Udaipur – The city of Lakes and Palaces

Water is the elixir of life. It is one of the constituents of the ‘Pancha Mahabhuta’, the remaining being air, fire, earth and the sky. Since first existence of man, water and natural water bodies like waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes and seas have been shaping and nurturing the human civilization. Water is not just an object of quenching thirst or for cleansing the linens or bodies. Rather sacred rivers and lakes are believed to be sources of natural environment to provide facilities for entertainment and pleasure of tourists.

Udaipur, located in the Aravalli Mountains has become the best destination to the tourists for its lakes and palaces. The three interconnected lakes in the city are Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichhola and smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake. Because of the advantage of location, a number of royal dynasties constructed palaces for dwelling and forts for providing military security; both offensive and defensive. Anciliary to these massive building structures, a number of temples, gardens congregate together to become a composite attractive feature for the tourists. Tourists have a natural urge to experience the reminiscence of the valor and chivalry of the former rulers.

Before visiting Udaipur, knowledge about its History will make the visit more purposeful and enjoyable. Udaipur was founded by Rana Udai Singh, father of Maharana Pratap. Nagda was the earlier capital of Mewar which was located on the Banas River, north East of Udaipur. Legend goes into say that while hunting in the Aravalli Range, a hermit had advised to construct a palace there. When Chittrgarh was captured by the Mughal Emeror, Akbar, Udai Singh changed his capital to this place known as Udaipur, which later became the princely state under the British rule.

Udaipur City Lake is constructed 30 meters above the Lake Pichhola and has extends up to 244 meters. A perfect blend of different architecture such as Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Chinese, make it unique in its aesthetic characteristic and adding value to the tour. Inside the palace complex, other small and big palaces, gardens and museums add to the grandeur of the City Palace. Badi Mahal is situated on the 89 ft high natural rock. Amar Vilas is a raised garden which provides entry to Badi Mahal. The Darbar Hall and Fatehpraksh Palace are now converted to heritage hotel.

Other structures located in the City Palace Complex of Udaipur include Jagdish Temple that enshrines Lord Vishnu and has Indo-Aryan architectural styles. Krishna Vilas showcases collection of miniature paintings portraying royal procession, festivals and games. Manak Mahal has raised alcove laid in completely in mirror glass. Three colored peacocks of Mor Chowk pillared hall has special attractions for tourists.

Mewar Festival coincides with Gangaur Festival of Udaipur that are celebrated to mark the advent of spring season and thus attract large number of tourists during these festive occasions. Images of Isar and Gangaur are taken on procession to Lake Pichhola, followed by cultural programs.

A visit to Udaipur opens before tourists, its rich history of old time cultural heritage and also the experience of royal comfort by staying in the Heritage Hotels converted from Royal palaces.