Udaipur

different their desert counterpart, Udaipur is located in the forested hilly district of the Aravalli Ranges; in absolute contrast to the arid deserts of Marwar in the northwest. Tucked away in the midst of hills, the city is an unconquerable citadel, with an inspiring royal lineage stretching back 26 generations. A do-or-die attitude and a fierce sense of independence characterize Udaipur. Capital of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar, who fought the fiercest battles against the foreign intruders, Udaipur was built on the shores of Lake Pichola by Udai Singh II in 1559; in addition the local sightseeing options there are a few very attractive excursions that can enhance your experience of the destination.

 

Highlights

City Palace, Udaipur

Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of the "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel). They also have great views of Jag Mandir on one side and the city of Udaipur on the other. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping partitions, terraces, corridors and gardens. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented

themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of Krishna are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush mahal, Sheesh mahal, Moti mahal and Krishna vilas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princes. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day. The former guest houses of the city palace, Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace have been converted into heritage hotels.

 

Lake Palace

The Lake Palace was built in 1743-1746. It is made of marble and is situated on Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola. It was originally built as a royal summer palace, but is now a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces" banner.

 

Jag Mandir

Jag Mandir is another island in Lake Pichola which is known for its garden courtyard. Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father. There is a restaurant run by the HRH group of hotels.

 

Maharana Pratap Memorial or Moti Magri

Atop the Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap with a bronze statue of the Maharana astride his favourite horse "Chetak". More details are available at Maharanapratap.net, a collection of facts and figures on Maharana Pratap and his life.

 

Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjangarh Palace The summer resort of the Maharajas is atop the hill overlooking all of the lakes. This palace had a way to collect rain water for consumption all year around.

 

Jagdish Temple

The Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai, but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double storey Mandapam (hall) to a double - storied, sandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the

sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D. It is an example of Indo - Aryan architecture.

 

Fateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake 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 after much destruction was caused by heavy rains. In 1993-1994, the water vanished from the lake, but in 2005-2006, the lake regained its water.

 

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola is a lake that has two islands, Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4 km long and 3 km wide, originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. There are many ghats, like the bathing and washing ghats, which can be approached through boats from the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat). In the heart of the lake the Lake Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. The lake remains fairly shallow even during heavy rains, and gets dry easily in times of severe drought.

 

Hotel in Udaipur