The city of Udaipur works a charm on travellers like no other city in India. With its utterly majestic palaces, forts, and, of course, lakes, the Venice of India, as it is also rather aptly called, is the very definition of travelling and sightseeing like a king. Yet, beneath the royal façade of the city’s most illustrious wonders and by lanes lie some really interesting offbeat secrets.
For those who are looking to venture off the beaten path, a stay at The LaLiT Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur, often considered to be the pinnacle of Udaipur hotels, already offers a palatial experience rich in royal splendour.
Thus, with your accommodation sorted, let’s take a look at the six things to explore in the City of Lakes that are often left out of traditional Udaipur itineraries:
1. Vintage & Classic Car Collection Museum
Right across the road from Sajjan Niwas Garden on Gulab Bagh Road stands a special museum that will give a glimpse into the grand collection of 18-20 vintage cars that once roamed the streets of the city. Ever wondered what a Majharaja’s horse carriage would have looked like? This museum has an actual one right inside. Other notable inclusions include fancy solar-powered cycles, a Cadillac Convertible from Queen Elizabeth’s 1961 visit to India, and, of course, the Rolls Royce Phantom from James Bond’s Octopussy feature-film which was shot in India!
2. Ahar Cenotaphs & Government Museum
Forget the royal palaces in Udaipur. How about a royal cremation place? Around 3 km from the old city lies the village of Ahar where 372 cenotaphs of the Mewar royal family’s generations jostle for space in a haunting yet beautiful asymmetry. These dome-like structures were built over 400 years, and new cenotaphs continue to be added, the last one erected in 2004.
3. City Palace Complex Government Museum
For the more intellectual tourist, museums are always a priority. Safe to say, then, that the government museum in the City Palace Complex will delight you to no end. Since most tourists prefer to visit the regular City Palace Museum, this building is often isolated – thus, offering you the perfect opportunity to dive into ancient scripts and statues housed inside.
4. Crystal Gallery
The royal family of Udaipur was wealthy beyond imagination. So much so that once Maharana Sajjan Singh ordered an extraordinary set of furniture such as sofas, beds, tables, chairs, and more from F&C Osler & Co in England in 1877 – all made of pure crystal! Till date, it is the largest private collection of crystal in the world, and you can have an audience with it at the famed Crystal Gallery.
5. Bar hopping
Most people don’t know that Udaipur has a great collection of bars where you can indulge in a fantastic night out with your friends and family. Of course, The LaLiT Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur’s Aangan bar should be on top of your list. It’s alfresco dining set-up by the Fateh Sagar Lake and its splendid menu also makes it one of the top restaurants in Udaipur. From here, you can always hop onto other amazing bars like Upré by 1559 AD, Panera and The Wino.
6. Cycling tours
Skip the usual touring around in cabs and give cycling a try when in Udaipur. There are many guided cycling tours to be found in the city which will allow you to appreciate Udaipur’s serene setting in the Aravali hills and the Thar Desert at a leisurely pace.
On that note, it’s time to travel the road not taken and experience Udaipur in its unseen glory.