Three days in Udaipur will allow you not only to experience some of the city’s beautiful palaces and lakes, but will also leave you time to go out and explore some of the temples and forts in the surrounding area. Here’s how.
Day 1:Highlights of Udaipur
Spend your first day in Udaipur checking out some of the city’s classic sights, many of which are near or directly on the banks of Lake Pichola in the center of town. Start with a visit to the sprawling City Palace complex, which features 11 interconnected palaces along with a museum and a sparkling gallery chock-full of fine European crystal. From here, head over to Jagdish Temple, right by the main entrance to the palace, perhaps stopping to shop at some of the many handicrafts boutiques that flank the road between the two attractions. Jagdish Temple is known for its intricate architecture, notably around 100 pillars carved with scenes from Indian mythology. In the afternoon, head out to Monsoon Palace, high on a hill on the edge of town; it’s a great place to watch the sunset over the city.
Day 2: Temples and Mansions
Start your second day with a trip out to Eklingji, a temple complex situated in the holy town of Kailashpuri, about 14 miles (22 kilometers) outside Udaipur. The site has around 100 temples of all sizes; most are made of marble or granite, and many feature beautiful carved exteriors dominated by carved arches and pillars. The oldest date back to the 10th century. Many are dedicated to Eklingji, a popular form of Lord Shiva that's long been venerated by the royal families of the area.
In the afternoon, make your way back into Udaipur to visit the Bagore ki Haveli, a grand haveli (city mansion) overlooking Lake Pichola. This 18th-century building features 100 or so rooms, a large number of which are decorated with period furniture. Others have been transformed into galleries full of ephemera (including what is allegedly the world's largest turban). Stay for a puppet show or dance performance, held here most evenings.
Day 3: Ancient Forts
The region around Udaipur is notable for its beautiful architecture and stately forts. Spend your last day exploring one of the most notable, the 15th-century Kumbhalgarh, one of six historic forts that collectively comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Kumbhalgarh is noteworthy for having the second-largest wall on earth and is surrounded by the protected Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Kumbhalgarh can easily be visited on a day trip and is usually combined with a stop at the Ranakpur Jain Temple, which was built around the same time as the fort. The temple's most notable feature is its 1,444 marble pillars, each of which features its own unique look.
Alternatively, head out to Chittorgarh, also one of the six Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Likely built in the seventh century, the fort is the largest in India, encompassing around 700 acres (283 hectares), and is big enough to merit an entire day exploring.