Udaipur pronunciation (उदयपुर) is a city and a municipal council in Udaipur
district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the historic capital of the
former kingdom of Mewar, and the administrative headquarters of Udaipur
District. It is also known as the City of Lakes. The Pichola lake, Fateh Sagar
Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered some of the most
beautiful lakes in the state.
It is known for its Rajput-era palaces. Particularly famous is the Lake Palace,
which covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been
converted into luxury hotels.
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.
Udaipur is well connected to the world through land, rail and air.
Road : The city falls on the Golden Quadrilateral, lying midway between Delhi
and Mumbai on National Highway (NH) 8; it is around 650 kilometres from either
metro. The roads in this part of the country are paved and fit for private
vehicles. One can either drive from Jaipur (around 6 hours) or Ahmedabad (3.5
hours), or take a Rajasthan Tourism bus from India Gate in Delhi. It also falls
on East West Corridor which starts from Porbandar and ends at Silchar and is
intersecting the Golden Quadrilateral and shares the common space from Udaipur
Air : Dabok airport, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport, is 24 kilometres
from the city centre. Daily Indian Airlines flights connect Udaipur with
Jodhpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai & Delhi. There are daily flights from Delhi,
Mumbai and Jaipur on Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines. The
airport is going through modernisation project and will soon have a new terminal
building with an additional 4 stands. The airport has been confirmed as an
International airport by the Government of India.
Train : Train connectivity is established between Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad
through trains run by Indian Railway. Recently Udaipur got connected with Delhi,
Kota and Mathura with the “Mewar Express” on broadgauge tracks. In August 2007
Udaipur was connected with Kolkatta, by the “Ananya Express”. A train has also
been introduced between Mumbai and Udaipur via Vadodara, Ratlam and Chittorgarh.
Udaipur lacks direct connectivity to South India, and one has to reach it either
via Kota or Ahmedabad.
Local transport : Unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, tongas, city bus, and regular
city bus service is available for Udaipur City main roads to Dabok Airport, Badi
Lake, and Bedala.
Places of interest
City Palace Udaipur
Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built
at different times from 1559. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic
views of “Jag Niwas” (the Lake Palace Hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the
other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate –
the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards,
overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. There is a Suraj Gokhda,
where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the
people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name
from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is
noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of Krishna are on display in Bhim
Vilas. There are numerous other palaces such as Dilkhush mahal, Sheesh mahal,
Moti mahal and Krishna vilas – in memory of a princess of striking beauty who
poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princes. Now the
palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and
utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day. The former guesthouse of
the city palace, Shiv Niwas and the Fateh Prakash Palace have been converted
into heritage hotels.
Originally known as the Jag Niwas, took three years to build and was inaugurated
in 1746. Nothing but marble is used in the composition of this palace. Lake
Palace is now a luxury hotel owned by Taj Group of Hotels.
Another island in the Lake Pichola, which is known for its garden courtyard.
Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father.
City Palace and Museum
Pratap Museum, While entering the City palace the straight way go to the
Government Pratap Museum housed with old sculptures and inscriptions. The
antique paintings of Mewar, the turban of prince Khurram later on called Shah
Jahan, who built the world famous Taj Mahal has also been displayed here as a
token of friendship of Maharana Khazan Singh. Next to Fateh Prakash Palace,
houses glass and mirror works.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
A museum of folk arts. Also hosts puppet shows in its auditorium.
Maharana Pratap Memorial or Moti Magri
Atop the Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the
memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap with a bronze statue of the Maharana
astride his favourite horse “Chetak”. More details are available at
Maharanapratap.net, a collection of facts and figures on Maharana Pratap and his
The summer resort of the Maharajas is atop the hill overlooking all the lakes.
This palace had a way to collect rain water for consumption all year around.
Sukhadia Circle (Square), Udaipur, a large roundabout in the city’s northern
suburb of Panchwati, on the road to Ranakpur and Mt. Abu. The centrepiece of the
Circle is a large, three-tiered fountain just over 21 m. high, with scalloped
dishes surmounted by a wheat-ear motif, representing prosperity. Illuminated at
night, it is now a well-known landmark. Its foundation was laid in 1968 and was
opened in 1970. The Circle is a popular recreational centre and meeting place. A
circular pond surrounds the fountain; nearby are pleasant gardens. Families and
friends come together, especially at night, when music plays, and dozens of
food, cold drinks and tea stalls do a flourishing trade. Children particularly
enjoy the experience: they float toy boats in the central pond, where odd
duck-shaped pedallos (paddle boats) vie for space; there is even a mini train
nearby. Sukhadia Circle commemorates the memory of Udaipur’s MOHAN LAL SUKHADIA,
one-time Chief Minister of Rajasthan and a native of Udaipur.
A temple situated in the middle of the city – a big tourist attraction, the
temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument. It is
raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double
storeyed Mandapa (hall) to a double – storied, saandhara (that having a covered
ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal
samavarna (bell – roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum
contains two more, non – functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the
sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple. It was built by Maharana
Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D. It is an example of Indo – Aryan architecture.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sager Lake is a vicinity for young lovers, it is situated in the north of
Lake Picholas. It was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in the year 1678
AD, but later on reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh, As lot of
destruction was caused by heavy rains.In the year 1993-1994,the water vanished
from the lake and again in the year 2005-2006, the lake regaind its water.The
lake is tried directly to connect with mansivacal dam so that it doesnot suffer
any type of water problem again in future.
The Sapphire Udaipur : Lake Pichola is a lake that has two islands, Jag Niwas
and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4km long and 3 km wide, originally built by
Maharana Udai Singh II after he discovered Rajasthan “Udaipur”. There are many
ghats, like the bathing and washing ghats, which can be approached through boats
from the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat). In the heart of lake, the Lake
Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. This palace
hotel is considered to be 3 decades old in the history of Udaipur. The Lake
remains fairly shallow, at the time of heavy rains, and gets dry easily at the
time of severe drought. A hermit is said to have advised the Maharana to
establish his kingdom over Lake Pichola, after the fall of Chittaurgarh by
Mughal emperor Akbar.
Sahelion Ki Bari’ was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who
accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below
the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake have beautiful lotus pools, marble
pavilions and elephant- shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water
of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose. Each water channel has
its distinct sound and the mingling of these sounds complement the ambience of
Udaipur Solar Observatory
Asia’s only solar observatory, the Udaipur Solar Observatory is situated on an
island in the middle of the Lake Fatehsagar and the main office building is
located at its NW-shore near Bari Road – Rani Road Junction. The site is run
under PRL (Physical Reaserch Lab) in Ahemdabad. The sky conditions at Udaipur
are quite favourable for solar observations. The large water body surrounding
the telescopes decreases the amount of heating of the surface layers. This
decreases the turbulence in the air mass and thereby improves the image quality
and seeing. The main objective of obtaining the high spatial and temporal
resolution observations of solar photospheric and chromospheric.