Udaipur: City of lakes with marvelous architecture

Udaipur City of lakes with marvelous architecture
Udaipur City of lakes with marvelous architecture
Bada Mahal Udaipur
Bada Mahal Udaipur

Udaipur, one of the most beautiful cities, is known as ‘Jewel of Mewar.’ It is the administrative headquarters of Udaipur District in the state of Rajasthan, India. The city on the banks of the calm Pichola Lake, established in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh, is nicknamed as ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’ or ‘Venice of the East’, owing to its natural beauty, enchanting location and picturesque surroundings.

The city is perfectly placed in the backdrop of lush green picturesque natural beauty in the midst of Aravalli Mountain Ranges. It is a lake city with three interconnected lakes, the Pichola Lake, Swaroop Sagar Lake and Fateh Sagar Lake. The spectacular view of the reddish sun setting beneath the mountain ranges in the backdrop of the lakes is a sight to behold.

The city had eleven entrances in its glorious past. Today five are still remaining. Suraj (Sun) Pol, the main entrance is very attractive with amazing structures and carvings on them. Udaipur has beautiful buildings, temples and palaces with marvelous architectural styles. The beauty of exquisite Rajasthan marbles adorning the erstwhile Royal palaces is worth mentioning.

One of the most romantic cities in India, Udaipur is a favorite place of tourists planning to book tour packages in India. It is credited with many beautiful attractions in and around. The royal palace reflected in the clear blue Pichola Lake with all its illuminations and glossiness, shines like a jewel. The view is an eye feasting and unforgettable experience for any traveler. The city provides ample shopping facilities for local craft works, textiles and paintings. The city is also home to one of the most romantic hotels of the world, the Lake Palace Hotel.

Tourist Attractions

Bada Mahal: Bada Mahal, literally means Big Palace. It is also known as Garden Palace. It is an incredible structural marvel dating back to 17th century and is one of the major attractions of Udaipur. It is built on a 90 feet high natural rock formation. The Mahal is considered as the Men’s section of the City Palace, constructed in Rajput-Mughal architectural style. It encloses a beautiful garden, greenish landscaped lawns, vast courtyards, massive pillars and terraces, royal balconies, attractive fountains and royal apartments.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum: Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, also known as Udaipur Folk Museum, is located to the north of Chetak circle in Udaipur and attracts many people who are interested in artifacts and are curious to know how they are made. This museum has a fine collection of paintings, folk musical instruments, folk dresses and ornaments, dolls, masks, puppets and idols of gods and goddesses.

City Palace: It is the largest palace complex in the state of Rajasthan assumed to be built in 16th century. It is a majestic white marble palace royally placed perfectly in a peak reflecting its beauty in the Pichola Lake. The City Palace is guarded by huge fort walls and comprises of mammoth pillars, huge domes and arches and terraces.

Jagdish Temple: An Indo-Aryan temple, it is an imposing structure located at the first entrance of City Palace. The temple with Lord Vishnu as the main deity was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651.

Jag Mandir Palace
Jag Mandir Palace

Dil Kushal: Dil Kushal is one of the largest portions of the City Palace. This palace assumed to be added by Maharana Karan in a later period, is considered to be built for the Royal females. Zenana Mahal, the palace of queens, is placed at the southern end of Dil Kushal. The Palace itself placed in beautiful surroundings overlooking the serene Pichola Lake.

Jag Mandir Palace: Jag Mandir, also known as Lake Garden Palace, is an exquisite palace placed in an estuary Island in Pichola Lake.  The Palace construction started in the regime of Maharana Karan Singh during the first half of 17th century.

Laxmi Chowk: Laxmi Chowk is considered as the Courtyard of Goddess Lakshmi. It was constructed for the Royal ladies and it is the main courtyard of Queen’s Palace, the Zanana Mahal. It is a well laid out Courtyard with many flowering plants and greenish lawns.

Maharana Pratap Memorial: Set atop Moti Margi or Pearl Hill, this memorial overlooks the charming Fateh Sagar Lake. A site with historical importance, Maharana Pratap Memorial comprises a marvelous bronze statue of Maharana Pratap sitting on his faithful horse, Chetak.

Sajjangarh Palace: Sajjangarh, also known as Monsoon Palace, is located on a peak of Bansdara Mountain as high as 944 m above sea level. It is a gigantic palace overlooking the famous Pichola Lake. The palace construction was started in 1883 by Maharana Sajjan Singh. It was used as summer retreat for Mewar Kings and also as a Monsoon Palace, to watch the progress of Monsoon clouds.

Shilp Gram: Shilp Gram is a craftsmen’s village located at the foothills of Aravalli Mountains. The Museum displays the craft, art and cultural heritage of different Indian states including the aborigines. This is set in a vast area of 173 hectares.

Vintage Car Museum: Just a few kilometers away from the marvelous City Palace is Udaipur’s renowned Vintage Car Museum. Set within the ground of the Garden Hotel, the museum showcases a collection of spectacular vintage cars of bygone era. These vehicles were once possessed and used by Maharanas of Udaipur. On display are classic cars like Cadillac, Chevrolet and Morris, while the collection also includes sleek and fast models. This museum is a must see for automobile and car lovers.

Duddhtalaii and Musical Garden: Duddhtalaii Musical Garden is a beautiful rock garden in Duddhtalai built by urban development trust in Udaipur. One can enjoy the magnificent view of the sunset and the panoramic view of the Pichhola Lake and the amazing palaces around the lake from the garden.

Fateh Sagar Lake: An appealing and quiet lake built by Maharana Jai Singh and later renovated by Maharana Fateh Singh, is placed to the north of Lake Pichola with a canal linking the Pichola Lake and Fateh Sagar Lake. The lake is in the greenish backdrop of wooded hills surrounding the three sides and dammed on the other side.

Nehru Garden: Nehru Garden in Udaipur is a beautiful and attractive Garden constructed in an Island at the heart of Fateh Sagar Lake. This enchanting Park can be reached by a pleasant boating ride from one side of the Fateh Sagar Lake.

Pichola Lake: Pichola Lake, the beautiful stretch of water surrounding the two marvelous structures the Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, is the lifeline of Udaipur city. All the palaces in the city of palaces are constructed to have a magnificent reflection in this lake.

Saheliyon-ki-Bari: It is a majestic garden located in one of the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake. It is believed this garden was built for 48 beautiful girls who were given to royal house as part of the dowry for a princess.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Udaipur is the winter season. The temperature remains comfortable and is apt for visiting the monuments and other places of interest in Udaipur. The best months to visit are September, October, November, December, February and March.

Saheliyon ki Bari

How to reach

By Train: Udaipur is located in the main broad gauge railway line and the railway station is connected to all other railway stations in India.

By Air: Maharana Pratap Airport is located at Dabok, 22 km from the heart of Udaipur city. Many domestic airlines connect the city to most of the major cities in India including Kolkata, Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai.

By Bus: Rajasthan Roadways operates public bus services between Udaipur and other major cities in Rajasthan. Volvo super deluxe buses are available from Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

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