Udaipur, formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom and the city of lakes, is a city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. It’s set around a series of artificial lakes and is known for its lavish royal residences. With the majestic city palace looming over the old city, a lake studded with palaces in the middle and romantic restaurants interspersed in every nook and corner, couples will never run out of things to do in Udaipur. As the backdrop of countless romantic movies, Udaipur charms with its regal splendour and stately aura. Pretend to be king and queen for a day, slow down on a romantic boat ride, stay near the glistening waters of Lake Pichola and walk hand-in-hand through Dudh Talai—here is your guide to discovering Udaipur’s most romantic spots.
Boat ride on Lake Pichola
Limpid and large, Lake Pichola reflects the cool grey-blue mountains on its rippling mirror-like surface. It was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh II, following his foundation of the city, by flooding Picholi village, which gave the lake its name. The lake is now 4km long and 3km wide, but remains shallow and dries up completely during severe droughts. The City Palace complex, including the gardens at its southern end, extends nearly 1km along the lake’s eastern shore.
Boat trips leave roughly hourly from Rameshwar Ghat, within the City Palace complex (note, you have to pay ₹30 to enter). The trips make a stop at Jagmandir Island, where you can stay for as long as you like before taking any boat back. Take your own drinks and snacks, though, as those sold on the island are extortionately expensive. You can also take 30-minute boat rides from Lal Ghat (₹250 per person), throughout the day without the need to enter the City Palace complex: it’s worth checking in advance what time the popular sunset departure casts offs.
Romantic stay in the middle of Lake Pichola
Built by Udaipur’s erstwhile king Maharana Jagat Singh II, this 18th-century summer palace is one of India’s most famous hotels. Originally called Jag Niwas, it is one of the four islands in Lake Pichola and was the setting for the James Bond film Octopussy. The four-acre marble building rests in the middle of the lake, while a boat transport guests from the shore. Inside, its 83 rooms and suites are lavishly furnished with murals, silk upholstery and antique wooden furniture. It also houses the Jiva Spa and four excellent restaurants, with personal butlers to complete the royal experience. Guests are pampered with exclusive experiences such as a sunset cruise, a candlelight cruise on the imperial barge, spa therapies on a relaxation boat, vintage car drives and animal excursions.
Stunning sunset at Sajjangarh Fort
This hilltop palace was built in the 19th century by Sajjan Singh as a Monsoon Palace. It’s short drive up the Banswara hill through the densely forested Sajjan Garh Wildlife Sanctuary. While there isn’t much to see inside the actual palace, it’s an ideal vantage point to take in breathtaking views of Udaipur city as well as the surrounding countryside at sunset. You can also stop at the charming garden café for coffee and snacks.
Spend a night at an 18th-century fort-palace
Surrounded by Aravali hills, this heritage hotel lies 28 kilometers away from the city of Udaipur. Considered to be among the most stylish and romantic resorts in the country, it is housed in an 18th-century hill-top fort palace in the village of Delwara. Its rich heritage is complimented by a contemporary landscape design, with the interiors have been refurbished in a minimalist style, using local raw materials, white marble and semi-precious stones. It has 39 luxury suites, including 17 garden suites, 16 palace suites, 5 Aravali suites and the plushest accommodation of them all, the Devi Garh Suite. Devi Garh also houses India’s first la Terre Spa by L’Occitane, which offers Swedish, Hawaiian, Lomi Lomi, Balinese, Ayurvedic and Shiatsu treatments.
Discover the regal splendour of City Palace
A palace complex built by Maharana Udai Singh, the City Palace is grandeur personified. A conglomeration of several buildings with towers, balconies and cupolas built all over, the City Palace also houses a crystal gallery, which boasts of royal artifacts and the world’s largest private collection of crystal. It is one of Rajasthan’s largest palaces and offers splendid views of Lake Pichola. A must-not-miss experience in Udaipur is the hour long Mewar Sound and Light Show. This regal rendering of the history of Mewar takes place every evening at the City Palace complex.
Spend an evening strolling around at Dudh Talai
The perfect place to catch stunning sunset views of Jag Mandir and City Palace, Dudh Talai sits along the south-eastern part of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. Home to two verdant parks—the M.L Verma Garden and the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park—Dudh Talai offers the ideal escape from the rigours of city life. Carved out of a rugged rock, the M.L Verma Garden is a rock garden that has panoramic views of the twinkling Lake Pichola. The Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park, often known as the Dudh Talai Musical Garden, houses a spectacular music fountain—one of its kind in the entire state of Rajasthan. Adventure lovers can also hop onto the Karni Mata Ropeway to take in unbeatable views of the city below.