In the harsh terrain of the hills and ravines of Aravallis, flourishes the city of lakes, Udaipur. One of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is situated around the shimmering clear blue water lakes, which whisper the mood of a bygone era.
The city was founded in 1567 AD by Maharana Udai Singh on the advice of a sage. Udaipur was last of the numerous Mewar capitals. It was in Udaipur that legendary Maharana Pratap was born. He was obsessed with Chittaur and the past glories of the Sisodia clan possessed his mind. Maharana Pratap left Udaipur to win back Chittaur from the Mughals. But he failed in his attempts and Udaipur remained the capital of Mewar till India got her independence.The memory of the failure of noble Pratap gives Udaipur its pervading mood of nostalgic wistfulness.
The city acquires its scenic beauty from the Aravallis. Three lakes- Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar make it an oasis in the desert
Prime Attractions of Udaipur
This former summer residence of the royal family has now been converted into a fabulous hotel.
The Mewar Festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring. It coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur and has a unique charm about it. It is time for cultural events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dances and other programmes. The festival culminates with an impressive fireworks display.
City Palace (Udaipur)
City Palace, the majestic white royal building towers itself on a hill and is surrounded by crenellated walls. The palace was completed in its present form by the contribution of many rulers. Originally started by Udai Singh, the later additions were so carefully planned and integrated with the original building that it becomes difficult to believe that the building was not conceived as a whole. The city palace stands along the shores of Lake Pichola.
Govt Museum - Udaipur
The Government Museum of Udaipur was originally located in Gulab Bagh and was called the Victoria Hall Museum. It has now been shifted to Karan Vilas Mahal within the precincts of the City Palace.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
This is a museum of folk arts, which has rich collection of folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments and paintings. World famous puppeteers put shows here, on request in advance.
City Palace Museum
The main part of the City palace, Udaipur is now preserved as a museum with a large and varied collection. It was established in 1890 AD and is one of the earliest museums of the state.
Fateh Sagar Lake
The picturesque Fateh Sagar Lake, located north of Lake Pichola is overlooked by a number of hills on the three sides and Pratap Memorial on the north, was built by Maharana Fateh Singh.Lake It is a medium-sized reservoir constructed by the rulers of former Mewar State
Few gardens in India are as bewitching as this rose garden. Having roses from all over the world, in all fathomable hues and colours, this garden is a virtual feast to the enthusiastic as well as the weary souls.
Dedicated to Vishnu, this temple was built in 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh.
This ancient place in Mewar is famous for their intricate carvings of the graceful 'apsaras'. 23 kms from the city.
The panoramic lake that enraptured Maharaja Udai Singh, Lake Pichola is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and has two island palaces- Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir. It was later enlarged by the founder.
Saheliyon-ki-Bari or the 'Garden of the Maids of Honour', so called because the royal ladies came here for a stroll, is a well laid out garden, with extensive lawns and shady walks.
Excursions from Udaipur
Eklingji, the city dotted with temples, is located about twelve miles to the North of Udaipur in Rajasthan. 22 kms from Udaipur, Eklingji is a complex of 108 ancient temples, incised out of sandstone and marble.
Jaisamand Sanctuary is situated 50-km south of Udaipur, the picturesque 'City of Lakes', succulent valleys and hills. It is on the bank of Jaisamand Lake, the second largest artificial Lake in Asia.
Kumbhal Garh Fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century. Perched on the Aravallis, this is the second most important fort in Rajasthan after the Chittaurgarh Fort. Nearby is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji - an image of Krishna, which was originally enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura.The name Nathdwara means 'Gate of the Lord'.
The scene of the famous battle of 1576 AD fought between Rana Pratap, the heroic son of Udai Singh and the massive forces of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. A beautiful 'Chhatri' with white marble columns, dedicated to Rana Pratap stands here.
The tenth century Ambika Mata Temple is well preserved in all its splendour
An important Vaishnava temple popularly called ¿Dwarkadhish¿ is located here. It is the most important temple of the Vallabhacharya sect, built to resemble the famous Nathdwara shrine.
On the way to Kumbhalgarh lies the magnificent dam - the Rajsamand Lake. The royal lake, was built in 1660 AD by Rana Raj Singh. From here, one can have a spectacular view of the sunset with beautiful 'torans' or arches and 'chhatris' adorning the embankment. The lake has a Rest House of the Irrigation Department on the embankment below. The Rest House has a beautifully laid out garden interspersed with exquisite sculptures excavated from the ruins nearby. The town of Kankroli nearby with a marvellous temple and a pretty palace on the hill.