I traveled to Udaipur during Diwali week when almost all the people who are working outside their hometown goes to their home to celebrate the festival. Traveling on the train during this time can be tedious because you can find too much rush on trains. Indian Railway is the most affordable source of transportation in India. Over 20 million people travel daily through railways across the country.
I booked a sleeper class return train ticket from Delhi to Udaipur city and the return ticket costs me INR 898. Both the time, I got RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) ticket confirmation which means I have to share my seat with one another person.
Exploring the Udaipur city
I reached Udaipur on Oct 26, 2019 at 7:15 am through Mewar Express and decided to take a hotel/ hostel near Lake Pichola because of all the major tourist attractions are near this. Took an auto from the railway station to Lake Pichola and it took INR 70. I also wanted to see the early morning view of the lake so I went there directly from the railway station.
At that time, few people were walking around the lake and apart from it, there was nothing much more to see that early in the morning. So I started to look for a budget hotel. Luckily, I found a budget hotel “Hotel Shakti Palace” in the first attempt at INR 400/night. The hotel room was average but we can’t expect a much better deal during peak season.
So I checked in to the hotel and took a quick nap for a while before exploring the city. I woke up at 11 am and left for the city tour at 12 noon. The first place to visit was “Jagdish Temple” which was at a walking distance of 600-700meters.
1. Jagdish Temple
- Jagdish temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is the preserver and protector of this Universe.
- Built by Maharana Jagat Singh in the year 1651.
- A brass statue of Garuda (Vahana of Lord Vishnu) can be seen just after entering the gate.
- The intricate carving on the pillars of the temple is the center of attraction.
- English and Hindi speaking tourist guides are easily available inside the premises.
- It is open 7 days a week and there is no entrance fee for the temple.
2. City Palace
- Built on the banks of Lake Pichola, City Palace is the largest Palace complex in Udaipur.
- Construction started by Maharana Udai Singh II (53rd ruler of the Mewar Dynasty) in the year 1553.
- Maharana Udai Singh II was also the founder of Udaipur and the name of the city was named after him. He shifted the capital of Mewar from Chittorgarh to Udaipur.
- The Palace is spread across 5 acres of land and it took around 400 years to complete its construction.
- The entire Palace includes Amar Vilas, Badi Mahal, Bhim Vilas, Durbar Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace, Krishna Vilas, Laxmi Vilas Chowk, Manak Mahal, Mor Chowk, Rang Bhawan, Sheesh Mahal, and Museum.
- Around a million tourists visit this Palace every year, with Britishers being the largest number of foreign visitors.
It is at a distance of 150meters from Jagdish Temple.
Entry Fees for Adult (Above 18 years) – INR 300
Entry Fees for students – INR 100 + Students have to show their college/school ID cards.
Entree Fees for Children below 5 years or Physically Disabled – FREE
3. Karni Mata Temple
After covering Jagdish Temple and City Palace, the third place to cover was Karni Mata Temple which was at a distance of around 2km from City Palace. So I had two options to reach there i.e. by auto or by walk and I prefer the latter.
There is a car cable ride of 3-4 minutes to reach Karni Mata Temple which is at the top of Machla Magra Hill . The ropeway commence from Deen Dayal Park (Dood Talai) to the Machla Magra Hill near the temple. If you do not want to go through ropeway, you can also go by stairs.
The ropeway is bi-directional and the return ropeway ticket price is INR 110. However, there is no entry fee to visit the temple. The ropeway was built by Businessman Kailash Khandelwal in collaboration with UIT.
The temple was built in the year 1620 but it was renovated in the year 1997 by Shri Manshapurna Karni Mata Development committee.
4. Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Moti Magri
As its name suggests, this memorial is dedicated to one of the greatest warriors of the Mewar dynasty “Maharana Pratap” and his most loyal companion “Chetak”. It is situated atop of a hill “Moti Magri” which means Pearl Hill.
You can see the Museum inside the memorial where you can see the models/ replica of Kumbhalgarh Fort, City Palace, Haldighati Battlefield, Chittorgarh Fort. You can also see Maharana’s Sword, Armour, his Shield, Bows & Arrows as well.
While walking towards the top of the memorial, you will see a huge 11 feet high bronze statue of Maharana Pratap riding his horse Chetak. It was built by Maharana Bhagwat Singh in the year 1948. It pays a tribute to the Battle of Haldighati fought between Maharana Pratap and Akbar in the year 1575.
Per Person (Adult) – INR 100
Per Person (Armed Force/ Senior Citizen/ Student/ Child 5 to 10 years old) – INR 50
8 am to 6 pm
The 1400 year rule of the Mewar Dynasty over Rajasthan is shown in a Light and Sound show being performed every evening in the park inside the premises. The show starts after 7 pm and you will have to buy a separate ticket for the show.
Entry Fee for Light & Sound Show
Per Person (Adult) – INR 175
Per Person (Armed Force/ Senior Citizen/ Student/ Child 5 to 10 years old) – INR 100
5. Shevatambar Jain Temple
It is a Jain temple near Ahar Cenotaphs. It is around 4kms away from the main Udaipur bus stand.
6. Ahar Cenotaphs
Ahar Cenotaphs is the place where all the rulers of Mewar were cremated. This site contains more than 250 cenotaphs built over 350 years. Rana Amar Singh I was the first Rana to have died in Udaipur and cremated at Ahar. A total of 19 Maharajas cremated under 19 Chhatris.
Unfortunately, these magnificent marble structures are not being maintained well by the authorities and are ruining due to neglect over decades. They still make a very picturesque location.
7. Sajjan Garh Fort
- Sajjan Garh Fort, also known as Monsoon Palace is a hilltop Palace in Udaipur city overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. It is at a height of 3100 ft above sea level.
- Built-in the year 1884, the fort was named after Maharaja Sajjan Singh who was the 72nd ruler of the Mewar Dynasty.
- Before completing the structure, Maharaja Sajjan Singh died at the age of 26 and the fort was later completed under the guidance of Maharaja Fateh Singh (his successor).
- The fort has been featured in a Hollywood movie named Octopussy.
Entry Ticket: I paid INR 70 to visit the fort. While the main Fort is 3-4kms from the entry gate so you can book the shared cab from the ticket counter. Shared cab costs me INR 95 per seat.
Winter Season Timings (21Oct to 15Mar) – 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Summer Season Timings (16Mar to 20Oct) – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
8. Boating at Fateh Sagar Lake
It took around 2 hours to explore the complete Sajjan Garh Fort. It was 6 pm now and I had two options from here i.e. to go back to my hotel room & relax or do boating in Fateh Sagar Lake. So I decided to do boating. The distance from Sajjan Garh Fort to Fateh Sagar Lake is around 9kms and you will find the local autos standing just outside the main entrance of Sajjan Garh Fort who will take you to wherever you want to go across the city.
Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur is named after Maharaja Fateh Singh, the ruler of Mewar. You can enjoy both speedboat and normal boat ride only in Fateh Sagar Lake whereas, in Lake Pichola, you can enjoy only a normal boat ride.
Boat Ride Charges
- Normal Boat Ride – INR 220 per person for 30 minutes ride.
- Speed Boat Ride – INR 220 per person for 2-3 minutes ride.
After taking the boat ride, I went to the hotel room on walking. The hotel was at a distance of 3.5kms from the lake.