CITY GUIDE | Udaipur  

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Udaipur
 


Lake Pichola


City Palace


Lake Palace


Moti Magri

Shilpgram


Sajjan Garh

 
One of the most romantic cities in all of Rajasthan, Udaipur is better known as the city of lakes. The marble palaces, the beautiful gardens and the placid blue lakes enhance the beauty of this city. It was founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh II. The Lake Palace is certainly the best late example of this unique cultural explosion, but Udaipur is full of palaces, temples and havelis ranging from the modest to the extravagant. It's also proud of its heritage as a centre for the performing arts, painting and crafts.

Attractions
Lake Pichola:
Udaipur was established around this picturesque lake. Pichola was expanded by the Maharaja after he founded the city. The lake is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Two island palaces Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas (renowned world over as The Lake Palace) on the lake are of breathtaking magnificence.
On a small hillock at the banks of the lake, a beautiful garden is carved, which gives an excellent view of the setting sun in the backdrop of Aravalli hills. Adding to the beauty of this point are the recently installed Musical Fountains, which dance to the tunes of music and a riot of colors.


Lake Fateh Sagar
lies to north of Pichola and was built by Maharana Jai Singh but it got the name of Fateh Singh who rebuilt its dam. Both the lakes are breathtakingly beautiful and one can take a cruise on their waters. The Sunset over these lakes are moments to be cherished.

City Palace
over the lake is the biggest palace in Rajasthan. The construction of this palace was originally commenced by Maharana Udai Singh, the founder. Later on, many additions were made and integrated so well with the rest of the architecture that it was difficult to believe that it was not conceived as a whole. The palace has many balconies, towers and cupolas. The upper terraces offer a beautiful view over the lake and the city.
The main part of the palace is now converted into a museum. Among the items displayed is the Mor Chowk with beautiful mosaics of peacocks, the Manak or Ruby Mahal with glass and porcelain figures. Krishna Vilas has a remarkable collection of miniatures. Beautiful mirror work is displayed in the Moti Mahal. Other exhibits include the princely Rolls-Royces.


Lake Palace,
founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh, the Lake city of Udaipur is often referred as the 'Venice of the East'. Studded with extravagant palaces, hilltop fortresses, awe-inspiring temples and romantic gardens filled with blossoming trees, this 'City of Dreams' is, not surprisingly, a favourite with travellers, both Indian and Foreign. A fantasy island palace shimmering on mirror-calm Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace is one of the most romantic hotels in the world.

Shaelion-Ki-Bari,
or Garden of the Maids of Honour, is in the north of the city. This small ornamental garden, with its fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and delightful lotus pool. This garden is laid with extensive lawns, fountains and shady walking lanes. There are four pools and fountains with elephant trunks for spouts.

Moti Magri:
Erected atop Moti Magri or Pearl Hillock, overlooking Fateh Sagar, is an unparalleled bronze statue of the valiant hero Maharana Pratap who was killed in the battle of Haldighati. Hundreds climb the tree-lined uphill path to pay homage. The path to the top traverses elegant gardens, including a Japanese Rock Garden.

Shilpgram,
a crafts village 3 kms. west of Fateh Sagar is a treat for the soul. Displays by the various musicians, dancers and the artisans from the different states transports you in altogether a unique world of traditions and customs and draws you closer to the essence of India.
It is an ethnographic museum depicting the life styles, traditions, customs, folk arts of rural and tribal people of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, Daman, etc. There are several huts constructed in traditional architectural styles using mud and local building material to reflect the geographical and ethnic diversity of western India.


Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal:
This is a museum of folk arts which has rich collection of folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments and paintings. World famous puppeteers put shows here on request in advance.

Jagdish Temple:
Built by Maharaja Jagat Singh, during the mid 17th century in Udaipur, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This Indo-Aryan style of temple, one of the largest and popular Vishnu temples of Northern India, enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. The pagoda of Jagdish temple, 79 feet high, is covered with curved friezes of dancers, musicians, elephants and horsemen. Its archway is also impressive.

Sajjan Garh:
Overlooking the city is a steep hill, about 152.5 metres, on which stands a striking fortified palace. Dominating the skyline it is visible from most parts of the city. One can go by jeep up a steep road and enjoy a beautiful view of the lakes and palaces of Udaipur. The hillside is thickly wooded and the former rulers maintained this as a royal shooting preserve. It offers a panoramic overview of the lakes, palaces and the surrounding countryside. The palace is illuminated at night and from a distance looks something like a fairy tale.

Travel Information
By Air:
Indian Airlines operates flights from Udaipur to Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Jodhpur and Mumbai.
By Bus:
There are many deluxe buses operating from Udaipur to Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bundi, Jodhpur and Chittaurgarh.
By Train:
Udaipur is well connected by train to Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.