Udaipur (udai means ‘rising’; pur for ‘lands’) is a beautiful city, set amidst the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan, India. Proffering a perfect mélange of culture, history and traditions, the gorgeous city makes for the perfect honeymoon destination, cultural centre and face of royalty, Udaipur casts its spell and everyone gets mesmerized by it!
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’.
The wise rulers of Mewar, literally created an oasis amid the desert, thanks to their love for leisure and passion for creation. Udaipur was founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh II following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Mughal emperor Akbar. This new capital of Mewar had a much less vulnerable location than Chittorgarh. Mewar still had to contend with repeated invasions by the Mughals and, later, the Marathas, until British intervention in the early 19th century. This resulted in a treaty that protected Udaipur from invaders while allowing Mewar’s rulers to remain effectively all-powerful in internal affairs. The ex-royal family remains influential and in recent decades has been the driving force behind the rise of Udaipur as a tourist destination.
There is so much that one can see in Udaipur and most of these attractions have been built and created by the Maharanas. If Jaipur was Pink City and Jaisalmer the Golden city, then Udaipur is the White City. Beside shimmering Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms.
Romance itself gets redefined at the Palace hotel. Situated on Jagniwas Island it is now run by the Taj group and is popularly known as Taj Lake Palace. With the Aravalli Hills in the background, Lake Palace makes one of the most romantic places in Rajasthan. The shimmering silk, the sparkling white marble, the blue waters, the aura, the aroma, the luxury in a heritage setup, its truly is the Valentine’s abode.
Jagmandir is an impressive set of structures with the central building being called Jagmandir, which can be recognized by the marble-made elephants positioned outside. It is a three-storied structure and includes sections like Gul Mahal, an elegant façade, a Garden Courtyard and the Darikhana on its northern side, the Bara Patharon ka Mahal (palace of the 12 stones), the Zenana Mahal – a southern extension to the Gul Mahal and the Kunwar Pada ka Mahal.
The charm of Udaipur is incomplete without Fateh Sagar Lake, which is situated in the north of Lake Pichola and is connected to it through a canal. Taking a boat ride on Lake Fatehsagar is indeed a must-do activity. There are three islands in the lake out of which Nehru Park is the most famous. It is also an ideal place for family outing with a small zoo for kids. There is also a Solar Observatory considered as the best solar observing site in India and was designed as per the model of Solar Observatory at Big Bear Lake in Southern California.
Udaipur is a perfect place to visit for its unique combination of beautiful architecture, history and natural beauty. Explore the beautifully designed City Palace along with the Jagdish Temple, which is the local diety and has great importance for Hindu’s.
The intricate carvings on Jagdish temple makes one drop their jaws in awe of the skilled workmanship.
The Garden of the Maidens’ as it literally means, Saheliyon ki Bari was constructed by Maharana Bhopal Singh. Situated in the northern part of the city, this exquisite place was built for the maids who accompanied the Princess to Udaipur (reckoned to be part of the dowry). Saheliyon kI Bari was one of those places where the maids could make merry, sing, dance and indulge in recreational activities. The garden is festooned with well-maintained fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool.
Bagore ki Haveli is right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangore Ghat. There are 138 rooms set around courtyards, some arranged to evoke the period during which the house was inhabited, while others house cultural displays, including – intriguingly enough – the world’s biggest turban.There is a cultural show every evening here that has magic show, puppet dance, folk dance and more. Be amazed by the skill and imagination of the beautiful dances !
Take a step back from the hustle, however, and Udaipur still has its magic, not just in its marvellous palaces and monuments, but in its matchless setting, the tranquillity of boat rides on the lake, the bustle of its ancient bazaars, its lively arts scene, the quaint old-world feel of its better hotels, its endless tempting shops and some lovely countryside to explore on wheels, feet or horseback.
Udaipur beckons you..when do you come here next ?