Udaipur: City of Lakes

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Udaipur was our first stop in Rajasthan, and compared to Mumbai, it felt like we were out in the country. It’s a much smaller city located in the northwestern corner of India known for it’s lakes, beautiful scenery, and history. Udaipur is pedestrian-friendly so we spent most of our time exploring the city by foot. Fun fact: if you’re a James Bond fan, you may recognize scenes from Octopussy as much of that movie was filmed here.

The Taj Lake Place Hotel and views from the lake shore.

We had planned to take the train from Mumbai but that got complicated (more on that in a later post), so our first experience of Udaipur was the hour long cab ride from the airport. Unlike Mumbai’s gridlock traffic where you never went very fast, we were able to fly down the highway. Families of five on motorcycles cruised down the edge of the highway while we careened through the middle weaving between trucks and around cows. We were white-knuckling while our driver was cool as a cucumber. We just barely avoided hitting a scooter, and he laughs saying, “Funny, right?!” A few minutes later we pass a cow that lay dead in the road, and he can’t believe it - he was speechless. Cows are sacred and revered in India.

Cows roam wherever they want through the city.

In addition to taking pictures of cows, we also visited the City Palace, which dates back to the 1500s. Built on the banks of Lake Pichola, the stunning palace also has beautiful views of the city and surrounding area.

City Palace front gate.

We also visited the Jagdish Temple, one of many Hindu temples inside the city. Built in the 1600s, the temple is covered in beautiful carvings.

The temple hidden above the chaos of city life.
Intricate carvings cover the temple walls.
A day in India wouldn't be complete without fried snacks and a steaming cup of chai!

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