Visit the impressive City Palace for a taste of Rajasthan's storied past. James Bond's fans will immediately recognize the Octopussy Palace, elegantly blending Rajasthani, European, Chinese and Mughal architecture. Surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains and towering over the Pichola lake, Udaipur city Palace is an exquisite witness of the splendor that the rulers of Mewar enjoyed centuries ago.
A vast complex
Rajasthan's largest palatial complex, this architectural masterpiece took 400 years to construct. Walk in this fairy tale palace and start exploring the carved wonders of the various buildings composing it. Each king commissioned its vision by sourcing architectural influences from different parts of the world, fitting seamlessly to showcase splendors of their dynasties. Marvel at interiors extravagantly decorated with mirrors, paintings, tiles and stained-glasses. Every palace, courtyard and gardens have a distinctive charm.
Treasures from the past
The main part is now preserved as a museum displaying a wide array of artifacts. Start your tour with the armory museum and discover a huge collection of protective gears, weapons and double-bladed swords. Go through the Ganesh Chowk (Elephant gate) opening on the royal courtyard (Rajya Angan) and continue your exploration. Make sure to stop by the Zenana Mahal (the ladies palace) boasting beautiful frescoes as well as paintings telling colorful stories of lavish celebrations, historical battles, elephant fights and captivating hunting escapades.
As you travel from gate to gate, highlights include the Surya Choupad, featuring a huge ornamental sun (symbol of the Mewar dynasty), then followed by the Mor Chowk (Peacock courtyard), adorned with mosaics of the favorite Rajasthani bird.
Baadi Mahal also known as the Garden Palace is an exotic garden, hanging on a 90-feet high rock formation. This 17th-century palace was the ‘Men's section', offering a rare combination of exquisite architecture, fountains, luxurious apartments graced with old trees and flowering shrubs. Opposite to Baadi Mahal, you will find Amar Vilas, the highest point of the City Palace, consisting of an elevated garden, towers and royal balconies. From this enchanting lush garden, take in gorgeous views of Lake Pichola and the entire city.
Don't forget to bring your camera to capture those memorable moments but be aware that it requires an additional fee.