The Oberoi Udaivilas, a palace in Rajasthan’s City of Lakes

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The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan. The semi-private-pools | Finest Secrets | Finest Residences

Fondly known as the “City of Lakes”, Udaipur, the erstwhile capital of the Kingdom of Mewar, is resplendent with vast hilltop forts, palaces, temples and gardens that serve as reminders of its majestic history.

Many guests tend to end a tour of Rajasthan in Udaipur, and as such are looking for something utterly relaxing, and this is what Oberoi Udaivilas is all about. Falling in love with the charm of the “City of Lakes” is easy when you are staying at The Oberoi Udaivilas. Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, the Oberoi Udaivilas resort is spread over 30 acres of luxuriant gardens, with an intricate layout of interconnecting domes and corridors that reflect the layout of Udaipur itself; whose seven lakes are linked by canals.

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan | Finest Secrets | Finest Residences

The Oberoi Udaivilas resort reflects the old Rajput palaces, yet have world-class rooms and facilities.It offers superior accommodations, fine restaurants serving signature cuisine and a quiet emphasis on your wellbeing with daily yoga and personally curated spa treatments. All brought alive by the sincere attention to your every need that is distinctively Oberoi.

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan. Living room | Finest Secrets | Finest ResidencesThe rooms are delightful, with the Premier Rooms looking back over the verdant gardens and on the other they look over the lake and have an interconnecting pool in front of the rooms (Premier Rooms with Semi Private Pool). The bathrooms all come with indulgent roll-top bathtubs and separate showers, and the overall fixture and fittings are superb, with a slightly traditional, colonial feel. We heavily suggest upgrading to the rooms with a view, and with the added benefit of the pool that runs along the front of the rooms. The Suites then have their own private pools, and even more living space.

Three restaurants offer a range of international cuisine;  Suryamahal, located inside, Chandni, located outside, offering views over the lake and Udaimahal and its fantastic India speciality cuisine. Udaivilas features a superb spa, a 27-metres long swimming pool and a fully-equiped fitness centre.

Exploring Udaipur

Extraordinary history, richest culture, breathtaking scenery and Rajput-era palaces await you in “The City of Lakes”.

City Palace

The City Palace, Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan | Finest Residences

Begun in the 16th century and completed over 300 years, City Palace in Udaipur is actually composed of several palaces laid out in such a way that they appear as a single façade. It was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty. Its construction began in 1553, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittor to the new found city of Udaipur. The palace is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex.

The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in the State of Rajasthan. It was built atop a hill, in a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, providing a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Overlooking Lake Pichola, several historic monuments like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata temple, are all in the vicinity of the palace complex. Nestled within the Aravali mountain range, these landmarks are associated in popular culture with the filming of the 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy.

The Monsoon Palace

The Monsoon Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan - Front entrance | Finest ResidencesThe Monsoon Palace, also known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, is a hilltop palatial residence in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan in India, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. It is named Sajjangarh after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874–1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who it was built for in 1884. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside. It was built chiefly to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, appropriately, it is popularly known as Monsoon Palace. It is said that the Maharana built it at the top of the hill to get a view of his ancestral home, Chittaurgarh. Previously owned by the Mewar royal family, it is now under the control of the Forest Department of the Government of Rajasthan and has recently been opened to the public. The palace provides a beautiful view of the sunset.

Its builder, Maharana Sajjan Singh, originally planned to make it a five-storey astronomical centre. The plan was cancelled with Maharana Sajjan Singh’s premature death. It was then turned into a monsoon palace and hunting lodge.

High in the Aravalli Hills, just outside Udaipur, the Palace is illuminated in the evenings, giving a golden orange glow (see image in the infobox). The palace was used in the 1983 James Bond film “Octopussy” as the residence of Kamal Khan, an exiled Afghan prince.

Saheliyon Ki Bari

A beautiful park filled with sculptures and statues, Saheliyon Ki Bari (Garden of Maidens) was created by Maharana Sangram Singh for his queen and her 48 female attendants as a refuge from court life. It’s now a popular meeting spot. Look out for the lotus pond and elephant fountains.

Bagore Ki Haveli

Bagore Ki Haveli, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India | Finest ResidencesBagore-ki-Haveli is a haveli, a traditional townhouse or mansion in the Indian subcontinent, usually one with historical and architectural significance. It is right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amar Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the eighteenth century.

The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors are Haveli work. It also preserves an example of Mewar painting on the walls of the Queen’s Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are examples of glasswork.

Bada Bazaar

Bada Bazaar, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India | Finest ResidencesThe “grand bazaar”, near the Clock Tower, is a lively market where street side stalls and modern showrooms jostle for attention. Excellent souvenirs can be found here, including jewellery, traditional shibori hand dyed fabrics, camel leather bags and footwear, and much more, at reasonable rates. Udaipur is also famous for its miniature paintings. 

Bada Bazaar is the oldest market place in Udaipur. Here you can get a lot of stuff from shoes to expensive gold jewellery, clothing to cosmetics. If you’re looking for Rajasthan’s ethnic poshak this is also the place to find one. If you think something is cheap, it can become cheaper with your bargaining skills. Bargaining is the mantra which works here.

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