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Udaipur - Maharana Udai Singh II started the construction of Udaipur City Palace after the fall of Chittorgarh and later Maharanas expanded it to finally make it the largest palace complex of Rajasthan. It is constructed out of brick and mortar with a lamination of granite and marble. It towers majestically over the serene waters of Pichola Lake. The main gates to the palace are 'Hathi Pol', 'Bara Pol' and Tripolia gate'. The Tripolia has the typical Jain “Torana” arches under which many Maharanas were weighed in Gold and Silver. Along the façade of the Palace that is facing the Pichola, one has panoramic views of the Lake and the surrounding mountains. Maharana Udai Singh constructed “Raj Aangan” or the royal courtyard in 1571. The Barri Mahal has a garden with two water pools. The Dilkhush Mahal, the palace of joy has beautiful fresco paintings. The Moti Mahal or the pearl palace is decorated with mirrors. “Mor Chowk” is perhaps the most photographed part of this palace. It has peacock motifs made with glass mosaic work on its walls. The “Chini Chitrashala” is decorated with blue and white ceramic tiles. “Manak Mahal” or the ruby palace has figurines of porcelain and glass. The Zenana Mahal was the most private area of the palace where the ladies of the royal household used to live. Apart from the area of the palace that is now open to public as a museum, there are other sections of the palace that are partly converted in to heritage luxury hotels and in one part the present members of the former royal family still live.
City Palace Museum covering a major part of the City Palace has an interesting display of archaeology and history. It has a fascinating collection of coins, portraits of former Maharanas of Mewar; narrative wall paintings, armory and the turban of Mughal Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shah Jahan). All the rooms of the palace contain beautiful paintings, inlay glass work, antique furniture and colorful enamel. There is also a separate Government Museum in the palace complex.
Lake Pichola is surrounded by the green hills of the Aravali range. Maharana Udai Singh II expanded it when he established the Udaipur City. The lake is about 3 miles long and 2 miles wide. Maharana Udai Singh II built the “Badi Pal” masonry dam to control the level of water in the lake. The Pichola Lake has ancient embankments, bathing ghats, shrines and palaces surrounding it. In the lake are two islands on which the Taj Group Jag Niwas Lake Palace Hotel and the Jag Mandir Palace were built later.
Maharana Jagat Singh II constructed the Jag Niwas Lake Palace in 1743, as a summer residence of the rulers. After the Indian Independence the former royal family converted it into the Lake Palace Hotel. The beautiful white-marble and granite building is perched on an island in Pichola Lake. The palace is 800 feet from the banks and covers an area of four acres. The palace is unique in its architecture that blends Hindu and Mughal styles and is decorated with ancient paintings, stain glass windows. The antique furniture, an impressive array of fountains and bath reservoirs are still preserved in it. The only access to the palace is by boats that start from the banks near the City Palace and entrance into the palace is through its restaurant hall. It is managed by the Taj Group of Hotels.
The Jag Mandir Palace is the other island palace in Lake Pichola. Maharana Karan Singh constructed this palace for Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shah Jahan) while he was in rebellion against his father, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The Maharana aided the revolting Mughal prince because his mother was a Hindu of Rajput caste. The Mughal Prince lived in this beautiful palace between 1623 and 1624 and his love of white marble for palaces and mausoleums could have been inspired during this period in Udaipur. The Island has a majestic row of elephants carved from white marble and very intricately carved Chattries, kiosks in gray and blue stones. Maharana Jagat Singh also expanded and improved this island palace. There was a Vaishnav Temple in the palace that gave it the name of Jag Mandir. There is also a small mosque in honor of a Sufi saint Madar inside the palace. There is a small museum on the island that describes its history. This palace became world famous when the James Bond film, Octopussy was filmed in it.
Maharana Jai Singh built Fateh Sagar Lake in 1678. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the dam and the embankments of the lake after a storm destroyed it and gave it its popular name. The lights on the drive along the lake shine like a necklace in the night. There is an island in the middle of the lake that is named Nehru Park after India’s first prime-minister. There is also a huge fountain in this lake.
On an elevated platform on the Moti Magri, the pearl hill, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is a very impressive statue of the hero of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. He caught the imagination of the people of Mewar by his determined defiance of the might of Mughal Emperors. The Maharana Pratap Smarak (memorial) has statue cast in bronze alloy of him seated on his favorite horse, Chetak. It is surrounded by a beautiful garden that has a Japanese rock garden in one part. The garden is open every day from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Maharana Jagat Singh had the Vaishnava Jagdish Temple constructed just outside the Hathi Pol Gate of City Palace in Indo-Aryan architecture in 1651. The temple is situated on a raised, rectangular platform. It has a porch supported by pillar surrounding the Sanctum that is crowned by a typical North Indian Hindu temple spire. The temple has some of the finest carvings in Udaipur. The entire exterior is very beautifully sculpted. In front of the temple is a separate shrine of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. A majestic flight of stairs flanked by carved elephants leads one to the raised platform of the temple.
Saheliyon ki Bari or Garden for the Maids of Honor of the Rani, is at Saheli Marg on the eastern banks of lake Fateh Sagar. Maharana Sangram Singh built it in the mid-eighteenth century. It brings to mind the lifestyle of the royal ladies. The delightful gardens appear discreet and are in impeccable condition. There are four pools with dainty kiosks surrounded by flowerbeds, lawns and fountains. It is enclosed in a protective wall. The fountains of the Sahelion ki bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool as well as a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. It is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur is a grand heritage palace with distinctive turrets and majestic domes that was built between 1884 and 1935 by Maharana Fateh Singh on the shores of Lake Pichola. The palace is a repository of exquisite chandeliers, rare paintings, unique crystal and crockery collections. It was converted into a luxury five-star heritage hotel and has been awarded the National Tourism Award for the best heritage hotel in 'Heritage Grand' category for 2001-2002 by the Department of Tourism, Government of India. Classified as a Grand Heritage Palace, the imposing lakeside Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel in Udaipur recapitulates royal traditions and lifestyles in its antique furniture, original paintings and opulent interiors. Its serene premises and picturesque views of Lake Pichola, Jagmandir Island Palace, Jag Niwas Lake Palace and the Sajjangarh Fort, promise a luxurious and comfortable stay. The magnificent Durbar Hall, the exclusive Gallery Restaurant and the dazzling Crystal Gallery complete the royal ambience at Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel Udaipur. Traditional Mewari hospitality coupled with efficient service adds to the pleasure of a holiday at Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel Udaipur. While at the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel in Udaipur, one can completely embrace Palace life and explore the enormous palace complex, including the Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel nearby. Each suite at Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel Udaipur is decorated with original portraits and period furniture, which have been in the royal family for generations. The recently opened Dovecote wing has all the rooms facing Lake Pichola. Each room has been designed to give maximum comfort and a sweeping view of the lake with the two island palaces.
Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal, located near the Chetak Circle, aims to preserve and promote Rajasthani folk arts including dresses, ornaments, dolls, masks, folk deities, musical instruments and paintings. Puppet show and folk dancing are conducted every evening from 6 to 7 PM in an adjacent open air theatre. It is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Shilpgram is a rural arts-and-craft village that was inaugurated by Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. It is about 2 miles from Udaipur City. It has recreated folk and tribal huts representing the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. From December 1 to 10 every year the folk village celebrates “Shilpgram Utsav” festival. Artists and craftsmen from all over India come to this village to display and sell their handicrafts. It is open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM. There are daily performances of live, folk music and dance.
Ahar Museum is situated within the ruins of the ancient township of Ahar located about 2 miles from Udaipur. It is noted for the cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. It has ancient earthen pottery, terracotta toys, tenth century sculptures and other historic artifacts. The Hindu Vaishnav temple of Mira Bai as well as the Jain temples of the Tirthankar Adinatha and Mahavira are nearby. It is open daily from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM except Fridays
Dhulkot Museum is run by the Department of Archaeology and displays rare artifacts from the excavations in Tambawati Nagari. Located east of Ahar, this town was founded by Ashadiya. It is said that ancestors of the legendary king, Vikramaditya resided here before the he conquered Ujjain.
Gulab Bagh Gallery is located on the lake palace road, in a rose garden laid out by Maharana Sajjan Singh and contains a library with a rich collection of rare books and manuscripts. It is open from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM.
Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel in City Palace complex has a rare collection of Osler's crystals including crystal chairs, tables and beds. Maharana Sajjan Singh procured them from England in 1877. The Durbar Hall here, has massive chandeliers. It is open from 10 AM to 8 PM.
Gulab Bagh or Rose garden was constructed by Maharana Sajjan Singh. It is located on the lake palace road. A mini train for children offers a mile and a half circular ride through the rose garden. It also has a library with a rich collection of rare books and manuscripts.
Sajjan Niwas Garden was also built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1874. It has one hundred acres of gardens. An annual show of the flowers and shrubs of this garden are highlighted in the monsoons.
Nehru Island Park is a four and a half acre park is on an island in the middle of Fateh Sagar Lake. It has a children’s park in it and can be reached only by a motor boat.
The most popular excursion for foreign tourists and Jain religion pilgrims is to Ranakpur, the site of Chowmukha Jain Temple along with two other Jain temples and one Hindu Shaivite tantric temple.
Eklingji and Nagda Temples is located about 13 ½-miles north of Udaipur in the Eklingji village. The popular temple in white marble houses the “Ishthdev”, deity of the house of the Maharanas of Mewar - Lord Shiva. It is four faced in Black marble and his vehicle, the Nandi Bull is also in the temple. To the west of Eklingji is Nagda, the ancient capital of Mewar founded by Nagaditya. The 'Sas-Bahu'(mother and daughter-in-law) temples belong to eleventh century have exquisite carvings including some erotic figures. There is also a splendid Jain temple dedicated to Adbutji.
Jaisamand Lake is the second largest artificial lake in Asia, covering an area of about 21 square miles. It was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in1685 and is located 32 miles south east of Udaipur. Low hills with the summer palaces of the Ranis of Udaipur on top surround the Lake. Graceful marble cenotaphs adorn the embankment.
Nathdwara is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site located about 28 miles from Udaipur on the highway to Ajmer. Nathdwara has a more than 600 years old, black stone image of Vishnu from the eighteenth century. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb wanted to destroy this temple at its original location in Mathura when it was brought here in 1669 to protect and preserve it. Thousands of pilgrims throng to Nathdwara during Janmashtami and Diwali festivals. Nathdwara is also known for its 'Pichwai' folk paintings.
Kumbhalgarh is a fort that Maharana Kumbha built in 1458 in the Aravalli Hills. This second most important fort in Rajasthan situated at an altitude of 3642 feet above sea-level and was designed to be self sufficient to withstand a long sieges. A 22 mile long wall surrounds this fort. Within the bastions are many palaces and temples which are of great architectural interest. The most important among them is Badal Mahal or Cloud Palace at the top. It offers views of the scenic beauty of the countryside around the fort.
Kumbhalgarh sanctuary, situated in the lush green environs of Aravali is also well known for its archaeological value. Fauna in the sanctuary includes wolves, Grey jungle fowl, four horned antelope, leopard, sloth bear and others. March- June is the best time to see the animals especially the wolves in large numbers.
Rajsamand Lake is also known as Raj Sagar Lake and is situated 40 miles from Udaipur. Founded by Maharana Raj Singh in late seventeenth century, it is spread over an area of 5 square miles. The northern bank is constructed in marble. There are three pavilions with ornamental arches gradually lowering into the lake. Six pavilions are in water. Because of these nine pavilions, it is also known as 'Nauchowki'.
Kankroli is about 40 miles from Udaipur on the banks of the Rajsamand Lake. It is famous for a Vaishnav temple as the temple of Dwarikadish (the lord of Dwarka-Krishna). It was raised by Maharana Raj Singh in 1671 and resembles the famous Nathdwara shrine. There are hourly RSTC (Rajathan State Transport Corporation) buses from Udaipur to this popular pilgrimage place.
- 566 Raja Gohil
- 1326 1364 Maharana Hamir Singh
- 1364 1382 Maharana Kshetra Singh
- 1382 1421 Maharana Lakha Singh
- 1421 1433 Maharana Mokal Singh
- 1433 1468 Maharana Kumbhakarna Singh
- 1468 1473 Maharana Udai Singh
- 1473 1509 Maharana Raimal Singh
- 1509 1528 Maharana Sangram Singh
- 1528 1531 Maharana Ratan Singh
- 1531 1536 Maharana Vikramaditya Singh
- 1537 1572 Maharana Udai Singh II
- 1572 1597 Maharana Pratap Singh I
- 1597 1620 Maharana Amar Singh I
- 1620 1628 Maharana Karan Singh
- 1628 1652 Maharana Jagat Singh
- 1652 1680 Maharana Raj Singh I
- 1680 1698 Maharana Jai Singh
- 1698 1710 Maharana Amer Singh II
- 1710 1734 Maharana Sangram Singh II
- 1734 1751 Maharana Jagat Singh II
- 1751 1753 Maharana Pratap Singh II
- 1753 1761 Maharana Raj Singh II
- 1761 1773 Maharana Ari Singh
- 1773 1778 Maharana Hamir Singh II
- 1778 1828 Maharana Bhim Singh
- 1828 1838 Maharana Jawan Singh
- 1838 1842 Maharana Sardar Singh
- 1842 1861 Maharana Swaroop Singh
- 1861 1874 Maharana Shambhu Singh
- 1874 1884 Maharana Sajjan Singh
- 1884 1930 Maharana Fateh Singh
- 1930 1955 Maharana Bhupal Singh
- 1955 1984 Maharana Bhagwat Singh
- 1984 - Present Maharana Mahendra Singh
- Taj Group’s Jag Niwas Lake Palace Hotel – 83 rooms (5-star heritage deluxe)
- Oberoi Udai Vilas Palace Hotel – 87 rooms (5-star deluxe)
- Leela Palace Udaipur - 80 rooms (5-star deluxe)
- Trident Hotel – 143 rooms
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Hotel - 240 rooms
- Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel – 36 rooms (Heritage hotel in City Palace Complex)
- Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel – 28 rooms (Heritage hotel in City Palace Complex)
- Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel – 55 rooms
- Fateh Garh Palace Hotel - 48 rooms
- Jaiwana Haveli - 24 rooms
- Devra Udaipur - 9 rooms
- Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel - 29 rooms
- Amantra Comfort Hotel - 48 rooms
- Tiger Hotel - 19 rooms
- Mewar Haveli - 12 rooms
- Padmini Palace Hotel - 21 rooms
- Hotel Ram Pratap Palace – 25 rooms
- Kankarwa Haveli – 14 rooms
- Hilltop Palace Hotel – 62 rooms
- Shikarbadi Resort Hotel – 25 rooms
- Karni Fort Bambora – 30 rooms
Distance from Udaipur:
City Kilometers Miles
- Devgarh 129 80
- Ajmer 274 170
- Jodhpur 266 165
- Ranakpur 90 56
- Mount Abu 185 115
- Kota 285 177
- Chittorgarh 112 70
- Jaipur 347 216
- Delhi 664 412
- Ahmedabad 252 157