Gay India Travel: Udaipur, the City of Lakes
The really, really rich and powerful who built and ruled this corner or Rajasthan literally had it all. You can see opulent palaces and ornate temples in the morning, then shop and take a lazy boat ride in the afternoon. Udaipur, the City of Lakes is one of India's most fascinating and colorful destinations. Purple Dragon pioneered LGBT travel to India.
Lavish Palaces, Lush Gardens, Bustling Markets and Scenic Lakes
One of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan is Udaipur the "City of Lakes." The marble palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and the city's lakes make Udaipur seem almost unreal. Surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. The Lake Palace Hotel, in the middle of Lake Pichola, is a fine example of its architectural and cultural contribution to the region. The City Palace on the banks and the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above complete the perfect picture postcard setting.
Day One: Lakes & Palaces
Morning transportation to the airport for your flight from either Delhi or Jaipur to Udaipur, the City of Lakes. Our staff meet you on arrival and see you to your hotel. In the afternoon, a tour of the City Palace. Completely white and majestic, The City Palace stands on a hill surrounded by intricately scalloped walls. Its main entrance is through the triple arched gate, The Tripola, built in 1725. There is Suraj Gokhada , the Balcony of the Sun where the Suryavanshi Maharana (the descendent of the sun) of Mewar presented themselves in time of trouble to the people to restore their confidence. The More Chowk , or the Peacock Courtyard, gets its name from the vivid mosaics in glass, which decorate its walls.
Day Two: 1,444 Carved Pillars of Ranakpur
Start with a morning excursion to Ranakpur . Renowned for some marvelous carving in Amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the Jain Community. The temples were built around the 15th century A.D. during the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central four-faced temple, is dedicated to the venerated the Tirthankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides, it enshrines the four faces (images) of Adinath. Sprawling over 48,000 square feet, the temple is an astounding creation with twenty-nine halls and 1,444 intricately carved pillars.
Images of twenty-four "tirthankaras" (saints) are carved on the porticoes in a corridor around the shrine with each mandap having a spire adorned with little bells on the top. The gentle breeze wafting through the corridors move the bells creating celestial music all around the complex. Rising in three stories, the temple has four small shrines, with eighty spires supported by four hundred twenty columns.
Two temples, dedicated to saints Parasvanath and Neminath, face the main temple. The temples have beautiful carvings similar to that of Khajuraho. Another temple worth visiting is the nearby Sun Temple, an eighth century A.D. temple dedicated to the Sun God. The temple has polygonal walls richly embellished with carvings of warriors, horses and other deities riding chariots.
Day Three: Eklingji & Nagda
In the morning, enjoy an excursion to Eklingji with its multiple temples within one complex and Nagda famous for its Sas Bahu, or Sahastra Baahu Temple ruins. Later, we deliver you to the airport for your flight to Delhi or Jaipur.
Prices and Hotels
Prices depend on your choice of hotel and when you want to travel.
We offer several different hotels in Udaipur, ranging from standard to luxury class. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We only use hotels that are gay-owned, gay-managed or gay-friendly. We inspect most hotels at least once a year. If you want a specific hotel please let us know.
To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please email us .
Udaipur is offered only as an add-on to Purple Dragon's Golden Triangle tour package and is not available separately.
Udaipur, City of Lakes includes two nights lesbian/LGBT-friendly hotel accommodation, daily breakfast beginning on day 2, lunch in Ranakapur, entrance fees to places mentioned in the itinerary, services of English speaking guide, air conditioned Toyota with driver, all presently-applicable taxes. Not included: airfare, other meals, other admission costs, items of a purely personal nature.