Udaipur Itinerary: how to spend 3 days in Udaipur
This post is a travelguide with a 3 day Udaipur itinerary. Udaipur, also known as the “City of Lakes” and the “Venice of the East”, is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan known for its stunning architecture, beautiful lakes, rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes
Udaipur is one of my favourite cities in Rajasthan. Both times I visited, it was a welcome respite from the overwhelming experiences elsewhere in India. The city is less hectic and the relaxed atmosphere enticed me to stay much longer than the 3 day Udaipur itinerary that I initially planned.
Udaipur is not a big city, but there are plenty of things to do. I would say that 3 days in Udaipur will allow you to see the most important highlights. After that the charm of Udaipur lies in meeting its friendly people, relaxing in one of the organic restaurants or wandering along the ghats.
3 day Udaipur itinerary
Udaipur itinerary day 1
The Ghats of Udaipur
Start the first day of your Udaipur itinerary at the ghats. Ghats play an important role in India. They 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.
The ghats of Udaipur lead to Lake Pichola. 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.
Both sun rise and sun set are the best times to enjoy Lake Pichola. It is very popular to take a boat ride to see the beautiful view on the city palace and the ghats of Udaipur or to visit the Garden Lake Palace.
After Gangaur ghat and Pichola Lake head to the Udaipur city palace. It is one of the largest palaces in Rajasthan. The palace was built over a period of 400 years and is actually more a complex with several interlinked buildings 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.
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 gardens. Boats that will bring you to the island leave from the City palace.
After the city palace it is time to explore Udaipurs bazaar and temples. The Jagdish temple behind the city palace is one of the largest and oldest Hindu temples in Udaipur. The construction 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.
Around the 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.
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.
Bagore ki Haveli
End the first day of your Udaipur itinerary at Bagore ki Haveli. This mansion was built in the eighteenth century. 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.
Udaipur itinerary day 2
Start the second day of your Udaipur itinerary in Delwara. One of the highlights of my time in Udaipur was Seva Mandir’s Delwara heritage walk. 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.
It is an easy half day trip from Udaipur allowing you to take in some more sights around Udaipur in the afternoon.
22 kilometer north of Udaipur and south of Delwara 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. Definetly worth a stop when you travel from Delwara to Udaipur.
On the way back from Delwara to Udaipur you can also make a stop at the Ahar cenotaphs. Like the cenotaphs in Jaipur they receive not many tourists, despite its beauty. There are over 250 cenotaphs for the Mewar maharaja’s built over a period of 350 years.
Fateh Sagar lake
Udaipur is surrounded by several lakes and it would be impossible to visit them all in your Udaipur itinerary, even if you have 3 days in Udaipur.
Fateh Sagar Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Udaipur. 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.
The Monsoon Palace
End the second day of your Udaipur itinerary at the monsoon palace for the best place to watch the sunset. The monsoon palace was once owned by the Mewar royal family, but lost most of its glory. 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.
Udaipur itinerary day 3
Animal Aid Unlimited Rescue center
Start the third day of your Udaipur itinerary with a 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.
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 little known Badi lake.
More than 3 days in Udaipur
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 or the other way around.
However, 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 and Delwara as well.
Udaipur itinerary travel tips
The best places to eat in Udaipur
1. Al Rehmaniya restaurant
Udaipur is a vegan’s paradise. If you are not vegetarian 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.
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 and they have one in Udaipur too.
Other recommendations are
Budget: Musafir hostel
How to get around Udaipur
Uber and Ola
Uber is a good way to get around in Udaipur, but India has its own similar business called Ola cabs that is even more popular. The good thing about both Ola and Uber is that it is cheaper than a tuk tuk and you do not need to negotiate the price or explain where you need to go. Both offer a pool option in which you share your ride with others that makes it even more affordable.
Ola also has a tuk tuk option that is one of the best and most affordable way to travel for shorter distances. I never had to wait long for a Ola or Uber to come and most of the time when I ordered the pool option I had no other passengers.
There is of course always the option of stopping a tuk tuk on the road, but be prepared to negotiate about the price.
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 rainfall.
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