Udaipur – The Venice of India

When we eventually got dropped into Udaipur that night after an extremely long and crazy bus ride, we really had no clue where we would stay and had no clue where we were in the city as we had no map. But we were excited to be in Udaipur, the Venice of India as we’d heard so many good things about the city.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

Driving in from Jodhpur

We ended up meeting someone as we got off the bus that recommended a place that he was heading to so we split a tuk tuk and were in route for the next twenty minutes. The place turned out to be quite nice and relatively cheap. Udaipur - The Venice of India In fact, the place had a rooftop bar and restaurant that overlooked the entire city. It even showed a movie on a big screen every evening for free. We weren’t too interested in that but the view over Udaipur was amazing. This city has so much water surrounding it, it can almost remind you of Venice. OK, so this India and that is a far fetched idea but after being on dusty roads throughout every Indian city and town we’d been in, Udaipur, with its waterways and canals, was a welcome change.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

How could you not appreciate this city set on the water?

Udaipur - The Venice of India

The next day we decided to take a boat tour around part of the city. Luckily the hour on the boat wasn’t an expensive tour but they did have one major idiotic rule, at least in my opinion. Apparently, everyone on board the boat was required to wear a life vest at all times.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

Our boat.. in the background. Good thing we had these life vests on!! Going to be rough seas!!!

OK, I know what you’re thinking…safety first. Well in reality, this was beyond ridiculous. The boat itself was actually a decked out pontoon boat that seated about 30. I’d say its top speed was about 3 knots and of course since we were on a calm lake with no wind, there was no wake at all. Plus, I don’t think we ever got more than half a kilometer from land. Can you seen how ridiculous this was? I mean, some of these poor ladies were wearing dresses to go out on the town with. Nothing like slipping into a wet life preserver….  I was surprised not to have to wear a full faced helmet while walking along the pier to board the boat! We actually took our vests off during the middle of the tour and apparently were seen by one of the tour owners who was shouting at us from the shore… nothing like getting in trouble on an organized boat tour.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

Lake Palace in Udaipur

Lake Palace

Thankfully, the tour was worth it and we had taken it just at sunset which was even better. They took us past the City Palace and the Lake Palace, both of which were filmed in the James Bond film Octopussy.

City Palace in Udaipur

City Palace

The Lake Palace was actually built originally for the royal family as a summer palace but is now a 5 star hotel which is often frequented by celebrities when visiting Udaipur. No, we wouldn’t be staying there. As for the City Palace, it looked amazing and we had given some thought to visit it the next day as another one of our really cheap tours just as the rest of this city had provided for us. However, we had decided after seeing so many forts and palaces in the past week or so that it would not be the end of the world if we missed one. Just spending time in Udaipur was good enough.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

One last view from the boat…

Later that evening we were in search of a good restaurant that overlooked both the city and water and luckily found an excellent one just over the bridge from our hotel. To say that it was nice would be an understatement. In fact, walking into it, we almost thought we’d need to go back and get a bit more ‘dressed up’.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

At the restaurant looking out over their pool

Udaipur - The Venice of India

OK, so this wasn’t a date but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t a great spot to have one!

The service and the food were amazing and spending a night there for dinner had made us forget that we were still in India. Well, Udaipur in general can give you that feeling too… But what was most ironic were the prices at this place. It was still extremely cheap by western standards although a place like this back home would be considered one of the nicest restaurants in town, with a view included. It was amazing.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

This was the view at night from the restaurant. Definitely a great spot to spend the evening…

In fact, we ended up eating there again before we left Udaipur. So what else did we do while we were here? The answer… not much. Unfortunately we both got sick (me on the second day and her on the third day here) so what would have been an even greater experience in Udaipur was just merely great.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

I couldn’t get this cow away from me… It seemed to want to follow me along in the street

Looking back on it now, it seems only a blur but after throwing up a couple times between the both of us, the couple of days spent doing nothing wasn’t too much fun. We were positive though that it had been the result of the food we ate during our camel safari tour a few day prior since a few others had felt the repercussions of the food that was served out there.

Udaipur - The Venice of India

So what was next on the lineup of destinations? Well, I actually had more time to spend traveling around in India but my friend, whom I’d been traveling with the past 2 weeks only had about a week left before heading home. So instead of trying to cram in a few more cities such as Mumbai and a couple others, we decided that after the craziness of traveling around in Rajasthan, maybe we would just head to Goa which lies on the coast about 12 hours drive south of Mumbai. So after about four days in Udaipur, we were headed to Maharana Prata airport for our flight south….


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8 Comments... Join the conversation below

  • Aura Main February 18, 2012, 9:35 pm

    So sorry to hear you got a little sick…maybe eating the stuff you bought from the boy who threw what he was selling on your lap? Udaipur is an amazing city and I do agree with you it reminds me of Venice. So was the restaurant with the beautiful view on the Lake Palace? That place is fabulous and I also loved the night shot. The sun looks so much bigger in that part of the world. Stay safe and well.

    • Rory February 20, 2012, 8:24 am

      Udaipur was definitely a change from everywhere else we’d been in Rajasthan. I really wish we would have stayed longer… or at least gotten back the two days we spent lying around due to being sick!

  • Sam Nichols February 19, 2012, 1:40 am

    WOW!!! My friend you have been getting around. I have finally found your website and caught up on your blog. Great picture.. Great stories.. Sounds like you are having a blast.

    P.S. You may not have been on a date but you two do have chemistry. I can tell by the picture of you two shaking hands …. Yes I pictured that in my mind since you didn’t get one with your camera :) Stay safe.

    • Rory February 20, 2012, 8:27 am


      Awesome to hear from you! I guess you found it through Gab? Hope things are going great for you. Are you on Skype? Get on there! We need to catch up…

      P.S. I do have a picture of us shaking hands actually… it was just too ridiculous to post on the blog. Happy to send it your way though.. you’d appreciate it!! We did!

  • Rosanne Losee February 19, 2012, 3:15 am

    So Aura beat me to it, Rory! So nice that you are posting here, Aura.

    And I agree with her. What a beautiful city, very exotic, very colorful and very peaceful looking. So what did you eat in that restaurant under the canopy? And I haven’t yet looked at a map, so what part of India is Udaipur? South, north…east, west? Were you still traveling by train to get from city to city in India, especially as it is such a large country.

  • Rosanne Losee February 19, 2012, 3:21 am

    Well, Rory, I think wearing the vest on the boat was the right thing to do. You see, even if someone falls accidentally into the water, they can still sink…. and drown. Not everyone is as water buoyant as you!

    All kidding aside, that last photo is absolutely gorgeous. The moon in the dark night over the city with your view from the restaurant almost looks like a huge star in a clear sky. Very nice.

  • Resorts in Udaipur May 27, 2013, 10:27 am

    Nice one! Udaipur is the City of Palaces!

    • Rory May 28, 2013, 11:13 pm

      I agree, it is… One of my favorite places traveled while in India. I had many other travelers I’d met along the way the fell in love with Udaipur as well

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