Agra is the former capital of Hindustan (India). It is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Though Agra’s history is largely recognized with Mughal Empire, the place was established much before that and has linkages since Mahabharata period and Maharishi Angira in 1000 BC. It is generally accepted that Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Ruler of the Delhi Sultanate founded Agra in the year 1504. After the Sultan’s death, the city passed on to his son Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting to Babar (who became the first Mughal Emperor) in the first battle of Panipat in 1526. The golden age of the city began with the Mughal rule. It was known then as Akbarabad (after the Mughal Emperor Akbar) and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan later shifted his capital to Shahjahanabad (now old Delhi) in the year 1649.
The famous Mughal emperor Akbar raised the towering ramparts of the Great Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabad called Fatehpur Sikri. This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone. His son Jahangir had a love of gardens and flora and fauna, and laid many gardens inside the Agra Fort. Shah Jahan, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabad its most prized monument, the Taj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in totality in 1653. Shah Jahan later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabad, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there.
The sight of a white marble mausoleum, raised on a platform and graced by 4 minarets on each corner, reflected in the watercourse that runs through the ornamental gardens is an unrivaled tourist attraction in Agra. Taj Mahal, a symbol of undying love, has been summed up by Ghalib, the famous Urdu poet, as a rebuff of an ordinary man’s love for his beloved, in whose memory he cannot build a monument of such magnificence. Today, Taj Mahal is a major tourist attraction in Agra, and is open to all even on full moon nights, so that you can take your beloved by the hand and walk down the gardens as moon and its entourage of stars light your path on your tour to Agra. Besides Taj Mahal, there are plenty of tourist attractions in Agra that will keep your hands full while in Agra.
Sightseeing, Shopping and Eating in Agra — Suggestions and Options
Go sightseeing in Agra. Visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was the political capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign from 1571 till 1585 and regarded as the crowning glory of his architectural legacy. Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical monument that took 22 years (1631–1652) of labor and 20,000 workers, masons and jewelers to build, and is set amidst the landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect, the Taj Mahal is on the south bank of the Yamuna River. It can be observed from Agra Fort from where Emperor Shah Jahan gazed at it for the last eight years of his life, as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is an acknowledged masterpiece of symmetry. Verses of the Koran are inscribed on it and at the top of the gate are twenty-two small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to build. Enjoy the Saga of the Taj at Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Centre, a series of play depicting the immortal love of Shajahan for Mumtaj Mahal- his beautiful wife, the lavish lifestyle of Mughal era and emaculate hardship of the artisans for 22 years that created the most precious specimen of craftsmanship.
Submerge in the majestic views of Agra fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, India. The fort is also known as Lal Qila, or Red Fort of Agra. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. The fort contains splendid palaces both in red sandstone and white marble built by two generations of prolific builders Akbar and later Jehangir and Shahjahan. Some of the exquisite structures that deserve a mention are:
- Sheesh Mahal – Literally meaning ‘Glass Palace’, was the royal dressing room adorned by tiny mirror-like glass-mosaic decorations on the walls.
- Diwan-i-Am – It was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne.
- Diwan-i-Khas – A hall of private audience, it was used to welcome kings and dignitaries.
- The Anguri Bagh – It houses 85 square, geometrically arranged lush gardens.
- Khas Mahal – An immaculate white marble palace.
- Mina Masjid – Literally meaning ‘Heavenly Mosque’, it is a tiny mosque closed to the public.
- Nagina Masjid – Literally meaning ‘Gem Mosque’, it was designed exclusively for the ladies of the court.
- Musamman Burj – A large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal.
Proceed on a tour of Sikandra. Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra is an exquisite example of different styles of architecture. This tomb signifies the characteristic flavor of the styles and architecture used in Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Visit Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb, which is a highly ornate structure, which is looked upon as a precursor of the Taj Mahal as far as intricate carvings and inlay work are concerned. Itmad-ud daulah contains cenotaphs of Mirza Ghiyas and Asmat Begum, parents of the powerful Mughal Empress Noor Jehan, Queen of Jahangir, an exceptional beauty and an astute administrator.
Coming to exploring the deeper parts of the Agra city; one can feel the lingering presence of the bygone years and charm of the rulers, emperors & kings who once adorned the city, to their own desires. The Mehtab Bagh or Moonlight Garden is on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna from the Taj Mahal.
Other sights worth seeing in the Agra include:
- Mariam’s Tomb
- Ram Bagh
- Dayal Bagh
- Soami Bagh
- Old Chungi, the library
- Mankameshwar Temple
- Jama Masjid
- Johri Bazar
- Kala Mahal (Mirza Ghalib’s birthplace)
Shopping experience in Agra is mostly remembered as visiting the lanes of different local bazaars filled with an array of handicraft & handloom articles, and spotting that mini Taj replica in various sizes at every corner of the bazaar. Leather items at Agra are famous for their quality. These include leather sandals, purses, bags and decorative items. There are lots of handicraft emporiums that offer a variety of sandalwood and rose wood items along with brass decorative pieces and stone carved images. The fine work done by the local artisans in the city is notable and the markets of Agra are the best place to explore exquisite pieces of fine Zari embroidery work, stone inlay work and precious gemstones. One can find most of the big emporiums concentrated in the area not far from Taj Mahal. Yet, those of you who can steer through the narrow lanes of the city markets of Kinari Bazaar, Raja Mandi, Fuhaara and Lohamandi can get their hands on the best bargains.
For an unforgettable shopping experience:
- Kohinoor – jewels and embroidery emporium
- Marble art palace – demonstration of marble inlay work
- Shilpagram, a craft village on the eastern side of Taj Mahal in Agra, is a popular open-air emporium
- Sadar Bazaar
- Kinari Bazaar
- Raja Mandi
Eating out in Agra is an unforgettable experience that can take you back to the bygone era of mughlai food and dining, where spices, essence and hospitality come together to create the magic, right in your plate! Several of India’s famous meat dishes come from the north where Mughal influence introduced considerable sophistication. The superb Mughlai cuisine with its luscious sauces of milk, curd, cream and crushed nuts is a hit in major restaurants of this city. There is rich, creamy kormas; tender steak like pasandas in an almond sauce; nargisi kofta; an array of kebabs; dalmoth; petha and more.
Esphahan, located in the plush Oberoi Amarvilas, will have you feeling like an emperor after eating one of their extraordinary meals. Inspiring Awadhi fare, traditionally from Lucknow, is recreated here with outstanding aplomb. Enjoy the live classical Indian music and exceptional service while you work your way around one of their Thali (plate) — it’s the best way to taste as many of Esphahan’s delectable dishes as possible.
Taj Khema is in the proximity of the Taj Mahal and offers a great view of the Taj Mahal. In Hotel Taj Khema, the guests can choose from a wide range of Indian and continental delicacies. Relax and enjoy the scrumptious food here, overlooking the Taj Mahal in all its pristine glory. Along with food you are also entertained with beautiful Indian folk music and cultural shows with a new theme every month.
At the Only Restaurant, bamboo-lined walls and red tablecloths set the scene and attentive staff serves up a big range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes in styles such as Mughlai, Afghan, Chinese and Continental. Do not miss the Maharaja Thali here, showcasing a traditional meal – good variety and taste.
Visit Pinch of Spice for a quick buffet or an Indian meal. Quick service accompanied by generous portions of good food with typical spices, kormas, and tikkas.
Some Boutique hotels in close proximity to the Taj Mahal provide amazing rooftop restaurants where you can enjoy a sundowner cocktail with scrumptious kebabs of Mughlai cuisine, with Taj as a backdrop.
Jaipur city was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber who ruled from 1699–1744. The construction of the city started in 1727. It took around four years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks based on the anatomy of the human body, two of which contain the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built along with seven strong gates. During the regime of Sawai Ram Singh, the whole city was painted pink to welcome Prince Edward of Wales (who later became King Edward VII). Today, avenues remain painted in pink, giving this famed city its distinctive appearance – a pink hue that is resplendent of their hospitality.
The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by an elaborate road structure. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses the sprawling Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites. Included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit of the North, along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an extremely popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.
Sightseeing, Shopping and Eating in Jaipur — Suggestions and Options
Go sightseeing in Jaipur. Start with the old part of the city which tells the tales of great wars, the stories of royal romances and the intricately etched yester years in its every corner. From Panch Batti circle and the old world Raj Mandir cinema, head along M.I. Road, the main thoroughfare. Continue along M.I. Road, and you’ll come across the pink walls of the Jaipur Old City on your left. There are three gates, spaced around 500 meters apart, which provide entry into the Old City. The first one is Ajmeri Gate, followed by New Gate, and lastly Sanganeri Gate.
The Old City is surprisingly well laid out, with its wide, straight streets running in a grid which forms a series of bazaars. Make a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal, which was constructed for ventilation for the women who used to watch the royal march through the screens of this building. This was built by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799.
Visit the Amber Fort, which is known as one of the most fascinating of the Indian forts which includes an amazing set of palaces, temples, gardens and halls. The Shila Mata temple has a great religious importance. If you want to tread up the fort on elephant back, rather suggest you start here early in the morning. Other attractions include Diwan-e-Aam, Sukh Niwas, Jas Mandir and Sheesh Mahal, all of which gives a glimpse into the majesty of days gone by. Do stop at Artchill – showcasing Indian art.
Enjoy a photo-stop at Jal Mahal, the monsoon palace of the Jaipur Maharajas, located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. Proceed to City Palace, where several courtyards and gardens provide wonderful contrast to its many palatial structures including Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal and the Sri Govind Dev temple. Also visit Jantar Mantar- the Observatory, a world heritage site. This wonderful astronomical observatory is famous throughout the world and bears the hallmark of exceptional astronomical development of the medieval period.
Other sights worth seeing in Jaipur include:
- Albert Museum
- BM Birla Planetarium
- Laxmi Narayan Temple
- Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
- Nahargarh Fort (spectacular sunset)
- Jaigarh Fort
Shopping experience in Jaipur can give you an insight in the contrast of old bazaars and modern high end shops of the city. The local ‘Kundan jewelry’ is famous for the intricate work as much as the ‘Navratan jewelry’ (9 stones) that is believed to bring good luck to the users. The exotic blue pottery, the batik work and block printed textiles of Sanganer and Bagru, tie & dye fabrics, Mojaris (the local shoes), sandal wood carving items, beautiful stone carvings etc. An entire street and several city sectors were earmarked for artisans and traders in the past, and they continue to display their rich heritage to this day.
Near the Hawa Mahal are many shops dealing in pseudo-antiques and souvenirs. Some shops opposite Hawa Mahal stock the famous Jaipuri quilts, weighing from a few hundred grams to some kilograms. Nehru Bazaar, situated on the road between Ajmeri Gate and New Gate, is a favorite with the women of Jaipur. Many shops here are selling bright colored fabrics, shoes, trinkets and local perfumes. Bapu Bazaar lies on the road between New Gate and Sanganeri Gate, many shops here sell ethnic and modern clothes, copper utensils and patch-work bags that are famous with locals and tourists alike. Keep an eye out for the marvelously huge banyan tree on the right of this bazaar with its massive intertwined branches.
Stroll along and browse through the shops at Johari Bazaar. If the jewels at the high-end stores were a little out of your taste, you might find other options here that are more pocket-suitable. Johari Bazaar and the lanes that run off it are known for gold and silver jewelery, as well as inexpensive costume jewelry and bangles.
For an unforgettable shopping experience:
- Ramganj Bazar for shoes or jootis (local styled shoes)
- Kishanpol Bazar for tie and dye textiles
- Maniharon Ka Rasta (Tripolia Bazar) for bangles and other items
- Emporiums for hand-made rugs and carpets
- Khajano Ka Rasta for marble carving
- Sanganer village for block printing and hand-made paper
- Blue pottery manufacturing units
Eating out in Jaipur can leave your heart & stomach filled with the unforgettable aroma of the delicacies of the Rajasthani cuisine and the local flavoring spices. The capital of Rajput kings had an impressive array of mouth-watering delights, kept closely guarded by the royal chefs. Legends tell tales of cooks trying to impress their guests by presenting at least one unforgettable item on the menu. The royal guests were served savory dishes made from stuffed camels, goats, pigs and peacocks. The food was served in gold and silver utensils, with a display of heartwarming hospitality that surpasses every imagination. Jaipur is famous for its Dal-Batti Churma, Mawa Kachori, Mirchi Bada, Rajasthani Subjis, Ghewar, Feeni, Gajak, Chauguni ke laddu and different kinds of Rajasthani breads.
You can visit Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, a very popular food joint as it is easily affordable and serves famous local snacks and sweet dishes – such as mouth watering Raj Kachori and Rasmalai. It is situated in the busy market of Johari Bazaar and serves other authentic Rajasthani specialties too.
Chokhi Dhani is one of the most popular places to sample traditional food, and of course, a slice of true Rajasthani culture. Enjoy camel rides and traditional performances or splurge in the in-house flea-market. This village-style restaurant serves authentic Rajasthani cuisine in an authentic ambiance with is several course fixed menu.
Pamper your taste buds at Handi Restaurant, on M.I. Road, which specializes in Non-vegetarian biryanis, curries and tandoori items. The atmosphere is great aligned by traditional interiors and a matching decor. Nearby Copper Chimney restaurant is a chic, elegant place with a friendly waiters’ army and a rollicking horse mural to compliment the decor. It offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian food as well as a small selection of Continental and Chinese food. Indian wines are available to accompany the exquisite food, flattering the taste and the aromas.
Spice Court is a relaxed clubhouse restaurant, with a blue-tiled roof and a splendid evening courtyard, the food is fresh, the kitchen spotless, and the kebab platters are a serious business. Folk dancers play perfect companions to the tasteful display of dishes that leave gastronomes asking for more. Choose to order as per your preferences rather than opting for the buffet.
Last but not the least, there are several houses and havelis offering you a flavour of royalty, by giving you an opportunity to dine with a royal family, witnessing the authentic royal hospitality, listen to their tales and savor culinary specialties that have traveled several generations. Not a difficult possibility is to a cooking demo.
Delhi is one of the oldest surviving cities in the world today. It is an amalgam of eight cities, each built in a different era by a new dynasty. The remains of forts, palaces and buildings are spread across the city, which adds to its character. Delhi has evolved into a culturally secular city – absorbing different religions, diverse cultures, both foreign and indigenous–and yet functioning as one organic entity, in its thousand-year history. It was known for its riches – both material and cultural. Foreign travellers were hypnotized by it; books have been written on it since times immemorial; poets have loved it and Kings and Emperors have fought over it. The National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine describes it as “one of the Ultimate Cities of a Lifetime to visit and explore.”
Delhi’s attractions range from forts and monuments dating back a thousand years to modern shopping malls, nightclubs and golf courses, as well as a wide range of cuisines to suit every taste.
Sightseeing, Shopping and Eating in Delhi — Suggestions and Options
Go sightseeing in Old Delhi. Visit Shajahanabad, the 17th-century city built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. Admire the famous and opulent Red Fort (a world heritage site), as well as the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Take a short rickshaw ride through the colourful bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Stop at Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, was cremated. Enjoy lunch at the Broadway Hotel restaurant Chor Bizarre, one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi, which features interesting interiors and delectable cuisine.
Begin the New Delhi tour with Birla Mandir, a modern colourful Hindu temple. Drive down the spectacular Rajpath, with a photo stop at the India Gate, and glimpses of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Houses of Parliament. Visit the breathtaking Humayun’s Tomb (a world heritage site), considered a model for the Taj Mahal. Take a short walk in the Lodi Gardens – the haven of serenity.
Visit Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi, which includes Qutab Minar (a world heritage site), the tallest minaret (72.5 meters) in India, built as part of a 12th century mosque, the first in India. Observe how the monument appears as the sun sets. Stay on after sunset to see it under hues of light. Proceed for a heritage walk in Hauz Khas Village and its surroundings – a journey through history, cuisine and shopping – from the past to the present.
Other sights worth seeing in Delhi include:
- Lotus Temple of the Baha’i religion
- Connaught Place
- Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
- Parathewali Gali and Dariba Kalan in Old Delhi
- Akshardham temple
- Nizamuddin Basti and Dargah
- Delhi Zoo
You can also go boating at the Old Fort, and enjoy the sound and light show at the Red Fort.
Shopping expeditions in Delhi could take you from the environs of Chandni Chowk, where you can purchase traditional textiles, attars and jewellery, to the more modern and sophisticated ambience of Khan Market and Connaught Place, frequented by expats and members of the diplomatic corps.
While the stalls in Dilli Haat and the state emporias on Baba Kharak Singh Marg introduce you to the handloom and handicrafts goods produced in all of India’s numerous states, Delhi’s many malls—Select Citywalk, DLF Mall, MGF Metropolitan and Ansal Plaza—showcase Indian and internationally famous brands.
Karol Bagh caters to the wedding planners and hardened shopaholics, whereas Hauz Khas Village, where you glimpse the remains of Khilji and Tughlaq-era madrassas, mosques and a tank, introduces you to India’s artists and fashion designers, through its art galleries and boutiques.
South Extension can be a motorist’s nightmare over the weekends—it is not only a popular shopping complex, but also includes residences and offices. Janpath is a popular destination for young people, with its reasonably priced clothes and artefacts.
Eating—Delhi’s cuisine, like its monuments, provides a vivid glimpse into its history.
The kababs, biryanis and curries served at Karim’s, located in Jama Masjid and Nizamuddin Basti, are the same that were eaten by Mughal emperors.
Moti Mahal, in Darya Ganj, serves tandoori food and curries popular in the north-west and Punjab, which became popular in Delhi after independence and partition.
Sagar Ratna, in Ashoka Hotel and Defence Colony, provides South Indian snacks—idlis, dosas, vadas and sambars—that Dilliwalas have grown to enjoy. Swagath, also associated with Sagar and located in Defence Colony, includes non-vegetarian food from South India, from the coastal regions.
If you’re shopping in Hauz Khas, stop off at Raas to enjoy a kabab meal or go to Gunpowder to relish home-style South Indian cooking whipped up by Satish Warier and Kiran Bhushi.
Spice Route at the Imperial takes our taste buds to South-East Asia, whereas China Garden takes us across the northern border.
Cafe Diva, in Greater Kailash, and Chez Nini in Jorbagh, are famous for their authentic Continental cuisine—Italian and French.
Last but not least—Maurya Sheraton’s Bukhara is justly famed for its scrumptious kababs and kali daal—just ask ex-President Bill Clinton. The more adventurous would doubtless enjoy Delhi street food, served at Nathu’s in Bengali Market.
Udaipur is one of the most famous historical places of Rajasthan in Western India. This city is also known as The City of Lakes. Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the final capital of the erstwhile Mewar kingdom. Legend has it that Maharana Udai Singh II came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravali Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot, assuring him it would be well protected. Maharana Udai Singh II consequently established a residence on this site. In 1568, the Mughal emperor Akbar captured the fort of Chittor, and Udai Singh moved the Mewar capital to this very site of his residence which became the city of Udaipur.
Udaipur became a princely state of British India in the year of 1818. As the Mughal empire weakened, th Sisodia Ranas, and later Maharanas also called Suryavanshi (descendants of Sun God), who had always tried to oppose Mughal dominance, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except for Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state. Udaipur is also recognized for its palaces and vistas. These palaces are the symbols of romance, war, architecture, and the history of mankind.
Most Romantic City of India
Udaipur, also known as the Venice of The East, is the most awe-inspiring destination in India, its rich history and heritage is befitting its picturesque setting. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559, it has many manmade lakes and palaces, and fondly referred to as Rajasthan’s most romantic city. Udaipur combines traditional beauty with scenic surroundings and association with a glorious past. It stands in a valley, amidst green hills, on the banks of the wide, steel-blue Lake Pichola. Marble palaces rise from little islands in the lake, merging in the blue skies. The Maharana’s palace crowns the ridge on which the city clusters. Udaipur is replete with fantastic hill top fortresses, exotic fairy tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. Udaipur rivals any of the world’s famous creations of the Mughals with the Rajput love of the whimsical!!
Sightseeing, shopping and eating in Udaipur- Suggestions and Options:
Go sightseeing in Udaipur. Start your exciting journey at Lake Pichola. This is the famous lake in Udaipur, where Taj Lake Palace is situated. The Lake palace covers an entire island in Lake Pichola. Many of the old palaces have been converted into plush arenas, providing ideal setting for travelers to luxuriate and enjoy hotel’s hospitality. You can witness the magnificent beauty of the lake, enjoy a boat ride and let the exotic warmth of the place seep into your senses.
Visit City Palace, which is a conglomeration of buildings added to by various Maharanas; despite this, the palace manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design. The entrance is through Hathi Pol along the main street of the old city, past the Jagdish Temple. The Mor-Chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The China chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of lord Krishna are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Moti Mahal. The Krishna Vilas reminds of the Princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival Prince. The paintings, mosaics, intricately carved chhatris and the architecturally brilliant façade, all contribute to make a visit to the City Palace a truly memorable experience.
Visit the Crystal Gallery, located in the Fateh Prakash Palace—it contains a rare collection of Osler’s crystal ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877. Take a stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids). You can also visit Swaroop Sagar, Udai Sagar and Fateh Sagar lakes in this ‘City of Lakes’.
Other Sights in Udaipur include:
- Bagor ki haveli
- Nehru park
- Jain temple
- Dudh Talai
- Sajjangarh fort & wildlife sanctuary
- Ahar Museum
- Bhartiya Lok kala Mandir
Shopping experience in Udaipur
Being an important city of Rajasthan and India as well, Udaipur has the tints of bright colors and you can certainly discover these gorgeous hues in every corner of its lively markets. Udaipur has myriad number of small shops, big showrooms and roadside stalls that would offer you an extensive variety to choose from.
Udaipur offers an exquisite range of handicrafts and souvenirs to the travelers. These items range from hand-made toys, colorful puppets, intricate wall hangings, wooden pen stands and quills, beautiful cloth lanterns, handmade papers, etc. There is also an assortment of pottery that can be availed in both metal and mud. Pottery covers all kinds of pots, plates, vessels and different kinds of containers. Apart from this, brassware and terracotta sculptures are also popular. Regarding clothes, you can grab traditional clothes in batik and hand prints. Dyed saris and textile are also famous among the tourists. Silver jewelry is the main attraction and there is much to choose from to complete your ensembles. Around the streets of City Palace, you will find ethnic miniature paintings that are made in the creative style of the Mewar School of Art.
Coming to the Bazaars, Hathi Pol, Bada Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Bada Bazaar and Palace Road are some of the popular shopping arcades of Udaipur. Also, emporiums like Rajasthali and Sadhna offer a variety of products under a single roof; you will get the quality products at a fixed price here. However, the real charm of shopping comes in exploring the streets of Udaipur bargaining with the local vendors. So, while touring Udaipur take out some time to shop in the vibrant markets of Udaipur.
Eating Out in Udaipur
Udaipur offers exotic and mouth watering array of cuisines, for both vegetarian and non vegetarian gastronomes. Influenced by Vaishnavism, Udaipur cuisine is primarily debarred of non-vegetarian dishes. Udaipur is famous for its Dal-Baati-Churma, Gatte-Ki-Sabzi, Kachori and Mirchi Bada. Meals are usually comprised of lentils, vegetables and a fantastic variety of spices to pamper your taste buds. Lentil curries, yoghurt soups with deep fried breads and chilli fritters complete the feast. Okra, dried mango and Sangri (thin beans) go together with most of the dishes.
However, for people who love non-vegetarian food, there are many restaurants that can surprise the visitors with their offerings. There is a strong presence of multi-cuisine restaurants that provide cuisine to suit every palette – ranging from Chinese and Thai to Continental and Italian food.
Submerge in the essence of India with the magnificent Udaivilas. Winner of several awards, Udaivilas, offers fine international cuisine, authentic flavors of Rajasthan or an option to enjoy a quiet drink, all presented with views of the City Palace and Lake Pichola. The atmosphere helps you unwind appropriately in the lap of luxury as you savor mouth watering delicacies.
Taj Lake Palace’s fantastic location complements sublime cuisine in exquisite restaurants. Asian, Indian, Contemporary Western, Italian dishes and cocktails are all taken to the highest level in the hands of their master chefs. Resident Guests can choose a restaurant by the lily pond, poolside or on the rooftop. Royal butlers are on hand to arrange a private table anywhere that suits guest preference.
The open air Sheesh Mahal Restaurant at The Leela Palace, Udaipur, provides a perfect setting for a romantic meal under the stars. Feast on the exquisite local flavors served with legendary hospitality reminiscent of the great and vibrant past of the Indian Royalty.
Among the various restaurants, Savage Garden is very atmospheric, with indigo walls and tables in alcoves or in a pleasant courtyard. The food served here consists of Mediterranean cuisine with Italian and Middle Eastern influences. There are many Rooftop Restaurants, housed in small heritage hotels around Lake Pichola that offer a panoramic view of the city and serve a range of cuisines, matched with pleasant service and great hospitality.
The restaurant at the Jagmandir Island Palace is beautifully decorated and the setting is exquisite. An enthralling boat trip is just the beginning to reach here. Once on the island, enjoy delicious array of cuisine in the indoor air-conditioned restaurant on the water edge, glimpsing the palaces shimmering in Lake Pichola. Superb curries accompanied by a collection of wines, lend a Royal Touch to this gourmet experience.
It is advisable to book beforehand to ensure that the amazing dining experiences in Udaipur don’t elude you.