The city of Udaipur is located in the Aravalli ranges of the royal state of Rajasthan and is also known as the jewel of Mewar. Also known as the City of Dawn, Udaipur is surrounded by ancient mountains and set on the edge of three lakes. As you travel to Udaipur, get acquainted with a beautiful old city with narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls. Stroll in the gardens, lakes, palaces and temples that are meandering through it. Udaipur is situated at a distance of about 405 km from the state capital Jaipur.
Udaipur was founded in 1559 and named after Maharana Udai Singh. It then replaced Chittor as the capital of the Sisodia dynasty, when according to legend, the Maharana went out hunting one day and met a holy man who blessed him and told him to build a palace at that very spot, as it would be well protected. Today, Udaipur is a one of the better-known tourist destinations of India and an integral part of any itinerary for Rajasthan.
Tourist Attractions in Udaipur
Udaipur offers a large number of grand forts and exquisite palaces that bear testimony to India's rich architectural heritage.
Lake Palace and Lake Pichola
Lake Palace is a shimmering granite and marble structure that overlooks the aquamarine waters of the Lake Pichola. It is a harmonious arrangement of pavilions, courtyards, terraces, rooms, corridors, and hanging gardens. According to legend, the eight marble porticos that mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor.
Bhim Vilas Palace
The Bhim Vilas Palace that lies within the City Palace has a series of wall paintings. The Mor Chowk is known for its stunning peacock mosaics.
Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir
The summer residence of the princes of Mewar was called Jag Niwas, and is today a magnificent luxury hotel. Jag Mandir, the other island palace has a marble dome and is made in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan when he was exiled after a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jahangir.
City Palace and Museum
The imposing City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake on a hill and is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The complex manages to retain a uniformity of design despite being a conglomeration of buildings constructed by various Maharanas over a long period of time. It has many courtyards,pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens.
To the north of the city lies Saheliyon-Ki-Bari, a garden of the maids of honour. This small ornamental garden has many fountains, delightful lotus pools, chiseled kiosks and marble elephants.
The Jagdish temple was built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh. Built in Indo-Aryan style , the temple is the largest temple of Udaipur. A black stone image of Lord Vishnu and a brass image of Garuda can be seen here.
Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir, the Indian folk arts museum, has interesting exhibits that include folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. Puppet shows are held here daily.
Excursions in Udaipur
There are a very large number of places that can be visited when on a tour Udaipur.
Ahar is the ancient capital of the Sisodias that lies about three kilometers from the town of Udaipur. It boasts of numerous chhatris or cenotaphs that commemorate Mewar's royalty.
Ranakpur boasts of some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country.
Sajjangarh is a dramatic 18th century palace that gives a breathtaking view of the Mewar countryside, and lies on a hilltop just outside Udaipur. It was initially intended to be a five-story astronomical center, but was later abandoned and used as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge.
Eklingi is set in a deep ravine containing the Eklingji Lake about 22 km from Udaipur. The Ekalinga temple here is made of white marble with a two-storey mandapa to Shiva.
Nathdwara is an important Hindu pilgrimage center that lies 48 kilometers from Udaipur. It is also famous for nurturing the glorious tradition of Pichwal paintings.
Nagda has three temples dating back to the 11th century-Adbhutji Temple and the Vaishnavite Sas-Bahu Temples-all dating back to the 11th century.
Chittorgarh is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan. It was capital of the legendary Sisodia Dynasty of which Rana Pratap and Rana Kumbha were the kings.
Its majestic fort dominates the city. Most of the attractions are located the walls of the fort. Kumbhalgarh, Ghanerao, Rajsamand Lake, Jaisamand Lake, Sardarsamand, Haldighati, Dungarpur, Narlai, etc are the places worth visiting near Udaipur.
Best Time to Visit
Udaipur has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from a maximum of 38.3?C to a minimum of 28.8?C during summers. Winters are slightly cold with temperatures between 28.8?C to 11.6?C. The winter months between September and March are the best period for visiting Udaipur.
How to Reach
Air: At a distance of 22 km, Maharana Pratap is the nearest airport from the city. One can go for regular flights from metro cities namely - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jaipur.
Rail: Udaipur railway station connecting all the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur and not to forget the luxurious Palace on Wheels.
Road: There are bus and taxi services easily available for Udaipur from Delhi, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Indore, Kota, Ajmer and Ahmedabad. Deluxe buses and AC coaches from Rajasthan Roadways are also there.
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