After spending two weeks in Jaipur’s vibrant but congested pink city maze, we were eager to board our train to Udaipur. We’d heard nothing but good things about the so called “city of lakes” and were excited at the prospect of finding another gem like Manali.
The ride to Udaipur was our simplest yet, as the city was only six hours away from Jaipur by train; mere sister cities, by India standards. Upon arriving we instantly noticed something different – smooth roads.
Our rickshaw navigated the streets with a speed unattainable elsewhere in India, where the potholes and jagged road lines prevent efficient speeds and steering.
The second revelation we had was in regards to the air quality. Though still a busy city, compared to Delhi and Jaipur, the air in Udaipur was easy to breathe, and what congestion did exist was lessened by the two lakes flowing through the city’s entirety.
In central Udaipur sits Lake Pichola, a manmade lake with an island palace in the center. Bridges link the shortest portions of the lake’s edges together, creating an incredible photo spot. Adjacent to Pichola is The Fateh Sagar Lake, which offers evening boat rides and a sidewalk promenade to take in the views.
The lakes provide a sense of calm and quietness to those visiting Udaipur, and that feeling is matched with the charm of the locals.
As a part of Rajasthan, the Indian state known for textiles and silks, Udaipur locals largely specialize the arts. From theatre to pointillism to exquisite ink paintings, it’s impossible to not notice the love and care the locals put into their trades.
Craftsmen in Udaipur are always eager to offer a cup of chai and talk about their art forms, and we shared many memorable afternoons in the home galleries of locals.
With hilly views, tranquil lakes, and sunsets that rival the Caribbean, Udaipur natives have learned that rooftop eateries are the way to please tourists. Throughout Udaipur the advertisements for rooftop bars, restaurants, cafes, and guesthouse decks are endless, giving even the most fugal traveler an opportunity to enjoy the view.
We had initially only intended to visit Udaipur for 5 days, but ended up staying a full two weeks. India is a vast country with a wide range of environments, and Udaipur is one that you won’t want to pass by.