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Udaipur, Udaipur

Udaipur , Rajasthan
India's insider take:

Udaipur is without a doubt one of India's most beautiful towns—though, sadly, overzealous touts and shopkeepers tend to mar the city's otherwise enchanting mood. The landscape of the historical area that surrounds Lake Pichola is marked by the Mughal-inspired facade of the monumental City Palace as well as by the Lake Palace Hotel that sits on Jag Niwas Island. Udaipur is a small town and easy to explore by foot: A day or two can be spent wandering the streets from Hanuman Ghat across the footbridge to Gangaur Ghat and up toward the City Palace, which is open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Along the way is the towering 17th-century Jagdish Temple dedicated to Vishnu, and just down the hill is the clutch of hotels and boutiques that surround Lal Ghat. Don't leave Udaipur without taking a boat out onto the lake: The City Palace organizes boats that leave from its own palatial docks and drop visitors off for lunch or tea at the Jagat Niwas Palace. Cheaper, no-frills boat tours can be taken from Lal Ghat. The Monsoon Palace, perched atop a hill to the west of the city, is just an empty shell yet nonetheless offers breathtaking views of Udaipur and the surrounding countryside.—Vanessa Able

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