Udaipur is known as the Venice of the east. It is also called the city of lakes. The Lake Palace on Jag Niwas Island in the middle of Pichola Lakes is the finest example of its architectural and cultural explosion. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake compliments the palace along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, craft and its famed miniature paintings.The Shilp Gram festival is a center of attraction during the season.
Udaipur was the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, ruled by Ranawats of the Sisodia clan. The founder of Udaipur was Rana Udai Singh. The ancient capital of Mewar was Chittor or Chittorgarh, located on the Banas River northeast of Udaipur.
Legend has it that Maharana Udai Singh came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot and it would be well protected. Udai Singh established a residence there. In 1568 the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittor, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his residence, which became the city of Udaipur.
As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except the fort of Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. After India's Independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India's Rajasthan state.
"It was worth a night's discomfort, and revolverbeds to sleep upon this city of the Suryavansi, hidden among the hills that encompass the great Pichola lake. Truly, the King who governs to-day is wise in his determination to have no railroad to his capital. His predecessor was more or less enlightened, and, had he lived a few years longer, would have brought the iron horse [railway train] through the Dobarri the green gate which is the entrance of the Girwa or girdle of his hills around Udaipur; and, with the train, would have come the tourist who would have scratched his name upon the Temple of Garuda and laughed horse-laughs upon the lake.
Let us, therefore, be thankful that the capital of Mewar is hard to reach."Rudyard Kipling, Letters of Marque, 1887-9. The City of Beautiful Landscapes The iron horse did interrupt the serenity of Mewar and the Pichola Lake, but Udaipur as such had remained cut off from the outside world for a very long time, even during Kipling's visit. Udaipur, now popularly known as the Venice of the East or the City of Sunrise, has enchanting landscaped gardens and beautiful lakes that beckon both a tourist and a traveler.
Lord Northbrook, the 19th century British Viceroy, described the city thus: "Take a lake about the size of Orta, with lower hills and of a lighter colour; put the walls of Verona on the lower hills with a fort or two, add islands smaller than those on Lake Maggiore, covered with marble pleasure palaces and domes Pile up half a dozen French chateaux on the side and end with a piece of Venice."
Described as the Jewel in the Crown the city faces no threat regarding beauty from any other Indian tourist spots. Well, perhaps it has some competition from Kashmir, the Paradise on Earth. Udaipur, or Udyapoora in ancient texts, can be best described as the jewel in the crown' of Rajasthan with its palaces and pavilions, its gardens and groves, its exquisite lakes and their island palaces, monsoon palaces a palace for any reason.
It has More About Udaipur been subjected to never-ending epithets, a Norther one being the City of Enchantment. Louis Rousselet in his book India and Its Native Princes (1878) has said: "I stood in ecstasy gazing on the sublime panorama spread at my feet … It resembled one of the fairy cities in the Arabian Nights." and now, after Independence, Udaipur has been given the title of the City of Institutions as a number of important institutions have been set up here. The city was named after Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of the city, in the middle of the 16th century.
Summer: Max 38.3 degree C Min. 28.8 degree C
Winters: Max 28.3 degree C Min. 11.6 degree C
Rainfall: 61 cms
Location of Udaipur from other major cities
How to Reach There
Air : Dabok Airport is 24 km. from Udaipur city. Linked by daily Air Service from New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad and Mumbai.
Train : Udaipur is connected to and from Chittrogarh, Ajmer, Jaipur and Delhi.
Road : A wide network of bus services link Udaipur from various destinations like Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur ,Chittrogarh, Indore, Kota, Mount Abu and Mumbai.
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