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DESCRIPTION

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is an enchanting city. Also known as The Venice of the East, it is a vision in white, drenched in romance and beauty. From the azure water lakes in the midst of sandy terrain, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sounds and experience.

An inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers, it is a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carrying the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing velour and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing sight.


HISTORY

The jewel of Mewar, Udaipur was ruled by the Sisodia dynasty. Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation of the city, in 1559 AD. The legendary Ranas of Mewar, who traced their ancestry back to the Sun, first ruled the region from their 7th century stronghold - Chittaurgarh.
In contrast to the house of Jaipur, the rulers of Udaipur prided themselves on being independent. Yet, Udaipur for all its individuality remained one of the poorer princely states in Rajasthan, a consequence of being almost constantly at war. Ultimately in 1818, Mewar came under British political control, but still managed to avoid almost all-British cultural influence.


CULTURE

Founded in 1568 following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Mughal emperor Akbar, Udaipur rivals, any of the world famous creations of the Mughals, with its Rajput love of the whimsical, and its superbly crafted elegance. Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands the splendid Lake Palace.

A marvel in granite and marble, it is certainly the best example of its 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, paintings and crafts.


FOOD

Udaipur is one place where you won't have to go far looking for your kind of food. Some of the best places to eat in town include the Lake Palace's excellent dining terrace, the Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel, and Gallery Restaurant at the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel. Amet-ke-Haveli is another place where you enjoy an evening meal set against the romantic backdrop of the lake.

SHOPPING

Chetak Circle, Clock Tower, Hathi Pol, Palace Road and the City Market are some of the best places to shop in Udaipur. The Rajasthan Government Handicrafts Emporium is another good stop. Do try and make time for Shilpgram, the craft bazaar. It hosts a shopping extravaganza every year, commencing mid-December. No matter where in Udaipur - if you're buying stone jewellery, then don't give in to the price before bargaining.


ENTERTAINMENT

Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated in February/ March and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The Udaipur royal family hosts an elaborate function at the City Palace.


USEFUL INFORMATION

Location :     


Southern Rajasthan, 270 km south of Ajmer. Situated on National Highway 8, Udaipur is well-connected to several major cities of central and western India.

Climate :

Unlike the simmering heat during summers of the nearby Thar Desert, Udaipur has a more tolerable and often pleasant weather. Though at times the mercury touches a sweltering 40ºC, it hovers around the 30s for most part of the year. Rainfall is scanty and the winters are pleasant.


UDAIPUR SIGHT-SEEING

Udaipur City Palace

A majestic architectural marvel, towering over the lake on a hill, surrounded by crenellated walls, it is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms, and hanging gardens. The Mor Chowk, known for its exquisite peacock mosaics in glass and the chini chitrashala, noted for its blue and white ceramics, are other attractions in the palace.


Saheliyon ki Bari

This small ornamental garden, was a popular relaxing spot, where royal ladies came for a stroll, and hence the name. The garden has many fountains in its four delightful pools, chiseled kiosks and marble elephants.





Pichhola Lake

The Pichhola is a picturesque lake that entranced Maharaja Udai Singh. The founder later enlarged it. Hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments surround the lake. Two island palaces, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas, on the lake, are of breathtaking magnificence.


Haldi Ghati Udaipur

This historical site, is a witness, to the great battle fought between Maharana Pratap and the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1576 AD.A noteworthy site, is the Chhatri of the Maharana's horse Chetak.





Kumbhalgarh Fort Udaipur

After Chittaurgarh this is the second principal fortress in Rajasthan. Built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, it extends over 12 km and encloses many temples, palaces and gardens. The Fort is accessible only by jeep from Kelwara, through the seven gates.













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