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Udaipur

Surrounded by the Aravali hills and regarded as one of the most attractive cities in India, Udaipur is a city of beautiful palaces and lakes that add immensely to the grandeur and romance of royal Rajputana.

In the dry desert state of Rajasthan, Udaipur is an oasis with numerous lakes that are interconnected by canals, earning it the name “lake city”. It is also known as the “white city” in reference to the many white marble palaces here. Udaipur is a kaleidoscope of majestic palaces, emerald lakes, exquisite temples, gardens and old markets with narrow lanes lined with shops that  transport a visitor  to a bygone era.

The picturesque Lake Palace amidst the aquamarine expanse of lake Pichhola, with its grand reflection gracing the lake waters, is a sight to behold. Towering over the lake is the City Palace resplendent in the famed Rajasthani royal heritage and grandeur. Udaipur has featured as one of the most popular destination in many travel magazines of international acclaim and continues to be one of the most popular stops for Indian travel destinations.  Walking around the city is a experience not to be missed. One comes across lakes, palaces and old buildings assembled in a picture book setting; even more so in the evenings when the palaces are lit up with bright lights and their reflections shimmer in the azure waters of the lakes.

A shining jewel in the crown of Rajputana, Udaipur was the capital of the Mewar region in Rajasthan. Known for their bravery and courage, the self respecting Rajputs of Mewar never bowed to any enemy. They fought and laid down their lives to create legends for the coming generations.

Rana Udai Singh, the father of the legendry warrior Rana Pratap, founded Udaipur. At the time, Nagda, on the banks of the Banas River was the capital of Mewar. However, later Maharana Udai Singh shifted the capital to Udaipur, after Akbar captured Chittorgarh in 1568 AD.

The Sisodia Ranas of Mewar never surrendered to the pressure of the ruling Mughals and always fought them to protect their honour. The Gehlot or Sisodias were continuously at loggerheads with the Mughals and asserted their independence. The topography of the surrounding area supported them in their battle against the Mughal; the latter had an army of horses which could not climb the mountains around Udaipur. It remained a princely state under British India and became a part of the Republic of India after Independence was gained for the country.

According to a legend, Rana Udai Singh met a hermit on the hill here who asked Rana to build a palace on this spot which had a stream, a hill and an agreeable climate for a desert land. Taking his words to heart Rana build this panoramic city which later became his capital.

Palaces
City Palace: Located facing the Lake Pichhola, City palace was built by Rana Udai Singh in 1559 AD. Construction continued for the next 300 years. It is a captivating structure and a fine blend of Indian and Mughal architecture. The main structures inside the palace are Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and Krishna Vilas. It is also home to a priceless collection of artefacts, paintings and decorative furniture. The Chini Chitrashala has lovely Dutch and Chinese ornamental tiles. Manak Mahal has a display of crystal and porcelain figures. Mor Chowk has a unique glass mosaic of a peacock showing three seasons. The Sheesh Mahal has lovely glass inlay work. Lake Palace: constructed in 1746 AD by Mahrana Jagat Singh, this palace is made of marble. It was once the summer retreat of the Ranas. Located on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichhola, the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel.
Lakes
A number of lakes surround Udaipur adding to the natural charm of the city. Lake Pichola: This is an artificial fresh water lake built in 1362 AD. It was named after the nearby Picholi village. It was built by a Banjara tribal during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Later when Udai Singh made Udaipur the state capital, he constructed a dam near Bandipol to increase the size of this lake. This lake was built to provide water to the surrounding area which faced water scarcity. The lake has small islands which have been well developed. Jag Nivas on Jag Mandir island, Arsi Vilas island with a bird sanctuary, and Mohan Mandir to name a few. Jag Mandir was the hideout of Prince Khurram when he rebelled against his father in 1623 AD. Udai Sagar lake: Located 13kms from Udaipur, this lake was built by Rana Udai Singh in 1565 AD. Fateh Sagar Lake: This lake is an artificial water body which was constructed in 1678 AD. It has three islands:The first one, Nehru Park, which is a garden with a zoo today, The second one has a public garden with jet fountains and the third one is home to the Udaipur solar observatory. Lakes around Udaipur: Jaisamand Lake: This lake was built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685 AD. It has three islands. It is 48km from Udaipur. Rajsamand Lake: Constructed in 1676 AD by Maharana Raj Singh this lake was built across the Gomti, Kelwa and Tali rivers. It is 66km from Udaipur. Other smaller lakes include Doodh Talai, Jiyan Sagar and Swaroop Sagar.
Moti Magri
A bronze statue of Maharana Pratap, Rajasthan’s most respected warrior, riding his legendry horse Chetak is installed at Moti Magri.
Saheliyon ki Baari
Made for the young female attendants of princesses who moved here after marriage, Saheliyon ki Baari has lotus pools, elephant shaped fountains and pavilions made of marble. The water reaches the fountains through ducts from the lake.
Temples:
Eklingji Temple: Built in 734 AD by Bappa Rawal, this is an ancient temple with a pyramid like roof and carved exterior. A pillared Mandapa and double storey structure add grandeur to this temple. A 50 feet (convert to meters) four faced Shiva idol made of black marble is the presiding deity here. The Shiva idol is surrounded by the Goddess Parvati and their sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. Three statues of Nandi the bull carved in black stone, brass and silver are also present. Jagdish Temple: This temple was built in 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is located inside the City Palace complex. A magnificent 79 feet (convert to meters) high spire of the temple is decorated with sculptures of musicians, dancers, elephants and horses which add to the beauty of the temple. The temple also has beautifully carved pillars. The main temple has a sculpture of Garuda the vulture guarding the Lord. Lord Vishnu is seen here with four arms and is carved out of a single slab of black stone.
Hand painted and tie-dye fabrics, silver jewellery, miniature paintings, traditional puppets and images of deities made in Molalla village near Nathdwara can be bought.
Rajasthani food delicacies like Ker-Sangri, Dal- Bati, Choorma and Gatta Curry form part of the cuisine here. Due to the influence of Jainism in this region, vegetarian and gegan dishes are predominant in the cuisine served here.

Mewar Festival:

Celebrated to mark the onset of spring season, the Mewar festival coincides with the Gangaur festival of Rajasthan. Women dress the images of Lord Shiva and Parvati and after taking out a procession of these idols in the city, they are immersed them in lake Pichola. The festival is celebrated with traditional dancing and singing and culminates in a fireworks display at night.


Shilpgram Fair:

Organised to promote the art and crafts of the region Shilpgram Fair is an eclectic blend of all art forms practiced in Rajasthan. From weavers to dyers, potters and other rural craftsmen it offers the visitor a comprehensive glimpse of all art forms of the region.

Nearby places Train stations Airports
UDAIPUR 23 Km 00H 27m
Udaipur City 3 Km 00H 06m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
52 Km 00H 46m
95 Km 01H 25m
102 Km 01H 30m
123 Km 01H 55m
167 Km 02H 52m
52 Km 00H 46m
Nathdwara is one of the most famous pilgrimages of adherents of the Pushtimarg Hindu sect of India. It is popular for its Sri Nathji Temple devoted to Lord Krishna and Pichhwai paintings.
95 Km 01H 25m
Ranakpur is famous for its magnificent Ranakpur is famous for its magnificient Jain temples supported by 1,444 intricately detailed marble pillars. Lying in a remote valley on the west of the Aravali range in Pali district, Ranakpur is the largest and one of the most important pilgrim site of Jains.
102 Km 01H 30m
Renowned in the history of Rajputana as the birthplace of its greatest son Rana Pratap. It is also home to the virtually inaccessible and impregnable fortress built in the 15th century by the great warrior Rana Kumbha of Mewar. The fortress stands on a 3,500 feet high hill overlooking the approach routes from Ajmer and Marwar. Today Kumbhalgarh is a fascinating destination that combines a magnificent fort and a wildlife sanctuary.
123 Km 01H 55m
Lying on the Berach river, Chittorgarh is engraved in the history of India as a place where people chose death over dishonour when Ala-ud-din Khilji laid siege to the city in his quest to capture Rani Padmini, the wife of Maharaja Ratan Singh. The mass self immolation committed by Chittaur's brave women, tells a story of immense pride and courage. Chittorgarh is also famous for the spiritual love story of poetess Meerabai, whose compositions have become an important part of Indian culture.
167 Km 02H 52m
Mount Abu is a unique, lush, charming hill retreat located on the Aravali range in the southern desert of Rajasthan. The other attraction of this beautiful scenic place is the magnificent Dilwara Jain temple.
256 Km 03H 46m
Strewn with forts and palaces that date back to the 15th century, Jodhpur was the capital of the princely state of Marwar where the Rathor clan ruled. On top of a hill, at the edge of the town, looms the Mehrangarh Fort, giving it a touch of medieval majesty. Jodhpur is also home to the Bishnoi Tribals, the fierce custodians of nature.
402 Km 05H 32m
Holding the grand legacy of a royal past, Jaipur is an integral part of the world famous Golden Triangle alongside Delhi and Agra. The famous Pink City of Rajasthan is a vibrant collage of grand palaces, desert culture and a rich history of Rajputana.
Seasons
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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 25 °C 39 °C
Winter 12 °C 28 °C
Summer at Udaipur is tolerably hot compared to most of the other Rajasthan cities. The maximum temperature rarely crosses 40°C. However the most comfortable time to visit is from pre Winter months till the Summer arrives (October - March ).
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