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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.