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The main sites of Udaipur and its surroundings

main sites of udaipur and surroundings

"Oodipur Valley is one of the most diverse and romantic places in the continent of India" - Col. James Tod, English officer of the British East India Company, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, 1829

Since 1829, James Tod’s assessment is still valid. The ancient city, surmounted by domes, has managed to survive despite the ever-increasing development of hotels and restaurants. With the whitewashed roofs of the havelis, the tapering towers of the temples and the ornately carved balconies of the famous City Palace reflected in the waters of Lake Pichola, the city remains one of Asia’s most exotic sights.

Enjoying the view of the palaces from a boat or from a terrace at sunset, many travellers forget the intensity of their trip during their stay. It takes about a week to soak up the main sites of Udaipur and its surroundings, to explore the monuments, temples, forts, palaces and surrounding hill and valley landscapes.

The hills surrounding Udaipur were once covered with forests. Large-scale logging, instigated by the Indian government in the 1970s after it took over land in Mewar province, left it irreversibly barren, contributing to the desert and dusty conditions of the valley of Udaipur.

City Palace Udaipur
City Palace Udaipur


The City Palace is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It was Udai Singh who began the construction of the castle in 1559 after abandoning his capital, Chittorgarh, which was destroyed by Akbar. ​

The interweaving of successive constructions, between the 16th and 17th centuries, explains the immense maze of halls, rooms, terraces, interior courtyards, linked together by a complicated network of staircases and narrow corridors.

The luxury of the interiors amazes; this is the main attraction of the palace where the rooms are decorated with mirrors and coloured glass and where the magnificent location of the terraces allows the visitor to discover the old town and the lake. 

Udaipur - Shahelion ki bari


Shahelion-ki-Bari or "Garden of the Maidens": calm and secret, sheltered by high walls, this garden was laid out at the beginning of the 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh II for the queen and maidens around her. ​

It is a place of rest, lulled by the songs of birds among exotic plants, water fountains and basins adorned with marble elephants.

Temples Jains Ranakpur


In the heart of the forested Aravalli range, Ranakpur is particularly recommended, not only for the refinement of its Jain temples but also for the charm of the approaching landscape.

The surrounding valleys are conducive to the discovery of endearing rural scenes: women at the well, turbaned shepherds with their large sticks, rustic carts turning the ancient norias....

Located 90 km north of Udaipur, the main temple, one of the largest and most sacred of Jainism, was built in 1439 on three levels. It is an architectural marvel in white marble: 24 columned halls, 24 domes, 84 towers and 1,444 pillars, each carved with renewed motifs. Courtyards, passageways and stairways lead to this architectural forest.

Temples of Ranakpur
Kumbhalgarh fort
Fort Kumbhalgarh


A formidable sentinel on the borders of the Mewar province, the fort of Kumbhalgarh erects its vast walls on a wooded hill, in the green and rural landscapes of the Aravalli Mountains.

Built from 1443 to 1458 by Maharana Kumbha, the fort extends over approximately 12 km² with fortifications that make its reputation: 7 metres wide, they are said to have a total length of 36 km, making it the second largest fortification in the world after the Great Wall of China.

Located about 80 km north of Udaipur, it can be visited on the way to Jodhpur or during an excursion combining the temples of Ranakpur, Nagda and Eklingji. The site has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 2013. 

Chittorgarh fort
Fort Chittorgarh.jpg


Capital of the Mewar kingdom for over 800 years, Chittorgarh, of all the Rajput capitals, was the strongest bastion of Hindu resistance to the Muslim invaders. Conquered in 1303 and again in 1535, it was finally in 1567 that the Mughal emperor Akbar forced the Rajput princes to abandon their capital and move it to Udaipur. 

The most important fort in Rajasthan remains a symbol of valour, independence and resistance to the enemy. Its main attraction is the variety of its military, civil and religious architecture. 

Located about 110 kms east of Udaipur, the fort can be visited en route to Bundi or Jaipur or on an excursion from Udaipur. The site has been a Unesco World Heritage site since 2013.

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