Udaipur is a beautiful city, set amidst the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan, India. Known for its picturesque lakes, Udaipur also called ‘the city of lakes’. The elevated hills and the beautiful lakes make a picture-perfect backdrop to the Udaipur city. Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities of the World and subsequently, also known as the ‘Venice of East’. Udaipur had been the capital of Mewar for centuries. Though termed as the city of lakes, Udaipur has many more attractions that catch the attention of the tourists with their charm. The city boasts of various museums, palaces, gardens, monuments and colourful festivals that allure tourists to visit the city for once. The mighty palaces with their exquisite locations transport you directly into the royal Rajputana era; Lake Palace, for one, has been accredited for being one of the most romantic places all across the globe Undoubtedly, Udaipur is undoubtedly a dream destination for a romantic holiday. Every year, thousands of tourists come from all over the globe to visit this romantic city. Udaipur is easily accessible from all the major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. 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. 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. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.
The Lake Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, arising out of the Turquoise Waters of the Pichola lake an elegant fantasy in white marble offers a heavenly view to the onlooker. The imposing Aravalli Hills on one side and soaring palaces on the other, make the perfect background to this beautiful Lake Palace. The Lake palace was built in the 17th century on a natural foundation of 4 acers of rock. It was initially called Jag niwas after its founder Maharana Jagjit Singh. It was meant as a royal summer palace and now converted in to a five star palace hotel.
JAG MANDIR PALACE (LAKE GARDEN PALACE):
Jag Mandir Palace is a beautiful palace located on the southern island of Lake Pichola. It is also called the “Lake Garden Palace”. The three-storied Palace is a palatial structure made in yellow sandstone and marble. Built in early years of 17th century, Jag Mandir Palace was raised by Maharana Karan Singh to serve as a hiding place for Prince Khurram (popularly known as Shah Jahan).It is named as “Jagat Mandir” in honour of the last named Maharana Jagat Singh. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding parties.
This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangor Ghat. The splendid architecture of the mansion boasts of delicate carved work and excellent glass work. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen’s Chamber. In the eighteenth century, Bagore Ki Haveli was built by Amir Chand Badwa, who was the Chief Minister at the Mewar Royal Court in earlier times. When Amar Badwa died, the building came under the possession of Mewar State. The haveli stages delightful evening’s entertainment, the pleasurable performance of Rajasthani traditional dance and music in the moody surroundings of the haveli. It is an ideal place for an evening entertainment while enjoying the view of Lake Pichola.
SAJJANGARH PALACE :
The Monsoon Palace, formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, is a hilltop palatial residence in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan in India, overlooking the lake Pichola. It is named as Sajjangarh after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874-1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who built it in 1884. It offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside and breath taking view of the sunset. It was built basically to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, appropriately, it is popularly known as Monsoon Palace. Previously owned by the Mewar royal family, it is now under the control of the Forest Department of the Government of Rajasthan and has been opened to the public recently.
Chittorgarh Fort has received the credit of being the largest fort of India. The massive fort is located on a high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh Fort lies at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century. This huge fort covers an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length. It has one kilometre zigzag ascent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate is named as Rampol. On the ascent between the second and the third gate, you see two ‘Chattris’ (cenotaphs) built to honour Jaimal and Kalla heroes of 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort is named as Surajpol (meaning Sun Gate). Chittaurgarh Fort is truly an embodiment of chivalry and pride of the Rajputs. The fort fell thrice to the enemies in its entire history. The fort has a long story of romance, courage, determination and sacrifice. Chittorgarh Fort is said to have been the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia kings who ruled Mewar between the eighth and the sixteenth century. The Fort was named after Chittrangad Maurya.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. Located at a distance of 64 kms from Udaipur in Rajasmand district, Kumbhalgarh Fort is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur. This unconquerable fortress is secured under the kind protection of the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fort is self-contained in all respect to withstand a protracted siege. There is a magnificent array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The fort also offers a superb bird’s eye view of the surroundings. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometers and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world, after ”the Great Wall of China”.
JAGDISH TEMPLE :
Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Only 150m north of the City Palace entrance, this fantastically carved Indo-Aryan temple was built by Maharaja Jagat Singh in 1651. It is dedicated to lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. A brass image of Garuda is in a shrine in front of the temple.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.
EKLINGJI TEMPLE :
Eklingji Temple, Udaipur is a worth visit temple positioned at a distance of approximately 24 kilometers away from the main Udaipur city. Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion. Initially, the temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. Since that time, Eklingji has been the ruling deity of Mewar rulers. In the later years, it was repaired and modified by various Kings. The magnificent architecture of Eklingnath Temple is simply remarkable. The double-storied temple looks awesome with its pyramidal style of roof and distinctly carved tower.
NEEMACH MATAJI :
Neemach Mataji is a temple located near Fateh Sagar. It is believed to be built in the year 1652-1680. It is also believed that Shree Nimcha Mata (also known as Ambaji) is the clan Goddess of the Royal family of the Maharanas. This stone idol of the Goddess is 56 inch in height and 23 inch in width. The offer idol of Lord Ganesh is 22.1 inch high and 12.1 inch wide. Outside the inner temple is a Hawan Kund for performance of Yojna.
The Udaipur Zoo (Sajjan Niwas Garden), popularly known as Gulab Bagh, is an inseparable part of the life and memories of any Udaipurite. It is not only the heritage of this city, but of the entire nation. Started in the year 1878, it is one of the four oldest zoos of India. It was set up by Maharana Sajjan Singh of Mewar. Sajjan Niwas Bagh is well known for its numerous varieties of roses. Due to abundance of rose flowers, this garden is also known as Gulab Bagh or Rose Garden. Situated right beneath the banks of Pichola Lake on Lake Palace Road. The soothing vistas with unusual rose beds, robust trees, orchids and spacious lawns leave any visitor in a delusion. There is a toy train in the premises of the garden that would be cherished by children. The garden also comprises a small zoo that has number of animals like chinkara, leopards, tigers and birds. Apart from the natural beauty, Sajjan Nivas Garden has something more to offer. There is a library that was constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. The Library is known as Saraswati Bhawan Library. Gulab Bagh also encompasses a museum, which was originally known as Victoria Hall Museum. It is famous for its collection of antiques, curios, royal household items and other interesting relics from the past.
SAHELIYON KI BARI :
Situated in the north of the Udaipur city the Saheliyon-ki-Bari or the ‘Garden of the Maids of Honor’ of Udaipur was once reserved for the royal ladies who came here for a stroll. This small, quaint, ornamental garden was laid out for 48 women attendants who came as part of a princess’s dowry, and has fountains (water permitting), kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool. Saheliyon-ki-Bari A well planned garden, with extensive lawns and shady walks situated on the banks of the dainty Fateh Sagar Lake was constructed in 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh. Its numerous fountains located strategically in the four scenic pools of the garden attract as much tourists as the chiseled and sculpted kiosks and marble elephants. There is al also a splendid rose garden with over 100 varieties of roses added later.
PICHOLA LAKE :
Pichola Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Rajasthan. Located in the heart of Udaipur, Pichola is the oldest and one of the largest lakes in all of Udaipur. The beautiful Pichola Lake mesmerizes everyone and the scenic surroundings add to the charm of the lake. Maharana Udai Singh was also mesmerized by the lake and the surroundings so he extended the lake when he founded the city of Udaipur and also built a dam made of stone that is in Badipol region on the shore of the lake.There are many small islands in the lake like Arsi Vilas which is a hotspot for birds and has a platform known as Natni Ka Chabutra. There are many islands in Pichola Lake that add to the charm of the lake. The famous Lake Palace is on the Jag Island. Jag Temple in the lake is a very popular tourist attraction. Along its eastern shore sprawls the massive CITY PALACE. South of this is the hill known as MACHHALA MAGRA where part of the old city wall and the small fort of Eklinggarh can still be seen . A trip to Pichola Lake is incomplete without a boat ride around the Lake Palace. The blue water gives a very calm and soothing sensation and a boat ride during sunset is an experience of a lifetime.
FATEH SAGAR :
Fateh sagar lake was constructed towards the north of Lake Pichola, by Maharana Jai Singh. But it got the name of Fateh Singh who rebuilt its dam. Fateh Sagar, is the second largest man-made lakes of Udaipur. Fateh Sagar is 2.4 km. long, 1.6 km. wide and 11.5 m. at its deepest point; when full, it covers an area of about 1 sq. km., being fed by the Ahar (Berach) river. Fateh Sagar Lake is embellished by three small islands. The largest one is NEHRU PARK, a popular garden island with a restaurant and zoo, which is reached by inboard motor boats from the bottom of Moti Magri Hill. The Government of Rajasthan made the second island into a public park with a spectacular water-jet fountain, and the third houses the udaipur solar observatory.
UDAI SAGAR :
Udai Sagar Lake is another striking lake that falls under the category of five lakes of Udaipur. Udaisagar Lake is located at a distance of about 13 kms in the east of Udaipur. The construction of this lake was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II and got completed in 1565. Its greatest depth is 9 m.; it is 4 km. long, and 2.5 km. wide, and covers an area of 10.5 sq km. It has a storage capacity of 23.4 mil.cu.m. The 54-m. embankment was built with stones from the bund of other lakes.
Jaisamand Lake is also known as Dhebar. The lake, built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1685, Asia’s second-largest artificial lake covering an area of 36sq km. The lake has a total number of 3 islands measuring from 10 to 40 acres each. The Dhebar Lake Marble Dam is 300 Meters long and is a part of the “Heritage Monuments of India”. The dam also has the Hawa Mahal Palace, winter Capital of the erstwhile Maharana’s of Mewar. The statistics of the lake is 9 miles in breadth, 102 feet deep at its deepest end, a circumference of 30 miles with marble staircases leading into the water. The summer palaces of the Queens of Udaipur surround Jaisamand Lake on all sides. Dhebar Lake has elegant steps leading to the water and marble Chhatri (cenotaphs) on its bank with a small Shiv temple that marks the grace of the lake.On either side are the palaces built for the past kings favourite queens. 3 islands on this lake are inhabits by tribe Bhil Minas. There are seven islands on the lake, some of which provide sanctuary inhabited by several species of migratory birds. The nearby wildlife sanctuary is also worth a visit. There is a number of resort hotels catering for those who would appreciate a break from the noise and turnoil of the city.
Swaroop Sagar is a small artificial lake that was created by Maharana Swaroop Singh. The lake was subsequently named after him. It is also known as Kumharia Talab. Located behind the famous Jagdish Temple, Kumharia Talab is near Chand Pol adjoining Rangsagar. The lake was actually built to provide water to the people of Udaipur. Kumharia Talab is connected with Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake.
BHARTIYA LOK KALA MUSEUM :
Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum is one of the most famous museums of Udaipur, exhibiting the brilliant collection of folk articles of Rajasthan. This rare compilation varies from typical rural-dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. The museum is located in the building of Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal near Chetak Circle in Udaipur city.
VINTAGE & CLASSIC CAR COLLECTION:
The Vintage & Classic Car Collection is a landmark in the city of Udaipur ever since it was inaugurated in February 2000. The grand limousines and cars showcased in the Collection belong to the House of Mewar and are still in perfect running condition. With 22 splendid vehicles, including a magnificent Rolls-Royce, 1939 Cadillac open convertibles, rare Mercedes models, 1936 Vauxhall and 1937 Opel models. The Collection has been curated for the benefit of vintage car-lovers from India and all over the world.
Shilpgram in Udaipur can be literally translated as the ‘Craftsmen’s Village’. It depicts the lifestyle of the folk and tribal people of the West Zone. Make sure you don’t miss the Shlipgram festival which is hosted every year from 21st December to 31st December
How to Reach Udaipur :
By Air : Udaipur Airport namely Maharana Pratap Airport is located near Dabok at a distance of 22 kms from the city of Udaipur. Many domestic airlines connect the city to all the major cities of India including Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
By Rail: Rajasthan Railways connects Udaipur station with all the other cities of Rajasthan as well as India. There are frequent trains which run to and from Udaipur connecting Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi. One can also travel to this beautiful city by the luxurious Palace on Wheels.
By Road: Udaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Udaipur Bus Stand has regular bus services, connecting Udaipur with nearby cities including Delhi, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Indore, Kota, Ajmer, Ahmedabad and Mt. Abu.
Best Time to Visit Udaipur:
Udaipur experiences a pleasant climate in winters. Months from September to March make the ideal time to visit this city of lakes.