The top points to note about Udaipur tourism
The historic city of Udaipur has always held a special fascination for tourists. It offers you the chance to explore old palaces and forts, thus reliving glorious Indian history in just one visit. Besides, there are many avenues for rest and recreation as well, from public parks to swank restaurants. If you haven’t yet holidayed in Udaipur, you should make plans this year.
Broadly, these are our suggestions for enjoying Udaipur tourism to the fullest, and for keeping yourself safe and out of harm’s way:
* Best time to visit Udaipur: It is located in the desert State of Rajasthan. Like all desert-based cities, it has an extremely hot and dry climate. However, its blazing hot summer season is at complete odds with the freezing cold winter season. In between comes the monsoon season, with heavy showers that reduce the sandy streets to slush. In our opinion, the ideal time to visit Udaipur is in the winter months, between November and January. You can plan your Udaipur tourism when the skies are clear, the air is crisp, and all the tourist hangouts are open for exploring. On the upside, the summer and monsoon months see very few tourist footfalls, so you can get heavy discounts on shopping, eating at restaurants in Udaipur, and hotel and resort tariffs. Less crowds means there is more peace and quiet to explore as well
It is important to know how to reach Udaipur from your hometown. Your flight will arrive at Maharana Pratap Airport at Udaipur. Once at the airport, you can book a taxi to reach your resort, or ask your resort to send a pick-up. The sooner you book your flight, the more the options in airline carriers and flight rates. Udaipur tourism has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, so expect full flights and hotels in peak summer tourist season. You can even arrive by car or train, though these are long journeys. Once inside Udaipur, there are transport options like autorickshaws, taxis, private cars and hired bikes, etc. The tariffs may be differentially priced across different operators, so be sure to get a quote first.
* Dress modestly: Though Udaipur has a large tourist population descending on the city every year, and though it is quite modern in outlook, you must still take care to respect the local traditions and norms. This begins with dressing modestly, in keeping with local rules. Nobody is going to berate you for wearing tank tops and hot pants in the summer months, but there might be some staring and pointing in the village areas. Women, especially, are expected to show modesty and wear full clothing when out and about, especially at places of worship and inside villages. In any case, take care to wear loose cotton clothing that covers your limbs, or you risk getting a deep tan or sun burn. Whenever possible, wear Indian attire when you go sightseeing.
* Mind your interactions: Rajasthan is quite liberal in many aspects of life, but both the men and women do not take kindly to overfamiliar behaviour from strangers. It might seem prudish to you, but drinking, smoking or the two genders mingling freely in residential areas are behaviours often frowned upon by conservative Udaipur residents. Do not speak too much or too freely with residents, be friendly and polite when you ask questions, and learn a few stock phrases in the local language (for ‘Sorry’, ‘Excuse me’, ‘Please’, Thank you’).
* Women need to be careful: There are scores of solitary female backpackers and those on solo work or pleasure trips exploring Udaipur on their own. Udaipur tourism is quite safe for women, and people are quite friendly and helpful as well. But there are always stray cases of mugging, bag snatching, molestation and fleecing at markets. Thus, women need to be really careful who they speak with, especially when they engage Udaipur travel guides to show them different spots. Only pay what the guide brochure asks you to pay (tipping guides is not mandatory) and be mindful about leaving your food and drinks unattended. If you feel unsafe due to staring or people passing comments in busy public places, head out with a group or hire a private car from your resort. Do not go to unfamiliar places alone, and never accept invitations to hang out at hotels or clubs with a group you’ve just met.
* Speak respectfully: Another important tenet of Udaipur tourism is speaking respectfully to one and all. Residents pride themselves on their good manners and warm hospitality, so raised voices, curtness and not expressing gratitude for good services provided, are taken as affronts. There is no need to be subservient, but always smile and be polite when you have been waited upon, or assisted with directions or transport, or helped in any way. Make sure that you fold your hands in greeting and when saying goodbye, instead of grabbing your host’s hand for a shake. Never initiate touching a woman, however friendly she may be – it is not appreciated and may be taken as a sign of flirtation or worse.
* Men, keep your distance: This cannot be stressed enough, and men must be really careful about how they interact with women in Udaipur. Residents don’t take kindly to strange men talking to the female members of their household. For example, when asking directions, talk to the man and not his female companion or children. The rules are quite relaxed in the city areas where there are migrant and student populations, but it doesn’t hurt to say less to women in Udaipur if you can help it. Passing remarks or flirtatious gestures are absolutely not acceptable. Maintain a respectful distance, and present yourself in a non-threatening manner. Read up on informal etiquette rules for Udaipur tourism to know more.
* Don’t stay out late: Udaipur is quite safe for all tourists, young or old, male or female. But unlike the bustling metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi, the city begins to wind down after sunset. Take care not to venture out alone in unfamiliar areas after dark. If you must step out after dark, first arrange for a pick-up and drop and look for a group to go with. Avoid staying at faraway tourist spots until closing time, because you cannot always find a taxi to take you back to your resort.
* To tip or not – that is the question: Like in the rest of India, whether you tip hotel or restaurant wait staff depends largely on the level of service. If you are not satisfied with the food or service, or if the wait staff was incompetent or rude, then it is not necessary to leave a tip. It will not be held against you, unless the service was excellent and you still skipped the tip. When you tip, it is sufficient to leave 10% of the bill amount as the tip. If you have been charged a ‘Service charge’, which some high end restaurants in Udaipur are wont to do, then you do not need to tip at all because you have already been charged for service. This rule is mentioned in many Udaipur tourism guide books, too.
* Go shopping:
Udaipur tourism is incomplete without a good long shopping trip, as often as possible! There are several interesting shopping hubs in Udaipur, and you can buy everything from clothing to wooden artefacts for yourself and your loved ones. These are our top picks for Udaipur markets to check out: Tibetan Market, Hathipol Market, Bada Bazaar, Lakkar Market, Sindhi Chowk, Bhatiyani Chohatta, Bapu Bazaar and Ashwini Market, among many others.
* Make a list of the places to visit in Udaipur: Udaipur is a historically important city, featuring palaces, forts, desert safaris and huge public gardens. You will never have a dearth of things to do in Udaipur and places to explore. But some of them are located outside the city limits, while you might not have enough time to visit the others. Here’s what you do: sit down and do some research about the best places to visit and what you can expect to find there. Trace these spots on a map from your resort’s location, and find out distances and whether it is the right time to visit them. There is no need to do all the recommended Udaipur tourism spots if you don’t have the time or the inclination to do so. Or you can go all out and have a packed calendar of places to visit – after all, you don’t visit this beautiful city every day!
* Book a good luxury resort to enjoy your stay even more: The best way to ensure a great holiday is to book yourself into a wonderful Udaipur resort. We recommend checking into the Club Mahindra Kumbhalgarh Resort. A stunning location, round the clock efficient service, well-appointed rooms and excellent on-site amenities make this resort a favourite among holidayers in Udaipur. Your holiday will be made extremely comfortable and memorable when you check into Club Mahindra Kumbhalgarh Udaipur.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL) offers quality family holidays through vacation ownership memberships. Book a fantastic holiday for yourselves and your loved ones by stating your preferences for the kind of holiday you wish to have, and let Club Mahindra handle the rest. The resorts goes all out in ensuring that your stay is as comfortable as possible. Club Mahindra currently operates 61 luxury resorts in India and around the world.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Resort Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Memberships, the other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at www.clubmahindra.com