State : Rajasthan
The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water
lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravallis. A vision in
white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend
of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination
of poets, painters and writers. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces,
lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry
the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valour and chivalry. Their
reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing
sight. Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar-a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia
dynasty for 1200 Years. The foundation of the city has an interesting
legend associated with it. According to it, Maharana Udai Singh,
the founder, was hunting one day when he met a holy man meditations
on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola. The hermit blessed the
Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorable located
spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake, an agreeable
altitude and an amphitheatre of low mountains. Maharana followed
the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands
the splendid City Palace-a marvel in granite and marble. Of the
original eleven gates of the Udaipur City, only five remain. The
Suraj Pol the original or Sun Gate on the eastern side is the main
entrance to the city. Exquisite lake palaces of Udaipur shimmering
like jewels on Lake Pichhola are overwhelming in splendor. Several
places of interest around Udaipur, including the majestic, Chittaurgarh,
the mountain fortress of Kumbhalgarh, beautiful Jain temple of Ranakpur,
Eklingji and Nathdwara and the cool retreat of Mt. Abu, make the
visit to Udaipur a memorable one.
Once the capital of Mewar, Udaipur was founded by Rana Udai Singh
after the fall of Chittor to Akbar in 1568. Although the Rajputs
were thrown out of their capital they never gave up their sense
of freedom, choosing to give up their lives lives for dignity and
honour instead. Legend says that Maharana Udai Singh was out hunting
one day and he came upon a sage seated beside the Pichola Lake.
The sage said that the king would build his palace at the same site,
and then the fortunes of his family would change. The Maharana built
a small shrine, Dhuni Mata, to mark the spot which is now the oldest
part of the City Palace. Udai Singh chose the site of Udaipur for
his new capital and built an artificial lake named Udai Sagar after
himself. Later he hit upon a pond said to have been made in the
15th century by a banjara (gypsy).
Place to See
City Palace & Museum
This majestic white royal building towers itself on a hill and is
surrounded by crenellated walls. The palace stands along the shores
of Pichola. It is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Although
a conglomeration of buildings constructed by various Maharanas over
a period of time, the complex still manages to retain a uniformity
of design. The palace has many courtyards, pavilions, terraces,
corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. One can get a magnificent
view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces of the palace.
The main part of the palace has now been preserved as a museum.
One get to see the beautiful mosaics of peacocks at the Mor Chowk,
the glass and mirror work in the Manak Mahal and Moti Mahal, and
a beautiful collection of miniatures in Krishna Vilas.
Fateh Sagar Lake
This beautiful lake, constructed in 1678, lies to the north of Lake
Pichola. The lake, built by Maharana Fateh Singh, is overlooked
by a number of hills on three sides and the Pratap Memorial on the
north. The east bank of the lake has a pleasant drive along it.
In the middle of the lake is Nehru Park-a lovely garden island that
has a boat-shaped restaurant in it. The island can be accessed only
About 4 km in length and 3 km wide, the picturesque Pichhola Lake
is fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples. The
lake was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh II after he founded the
city. The two islands on the lake, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas, present
a magnificent sight. One of the major attractions here are the boat
rides. The boats leave regularly from the City Palace jetty (known
as Bansi Ghat) and take you on a pleasant trip around the lake including
a visit to Jag Mandir Island and other ghats around the lake.
The Lake Palace
This former summer residence of the royal family has now been converted
into a fabulous hotel.
Sahelion Ki Bari
On the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake was built a garden for the 48
young girls waiting to be sent to the royal house as part of dowry.
This garden is laid with extensive lawns, fountains and shady walking
lanes. There are four pools with dainty kiosks and fountains with
elephant trunks for spouts. These gardens appear discrete and impeccable
On the top of Moti Magri overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the
bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on his horse Chetak. Known as Pratap
Smarak (memorial), the statue is kept in a well laid out garden.
Legend has it that Chetak jumped an abyss of extraordinary width
in the battle of Haldighati to save his master's life.
Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, the temple is located at
about 150 metres north of the entrance to the City Palace. The temple,
built in Indo-Aryan style, is the largest temple of Udaipur. Here
one can have a look at a black stone image of Lord Vishnu, who has
been enshrined here as Jagannath, lord of the universe. A brass
image of Garuda lies in front of the temple.
Eklingji (22 Km)
Eklingji is a small town famous for its temples. It is a temple
complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls. Built in 1734 AD,
the temples are dedicated to the royal deity Ekling ji. The complex
has been chiselled out of sandstone and marble. It has an ornate
'mandap' or pillared hall, the canopy of a huge pyramidical roof
composed of hundreds of knots. The Eklingji Temple is dedicated
to Shiva, who is regarded to be the guardian deity of the Mewar.
The deity was regarded as the virtual ruler by the Maharajas of
Mewar who considered themselves to be the regents (dewans) under
Kumbhalgarh (64km from Udaipur)
Kumbhalgarh is located 64 Km from Udaipur at an altitude of 1087
m. This mountain fortress built in 15th century was called the "eye
of Mewar" because of its strategic position in relation to
its agressive neighbours of Gujarat and Marwar. Designed in accordance
with the ancient Hindu treatise, Vastu Shastra
Fairs & Festivals
The onset of spring brings the Mewar festival. During the festival,
the tradition and culture of Rajasthan dominates every other thing
in one's mind.
How To Reach
: Debock Airport is 24 km from the city centre,
Dairy Indian Airliness flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur Jaipur
aurangbad, Mumbai and Delhi.
: Udaipur is directly linked by rail with
major cities some important train connection are : 9643 Express
(Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Jaipur-Ajmer-Chittaurgarh-Udaipur.)
: A wide network of bus service link Udaipur
with several destinations. Some of the important distance are Agra
630km, Ahmedabad 262 km Jaipur 406 km .Jodhpur 275km and Mount Abu