(The City of Lakes)
The testimony of Rajputana culture, Udaipur has been voted as the best city in the world by a travel magazine in 2009. Being the capital of Mewar state for years, the ‘city of lakes’ presents awe-inspiring heritage today. Rightly called as the Venice of East, the lovely range of Aravali hills are enough to mesmerize your senses. Unlike other developed cities of Rajasthan, Udaipur still embodies a magical serenity all thanks to its untouched beauty and alluring landscapes. The pleasant weather throughout the year is due to its location in the southern region of the state. It contradicts all the notions of Rajasthan being all over a desert land. The town exhibits itself in a rather pleasant way that makes it a picture-perfect place for photography. The scenic pleasure of the city would live in your memories for years.
Being a part of one of the most prominent kingdoms (Mewar) of Rajasthan, Udaipur was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in mid-16th century. It became the capital of the Mewar state replacing Ahar being more secured both in geographical and strategic ways. There is a famous legend behind the establishment of this city. Once Maharana Udai Singh encountered with a holy sage during his hunting voyage in the Aravali hills. He advised the king to found a city that is protected by these hills. The great ranas of Udaipur are considered to be the descendants of Guhaditya who was a successor of Luv (son of lord Ram), according to a legend. His progeny ‘Guhilots’ moved to the northern areas of Mewar and changed their name to ‘Sisodiya’. The city was founded on the banks of ‘Pichhola lake’ when the original capital of Mewar i.e. Chittorgarh got invaded for the third time by Akbar, the Mughal emperor.
PLACES TO VISIT:
Udaipur has a plenty of heritage and sightseeing places that you ought to visit during your trip. Here is the list:
- Udaipur City Palace – Maharana Udai Singh built this beautiful palace and his successors kept adding more structures to it. You can please your eyes by the view of ‘Picchola Lake’ running around the palace. The reflection of Mughal and Rajputana architecture can be seen in each and every part of this palace.
- Fateh Sagar Lake –It is really difficult to believe that Fateh Sagar is an artificial lake. It was excavated by Maharana Jai Singh and reconstructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. You can enjoy boating and water-scooter ride in this serene lake.
- Lake Pichhola – This delightful lake was named after the village of Pichhola that got submerged when Maharana Udai Singh expanded the lake once he founded the city. Lake pichhola also encloses an island ‘Jagniwas’ and a temple, known as ‘Jagmandir’.
- Jag Mandir –Maharana Jagat Singh I constructed this temple in 1620 AD amidst of Picchola Lake. Prince Shahjahan hid here during his revolt against Jahangir, his father. According to a legend, Its stunning architecture inspired Shah-jahan to make Tajmahal,.
- Sahelion ki Bari –Maharana Sangram Singh founded the famous ‘Garden of the Maids of Honor’. It was made for the maids for the purpose of recreation and refreshment. You can spend a quality time here as it has pleasing pools and fountains along with the lovely flowerbeds.
- Lake Palace – Made by Maharana Jagat Singh, Lake Palace served as the summer residence for the royal family of Mewar. It got a restoration and was converted to a luxury hotel later. It presents you the regal ambiance along with the tranquility of Lake Pichhola.
- Sajjan Garh – Known as ‘Monsoon Palace’, it does the full justice to the name. This palace is situated on a height of 2268 ft. Enclosed with enthralling hills, Sajjangarh is a great place to relax you body and soul.
- Shilpgram –Situated in the foothills of Aravali, it shows the village culture of India. This traditional village museum displays mesmerizing art and craft styles like ‘Terracotta work’.
- Vintage Cars Collection –If you are an admirer of vintage cars, then this is the place you need to visit in Udaipur. Situated within the grounds of Garden Hotel, this collection flaunts the brands like Chevrolet, Cadillac, Morris, etc.
- Jagdish Temple
- Maharana Pratap Memorial
- Kesariyaji Temple
- Neemach Mata Temple
- Gulab Bagh
- Bagore ki Haveli
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS:
Shilpgram Fair –
Shilpgram (meaning “craftsmen’s village”) is a rural arts and crafts complex, located three kms from Udaipur and set up by the government in 1986. It showcases rural life and traditions from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Goa. The complex has huts from each of the states, incorporating their distinctive architectural features. Artisans also sell their wares and perform folk dances. Horse rides and camel rides are offered as well. The complex really comes alive during the 10 day Shilpgram Arts & Crafts Fair in late December.
Mewar Festival –
This endearing festival comprises of both religious and cultural events. Organized during the spring season, it also depicts the customs of Gangaur festival on the banks of Pichhola Lake. Later, the cultural activities are performed along with the fireworks display at nights.
- Explore the city through Old City Cycle Tour. Enjoy the sightseeing of the forts and lakes of Udaipur during this tour.
- A Helicopter Joyride can also be relished in the Lake City. It would be really a fun to watch the water bodies and majestic forts from a significant height.
- Trekking is a not-to-mention thing in this city surrounded by the mesmerizing hills.
- A shopping hunt for the handicrafts and pottery is a must-to-do in Udaipur. Pichhwai painting and bandhni sarees are also good enough to catch your eye during this shopping spree. Bada Bazar, Hathipol Bazar, Celebration Mall, Lake Palace Road, and Chetak circle are the famous shopping hubs of the city.
- Roam around the hilly area of Aravali riding on a horse. Or, you can also enjoy a camel ride at Fateh Sagar Lake.
- Udaipur is also famous for the puppet shows, organized at Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum in the evening.
- Meera Kala Mandir showcases Rajasthani Folk music and dances.
- If you are a nightbird, then there are options like The Winos, Panera Bar, Pichhola Bar, etc. to enjoy the nightlife of Udaipur.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:-
The romantic city of Udaipur looks beautiful during the monsoon season, the rains arrive in the month of July, enhancing the greenery of the region and presenting enrapturing landscapes to the tourists. The humidity gets vanished when winters step in during the month of October. In this season, 5°C- 30°C is the usual temperature range. The best time to visit the place is between Septembers to April or the monsoons (if you love the rain), which means the city welcomes the tourists for almost all over the year. It has a tropical climate, temperature ranges from 23 to 44°C during summers months of March to June. It is not advised to visit the city at this time.
HOW TO REACH:-
- By Air – The nearest airport from the city of Udaipur is Dabok airport (24 km). Jodhpur (265 km), Jaipur (393.5 km), and Ahmedabad (260 km) are the other nearby airports. You can travel by rail or road from these cities to Udaipur.
- By Rail – The Lake city is connected to Chhitorgarh, Jaipur, Delhi, and Ajmer via trains. You can also opt for ‘Palace on Wheels’, ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’, or ‘Maharaha Express’ to witness a royal journey to this regal place.
- By Road – Udaipur is linked with many cities like Jaipur (393.5 km), New Delhi (650 km), Ajmer (263 km), Mumbai (760.5 km), Mt. Abu (163 km), Chittorgarh (112 km), Indore (406 km), and Ahmedabad (260 km) via national and state highways