Udaipur’s City Palace has a never-ending façade that stretches for nearly 250m. This palatial complex consists of 4 main palaces and 11 smaller royal mansions. The upper terraces of the palace offer sprawling views of the lake and the old city. Travellers enter from the northern Baripol (Great Gate) and Tripolia (Three-arched) Gate.
City Palace is a living museum with a vast collection of royal artefacts. Your first stop is the Rajya Angan (Royal Courtyard), decked out with paintings, exotic tiles and mirrors. Krishna Vilas has an impressive collection of miniatures worth checking out, though photography is not permitted here. The ornamental sun in Surya Chopar definitely warrants a visit; so does the Chini Mahal with its collection of rare, decorative tiles. Stop by the Zenana Mahal for its collection of paintings and the Laxmi Chowk for its tiger-trapping cage.
If you’d like to further explore the history of Udaipur, the Government Museum within the City Palace contains inscriptions surviving from the 2nd to the 17th centuries. The 5th century sculptures here are interesting artefacts, as are the ornate Mewar miniature paintings. Thinks take a fantastical turn here with a stuffed monkey holding a lamp, and regal portraits of the maharajas depicting the evolution of the Rajasthani moustache.
A hop, skip, and a jump away from the City Palace is the Jagdish Temple. This Indo-Aryan temple was built in 1651 and its wall carvings make it a must-visit destination. There are elephants on either side of the temple entrance, making it a truly remarkable place of worship. The temple is open throughout the day and entry is free.
The City Palace sets the tone for all the other places to visit in Udaipur.