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Udaipur is considered as one of the most beautiful destinations in India. It is often called as the "City of Lakes" or "Venice of the East" because of the middle position of the Lake Pichola. The place is blessed with multiple fortress bounded by shining lakes, the mighty Aravalli hills, centuries old temples, astonishing palaces and many other things with an absolute fairy-tale setting. Udaipur is often described as India's most romantic city and it is also known as "Kashmir of Rajasthan". Out of the several options to visit in Udaipur, the temples in Udaipur, the palaces and the unique and vibrant culture would always take you in.
The Udaipur district sits at an elevation of around 2000 ft above the sea level and this elevation gives Udaipur some unique geographical features. The northern part of the city has elevated plateaus, while the southern part showcases hills, forest lands and rocky territory.
Udaipur is a royal city that had been the capital of Mewar rulers for centuries. The romantic city of Udaipur has a legend behind its origin and it goes like this. Once, Maharana Udai Singh happened to meet a holy sage when he was on his hunting expedition in the Aravalli Hills. The Sage counseled the King to establish a kingdom in the fertile valley that would be well-protected by the elevated Aravalli Hills. Subsequently, Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation stone of Udaipur in 1557 A.D.
Chittorgarh was the previous capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar. Maharana Udai Singh was a successor of the Sisodias, who claimed to be the descendants of the Sun God. The Sisodias are believed to be the oldest ruling family in the World. Amongst the warrior clans, Sisodias are recognized as the most powerful ones in Rajasthan. Another reason for shifting the capital from Chittorgarh to Udaipur was constant attacks of enemies.
In 1568, Chittor was attacked by the Mughal emperor, Akbar and to ward off this danger, Udai Singh shifted the whole kingdom to Udaipur. Udaipur was naturally safe under the fortifications made by Aravalli Hills. Since that time, Udaipur developed into a full-fledged city. Slowly when the Mughal Empire undermined, the Sisodias reasserted their freedom. They recaptured most of the parts of Mewar with the exception of the Chittorgarh Fort.
Udaipur continued to be the capital of Mewar, till it became the princely state of British India in 1818. When India got independent in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur granted the place to the Government of India. At that time, Mewar was merged into the state of Rajasthan. In the present date, Udaipur enjoys a favorable position on the maps of Rajasthan. Udaipur is known for its picturesque surroundings and its royal past. Various ancient monuments, massive palaces, architectural temples and beautiful lakes fascinate people to visit the ancient land of the Royalty.
Now come on the most attraction of Udaipur..
It was built on the banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace in Udaipur is considered to be the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors. The magnificent palace was built in the year 1559 by Maharana Uday Singh and served as the main seat of power, where the Maharanas lived and administered the kingdom from. Subsequently, the palace was made even more splendid by his successors, who added a number of structures to it. The Palace now has an assortment of Mahals, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, terraces, rooms and hanging gardens. There is a museum here as well that showcases some of the finest elements of Rajput arts and culture - from colourful paintings to the typical architecture found in Rajasthani palaces.
Nestled in the bosom of the Aravallis, the granite and marble edifice of the City Palace stands in contrast to its quaint natural surroundings. The intricate architecture of the regal palace is a subtle mix of medieval, European as well as Chinese influences and is embellished with numerous domes, arches and towers. The City Palace itself lies on a bed of lush green garden and is quite an imposing sight to behold. The regal beauty of this attraction has quite a few fans in the film industry as well, and several movies such as 'Guide' and 'Octopussy' have been shot here. A gentle amalgam of architectural genius and rich heritage, the City Palace of Udaipur is a wonderful trip down the pages of history.
City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavor of heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.
Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of Rajasthan, India. Located in the heart of the city, Pichola Lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur. In 1362, the beautiful lake was built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha. Talking about the dimensions of Pichhola Lake, it is extended to 3 miles in length, 2 miles in width and has depth of 30 feet.
The beauty of this lake has not separated anyone to attract towards it. The lake looks more enchanting with its scenic surroundings. Maharana Udai Singh must have been certainly captivated by the charm of this pristine lake with the perfect backdrop of lush green hills as when he founded the city of Udaipur, he enlarged this lake. He also constructed a dam made in stone that falls under the 'Badipol' region on the shore of this lake.
Pichola Lake is enveloped by lofty Palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated hills on all its sides. In the southern part of this lake, there is a hill that is known as Machhala Magra and one can see glimpse of Eklinggarh Fort from here. The City Palace of Udaipur broadens along the eastern banks of this lake. Built by Jagat Singh, Mohan Mandir is situated in the north-east corner of Lake Pichola.
Lake Pichola comprises several islands that accompany the calm waters of the lake. The world-renowned Lake Palace is perfectly located on the Jag Island of this tranquil lake. Even the Jag Mandir, another destination of tourists, is located on an island of this lake. Above all, a trip to Pichola Lake would be incomplete with a boat ride. The pristine blue waters of the lake leave a soothing impact on the spectator. At the time sun-set, a boat ride in this lake is sufficient to enthrall anyone.
Rudyard Kipling mentioned this lake in his Letters of Marque (1899), "If the Venetian owned the Pichola Lake, he might say with justice, `see it and die'". The beauty of Lake Pichola attracts people from all over the world. One can undeniably say for Pichola that once, if you see this lake, you would definitely fall in love with it. The mesmerizing beauty of Lake Pichola makes it worth visiting during your visit to Udaipur.
Popular as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is one of the top tourist destinations of Rajasthan. The city boasts of several attractions that are evidence of a number of historical happenings of bygone era. One of the most important places of interest to visit in Udaipur is Lake Palace; listed among the most iconic and striking palaces of the state.
The palace is eye-catching, put-up amidst the Lake Pichola, which is one of the largest and oldest lakes of Udaipur. To reach the palace one needs to take a boat, always available near the lake. Moreover, now the Lake Palace has been transformed into a luxurious hotel that is counted among the most romantic hotels in India. The palace hotel marks a great combination of old regal charm and modern comforts. The awe-inspiring view of Lake Pichola and magnificent Aravalli hills add on to the beauty of Lake Palace.
Lake palace in Udaipur was constructed under the supervision of Maharana Jagat Singh II who was the 62nd ruler of the dynasty of Mewar. Settled amidst the Lake, the palace was like a pleasure spot for him.
Formerly, the palace was popular as Jag Niwas, named after the Maharana's name. History of the palace is related to the time when Jagat Singh II used to spend leisure time on the Lake Palace of Jag Mandir. Later, he built his own palace on the Lake Pichola. The palace was one among the other four spectacular islands on the lake namely Mohan Mandir, Arsivilas and Jag Mandir. It took three years to build this palace from 1743-1746.
Later in 1963, the palace was altered into a luxurious and romantic hotel by Maharana Bhagwat Singh. In 1971, Lake Palace hotel was tied with chains of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in order to maintain the royal tradition of hospitality
Lake Palace, Udaipur is a masterpiece of brilliant architecture that showcases striking white marble building with notable courtyards, terraces, gardens and fountains. The conversion from palace to hotel was originally commissioned by Bhagwat Singh and was designed under the direction of an American artist, Didi contractor.
Now transformed into a luxury hotel, the palace has various rooms that are notified as Ajjan Niwas, Phool Mahal, Dhola Mahal, Khush Mahal and Bada Mahal. All the rooms are exquisitely designed with crystal artworks and stained glass works. There are also wonderful paintings which date back to the ancient era.
Udaipur is blessed with a vintage car museum that showcases antique and heritage cars. It is a treat for all the automobile lovers to pay a visit to a place filled with fascinating vehicles that can be explored and studied. The museum was inaugurated on 15th February 2000. The founder of National Motor Museum England – Lord Montagu of Beaulieu was the Chief Guest in the inauguration ceremony. The Museum was initially a Mewar State Motor Garage located in the premises of a belonging of HRH Group – Garden Hotel and restaurant, It is a property of HRH Group, hence owned by Rana Shri Arvind Singh Ji Mewar. The museum contains several cars of the Maharanas (Kings/Custodians) of Mewar from the past and also from the present. The Museum also houses a shell petrol pump that is still in the working condition. All the cars exhibited in the museum are in working condition, in spite of some cars being more than 70 years old. In 2008, the 1924 Rolls Royce 20H.P was awarded the 'Best of Class Category, Vintage Classic in the Cartier Travel with Style Concours' .
Bagore Ki Haveli is a haveli that located at gangaur ghat marg, stands magnificently on the waterfront of the surreal Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Built in the 18th century by Amar Chand Badwa, the then Prime minister of Mewar kingdom, Bagore Ki Haveli has been restored over the period of time and is now converted into a museum.
Shri Amarchand Badwa, who served as the Prime minister of Mewar kingdom during the reign of Maharanas Pratap Singh II, Raj Singh II, Ari Singh, and Hamir Singh from the period of 1751 to 1778, built Bagore Ki Haveli. Following the death of Amarchand Badwa, the haveli came under the possession of Mewar royal family and became the abode of Nath Singh, a relative of the then Maharana.
In 1878, Maharaj Shakti Singh of Bagore further extended the haveli by building the triple-arched gateway and since then it is known as Bagore ki Haveli. Till 1947, the haveli remained in the possession of Mewar state.
Post India's Independence, the Haveli was used by the Rajasthan government for housing government employees. The haveli was neglected for almost forty years and later in 1986, the Government eventually decided to handover the restoration work to the West Zone Cultural Centre.
Saheliyon Ki Bari is one the most beautiful gardens and a major tourist destination in Udaipur. It is located near Dabok is at a distance of 22 km from the main city.The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art and fountains. English translation of Saheliyon Ki Bari means "Garden of maids". This renowned garden is located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake, presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. Garden of maids was built in the 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal ladies.
As per the legends, the garden was designed by the king himself and he presented this garden to his queen. Actually, the Queen was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them, pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. This patterned garden used to be the popular relaxing spot of the royal ladies. The queen with her maids and female companions used to come here for a stroll and spend their time in leisure.
The water flowing from Fateh Sagar Lake flowing through the canals produces such unique auditory sensation that reverberates through the entire Courtyard of Maidens and resonates across Burhani Masjid and Seva Mandir Marg. Saheliyon ki Bari in Udaipur is an oasis amidst the arid, desert region of Rajasthan and offers a retrograde for tourists, especially nature lovers and photographers who will find ample objects to click. Saheliyon ki Bari was built by Maharana Sangram Singh in order to please his royal queen along with 48 maidens who accompanied the princess to Udaipur as a gift. The garden provided a paradise and respite for the queen along with her maidens from the political turmoil of the court and also offered gratifying moments for the king and queen in the solitude of the garden. The modelled garden used to be a breather and recreational spot for the queen and her maidens and they used to wander aimlessly in the garden premises.
Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture. In 1651, Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur during 1628-53. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan), the preserver of the Universe. It is celebrated for being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur. The gateway of this temple can be sited at a distance of 150 meters from the Bara Pol of the City Palace.
This three-storied temple is a wonder of architecture that comprises beautifully carved pillars, decorated ceilings, painted walls and lush halls. In those times, 1.5 million rupees were spent to raise this structure. The spire of the main temple is around 79 feet high that undoubtedly dominates the skyline of Udaipur. This shikhar (spire) is festooned with sculptures of dancers, elephants, horsemen and musicians making it truly a sight to behold.
As and when you approach the temple, you will be welcomed by two huge stone elephants at the entrance. On the very front of the temple, you would find a stone slab that is imprinted with the inscriptions with reference to Maharaja Jagat Singh. To reach the main shrine, you have to take a marble flight of 32 steps. Here, you will find a brass image of Garuda, a figure of half-man and half-eagle. This huge idol stands as if; it is guarding the doorway of Lord Vishnu.
The main shrine houses the striking four-armed image of Lord Vishnu. This idol is carved out of a single piece of black stone. A single glimpse of the idol takes the person to the celestial world to find everything calm and serene. The main shrine of Lord Jagdish/ Vishnu is centrally located encircled by four smaller shrines. These shrines are dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Sun God, Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva respectively.
The splendid architecture of the temple boasts of a pyramidal spire, mandap (prayer hall) and a porch. The first and the second storey of the temple possess 50 pillars each. The intricate carvings on the pillars need an enduring sight to praise the noteworthy beauty of this temple. This temple was built keeping in the mind the Hindu architectural science of 'Vastushstra'. Every year, people from far and near come to visit this holy place of worship. The serenity as well as the architectural magnificence of the temple cannot be bounded in words, so one must visit this temple to get the blessings of Lord Jagdish.