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UDAIPUR -

ABOUT UDAIPUR

Udaipur is known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of, the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajputana Agency. Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered some of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

Apart from its glorious history, culture and scenic location, it is also known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palace, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels.

History

Old flagUdaipur was the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia clan. The founder of Udaipur was Rana Udai Singh, father of Maharana Pratap. The ancient capital of Mewar was Nagda, 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.[2] As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except the fort of Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. After India's Independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India's Rajasthan state.

Sisodias, or the Guhilots (Suryavansh), have ruled the Mewar region since V.S 191,[clarification needed] were against Mughal dominion, and tried to distance themselves from them.[citation needed] Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained unmolested from Mughal influence in spite of much pressure. Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911. This fierce sense of independence earned them the highest gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Bikaner, Kota and Karauli. Rosita Forbes, who passed this land during the decline of the British Raj, described it as "like no other place on earth".

The land area of the state was 33,543 mi². Its population in 1901 was 14,73,759. It enjoyed an estimated revenue of £20,29,000.

 

Transport

Udaipur is well connected to the all major cities in India through land, rail and air.

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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, Mumbai and Delhi. There are daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur on Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines. The airport is undergoing modernisation project and will soon have a new terminal building with an additional 4 stands. The airport is under consideration as an International airport by the Government of Rajasthan and will be upgraded to International airport by 2011.

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Rail

Udaipur City Railway Station provides connectivity with Delhi, Mumbai Jaipur and Ahmedabad through trains run by Indian Railways. Udaipur is connected with Delhi, Kota and Mathura with the "Mewar Express" on broad gauge tracks. Udaipur is connected with Kolkatta, by the "Ananya Express". A train has also been introduced between Mumbai and Udaipur via Vadodara, Ratlam and Chittorgarh. There are daily 2 Intercity Express between Udaipur to Indore and Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, but Udaipur still lacks direct connectivity to Bhopal, Jabalpur and many major cities of South India, and one has to reach it either via Kota, Ahmedabad or Surat. A new train has been launched connecting Udaipur with Indore.

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Road

The city lies on the Golden Quadrilateral, midway between Delhi and Mumbai National Highway (NH) 8; it is around 700 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 8 hours) or Surat (9 hours), or take a Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) bus from Bikaner House, India Gate in Delhi.

The East West Corridor which starts from Porbandar and ends at Silchar passes and is intersecting the Golden Quadrilateral and shares the common space from Udaipur to Chittor.

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Local Transport

Unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, tongas, city bus, and regular city bus services are available for Udaipur City main roads to Dabok Airport, Badi Lake, and Bedal

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SIGHT SEEN IN UDAIPUR

Places of interest
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city placeCity 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 the "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel). They also have great views of Jag Mandir on one side and the city of Udaipur on the other. 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.
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lakepalace intLake Palace

The Lake Palace was built in 1743-1746. It is made of marble and is situated on Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola. It was originally built as a royal summer palace, but is now a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces" banner.





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JMJag Mandir

Jag Mandir is another island in Lake Pichola which is known for its garden courtyard. Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father. There is a restaurant run by the HRH group of hotels.

 



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moti magriMaharana 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 life.

 

 



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sajjanSajjan garh - The Mansson Palace

Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 5kms in the West of tourist city Udaipur, which surrounds the Sajjangarh Palace overlooking Udaipur City. From the palace, one can have a magnificent view of lakes of Udaipur and Aravalli hill ranges. The view of Sunrise and Sunset attracts every visitor atop of Bansdara hill.

Safari Park was created and wild animals like Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar, and Blue Bull were reintroduced. Animals like Panther, Hyena, Hare and Jackal has reappeared apart from variety of reptiles and birds. The wall extended further and now the entire hillock has been fenced, improving the vegetal cover of the sanctuary area.

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jtJagdish Temple

The Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai, but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple 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.


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fsFateh Sagar Lake

Fateh Sagar Lake 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 after much destruction was caused by heavy rains. In 1993-1994, the water vanished from the lake, but in 2005-2006, the lake regained its water.

 


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Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola is a lake that has two islands, Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4 km long and 3 km wide, originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. 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 the lake the Lake Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. The lake remains fairly shallow even during heavy rains, and gets dry easily in times of severe drought.




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Crystal Gallery
It is situated in the Fateh Prakash Palace is a breath taking collection of crystals. Maharana Sajjan Singh mainly ordered these crystals from F & C Osler England. But he could not see the crystals because of his untimely death. The crystal item includes tables, sofa sets, dinning table, dressers, fountains and even beds besides a whole array of washing bowls, decanters and perfume bottles. There is also an exquisite jewel studded carpet, which is beyond description.This is the other island palace in Lake Pichola, which was constructed by Maharana Karan Singh as a hideout for Prince Khurram the estranged son of Emperor Jehangir the implacable foe of the Maharana. The reason for the aid was that the prince was the son of a Rajput mother. It is also said that Shah Jahan [prince Khurram] derived some of these ideas for the Taj Mahal from this palace when he stayed there in 1623-24. The island has some striking carving including a row of elephants that looks as though they are guarding the island. The exquisitely carved chhatri in grey and blue stone is another example.




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Dudh Talai
A beautiful laid out "Rock Garden" from where one can enjoy sunset view in Lake Pichhola and panoramic view of old city. Musical Fountain is an another attraction for the visitors.

 

 

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Sahelion ki Bari
Saheliyon ki Bari or the "Garden of the maids of honour", brings to the fore the unique life-style of the royal ladies who once strolled in this gardens. This spectacular garden has four pools and five fountains, each one with a different look, embelished with delicately chiselled kiosks and elephants in marble. It also has a Science Laboratory with different types of reptiles, frogs and specimens for the visitors.

 

 


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Shilpgram - The Craft Village
Literally meaning a "Craftsmen's Village" is a living ethnographic museum depicting the enormous diversities in craft, art & culture between various Indian states, but the exquisite terracotta work mainly in dark red and dark brown sand material along with the wooden carvings are the forte of this ethnic village . Shilpgram comprises 26 huts set in 70 acres of natural surroundings at the foot of the Aravali Hills.A colourful craft festival during winter seasons to the whole set up induces viatanity and zeal.

 

 

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Sukhadia Circle
Udaipur, a large round about 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.




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Ghangaur Ghat - Bagore ki Haveli
This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen's Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.



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Ahar Cenotaphs
Located about 2 kms east of Udaipur is an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. There are about nineteen cenotaphs of Maharanas cremated there. The most striking cenotaph is that Maharana Amar Singh, who reigned from 1597 to 1620. Nearby is also Ahar Museum, where on display is limited but very rare earthen pottery. Some sculptures and other archaeological finds. Some pieces date back to 1700 BC and a tenth century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction.

 



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The Vintage Car Collection
The collection within the grounds of the Garden Hotel comprises a variety of classic and interestingly rare transportation vehicles; some stately and vintage like Cadalec, Chevalate, Morais etc., while the others are sleek and fast .The Maharanas of Udaipur once possessed and used these regal splendours of automobiles as their luxuries but most of the other models are gradually being added to the collection ,since it provides a unique aristocratic safari for the exclusive guests.


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