Udaipur, the city of lakes and more

If Udaipur is the place for lakes, ‘poles’ and well, palaces then Mount Abu is the place for temples, ‘points’ and well, ‘mounts’. And for most tourists, Udaipur and Mount Abu are part of the itinerary, as it was for me. First let me take you to Udaipur and then we’ll go to Mount Abu too (click here for Mount Abu)
Udaipur is more than city of lakes
Udaipur is famous for being the city of lakes and rightly so too. It has two magnificent lakes in Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake but it has a lot more to offer and enjoy as well.
If you visit Udaipur, there is a good chance that you’ll get a hotel to stay near a lake with a view of the same. I stayed at Hanuman Ghat which is on the Lake Pichola, but I’ll say it’s actually on the backwaters of this lake. I could see the City Palace from my room’s window and the roof top restaurant but could not see the entire lake. And that would be true for most to the hotels there.
The City Palace is awesome
City Palace is one of the top tourist attractions of Udaipur. You need time and stamina to see it completely and enjoy it and the effort is worth it also. Unfortunately for us, when we visited the belongings of Maharana Pratap were being restored and hence were not on the display. But I’d say, spending Rs 250/- on the ticket was still reasonable.
Jagdish Temple is nearby
Jagdish Temple is very near to the City Palace and is also one place you should visit. It is not a very big temple but very impressive. And yes, it has some really nice places to eat nearby.
Bhagore ki Haveli is must see
Of all places you’ll see and enjoy in Udaipur, the one you have to see at any cost (Rs 90 I think) is the evening show at the Bhagore ki Haveli. It’s just breathless. The one hour show has traditional dances, puppet show and songs. And they have kept the best item for the last; go ahead and see this for sure. Rest in Udaipur is great but this is above all.
Fateh Sagar Lake is also good
And I am saying ‘also good’ just because I was staying near Lake Pichola and went to Fateh Sagar Lake for boating only. The boating costs Rs 100/- (per person) in general boats and higher in special boats, of course. The view all around the lake is quite impressive. You can also enjoy some snacks near the lake, we just loved them.
Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace could have been better
Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace is on the top of a hill and offers great view of Udaipur. In fact you can see the old city and the new construction, both from the Monsoon Palace. The ride to the top cost 100 odd rupees per person in the shared cab and there is a ticket price for the palace too. Except for the location, this is not a well maintained property and I didn’t find that very encouraging.
Sajjangarh Biological Park is better
On the foothills of the palace, there is the Sajjangarh Biological Park, which to me was better place to spend time than the palace. It has reasonable ticket, Rs 40 I think, but it is also wiser to hire (Rs 50 per person) the shared golf cart to take you through the park. Not a big park but has many animals including white tiger and leopard. And to our amusement, one of the leopards continued to walk close to the fence, just 2 feet away from us.
Hathipole for shopping
Contrary to what others might suggest, the best place to do shopping is Hathipole. It has all kinds of shops but the most common items sold are footwear, purses and clothes. And these are the things which have a distinct flavor of Udaipur and Rajasthan. The price is competitive though bargaining can be hard.
Moving within Udaipur is easy and cheap
My advice for moving within Udaipur is to use auto-rickshaws. These are easily available and fairly priced. We paid between Rs 40 to 80 for most of the destinations. And the auto-rickshaw drivers are very helpful also. But yes, like in every city of India I guess, when it came to dropping us to the bus station in the morning, they started off with Rs 150 and we had to settle for Rs 100. On any other time, it would have cost Rs 60 but these are the ways of the tourist places.
Udaipole for buses to Mount Abu
Most of the tourists visiting Udaipur also make plans for Mount Abu (and other nearby places like Haldi Ghati, Kumbalgarh, Chittorgarh – but I didn’t go there) and if you plan to use public transport to reach there, Udaipole is the place you need to visit. Unfortunately, you won’t get to use Govt.’s public transport options since their buses drop you at Abu Road only, which is on the foothills of Mount Abu. But good thing is – for less than Rs 300 you can get a seat in a good condition 2X2 bus. If you visit Udaipole, you’ll find many options but book tickets in time. And almost all buses either leave at 8:30am or 3:30pm, so plan accordingly.
To know more about places to visit in Mount Abu, click here

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