Udaipur, Rajasthan – Venice of the East

Udaipur, Rajasthan – Venice of the East

One of our favorite cities in India so far is Udaipur in Rajasthan. We spent a very enriching day in the city, strolling around the lakes and the old town. We got absorbed in the tumult of the markets and enjoyed the beauty of the City Palace. The next day we made a day-trip to the nearby Ranakpur, contemplating the artistic marble decorations of the most stunning Jain temple.

Udaipur, city of Lakes

Udaipur is often called the Venice of the East, as its charm comes from its location around the Fateh Sagar and the Pichola Lakes. They are idyllic, set for a boat ride on them or a nice walk on their promenades. Both have small islands with temples and palaces with oriental architecture. They make you feel being part of a fairytale.

For good reasons Udaipur is called the Venice ot the East
For good reasons Udaipur is called the Venice ot the East

City Palace of Udaipur

The City Palace can be characterized by a mixture of military architecture from the Rajputs and the breathtaking decoration techniques of the Moguls. It was built between the 15th and the 20th century and is a maze of buildings and palaces, showing different styles from the course of history. The terraces are overlooking the picturesque Lake Pichola. Some palaces serve as luxury hotels today.

Colorfully decorated walls in the courts of the palace
Colorfully decorated walls in the courts of the palace

At the time of our visit the whole City Palace was in a state of transformation. Hundreds of workers were building stages, tents and dance floors; decorating with flowers, ribbons, colorful adornments and life-sized crystal elephants (favorites of Julia). At first we thought they were setting up the premises of a festival, but soon we learned they were preparing for a private wedding which would take place in a weeks’ time. All reflecting unimaginable wealth – in strong contrast to other sides of India’s population…!

Bada Bazar Udaipur

A walk through the Bazar in the old town was an orgy of colors, smells, food and goods. Thousands of people of all ages, genders and religions were moving around the streets. They were selling their merchandise, negotiating over prices, chatting to old friends and strangers (e.g.: us) and eating the most amazing things.

Busy life at the bazar of Udaipur
Busy life at the bazar of Udaipur

After losing our way in the narrow and curvy streets of the bazar, we finally took a Rickshaw (for 100 Rupees) to our accommodation to conclude the day with a delicious Indian dinner.

Daytrip from Udaipur: Jain temples of Ranakpur

The most marvelous Jain temple we have seen so far was the one in Ranakpur in the Aravali hills, surrounded by dense, green forests. The architectural brilliance of the buildings left us speechless.

The main temple is a huge, white, 3-story marble structure. The stone came from Makrana, where the materials of the Taj Mahal also originate from. The temple has 1440 pillars, all with different, very elaborated, fine carvings. Its domes and ceilings have also beautiful marble ornaments.

Wonderful setting of the Ranakpur temple in the green hills
Wonderful setting of the Ranakpur temple in the green hills

The main teaching of Jainism is the non-violence towards all life forms. Their followers believe in 24 tirthankaras, spiritual leaders, the first of which was Adinath. The Ranakpur temple is dedicated to him.

The closing words of our guide were: “all who have not seen the Jain temple of Ranakpur have lived an unfulfilled life”. This may be exaggerated, but the harmony and beauty of the place for sure is something we will remember for a long time.

35 thoughts on “Udaipur, Rajasthan – Venice of the East

  • December 28, 2016 at 11:41 am
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    The colors and the details are absolutely amazing. A voyage to India must be something to remember forever.

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    • December 28, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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      Udaipur was a huge favorite in India! The visit here we will for sure remember forever – and would love to return to see some other parts of India.

      Reply
  • December 11, 2016 at 4:01 am
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    That’s a fabulous collage of pictures depicting all facets of Udaipur, the people, the colorful bazaars and the architecture. Hope you had a fabulous time.

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    • December 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm
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      Dear Punita, thanks for the nice feedback. We had an amazing time. Sorry for the late reply, we were cut off for a short time: lazy beach days in Goa… 😀

      Reply
  • December 11, 2016 at 12:53 am
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    Lovely shots! Very colorful place with lots of energy. Would love to go there next time I’m in India.

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    • December 11, 2016 at 1:41 am
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      Thank you! If you get a chance visit, it is a super place.

      Reply
  • December 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm
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    Reading travel blogs like yours has shown me how many amazing places there is to see in India. The pictures show how unique and interesting the place is and very colourful. Udaipur, Rajasthan is a beautiful place.

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    • December 11, 2016 at 1:44 am
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      We have not seen as much of India as we would have loved to – yet! But based on what we saw in Rajasthan, the Golden triangle and so on we will surely return to explore other areas. India is full of fairytale locations. 🙂

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  • December 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm
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    I have been to Rajasthan thrice but never been to Udaipur. Will surely try to make it next time.

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    • December 11, 2016 at 1:45 am
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      You should! It is worth a stay of a couple of days.

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  • December 7, 2016 at 8:40 am
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    To be honest, I’ve never heard of Udaipur – woah what a picturesque place it is! I will be sure to add it to my list. How long did you stay in India?

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:36 am
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      It is amazingly picturesque! Put it on your list, it is worth it… 🙂

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    • December 7, 2016 at 11:09 am
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      ..and we stay for a month. Already here for 3 weeks and almost 2 more to go… 🙂

      Reply
  • December 6, 2016 at 6:50 pm
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    Udaipur looks like a great place to visit. I love all your pictures, it gives a real sense of the place! A great post! 🙂

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:35 am
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      Thank you, Katie! Happy you like the post.

      Reply
  • December 6, 2016 at 2:17 pm
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    Udaipur is one of my favourite cities in India. I must say that your pictures are very vibrant and they beautifully capture the essence of the city. I could completely get in sync with Udaipur just by looking at your pictures, apart from reading the post. Loved it!

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:34 am
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      Thank you, Madhurima! We are so happy you like the pictures. We also understand why Udaipur is among your favorites.

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  • December 6, 2016 at 10:50 am
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    Udaipur is my favorite city of Rajasthan. You have such a wonderful photo essay on the city.

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:33 am
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      Thank you, Indrani! If it is your favorite city your praise means even more to us. 🙂

      Reply
  • December 5, 2016 at 8:56 pm
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    I get why they call it the Venice of the East. Your pictures are amazing and really capture a great vibe of this.

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:57 am
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      Thanks, we are happy you like the pics!

      Reply
  • December 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm
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    I love Udaipur too…and hate it in some ways too. I wrote a blog post on it explaining why quite recently 😉 But it is undeniably a beautiful and photogenic place, and your photos do it full justice. I didn’t get to do the day trip to Ranakpur – wish I did, as it looks amazing!

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    • December 7, 2016 at 10:58 am
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      Oh, we will read your post to understand why you hate it in a way… But Ranakpur is definitely a place to visit, if you have a chance next time!

      Reply
  • December 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm
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    Awesome pictures you got 🙂 All the sites look super cool, would love to visit them someday.

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    • December 7, 2016 at 11:07 am
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      Thanks for the compliment! If you have a chance it is really worth a visit. 🙂

      Reply
    • December 3, 2016 at 3:25 pm
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      Happy that you like it!

      Reply
  • December 3, 2016 at 10:16 am
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    I had no idea Udaipur was so beautiful! Makes me want to go visit right now.

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    • December 3, 2016 at 3:24 pm
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      Whenever you have a chance to visit Rajasthan, don’t miss it.
      Udaipur is only one wonderful place there.

      Reply
  • December 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm
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    What a magical place, so rich in culture and architecture, so vibrant. The photos are incredible. I would love to visit there. Thanks for sharing.

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    • December 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm
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      Dear Christine, thanks for the kind compliment. 🙂 We are happy if we could make this place attractive to you. 🙂 If you have a chance to visit, do not miss it!!!
      Keep our fingers crosed for you.
      Julia&Werner

      Reply
  • December 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm
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    Lovely Photos!

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    • December 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm
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      Thank you, Sarah, happy you like them! 🙂

      Reply
  • November 30, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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    You are bummeling at wonderful places. I am envy of you, but happy to see more about Rajasthan, where I could spent not more then 3 days.
    Greetings from Hungary
    Gabor

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    • December 1, 2016 at 3:58 pm
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      Gábor, happy to share with you the beauty of this place. You were absolutely right: Rajasthan is amazing. 🙂 Greetings from India,
      Werner and Júlia

      Reply

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