City of Lakes, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

For our final day in Udaipur we decided to join a boat ride around Lake Pichola and visit Monsoon Palace.

Lake Pichola Boat Ride

From City Palace Rameshwar Ghat we joined a shared boat ride tour around Lake Pichola. The one hour trip allowed us to get a close-up glimpse of all the small islands including;

  • Jag Niwas – which houses Lake Palace, a palace made famous by the Bond movie Octopussy.
  • Jag Mandir – which includes a Jag Mandir Palace that we stopped at.
  • Mohan Mandir – which we saw children diving into the waters from, and
  • Arsi Vilas – which houses a small palace

Jag Niwas Lake Palace famous for one of locations of the James Bond film OctopussyWooden boat near the Jag Niwas Lake Palace and the Monsoon Palace in the backgroundJag Niwas Lake Palace with a traditional wooden boat
Jag Niwas Lake Palace the home of titular character Octopussy in James Bond filmMonsoon Palace on Aravalli Hills in the distance with Lake Pichola Ghats in the foregroundBagore ki haveli Ghat with Jagat Niwas Ghat further on
City Palace as seen from Lake PicholaThe Udaipur City Palace complex viewed from Lake PicholaLal Ghat
Lal and Ghanghaur Ghat near Bagore ki haveliMohan Mandir with Lake Pichola Ghats behindMohan Mandir an uncompleted temple
Children diving from Mohan MandirSwargiya Jodh Singh Ji Chauhan Puliya bridgeA man and elephant under a tree
Elephant statues on the perimeter of Jag Mandir PalaceJag Mandir Palace surrounded with elephant statuesJag Mandir Palace elephant with City Palace seen in the distance
Sonya with an elephant at Jag Mandir PalaceTravis at Jag Mandir Palace and City Palace in the distanceSonya resting on a white stone chair
Sonya and Travis at Jag Mandir PalaceThree elephants and crocodile at Jag Mandir Palace fortunately all stoneBats in the trees on shore near the boats


Monsoon Palace

Our last destination in Udaipur was the Monsoon Palace, named as it was viewing location of the clouds used to determine the monsoon. Located five kilometers west from Udaipur, the journey was fairly expensive having to take an auto-rickshaw to the gate followed by part entrance fees and further Jeep transport to the palace.

The Monsoon Palace was extremely run-down, but did offer panoramic views of Udaipur and its lakes.

Mother and baby monkey resting under a bushMonkeys in a treeView of Udaipur from Aravalli Hills
View of Udaipur and Lake Pichola from the Monsoon PalaceSonya at one of the unrestored Monsoon Palace roomsView from Monsoon Palace of the Aravalli Hills


This concluded our exploration of the Rajasthan region, later that day we caught a train to New Delhi.

Venice of the East, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

From Jodhpur we caught a six hour bus ride south to Udaipur. We spent a fair bit of time exploring Udaipur as there was a lot to see and do. Udaipur is situated around a number of lakes which lead to its nickname, Venice of the East.

Our hostel was in the heart of Udaipur with most things walking distance.

Jagdish Temple

Extremely close to our hostel and on the way to City Palace, Jagdish Temple reminded me a lot of the Khajuraho Temples we had seen, though not at all erotic. The central god was a bronze statue of a Garuda, which was quite scary with his big painted eyes.

Elephant-flanked flight of steps Jagdish TempleStone carvings at Jagdish TempleStone carvings at Jagdish Temple
Stone carvings at Jagdish TempleChipmunk eating on the carvings of Jagdish TempleStone carving of two elephants
Makara of water spoutGanesha the elephant head godScary bronze statue of a Garuda


City Palace

From Jagdish Temple we walked south to the City Palace complex though the Tripolia Pol (Triple Gate). City Palace was like many of the previous palaces we had seen, interesting highlights were the Surya Choupad (Assembly Room) which housed a huge ornamental sun.

Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard) had beautiful peacock statues. So intricate were the peacock statues that each barb of the feathers were an individual strand of coloured glass.

The City Palace also had amazing pastel blue rooms filled with wall and window decorations all painted this pastel blue shade.

Tripolia Pol (Triple Gate) of City PalaceEntrance to the City Palace Museum from the Manek ChowkJag Niwas Lake Palace famous for one of locations of the James Bond film Octopussy
Mural of a horse with a rider in the city palaceGanesha at the Ganesh Chowk, god of transitionsTrunk attachment for war horses make the elephants think the horses are baby elephants
Painting depicting Battle of Haldighati (1576)Angel carved in the stone wallSonya with Lake Pichola in the background
Intricate stone carved coloured windowsCages for carrier pigeonsView of Udaipur from City Palace
On of the arched undercover areas of the courtsSurya Choupad with a ornamental sun, the symbol of the sun-descended Mewar dynastyScenes of westerners in a pastel blue decorative frame
Pascal blue wall decoration at Zenana Mahal (Womens Palace)Zenana Mahal (Womens Palace) with a swinging chairPascal blue room
A western style room at the City PalaceLooking over the City PalaceColourful stain glass windows with Lake Pichola outside
Intricate wooden door with poppy flowersA checker board floor of one of the City Palace ChowksOverlooking Manek Chowk at City Palace
Wall painting flower tessellationOne of the mosaic peacocks at the Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard)The intricate feathers on the peacock
Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard)Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard)Sonya and Travis self portrait on a mirrored room
The Zenana Mahals central courtyard, Laxmi ChowkColourful door openings found in City PalaceCity Palace as viewed from the outside
Front Side of the City Palace UdaipurAntique canon on the grounds of the City PalaceBrightly painted door of the City Palace


Lal Ghat

From City Palace we walked back to our hostel stopping at Lal Ghat. Lal Ghat provided us beautiful views of Pichola Lake, including Jagniwas Island (Lake Palace, made famouse with the Bond movie Octopussy) and Moun Mandir.

Jag Niwas Lake Palace famous for one of locations of the James Bond film OctopussyMohan Mandir and Jag Niwas Lake Palace in the distanceTravis resting at Lal Ghat
Travis resting with birds flying from a cageSonya and Travis at Lal Ghat located on Lake PicholaEntrance to Bagore-ki-Haveli


Udaipur at Night

Walking across one of the lake’s bridges at night, we managed to catch the City Palace and ghats illuminated against Pichola Lake.

Jag Niwas Lake Palace on Lake Pichola at nightUdaipur City Palace complex at nightUdaipur City Palace at night