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From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    Udaipur was once the capital of the powerful state of Mewar, and still takes great pride in being the only one of the seven major Rajput states to have upheld its Hindu allegiance in the face of Muslim invasions. The Mewar household is the longest lasting of all the ruling powers in Rajasthan, and possibly the oldest surviving dynasty in the world. The current ruler is the seventy-sixth in an unbroken line of Mewar rulers dating back to 568 AD.

    Undoubtedly the most romantic city in Rajasthan, and perhaps the whole of India, Udaipur is situated 200 miles (320km) southwest of Jaipur. The city is centred around Lake Pichola and has inevitably been dubbed the 'Venice of the East'. Two island palaces, Jagniwas and Jagmandir, sit on the lake, with the former now the luxurious Lake Palace Hotel. The majestic City Palace towers over the lake and is bedecked with balconies, turrets and cupolas.

    Despite the many attractions in and around the city, the real joy of Udaipur lies in soaking up its atmosphere: taking in the view from a rooftop restaurant; wandering around the relatively hassle-free inner-city; enjoying a drink on the edge of the lake; or taking a boat to Jagmandir Palace past the ghats (riverside landings), where washerwomen congregate and a real 'slice of Indian life' unfurls before the eyes.

    Udaipur Lake Palace

    The white walls of Udaipur's Lake Palace soar above the peaceful waters of Lake Pichola, topped by ornamental battlements and turrets. The sprawling palace has been developed by successive maharanas since the foundation of Udaipur in 1559. These days, part of the palace is home to the current maharana, a section of it is a first-class hotel (with the best restaurant in the city), and the remainder is a museum. Udaipur's Lake Palace really does have a storybook quality to it, both in terms of its looks and its history, and it is rightly considered by all and sundry to be one of India's stellar tourist attractions.

    Udaipur City Palace Udaipur City Palace soylentgreen23
    Jain Temples of Ranakpur

    Forty miles (60km) north of Udaipur are the Jain Temples of Ranakpur. It is the largest temple complex of its kind in India, and boasts some truly staggering marble work. The main temple was built in 1439, and is dedicated to the first tirthankara Adinath, whose image is enshrined in its central sanctuary. The temple is two or three storeys high in parts, and its roof, topped with five large shikharas, undulates with tiny spires that crown the small shrines to Jain saints lining the temple walls. Within are 1444 pillars, each sculpted with unique and intricate designs, and dissecting the 29 halls.

    Jain Temple, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur McKay Savage
    Kumbhalgarh Fort

    Kumbhalgarh is a massive Mewar fortress built in the 15th century, with seven heavily fortified gateways and a perimeter wall that extends a staggering 22 miles (36km); possibly the second longest continuous wall in the world. Inside this intimidating complex there are more than 360 temples (300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu) in addition to the main palace. The fortress has immense sentimental significance for local inhabitants because it is the birthplace of Mewar's legendary king, Maharana Pratap. Needless to say, one can spend hours exploring this architectural and historical playground, and those who enjoy climbing will find many opportunities. The views from the many vantage points of this fortress are astounding.

    Kumbhalgarh Fort Kumbhalgarh Fort Aryarakshak

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Known as the City of Lakes, or the Venice of the East, many of the attractions in Udaipur are revolve around the city's beautiful lakes. Lake Pichola is a great starting point for sightseeing in Udaipur because it is enveloped by palaces, mansions and temples, and boasts several pretty islands. It is one of the largest and most picturesque lakes in the city. Attractions on the lakeside include the City Palace of Udaipur on the eastern bank, Mohan Mandir on the northeast corner, and the famous Lake Palace on Jag Island. Boat rides and sunset cruises are a treat and although it is surrounded by palatial architecture, Lake Pichola also has many bathing ghats (steps), where locals congregate to wash and socialise, adding colour and authenticity to the lovely scenery. Other beautiful lakes in the city include Fateh Sagar, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar.

    Those willing to venture beyond this picturesque city will find that there are many worthwhile excursions from Udaipur. The Jain Temples of Ranakpur are magnificent, showcasing some of the best marble work in India. The Ranakpur Temple complex is the largest of its kind in the world and a must-see for anybody visiting the area. It is conveniently located on the route between Udaipur and Jaipur. There are many other temples a short way out of the city, including the small but impressive Eklingji Temple, which draws rave reviews from tourists.

    A bit further afield, but still within easy driving distance for a day-trip, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is a real adventure, promising hundreds of atmospheric 15th-century temples to explore, exhilarating views, and a perimeter wall second in length only to the Great Wall of China.


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