Udaipur - City of Lakes
If there is one city where you can breath the former glory of the Indian maharajas, it's Udaipur, the city of lakes in which some palaces are build. Some of these palaces are now in use as 5 star hotels. The Taj Lake Palace Hotel for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake.
Like it or not, Udaipur is a tourist trap, but having said that, it is a must see in Rajasthan. If there is one place in Rajasthan where you want to feel the former glory and richness of the maharajas, it's here.
Udaipur is a big city with over 500.000 people living here. The city has an history of over 600 years at least. Udaipur was the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar. In the 16th century the Mughal emperor Akbar captured the nearby city Chittor. The King moved his capital to Udaipur.
As the Mughal empire weakened, the state reasserted independence until 1818, when it became a princely state of British India. When India declared independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India's Rajasthan state.
There is much to explore in the old city. The Moti Magri on the hill top overlooks the city, Jag Mandir, the Lake Palace and numerous other palaces which are either nowadays transformed into museums (Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal) or hotels ( Taj Lake Palace Hotel).
The city has all kinds of nicknames, it is known as the "Venice of the East", and the Kashmir of Rajasthan. Udaipur was also the center of several movies. If you haven't seen James Bond: Octopussy, this is your chance. The film is almost everywhere promoted because a lot of the movie was shot in town and in the Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjan Garh Palace.
With so much beauty in the city it's hard to recommend something special. I enjoyed a folk show in the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal museum very much. Wandering through the small streets is another must do thing.
Accommodation in town
Udaipur is as expected well connected with the rest of India by air, rail and bus.
For accommodation check our recommended guesthouses, hostels and hotels in Udaipur, it's cheap and comfortable.
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