Udaipur or.. James Bond City!

“The Venice of the East..” and a great place to wind down.

Udaipur is less abrasive than it’s neighboring big city Jodhpur. In fact, of all the cities we’ve visited in the Rajasthan region, Udaipur is a breath of fresh air – no heavy traffic minus a few tuk tuks here and there and.. no aggressive hagglers!

Udaipur-ghat

The small, narrow alleyways much like that of Venice weave Old Town. It’s pedestrian friendly and by far the least cattle roaming around from our entire trip which means less poo on the road!

Udaipur-Hanuman-Bridge Udaipur-city
And.. it was the perfect city for me to be sick in. I left Jodhpur with a bad case of food poisoning and was grateful to be in a much quieter, cuter place. We spent four slow days taking in the panoramic view of the Palace and lake, dining on organic vegan dishes, gettting henna’d and catching the local puppet show.

Udaipur-top Udaipur-man
 

Getting There

It’s easy to take the train to Udaipur, but it’s also common to hire a private driver from Jodhpur as well. The ride is 6 hours long and we made a short stop in Ranakpur to see the famous Jain Temple. A private taxi can range anywhere from  2,200Rs up to 3,600Rs depending on how well you can bargain your way in India.

Stay

We stayed at Panorama Guest House, located just on the Hanuman Ghat side of the lake facing the palace.

Udaipur-panorama-room

The rooftop restaurant and patio probably boast the best “panoramic” view of the lake and palace in town. And while breakfast, fresh fruit pancakes, was good, the rest of the food was so so. Although, in their defense, I’ve only sampled their various soups because I was too sick to eat anything else.

Udaipur-Panorama-rooftop

See

It’s a little bit cheesy. It’s a lot bit touristy. It’s a must though when in Udaipur. I’m talking about the Bagore Ki Haveli puppet show, although I’d call it more of a variety/cultural dance show. So if you’re looking for some culture fun and learn the difference style of dances from Rajasthan, it’s a good show.

Udaipur-bagore-ki

Also hang out by the ghats and watch locals wash their clothes and themselves.

IMG_8006

And if you’re into James Bond, Udaipur is famed for being the filming location for the movie, Octopussy. Most restaurants will be playing this free of charge almost every night. We passed.

Eat

For a break from Indian food, something my achy stomach desperately needed, check out Govinda’s Cafeteria located just outside the Palace gates. They offer delicious Western options including fresh smoothies, pesto pasta and toasted tuna sandwiches.

Tuna

For a feel good meal, our dinner of choice is Millets of Mewar. Fair warning, I highly recommend you eat something light first and preferably bring a book. While the restaurant isn’t full, the wait for food can be up to an hour or two. And I ordered soup! Nonetheless, a delicious, healthy and unique meal. Don’t forget to order the vegan cookies!

Udaipur-Ambrai

And for a splurge dinner with a waterfront view, Ambrai is situated on the banks of Lake Pichola and has outdoor patio seating. A perfect location for a romantic candle lit dinner for two.

Trip (Do)

The popular thing to do in Udaipur is visit the City Palace and take a sunset boat ride through Lake Pichola.

Udaipur-sunset

We did both. The Palace is beautiful and the boat ride is so so, but a good way to see the Palace and city from a different perspective.

DSC_0258

I highly suggest, if you’re a girl, to get a henna tattoo here in Udaipur. There are heaps of heena shops and they’re so cheap. At one point, I was quoted 250Rs for a hand henna. Just a few shops down at Sai Arts near the Jagdish Temple, a lady quoted me 50Rs for the same tattoo. That’s a huge difference! Don’t forget, bargaining is always acceptable in India.

Udaipur-heena

Udaipur – it’s the prettiest, most uncomplexed city we’ve visited in India. A much needed break for sure. I couldn’t have picked a better city to be sick in. It’s the perfect place to wind down and approach India at a much slower pace. And dare I say, peaceful for a change. It’s romantic and pretty with lots of Indian charm and definitely worth a visit.

Have you been to Udaipur? What are some your favorite things about this city?

 

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  • http://8milesfromhome.tumblr.com/ Jmayel & Sacha

    You’re right, Udaipur really is a great place to chill out! we visited 7 years ago & loved it, but the lake was completely dry after a long drought – it’s on my list to go back and see the lake in all its glory!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      a drought?! man, that sucks. i can only imagine what it would look like completely dry.. would be an interesting boat ride. lol. hopefully it’ll be all filled up by the time you come again. 🙂

  • http://8milesfromhome.tumblr.com/ Jmayel & Sacha

    You’re right, Udaipur really is a great place to chill out! we visited 7 years ago & loved it, but the lake was completely dry after a long drought – it’s on my list to go back and see the lake in all its glory!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      a drought?! man, that sucks. i can only imagine what it would look like completely dry.. would be an interesting boat ride. lol. hopefully it’ll be all filled up by the time you come again. 🙂

  • http://www.walkflypinoy.com paul | walkflypinoy

    you got your delhi belly in udaipur. a friend got it in varanasi. i therefore conclude it is not a delhi specialty. haha. we missed rajasthan the last time we were in india. but i’d definitely give udaipur a go next time. place looks beautiful!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      haha.. i agree. being sick in india was not fun. but Udaipur was the perfect place for it. hope you get a chance to visit it one day.

  • http://www.walkflypinoy.com paul | walkflypinoy

    you got your delhi belly in udaipur. a friend got it in varanasi. i therefore conclude it is not a delhi specialty. haha. we missed rajasthan the last time we were in india. but i’d definitely give udaipur a go next time. place looks beautiful!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      haha.. i agree. being sick in india was not fun. but Udaipur was the perfect place for it. hope you get a chance to visit it one day.

  • http://twitter.com/jettingaround Jetting Around

    Udaipur looks like a lovely city! I really like your photos in this post. Great henna work too. 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! I was amazed she free-handed the whole henna.

  • http://www.jettingaround.com/ Pola

    Udaipur looks like a lovely city! I really like your photos in this post. Great henna work too. 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! I was amazed she free-handed the whole henna.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    Sorry to hear about the tummy troubles, though they seem par for the course in India (I haven’t heard of one single person who has been there and not gotten sick at least once!). If we make it there on this trip, I will definitely remember that Udaipur is the place to go to decompress!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. yes I think it’s almost a right of passage.. to get Delhi belly in India. Lol

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    Sorry to hear about the tummy troubles, though they seem par for the course in India (I haven’t heard of one single person who has been there and not gotten sick at least once!). If we make it there on this trip, I will definitely remember that Udaipur is the place to go to decompress!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. yes I think it’s almost a right of passage.. to get Delhi belly in India. Lol

  • Ana Silva O’Reilly

    have never been to India – and must confess it is not a priority. I know I will get there one day. These photos are wonderful and showed a different part of India. Loved it!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      It really is.. it wasn’t on my priority list either but I’m really glad I went. A beautiful country and culture.

  • @mrsoaroundworld

    have never been to India – and must confess it is not a priority. I know I will get there one day. These photos are wonderful and showed a different part of India. Loved it!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      It really is.. it wasn’t on my priority list either but I’m really glad I went. A beautiful country and culture.

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Wow…what an awesome view from your guest house!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      We were very happy to have the view of the lake and palace.. really made our stay that much more sweet. 🙂

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Wow…what an awesome view from your guest house!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      We were very happy to have the view of the lake and palace.. really made our stay that much more sweet. 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/lazytravelers Lazy Travelers

    i must say–we have a few places ahead of india on our list, but udaipur looks totally up our alley. amazing photos, guys!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks! How can you refuse a city that has free showings of Octopussy at almost all their restaurants?!

  • Lazy Travelers

    i must say–we have a few places ahead of india on our list, but udaipur looks totally up our alley. amazing photos, guys!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks! How can you refuse a city that has free showings of Octopussy at almost all their restaurants?!

  • http://travelingted.com/ Ted Nelson

    Sorry to hear you got sick, but at least you enjoyed yourself while getting better. I used to be a big Bond fan, but I have never seen Octopussy. I need to come to Udaipur and watch it at a restaurant.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I’ve never seen it either and was tempted to but my stomach just couldn’t sit long enough for a movie.. Lol

  • http://travelingted.com/ Traveling Ted

    Sorry to hear you got sick, but at least you enjoyed yourself while getting better. I used to be a big Bond fan, but I have never seen Octopussy. I need to come to Udaipur and watch it at a restaurant.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I’ve never seen it either and was tempted to but my stomach just couldn’t sit long enough for a movie.. Lol

  • http://twitter.com/L_e_a_h Leah Travels

    I want to do henna! As always, these photos are so beautiful. I’m so glad Gerard is going to be my personal photographer in Prague.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      the number of photos will depend on the numbers beers consumed. =P

  • Leah Travels

    I want to do henna! As always, these photos are so beautiful. I’m so glad Gerard is going to be my personal photographer in Prague.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      the number of photos will depend on the numbers beers consumed. =P

  • lola

    Kieu – you look so pretty in the henna photo – LOVE it. i agree with boat rides. it is always one of my favorite ways to see a place from a different perspective.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! I love seeing things from atop.. the view is always spectacular.

  • lola

    Kieu – you look so pretty in the henna photo – LOVE it. i agree with boat rides. it is always one of my favorite ways to see a place from a different perspective.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! I love seeing things from atop.. the view is always spectacular.

  • CaptainandClark

    I just read ALL of your India posts. You have been such a great resource. Be prepared for a slew of questions. We leave in a week… or so.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      And we’re not stopping there! Just posted another one today! Hope you like camels! =)

  • CaptainandClark

    I just read ALL of your India posts. You have been such a great resource. Be prepared for a slew of questions. We leave in a week… or so.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      And we’re not stopping there! Just posted another one today! Hope you like camels! =)

  • http://twitter.com/StayAdventurous craig zabransky

    Do – Yes, always do the Sunset activity ;-)… And someday I might decided to visit all the Bond film locations, that might be an interesting bucket list to knock off.
    stay adventurous, Craig

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      That would be one hell of a tour around the world! I’d go to Monaco first and gamble big… Casino Royale!

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

    Do – Yes, always do the Sunset activity ;-)… And someday I might decided to visit all the Bond film locations, that might be an interesting bucket list to knock off.
    stay adventurous, Craig

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      That would be one hell of a tour around the world! I’d go to Monaco first and gamble big… Casino Royale!

  • http://www.travelrinserepeat.com/ John

    Amazing colors and great pictures! It looks like such a beautiful city, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.travelrinserepeat.com/ John

    Amazing colors and great pictures! It looks like such a beautiful city, thanks for sharing!

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