Here’s why Udaipur is known as the “Venice of the East” | Condé Nast Traveler India


Rajasthan is a state that has different hues of history, culture and architectural beauty. Every time someone visits it, it takes on its color and becomes part of its rhythm and beats. I also had the same experience when I collected my luggage and traveled to Udaipur.

Located on the southern slopes of the Aravalli Hills, the historical spectacle of Udaipur welcomes travelers with its cultural vibrancy and fascinating lakes. Once the capital of the kingdom of Mewar, unlike other parts of Rajasthan, Udaipur exudes calm.

The unique character of the city lies in the Rajput-style palaces and forts. As Udaipur is made up of white marble, this city of lakes is also called the “white city”.

Fateh Niwas

I had already booked my stay at Fateh Niwas by Fateh Collection which is a Heritage Renaissance Resort and one of the finest hotels in Udaipur. A vintage Rolls Royce in the middle of the reception, amazing artwork on the walls and the regal looking furniture soothed my fatigue. All rooms at Fateh Niwas are very spacious and have a balcony to enjoy the mesmerizing views of Lake Pichola from the comfort of your room.

The hotel has 31 deluxe rooms and 16 superior rooms. The hotel has two swimming pools, one in the garden and one on the roof, which also houses one of the two restaurants. These multi-cuisine restaurants also serve the famous Rajasthani Laal Maas. There is Sansha Spa whose services can be enjoyed to rejuvenate your soul. The ground also has a badminton court and a football pitch.

Do not miss to visit the “Real Art Gallery” at the Fateh Niwas hotel. This is a beautiful boutique run by national award-winning artist, Arif Sheikh. He makes portraits as well as paintings with durable colors, which he prepares himself. His wife designs the jewelry and is equally creative.

Exploration of the city: an exciting experience

After spending time at the hotel and enjoying the morning hospitality, it was now time to visit Udaipur. It all started with the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, the City Palace Complex. Located on the banks of Pichola, the complex is a marvelous mixture of pavilions, corridors, courtyards, terraces, rooms and hanging gardens. This palace is an amalgam of opulence and beauty.

I was fascinated by its majestic allure. When I came out, I was a little tired, but my enthusiasm to explore the city brought me to Bagore ki Haveli. An ancient building that stands on the platform of Gangori Ghat close to Lake Pichola, the haveli is adorned with delicate carvings and excellent glass work. Amir Chand Badwa, the chief minister of the royal court of Mewar, built this mansion. There is only one museum, which can be seen during the day, but in the evening it comes alive with folk music and dance performances. Gangori Ghat is famous for its Shiva temple.

I had lunch at Jheel Restaurant, famous for its Chilli Cheese Toasts, Spaghetti and Wood Fired Pizza. I had tasted everything, and above all, I was hungry. Someone asked me if I had taken a boat trip on Lake Pichola or not. I just smiled because it was on my to-do list. Before that, I had explored the local market and bought some stuff.

The best time to visit the lake is in the evening. A cool breeze calmed my nerves and I started walking towards the lake. The park leading to it is always crowded with families, tourists and street vendors! The boat ride was an amazing experience. Now was the time to watch the sunset. The best place for this is Ambrai Ghat and to get a view of the city.

Shopping galore

The next day in the evening, I visited Monsoon Palace, also known as Sajjan Garh Palace. It is located on a hill overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city. It is illuminated at night, which gives it a surreal appearance.

Shopping in Udaipur is so much fun. Mangalam Arts is famous for Pichwai. For generations they have been doing Pichwai and reviving the work of Teekri. I had discovered a pretty little shop near the Ambrai ghat, “Toshakhana”. It offers a huge range of bags and leather goods and is very pocket-friendly. Here you can get a vintage diary made out of banana leaves. For jewelry, Klara Art is a highly recommended boutique run by a mother-son duo.

There was a lot more to see in this white city, but I promised to visit it again in the near future.

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