2 day Udaipur Itinerary: A weekend of Havelis & cuisines
Udaipur, without doubt, not only enjoys an unmatched setting in the Indian state of Rajasthan but arguably in the whole of the country. Here is our 2 day Udaipur itinerary to help you spend an epic weekend in the city!
Hemmed in by the scenic Aravali Mountains and nestled conveniently on the banks of three placid interconnected bodies of water, it is no wonder that the this ‘City of Lakes’ has been tagged as one of the most romantic places to holiday in this part of Asia.
2 day Udaipur Itinerary: Trip preparation and planning guide
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To ensure a hassle free trip to the historic city of Udaipur, here is some advice that one must heed at the time of planning the journey.
For starters, the summer months are best avoided as the city gets exceedingly hot from April onwards. From September to February, the weather is pleasant and the gardens and lakes look quite breathtaking. This is the ideal time to enjoy the many attractions on your Udaipur itinerary.
The narrow streets and lanes of Udaipur are best explored on foot and even most of the major landmarks are within walking distance of each other. For short distance, auto-rickshaws are an affordable choice as they charge about $1.25 for two, to travel anywhere within the city. App based cabs are less of a hassle than the auto-rickshaw and are a convenient way to reach attractions a bit away from the city.
Hotels and Tours recommendations
Almost all the major tourist sites are centred around Lake Pichola, which makes staying here the perfect option for a short visit. Moreover, the attractions are within short walking distance of each other, so there is no necessity to take any kind of transport. If you want to travel further, your hotel will easily get you a guide cum driver for the full day.
Here are some hotel recommendations for Udaipur depending on your budget. Here you can either live like a king in the tons of high end accommodation or rough it out in a dorm. If I could afford it, I would be torn between the lavish Taj Lake Palace and the Leela Palace.
For a mid-range experience check out the Madri Haveli or the Jagat Niwas Hotel. A more budget friendly option is the Zostel Udaipur, where you can stay in comfort in a private room with lake views or in a dorm bunk.
Two day itinerary
If you are wondering how to explore the plethora of attractions in this beautiful desert city for the limited period you have in hand,this specially curated two day Udaipur itinerary has everything sorted out for you.
Day One- Morning
There is no better way to begin your first day of your Udaipur tour than by a hearty breakfast at Jheels Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery on the Gangaur Ghat Road.They serve coffee, tea, sandwiches and other vegetarian dishes in a fantastic setting overlooking Pichola Lake.Their signature cottage cheese sandwiches offering is a must try.
A short walk away from the cafe lies the Jagadish Temple in Silawat Wadi. Strolling among the numerous ornate shrines, wall and pillar carvings in the early morning atmosphere will raise your spirits for the rest of the day. Photography inside the temple is strictly banned.
Your rest of the morning should be devoted to seeing the splendid Udaipur City Palace also located in Silawat Wadi. You will require a good couple of hours to explore the beauty of Sheesh Mahal, Badi Mahal, ornate rooms and other museum displays.The City Palace tour is an absolute must on any day Udaipur itinerary. Photography is allowed here, albeit for a small fee. For the best view of the palace, take a boat ride on Lake Pichola and look back at the incredible views.
Your trip to Udaipur City would be deemed incomplete without savoring a dish or two of the famous Rajasthani cuisine. Located in Panchwati, the Traditional Khanna restaurant has a setting reminiscent of a royal palace and serves some excellent local dishes in traditional style.
Day One- Afternoon
A brief ten minutes walk from the restaurant is the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal Museum on Saheli Marg. This institution is a cultural bonanza as it is home to some amazing pots, paintings,masks and wall murals. A puppet show, which takes place every evening at 6pm, is the star attraction here which I found very enjoyable.
Day One- Evening
A magical experience awaits you at the Bagore ki Haveli in Gangaur Ghat. Here guests can witness a captivating folk dance show, a mesmerising hour long performance which begins each evening at 7pm. Sitting on comfortable floor mats, steps of the haveli or atop balconies, visitors get to see dance histrionics by local artists in the most colorful dresses. Tickets for the night show sell out fast, so queue up well before time to guarantee a spot.
After a day of hectic sightseeing, it is time to indulge in dinner at a swanky bar and restaurant. Upre by 1559AD is just the perfect outlet to enjoy a fabulous meal in a rooftop setting overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola and a view of the heritage ghats. Upre serves some of the most delectable Northern and Rajasthani cuisine with liquor and fine cocktails.
Day Two- Morning
Set the better part of your second morning aside to see some of the temples of historical importance located on the outskirts of Udaipur City. So have an early breakfast at your hotel or any nearby restaurant to make the most of your itinerary.
Nagoda village is a mere thirty minutes ride away from the city center and is home to the ancient Eklingji temple dedicated to the Mewar rulers and the Sahasra Bahu temple known for its exquisite carvings and spectacular architecture. This is an important pilgrimage site which contains 108 beautiful marble temples. The temple comes to life every evening during the aarti ceremony.
Some distance away at Ganpati Nagar, lies the Ahar Museum, displaying the royal cenotaphs where the rulers of Mewar were cremated.There is a rare collection of pottery and sculptures dating back to ancient Indian history that is quite fascinating. A final resting place may not be on everyone’s ideal day out activity, but there is a peaceful aura around them that can not be found anywhere else.
Around five kilometres away from the Ahar Museum, on the Bapu Bazar main road, is Natraj restaurant, a famous eatery for those who relish the most authentic Gujarati dishes along with the traditional local cuisine and desserts. Though the location is far from the old city, the food is excellent, staff is friendly and the atmosphere is very peaceful.
Day Two- Afternoon
For enjoying some of the best panoramic views of Udaipur, the famous monsoon palace of the erstwhile king, Sajjangarh Palace, is unbeatable. Located on a hilltop in Kodiyat, the white colored palace is replete with gardens, terraces, wide verandahs and striking architecture. Apart from viewing the city’s scenic beauty, one can get splendid views of Fateh Sagar Lake. The palace itself doesn’t offer much, but the views are worth the visit.
Day Two- Evening
By evening of your second day opt for a boat ride from Rameshwar Ghat on Lake Pichola. As the sun sets, the palaces and buildings are lit up one by one. The ride provides great views of these illuminated buildings surrounding the lake.The best way is to hire a private boat in order to experience the wonders in total solitude and privacy.
After the boat ride you can enjoy some more views of the local attractions by opting for a cable car ride to Karni Mata Temple. During the ride you can enjoy wonderful views of Fateh Sagar Lake, City Palace, Lake Pichola and the surrounding mountains.The last ride is over by 9pm.
Udaipur is known for its hospitality, so save the best for the last by having a meal at the Tribute near Fateh Sagar Lake. Considered to be one of the best places to eat in Udaipur, guests can enjoy views of the Rang Sagar by islands, home to a large colony of resident and migratory birds, while enjoying assorted delicacies and savoury meals.
Alternate tour suggestions:
Lake Pichola boat ride:
Udaipur is known as the lake city for good reason, so to visit the place and not go on a boat ride would be doing injustice to the trip. The ride offers unique views of the City Palace and the ghats and is a great way to spend a few hours, especially in the morning hours.
Take an art/meditation class
Advertisements for classes can be seen all around the city.They offer everything from art, cooking to yoga and meditation. As India is known for this kind of stuff, it is best to try your hand in any of the above fields. That said, these classes are priced quite cheap (about $1.25 and up) and are priced by the hour.
Street food walk tour:(2 hours)
This food tasting tour of Udaipur will take you through the narrow streets in search of some of the most delectable dishes. The erstwhile Mewar kingdom has many royal remnants that are mouth-watering and delicious. Your guide will relate about the royal past while you walk through the city.
Glimpses of Udaipur by bike: (2 hours)
To spend some quality time with family and friends, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this electric bike tour takes you along village roads to some offbeat places. As you wind down the trail, you will find the brilliant local culture unfolding before your eyes around every turn.
Apart from these there are many other places worth visiting once you are in the city. Since your time is limited, here is a list of some of them you may visit as per personal interest:
- Government Ahar Museum
- Sukhadia Circle
- Jag Mandir
- Under the Sun Aquarium.
- The vintage car collection at Garden Hotel
- Wax Museum
- Sajjangarh wildlife sanctuary
Day Trips suggestions
For one of the best day trip tour packages from Udaipur, a visit to Kumbhalgarh Fort is an absolute must. Located 85km from Udaipur, this impressive structure has a massive wall, second only to the Great Wall of China. Some believe it was built in 6th century AD, but the fact is that Kumbhalgarh and other hill forts of Rajasthan have made their way into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Indian history buffs can even opt for a private guided day trip from Udaipur to the massive Chittorgarh Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can learn about the incredible history of the place while enjoying expansive views from this hilltop structure.The large fortress takes several hours to explore and takes up the better part of a day for the return 230 km trip.
Situated at the southernmost tip of the Aravali mountains, Mount Abu is a quaint hill retreat about 180km away from Udaipur. Visitors throng here to enjoy the cool climate in this green oasis amidst the desert. The place is also home to some exquisite Delwara Jain temples, dating back to the eleventh century.
Were two days enough
Seriously speaking, you will wonder how so many attractions can be fitted in just two days to see what Udaipur has to offer, given the fact that some may be closed on any given day due to unavoidable reasons. Still it is possible to fit everything in 48 hours provided you plan and research well. If you adhere to the itinerary outlined in this post above, you can be assured of an incredible, though jam-packed two days of bliss in Udaipur.
Since you will be having just two days in Udaipur, you are likely to spend most of the time you have exploring the city on foot. Pack your bag with a good pair of thick rubber sole canvas shoes, a sun hat, loose cotton clothing and sunscreen lotion.
If you are traveling during the peak winter months, you should add a fleece jacket, woolen scarf or stole and maybe a woolen beanie.
The weather and the spicy food combined may aggravate any pre-existing medical conditions, so carry extra prescription medicines along with the emergency medication as the local pharmacies may not stock them.
Stay clear of dark and lonely areas and try to get back to your resort well before the sun has set.Being a leading tourist destination, the city has its fair share of scamsters. If you are approached by anyone to attend a royal wedding, beware of them as they may lead you to an overpriced tailoring shop for an outfit for a non-existent occasion.
Do not accept any hospitality from strangers or any free food and drinks. A rule of the thumb, while out shopping, is to always bargain and bargain hard to get the price down to 50% of the asking rate.
Carry maps,GPS and learn to read the signboards in the city. Shun autos and rickshaw drivers who want to take you to a good place to stay. Always keep cash and small change handy in order to avoid changing big bills in public places.
Hotel rates plummet by as much as 50-75% from March onwards till September. This makes even the most upscale accommodation affordable for the common people. As this is the summer and monsoon period, you can be assured of a fantastic deal, no matter where you want to stay.
If you are travelling on a tight budget, go for a local Rajasthan platter(thali), which offers as much food as you can eat for a couple of dollars. An easy on your pocket trip in a standard hotel with meals and sightseeing can be achieved in around $125 per day.
Observe proper decorum when visiting Udaipur by following some general norms of behaviour:
- Both men and women are supposed to dress modestly and not over expose. Residents, usually, frown upon exposed cleavage and bare shoulders.
- Though the city is by large safe for solo women travelers, be prepared to endure some amount of staring, especially in the crowded markets.
- Some of the paintings,carvings and frescoes are centuries old, so avoid touching them as a lot of cost and effort has gone into preserving them.
- When invited for a meal by a local, do not leave any food on your plate or send a dish away without tasting it as these are considered as serious affronts.
- Some places of archaeological importance do not allow backpacks inside, so check for a list of such spots from the hotel or local information center.
- If hot weather is not an issue, then the Gangaur festival held in April each year is one of the biggest cultural events in Udaipur. The three day event highlights the best of the region’s history and culture.
Conclusion: Should you visit Udaipur in 2 days?
Udaipur is full of beautiful palaces and some of the most stunning man-made lakes to be found anywhere in India. Personally, it is suggested to visit all the local attractions on the first day and take a road trip to any of the attractions highlighted above.