India’s Romantic Lake City, Udaipur

Posted on August 1, 2010 by

Said to be the most romantic city in Rajasthan – if not India, Udaipur has won the heart of many, including mine. With a poetic setting around the shores of Lake Picchola, backdropped by gentle rolling hills, it’s easy to see why. But if you’ve come expecting to find Paris of the East, don’t be stumped to find the usual chaotic traffic, ubiquitous cow dung and commercialized lakeside development. Look beyond that and you’ll see Udaipur’s charm.

Lake City, Udaipur, by night

Udaipur Lakeside Palace

From our humble guesthouse, I could drink in a view of the calm Lake Picchola and white-washed havelis (extravagant mansions) floating upon it. Amidst the pile of pastel-colored buildings, the City Palace stacks high up to surface through the rooftops. Lattice-balconies and intricately-carved windows adorn the exterior of the grand palace, while sparkling mosaic tiles and stain glass liven up its interior.

Udaipur and Lake Picchola in the day


Udaipur City Palace as seen thru guesthouse windows


Interior of City Palace, Udaipur 

The palace’s most striking features are the turrets and cupolas that crown the main building. Look above and you’ll be find yourself overshadowed by these intricately-carved patios that jut out of the edifice’s structure. Maharajas, the Indian royal kings, used to stand out on these patios to address the public.

Lattice balconies at Udaipur City Palace

The palace’s interior are extremely striking in color, as compared to its yellow sand stone facade. Mural paintings and carvings are washed in bright blue or red, while arch-shaped windows are wedged with stained glass.

Room of Maharaja in Udaipur City Palace


Colorful stained glass of Bagore ki Haveli 

Hindu lady crossing the Chan Pol bridge


Jagdish Hindu Temple

Another attractive work of architecture is the Jagdish Temple that stands proud and tall right in the center of Udaipur. Despite its all-grey facade, the well-preserved carvings of Vishnu are rather impressive. Head up to the rooftop of a nearby hotel and you’ll find this view of the temple (pictured below) and the surrounding hills.

Udaipur Jagdish Temple as seen from above


Carvings of Hindu dancers in Jagdish Temple


Painting the temple figures

Colorful Rajasthani Artwork

Rajasthan is home to India’s most elaborate artwork. Many of the country’s best painters and artists call Rajasthan home. From hand-carved animal sculptures to larger-than-life puppets, a myriad of artwork can be found in Udaipur. If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home, this would be a great place to stock up.

Typical Rajasthani dolls

 Puppets in the World of Puppets exhibition at Bagore ki Haveli, Udaipur 

Udaipur is best known for miniature painting, a style of painting favored by the Maharajas (royal kings). Along the streets of Udaipur, it’s easy to spot massive paintings depicting battles and emperors with the City Palace as the backdrop. Hindu mythology is also often painted, with Ganesh being the most painted character. Curious about the ancient art form, we did a painting course at Ashoka Art School, learning the tricks of miniature painting.

an artist at work

A wall painting


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

27 Responses to “India’s Romantic Lake City, Udaipur”

  1. Jen Laceda August 1, 2010 10:14 am #

    Not only is Mumbai calling, but also Udaipur. I just love how this lakeside city looks! Like Italy's lake district but more exotic!

  2. waitinginthedark August 1, 2010 5:03 pm #

    Awesome photo essay, Nellie! I particularly like the pictures of people and life, and the miniature painting. Looks like you're having a great time in India. Take care and enjoy the rest of your trip.

  3. Migrationology August 1, 2010 7:12 pm #

    I agree, the Lakeside Palace looks like a mystical exotic land. The dark green banks of the lake with the yellow/brown palace contrast well to make a spectacular view. Awesome photos!

  4. brendanvanson August 2, 2010 6:15 pm #

    Amazing photography here!!! Well done!

  5. George August 4, 2010 5:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images. I have been to Udaipur several times and was really attracted by the beauty of this lake city.

  6. Nellie August 10, 2010 2:14 am #

    Thanks everyone for such kind words, I've got more portrait photos that I'll publish soon, those are some of my best shots from the trip.

  7. Veer August 13, 2010 7:48 pm #

    Hey really thank you all for such a wonderfull words for Udaipur. Really today I feel more proud that I belongs to Udaipur.

    Well next time when any of you visit Udaipur. Just informed me. I will show you the places of udaipur which you will never seen in whole world.

    • Nellie October 26, 2010 10:33 pm #

      Thanks Veer for dropping by. I'm sure you're very proud to call Udaipur home. ;) It's one of the most beautiful cities in India and I absolutely loved the entire Rajasthan region, I'll definitely be back!

  8. Appu August 22, 2010 11:23 pm #

    Rajasthan – I always wish to visit And this year I am going for sure.
    Thanks for writing posting such nice pictures And Yes, Thanks for sharing.

  9. Veer October 29, 2010 3:09 pm #

    Hey Nellie thanks for your wonderful words, I am sure next time whenever you will visit Rajasthan, I am with you to show the remaining part of Rajasthan which is uncovered by you this time. And I promise that visit is more real, adventerous and exciting. Well you can take my email address if you have any querries regarding India and Rajasthan. It is: [email protected]
    Have a great day…

    • Nellie November 11, 2010 9:30 pm #

      hey Pranveer, thanks for such generosity! I will definitely get in touch when I\’m back in Rajasthan or when I\’m researching for an article. Cheers, Nellie

  10. Jane is a Gypsy February 4, 2011 12:56 am #

    You are moving India closer and closer to the number one spot on my travel list.

  11. safevoyagestours May 16, 2011 4:07 pm #

    Rajasthan tours – Safevoyagestours offers a wide range of rajasthan cultural tours packages, Royal rajashthan tours, wildlife tours and golden triangle tour or jaipur agra delhi tour.


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