Travel and Leisure recently revealed the big winners of their annual World’s Best Awards. For the top destinations in Asia, some results were surprising.
Of course, mega-popular destinations such as Tokyo and Bangkok made the cut, but the winner voted by fellow travelers was quite surprising.
What made it more surprising was the fact this Indian city come out on top twice in the last 5 years, yet its still not mainstream.
When travelers think of visiting India, perhaps New Delhi, Mumbai, or even Goa come to mind. But for those unaware, covered by the shadows of India’s larger metropolises is the astonishing city of Udaipur.
It’s hard to say it’s a hidden gem with the publicity it has received, but it is a gem nonetheless. India is home to many wondrous places that fly under the radar.
These awards are a great way to highlight what we’re missing out on. The city of Jaipur also made the top 12, but Udaipur took the #1 spot yet again slightly beating out Kyoto, Japan.
Here is why this city nestled in western India has become a favorite spot for travelers:
Udaipur Is The ‘Venice Of India’
Set in the western state of Rajasthan lies India’s version of Venice. And that’s no exaggeration; it fits the description like a glove.
The tranquil waters that flow through the city center set along breathtaking architecture are a sight to behold and give visitors a strong sense of serenity just being here.
Keep in mind Udaipur was founded in the mid-1500s. Perusing the streets or taking a Venice-like boat ride will take you back in time.
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Udaipur has a handful of nicknames. Other than the ‘Venice of India’, some call it ‘the White City’ with its endless rows of white marble stone visible with its multiple historic palaces, forts, and temples.
Definitely don’t miss the mesmerizing City Palace set along the city’s beautiful waterfront of Lake Pichola.
Another nickname for Udaipur is ‘the City of Lakes’. Waters not only flow through the city reminiscent of Venice but there are 7 gorgeous lakes to see throughout the city.
Of course, when traveling to a place for its Venice-esque atmosphere, one must take a boat ride. But other lakes, such as Fateh Sagar Lake, allow swimming and diving too.
Travelers say it’s best to see it in the morning to start the day with its stunning beauty with fewer crowds. At night, it becomes more lively with food vendors and fun boat tours.
On the opposite side of Udaipur is the Udai Sagar Lake. This scenic spot is home to some of the best resorts in the city overlooking the vast body of water and lush greenery.
The ‘hidden lake’, known as Badi Lake, is another worth visiting. Tucked away from the city life, this smaller lake doesn’t attract as much of a crowd if you time it right.
There is a nice park to start your hike and make your way to one of the best views in all of Rajasthan overlooking the vast mountains beyond the lake.
Safety Attracts All Types Of Travelers
In February of this year, reports claimed it the prior month was record-breaking for tourism. Travelers poured in from other regions of India, as well as many international visitors.
Mainly consisting of American, British, and French tourists, Udaipar is becoming increasingly popular as travelers seek new experiences.
While the sheer beauty of Udaipur is an attraction all on its own, when hopping on a plane for hours in the double digits, travelers want to know they will be safe.
Udaipur is a very safe destination that attracts all types of travelers. As long as normal precautions are taken, there are very few instances of travelers experiencing crime here.
According to Numbeo, Udaipir ranks ‘low’ and ‘moderate’ in almost every criminal category listed, including ‘very low’ rankings for discrimination.
Foreign visitors, including solo travelers, should feel very comfortable making this lovely cultural city their next big trip.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com