Why Visit Udaipur, India: Highlights from our Visit


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When people ask us about places in India to visit that are filled with intensity, color, and culture, but without being too overwhelming or filled with tourist-schlock, Udaipur is one of our top recommendations (Southern India is another). The setting of Udaipur on Lake Pichola is beautiful, and seems to provide a calm presence to the city.

So what are some of our favorite experiences and memories from our time in Udaipur? Keep reading.

Udaipur Fresh Market

We're often asked about our favorite markets around the world. The photo below puts you in the middle of one of them: Udaipur, India.

Udaipur fresh market. One of our favorite markets in the world.
Baskets and piles of vegetables and fruit on offer at the big market in Udaipur, India

When we visited Purani Subzi Mandi, the old vegetable market at Udaipur's Delhi Gate, it was a warm day which would cook up gray skies that eventually opened up to rain. But before all this, we spent time with vegetable vendors and basket weavers, moms and kids. It's no secret that we love street markets, a typical first stop when we arrive somewhere new. Markets help us get a feel for the people, the energy and the culinary pulse of a place.

This was no different. The whole scene was so perfectly representative of India's notoriously colorful Rajasthan state.

Thinking Cycles of Renewal: Sunset Puja (Prayers) in Udaipur

The sun sets on another day in Udaipur, India. People gather at the lake's edge to watch the day wind to an end and to take part in evening puja (prayers). This ritual, a daily cycle, elegantly pays reverence and homage to one day while preparing for the next.

Evening prayers on Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India.
Evening puja (prayers) on Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India.

As we move from reflecting on and closing out the past year to engaging in the new one, I thought of this ritual and scene from the beautiful city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Colorful, peaceful and connected to the rhythm of the days, the years, and life.

An Elephant Encounter in Udaipur

Where in the world can you wander through a market and almost run right into an elephant?

A lot of places, we're sure. But most certainly in India. India is a place where truth is often stranger than fiction, where each day features an adventure, and where sensory overload is the norm. Perhaps, then, there is no better place to bump into an elephant than in India.

An elephant encounter in Udaipur, India
Almost running into an elephant – literally – on the streets of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India.

We did our share of elephant bumping, but one stands out, quite literally — this one, poking around the street markets of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

If you do see an elephant crossing the street, perhaps you should ask him why he crosses the road. Maybe you can follow him for a blessing at the temple for a dose of karmic fortune. Elephant blessings are, well, a blessing. Along the way, you'll have to dodge all the motorbikes, carts, people — and maybe even other elephants — coming at you from every direction.

About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

9 thoughts on “Why Visit Udaipur, India: Highlights from our Visit”

  1. Love your panorama shot of the market. How do you do that? It’s sooooo cool! I love markets too, it’s always the first place to go, not only to get a little food to have at “home” but to visit and observe. I’m always impressed at how happy some people are, not matter their circumstances, and how grumpy some are, not matter how much money…..I just ran across your FB page and this website. I’ll be back. I’m heading out in May for a RTW trip myself, and reading up on how others do it is great fun.

    Reply
  2. @Sherry: Markets do indeed provide lessons in humanity as you’ve alluded to. As for the panoramas, we take a series of images with an ultra-wide angle fisheye lens and stitch them together with some software called Autopano Giga. Nice to see you here. Enjoy your RTW trip planning. Any questions, let us know. We have a little experience with that.

    @Kiran: Glad you liked it. I could play around all day at that market in Udaipur. Pretty incredible place.

    Reply
  3. I must say that visiting these market is definitely a lifetime experience. Its so much messy there and crowd is totally out of control. But still i love visiting these markets.

    Reply
  4. @Pooja: Visiting markets like this are usually the highlight of our travels. We also love the colors, activity, energy and people!

    @Dennis: Glad you also are a fan of the market in Udaipur!

    Reply
  5. @Mallikka: Yes, I imagine this would be quite different in the monsoon. Even when we were there we had to move quickly to avoid rains and the streets quickly filled with water.

    @Puru: Yes, you need to get a fisheye lens (i.e., 8mm) and stand in one spot and take 4 photos at 90-degree angles. Then we use software – Autopano Giga and PanoTour – to stitch the images together and make the “tour” you see above.

    Reply

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