are welcome to witness the singing and chanting. It is also very worthwile to look at the details in the beautiful carvings on the sides of the temple.
6. Udaipur’s bazaar
Around Gangaur ghat you will find a lot of tourist shops selling the famous miniature paintings and other souvenirs. Don’t be fooled this is the bazaar, to see the real Udaipur you must explore the backstreets behind the Jagdish temple.
The further you venture into Udaipur the more local the experience will get. You will find lots of handicrafts, hidden temples, shrines, mosques and excellent street food.
7. Udaipur’s Jain temples
In Udaipurs bazaar you will find several small Jain temples that have beautiful mirror and glass decorations. THey are a bit difficult to find, but certainly worth looking out for.
8. Bagore ki Haveli
Bagore ki Haveli was built in the eighteenth century. THe architecture is not less impressive than Udaipur’s palaces and after major renovations it is now a museum about the Mewar dynasty. There is also a daily cultural show at night.
I am not a big fan of cultural shows and rarely visit them, but I did really enjoy the Darohar cultural show. Set in one of the oldest haveli’s in Udaipur the location can not be better. Furthermore, it is fun to watch and will certainly make you laugh.
Places to visit near Udaipur
9. The Monsoon Palace
It was a warm and humid afternoon when I took a tuk tuk up to the monsoon palace or the sajjangarh 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. At 944 meters above Pichola lake the palace offers panoramic views on the city of Udaipur, the lakes and the surrounding countryside. This is probably the most romantic place to visit in Udaipur and without doubt the best place to watch the sun set.
10. Fateh Sagar lake
Udaipur is surrounded by several lakes and it would be impossible to visit them all if you have only 2 days. If you must choose one make it the beautiful Fateh Sagar Lake. It is home to three islands that can be visited by boat. One is having a Solar Observatory and the other one the popular Nehru park. At the banks of the lake you will also find the beautiful Mewar gardens of Saheliyon ki Bari.
11. Ahar cenotaphs
Unfortunately I did not have time to visit the Ahar cenotaphs, but if they are like the cenotaphs in Jaipur they are definetly worth a visit. There are over 250 cenotaphs for the Mewar maharaja’s built over a period of 350 years.
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. It is an incredible scenic and photogenic village with beautiful Jain temples. The history of the town and Jain temples make it a very worthwile visit.
13. Animal Aid Unlimited Rescue center
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.
You can read more about our visit to Animal Aid Unlimited here
14. Badi lake
Badi is also home to one of the most quiet and pristine lakes near Udaipur. Far away from the crowds, but still easy to visit with public transport you will find Badi lake.
15. Eklingji temple
22 kilometer north of Udaipur you will find the beautiful Eklingji temple with a 50 feet high statue of Shiva made out of black marble. It’s a very important Shiva temple for Hindu devotees.
16. 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.
The best places to visit in Udaipur in 2 days
The best places to visit in Udaipur in one day
If you have 2 days in Udaipur you can start your first day watching the sun rise at Gangaur ghat. It is the best place to see the city come to life with people coming to pray and ladies doing their laundry. Sit down and enjoy the show for as long as you like.
Next is the city palace that can keep you busy for a couple of hours. Afterwards you can sit down for a cup of tea or early lunch near the city palace. Then walk through the bazaar towards the Jagdish temple where you can marvel at the intricate carvings. End your day to see the sun set at the monsoon palace with a beautiful view over Udaipur and the lake.
The best places to visit in Udaipur in 2 days
For your second day you have several choices. You can either visit Delwara and walk the Delwara Heritage trail organized by Seva Mandir or you can visit the Animal Rescue center in Badi. Both are easy half day trips that allow you to visit the Fateh sagar lake in the afternoon. End your second day in Udaipur with the Darohar cultural show in the Bagore ki Haveli.
If your next stop on your itinerary is Jodhpur consider to make a stop at the Jain temples in Ranakpur. They are on the way from Udaipur to Jodhpur
The best places to eat in Udaipur
1. Al Rehmaniya restaurant
Udaipur is a vegan’s psaradise. 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.
2. 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.
The best places to sleep in Udaipur
1. Udai Haveli
Based on the reviews I had expected a bit more of Udai Haveli. 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 the 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.
2. Zostel Hostel
Zostel Hostel has become a reliable chain in India that stands for clean hostels with excellent facilities and friendly staff. Can’t really go wrong staying in a zostel.
The best time to visit Udaipur
The best time to visit Udaipur is between October and March. In October temperatures cool down and you might have a chance to join the festivities for Dussehra and Diwali. India’s biggest festivals.
Temperatures remain pleasant till March. In April and May Rajasthan in general will be extremely hot. In June it is the start of the monsoon that lasts till September and will see a lot of rain fall.
Last updated: July 2019
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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.