Udaipur

Udaipur is located in the southern part of Rajasthan state, just near to the Gujrat border. It is surrounded by Aravali Range, which separates it from Thar Desert. Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of lakes Udaipur is located around azure water lakes and is hemmed in by lush green hills of Aravallis. The famous Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. It is also home to Jaisamand Lake, claimed to be the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city. The city is also known for its profusion of zinc and marble. Solar observatory in Lake Fateh Sagar is the only observatory in India located on an island and has been made on the pattern of Big Bear Lake in Southern California. The ten-day Shilpgram Festival which starts from 21 Dec to 30 Dec pulls in a large number of people interested in arts and crafts.

Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar.

UDAIPUR CITY PALACE

The City Palace towers over Lake Pichola. The balconies, cupolas, and towers of the palace give a wonderful view of the lake and the surrounding city. This complex actually consists of four major and several minor palaces that collectively form the magnificent City Palace. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying artifacts.

EXPLORE LAKE PALACE

Now a hotel but was originally called Jagniwas and served as a summer palace. Built between 1743 and 1746 on the island near Jagmandir in Lake Pichola, the palace, which faces east, is a wondrous sight to behold. The walls made of black and white marbles are adorned with semi-precious stones and ornamented niches. Gardens, fountains, pillared terraces, and columns line its courtyards.

JAG MANDIR

Jagmandir is a palace built on an island on the Lake Pichola. Also called the ‘Lake Garden Palace’, the construction for this began in 1620 and was completed around 1652. The royal family used the palace as its summer resort and for hosting parties. Interestingly, Prince Khurram – later Emperor Shah Jahan – was given shelter here when he rebelled against his father Emperor Jahangir. The Palace had such an impact on Emperor Shah Jahan that it went on to become the inspiration for one of the most magnificent Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal.

MONSOON PALACE

Situated just outside Udaipur, this 19th-century palace is built on top of Bansdara hills. Used as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge, its builder, Maharana Sajjan Singh, originally planned to make it an astronomical center. The plan was cancelled with Maharana Sajjan Singh’s premature death. It is still an awe-inspiring sight on the Udaipur skyline and offers spectacular views of the city and the areas around.

AHAR MUSEUM

Ahar Museum is in close proximity to an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. The museum has a small, but rare collection of earthen pottery. You can also browse through sculptures and archaeological finds, a few dating back to 1700 BC. A 10th century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction here.

FATEH SAGAR LAKE

This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodlands, lies to the north of Lake Pichola. This artificial lake is connected to Lake Pichola by a canal. The lake houses the beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet on which stands the Udaipur Solar Observatory. It was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught and was initially called Connaught Bundh.

LAKE PICHOLA

Picholi was the name of a village that lent its name to the lake. The islands of Jagniwas and Jagmandir are housed in this lake. Along the eastern banks of the lake lies the City Palace. A boat ride in the lake around sunset offers a breathtaking view of the Lake and City Palace.

SAHELIYON KI BARI

Built by Maharana Sangram Singh II as a garden for women, Saheliyon-ki-Bari or the Garden of the Maidens is a popular tourist destination. Along with a small museum, it has several attractions such as marble elephants, fountains, kiosks and a lotus pool.

GULAB BAGH AND ZOO

Gulab Bagh (Sajjan Niwas Garden) is the largest garden in Udaipur. Spread over 100 acres, the garden proudly displays innumerable species of roses, from which it also gets its name.

BAGORE KI HAVELI

Bagore-ki-Haveli is located by Lake Pichola, at Gangaur Ghat. Amar Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the 18th century. The massive palace has over a hundred rooms that display costumes and modern art. The glass and mirrors in the interiors are structured in classical haveli style.

DOODH TALAI LAKE

The road that takes visitors to Pichola Lake has another popular destination – the Doodh Talai Lake. The lake is nestled between several small hillocks which themselves are tourist attractions. The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and the Manikya Lal Verma Garden are part of the Doodh Talai Lake Garden.

JAISAMAND LAKE

Jaisamand Lake is known for being the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. It is popular among the locals as a weekend picnic destination. Locals say that the lake was constructed to halt the waters of Ruparel River. This lake boasts of a large island, which is home to various species of birds, at its centre.