Udaipur, the capital of the former princely state of Mewar is a beautiful city in Rajasthan, India. Udaipur city is also referred to as the "Venice of the East", the "Most Romantic City of India" and the "Kashmir of Rajasthan". Udaipur the “City of Lakes” is one among the most romantic and most beautiful cities of India. The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis.
A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur city of Rajasthan state is a fascinating blend of sights, sounds and experiences - an inspiration for the imagination of the poets, painters and writers. Udaipur's kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing sight.
Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar 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 amphitheater of low mountains. Maharana followed the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
PLACES TO VISIT:
City Palace complex is actually a conglomeration of buildinUdaipur City Palacegs added by various Maharanis, the palace manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design. Building was started by Maharana Udai Singh II . The palace is surmounted by balconies, towers & cupolas and there are wonderful views over the lake and the city from the upper terrace. The Ganesh Deori is the entrance to the museum and leads up to the Rajya Angan, or Royal courtyard , the very spot where Udai Singh met the sage who told him to found this city here. The rooms of the museum are extravagantly decorated with mirrors , tiles and paintings. In the Manak Mahal (Ruby Palace) there is the exquisite glass and mirror work, while Krishna Vilas has a remarkable collection of the miniatures.Teh Moti Mahal has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal is covered in ornamental tiles. The Surya Chopar has a huge ,ornamental sun-the symbol of mewar dynasty, the origins of which are traced to the sun. The Mor Chowk (Peacock Square) has beautiful mosaics of the peacocks, the favourite Rajasthani bird. In the Bari Mahal there is a fine central garden with good views over the old city. More beautiful paintings can be seen in the Zenana Mahal , which opens onto Laxmi Chowk;there's a beautiful white pavilion in the center of this square. Note the large tiger catching cage near Zenana Mahal entrance ; a helpless goat of buffalo would be tied up inside the cage to lure the tiger in-gruesome.Udaipur View
Atop Moti Magri (Pearl Hill), overlooking Fateh Sagar, is a statue of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap, who frequently defied Mughals, riding bravely on his beloved horse Chetak. The path to the top traverses some pleasant gardens including a Japanese rock garden.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sager Lake is a vicinity for young lovers, it is situated in the north of Lake Picholas. It was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in the year 1678 AD, but later on reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh, As lot of destruction was caused by heavy rains.In the year 1993-1994,the water vanished from the lake and again in the year 2005-2006, the lake regaind its water.The lake is tried directly to connect with mansivacal dam so that it doesnot suffer any type of water problem again in future.
Sajjan Garh, a former monsoon palace 1100 ft. high above the surrounding and 3100 ft. from sea level, was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1884. The palace looks its best during the rainy season. It offers a panoramic overview of the city's lakes, palaces and surrounding country side. The hillside is thickly wooded and the former rulers maintained this as a royal shooting preserve.
Beautiful Lake Pichola was enlarged by Maharaja Udai Singh II after he founded the city. He built a masonry dam, known as the Badipol, and the lake is now 4km long and 3 km wide. Nevertheless, it remains fairly shallow and can actually dry up - in severe droughts it's possible to walk to Jagniwas and Jagmandir island. A handful of crocodiles are believed to inhabit the more remote parts of the lake, near the inhabited sections of the shore. The City Palace extends for a long stretch along the east bank.
Located only 150 m north of the entrance to the City Palace, this fine Indo-Aryan Temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651 and enshrines a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. There is a brass image of the Garuda in a shrine in front of the temple and steps up to the temple are flanked by elephants.
Kumbhalgarh, situated 65 km north of Udaipur hold a heroic past having sheltered the heir of Mewar throne in times of Danger. It was here that the baby prince of Mewar was hidden from an assassin. It is an isolated and fascinating place, built by Maharana Khumbha in the 15th century. Because of its inaccessibility - at1100m on top of the Aravalli Range - it was taken only once in history. Even then, it took the combined armies of the Mughal emperor Akbar, and of Amber and Marwar to breach its defenses. The thick walls of this mighty fort stretch some 36km and are wide enough for eight horses to ride abreast. They enclose many temples, palaces, gardens and water storage facilities. The fort was renovated in the 19th century by Maharana Fateh Singh. It is worth taking a leisurely walk in the large compound, which has some interesting ruins and is very peaceful.
Sahelion Ki Bari’ was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake have beautiful lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant- shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose. Each water channel has its distinct sound and the mingling of these sounds complement the ambience of the place.
Udaipur Solar Observatory
Asia’s only solar observatory, the Udaipur Solar Observatory is situated on an island in the middle of the Lake Fatehsagar and the main office building is located at its NW-shore near Bari Road – Rani Road Junction. The site is run under PRL (Physical Reaserch Lab) in Ahemdabad. The sky conditions at Udaipur are quite favourable for solar observations. The large water body surrounding the telescopes decreases the amount of heating of the surface layers. This decreases the turbulence in the air mass and thereby improves the image quality and seeing. The main objective of obtaining the high spatial and temporal resolution observations of solar photospheric and chromospheric.
HOW TO GET HERE
Udaipur is well connected to the world through land, rail and air.
The city falls on the Golden Quadrilateral, lying midway between Delhi and Mumbai on National Highway (NH) 8; it is around 650 kilometres from either metro. The roads in this part of the country are paved and fit for private vehicles. One can either drive from Jaipur (around 6 hours) or Ahmedabad (3.5 hours), or take a Rajasthan Tourism bus from India Gate in Delhi. It also falls on East West Corridor which starts from Porbandar and ends at Silchar and is intersecting the Golden Quadrilateral and shares the common space from Udaipur to Chittor.
Dabok airport, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport, is 24 kilometres from the city centre. Daily Indian Airlines flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai & Delhi. There are daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur on Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines. The airport is going through modernisation project and will soon have a new terminal building with an additional 4 stands. The airport has been confirmed as an International airport by the Government of India.
Train connectivity is established between Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad through trains run by Indian Railway. Recently Udaipur got connected with Delhi, Kota and Mathura with the “Mewar Express” on broadgauge tracks. In August 2007 Udaipur was connected with Kolkatta, by the “Ananya Express”. A train has also been introduced between Mumbai and Udaipur via Vadodara, Ratlam and Chittorgarh. Udaipur lacks direct connectivity to South India, and one has to reach it either via Kota or Ahmedabad.
Local transport :
Unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, tongas, city bus, and regular city bus service is available for Udaipur City main roads to Dabok Airport, Badi Lake, and Bedala.