Udaipur is well-known as the movie location for the James Bond movie Octopussy, which was partly shot here. The City Palace, the Monsoon Palace, Lake Palace and some some locations of the nearby desert were used in this movie which starred Roger Moore. That's why many bars and restaurants now offer movie nights, sometimes every night where they are showing this classic movie. You can virtually walk inside every bar and ask to put the movie on. We didn't do it since to be fairly honest: the movie is a bit outdated, but maybe back home we'll once watch it to spot some of the locations used.
Not only this famous Bond movie was shot here. Many more modern movies and some Bollywood productions were also shot here. Most known are The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Andersen, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Ghandi.
The tourist center of the city is remarkably clean. The city is working hard to receive the title of the cleanest city of India. Though there is still a lot of work because in the latest ranking of Clean India Mission (hindi: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan), the city was ranked at the 417th place out of 476 cities.
Don't let the pushy salesmen distract you. In the main tourist area some shops might have rather agressive sales techniques, sometimes they just grab you by the arm. A resolute "not interested" is usually enough to get rid of them. When you want to do some real shopping for either spices or souvenirs, you better walk in the direction and passed the Clock Tower where you will find many shops at much more interesting prices.
As you will notice when visiting the city, Udaipur is a city with many miniature painters. Many walls in the city center are beautifully decorated with paintings. Often you will be stopped by local artists to have a look in their atelier or to join a painting class. Many times you'll hear the fine hairs of a brush are made of a squirrel's tail and what the several animals stand for which are often painted. Elephant means luck, camel stands for love. Why that is like that, they will tell you with a big smile.
Our favourite spots
We had a few spots in Udaipur we liked a lot. First of all is the organic restaurant Millets of Mewar. Once we did find the place, close to the footbridge, we came here every day. Sometimes several times a day to enjoy the healthy and tasty food, a good wifi connection and the very chill ambiance. One day we did follow a cooking class here and we were very lucky to enjoy Diwali together with the owners.
Ahar mausoleum is a site a bit off the beaten track. Not close to the center, but well worth the visit if you have enough of all the tourists. Read more about are visit to Ahar.