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Udaipur

Udaipur

Quick Facts:

State: Rajasthan

Country: India

Founded By: Rana Uday Singh II

Founded in the year: 1559

Important Tourists Places: City Palace,  Jagdish temple, Fateh Sagar Lake, Pichola Lake, Ahar museum, Gulab Bagh and zoo, Bagore ki Haveli and many more.

Udaipur is one of the most popular tourist places in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is also known as the City of Lakes. Uday Singh II who was the Maharana of Mewar founded this wonderful city in 1559. After Chittogarh was surrounded by Akbar and his army, Uday Singh made Udaipur as his capital city.

Udaipur is famous for lakes, forts, palaces, temples and gardens.

Best time to visit

Best time to visit:

Udaipur has a tropical climate. The best time to visit the city is from September to March. Udaipur has moderate climate as compared to other places in Rajasthan in spite of the Thar  desert. 

The City of Lakes in Rajasthan

Seasons/Climate at Udaipur

Seasons/ climate

Winter Season: It is from November to March. It is the best period to visit the city. The maximum temperature hovers around 30 degree celsius with nights staying pleasant and cool. During the months of December and January the minimum temperature may fall to as low as 5-6 degree celsius. It is good to keep light woolen clothes.

Summer season: From Mid March to June are the summer months. During peak summer in the month of May and June the maximum temperature may hover around 45 degree celsius and minimum temperature may hover around 25 degree celsius. It is definitely not advisable to visit Udaipur during this season.

Monsoon Season: July to September are the monsoon months. The city receives scanty rains but it becomes very humid during this period.


How to reach Udaipur

Udaipur is easily accessible through road, rail and air. 

By Air:

The Dabok airport also known as Maharana Pratap Airport has daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai. From the airport one can take a taxi and visit different places in Udaipur.

By train: 

Udaipur has many direct trains from major cities. Udaipur has two railway stations, Udaipur City Railway station and Rana Pratap Nagar Railway station. Both the stations are well connected to major cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra Mumbai and many more cities.

By Road: 

The city is well connected and easily accessible from the major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Mount Abu, Jodhpur, Mumbai, Bikaner and many more cities. One can either drive down from these places or take either government or private buses.

History of Udaipur

Maharana Udai Singh II

History of Udaipur:

Udaipur is also known as “City of Lakes” , “ Venice of the East”. Udaipur derives its name from Rana Uday Singh II who founded the city in 1559.

The city was founded on the fertile Girwa Valley to the south of Banas River. Maharana of Mewar Rana Uday Singh II founded the city of Udaipur and made it the capital for the Mewar kingdom.

It is believed that Maharana Uday Singh must have seen the city of Udaipur when he hunted a hare on Akshaya Tritiya hunt in 1553 in the Girwa Valley.

Also read about History of Rajasthan and Delhi

In 1544 Sher Shah Suri of Sur Empire attacked Marwar. Uday Singh who had just finished dealing with the civil war in Mewar did not have any artillery resources to fight with Sher Shah Suri. Hence he surrendered Chittor to Sher Shah Suri on the condition that he does not cause any problem to the people of Mewar.

Uday Singh realized that Chittor was highly vulnerable to wars and attacks. They decided to shift the capital and thus in 1559 Uday Singh founded Udaipur.

Read about Geography of India

There is another story to believe that once the Maharana of Mewar met a sage during his hunting. He suggested that he build a city in the Aravalli Hills to protect against the enemy attack. 

Maharana Uday Singh on listening to the advice of the sage initiated the working plans to build a child in the Girwa Valley.

On founding the city of Lakes, Maharana asked people to come and settle in the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. Nobles and traders also settled here by constructing big havelis for them to reside. The Maharana had made many step wells and also made bathing ghats for the people near the Pichola lake.

Lot of developmental work for the people was made by Maharana. Cremation ground was developed near the southern bank of Ayad River. Maharana Uday Singh also constructed a major masonry dam to the east of the capital city named as Udaisagar.

The city was further fortified by huge walls with seven gates  on the three sides of North, South and east along the trading routes. The city was also surrounded by Girwa Valley.

The seven gates were Surajpole, Chandpole, Udaipole, Hathipole, Ambapole, Brahmapole, Delhi gate and Kishanpole.

In 1567 Akbar took control over Chittorgarh and in 1576 Akbar marched towards Udaipur but he could take control of Udaipur only in May 1577.

Finally  in 1615 Rana Amar Singh accepted the rule of Akbar. Udaipur remained as the capital city, later in 1818 it became a princely state under British rule.

Tourism in Udaipur

Udaipur is one of the most important tourist places in Rajasthan, India. The city which is called the “city of lakes” has many beautiful lakes all around the place.  Udaipur is also famous for forts, palaces, temples and many more. Some of the important tourist places are

City Palace, Udaipur

City Palace: 

Built on the banks of lake Pichola, the city palace in Udaipur has a series of palaces built at different periods from 1559. It was built over a period of 400 years starting from Maharana Uday Singh II.

The construction of the palace by Maharana Uday Singh II was started in 1553. The entire palace is built in granite and marble.

The interiors of the palace have delicate mirror work, wall paintings, murals, inlay work, silver work with balconies, cuplas truly makes it one of the must visit places in Udaipur.

Lake Palace:

It was the summer palace for the royal dynasty of Mewar. Now it is turned into a Hotel. The palace is on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola. The Palace is built in Rajput architecture and is believed to have been built between 1743 -1746 under the guidance of Maharana Jagat Singh II.

The walls of the palace are made up of black and white marbles and are enriched with beautiful semi precious stones and ornaments. The palace now is a five Star Hotel run under the banner of Taj Hotels.

Lake Pichola in Rajasthan

Lake Pichola:

It is an artificial freshwater lake created in 1362 AD. The lake was built by Banjara Tribesmen who used to transport grains during Maharana Lakha.

The lake is home to four islands which have forts, palaces built by the Mewar dynasty. The four Islands are Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir, Arsi Vilas.  Later Maharana Uday Singh further extended the lake in the 16th century. 

Jag Mandir

Jag Mandir

Also known as Lake Garden Palace, this massive palace was built on one of the islands in Lake Pichola. Built in Rajput architecture, the construction of the palace was started in 1551 by  Maharana Amar Singh and was completed by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1652. It served as a summer palace for the royal family and also for hosting parties.

Monsoon Palace:

It is also known as Sajjangarh Palace. The palace was built in 1884 by Maharana Sajjan  Singh of the Mewar dynasty. Perched atop of a hill the monsoon palace gives a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

  It was originally intended to make a five storeyed astronomical  centre. But due to the untimely death of Maharana Sajjan Singh the palace was turned into a summer palace. The palace gives a beautiful view of the sunset.  The palace is illuminated in the evenings.

Fateh Sagar Lake:

It is an artificial lake situated to the north of Lake Pichola. It was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1678 and later was extended by Maharaja Fateh Singh. The lake has three small islands.

The largest island is the Nehru Park which has a boat shaped restaurant and small zoo. The second park has a public park and water jet fountains. The third island has a solar observing site called Udaipur Solar Observatory.

Fateh Sagar lake is the famous destination for holding various events. Recently the World music festival was held in the month of February.

Every year an important festival called Hariyali Amavasya Mela is held in the month of August or September. The Mahakaleshwar temple is on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake.

Bagore Ki Haveli

Bagore ki Haveli:

Bagore ki Haveli is situated near Pichola Lake.  The palace has over 100 rooms,  many balconies, courtyard and terraces.  One can also see the Royal ladies room, their bathrooms, dressing rooms, recreational room, worship room and many more.

The interior of the haveli is designed   with mirror and glass work all over the haveli.   It is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days to the public. Beautiful murals and paintings adorn the walls of the haveli.

Prime Minister of Mewar, Amar Chand Badwa built the haveli in the 18th century.  Some of the antique collections that can be seen are dice games, jewelry boxes, copper vessels, pan boxes, nut crackers and water sprinklers are on display. 

Jagdish temple

Jagdish Temple:

Built in the year 1651, Jagdish temple is a grand huge temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  It has a double storey mandapa. The mandapa has another storey with a pyramidal bell roof. One has to climb around 30 steps to reach the main shrine. 

The main deity has four armed statues of Lord Vishnu which are carved in a single piece of black stone. The main shrine of Lord Jagdish is centrally located which is surrounded by small shrines of Lord Ganesha, Sun God, Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva.

The temple is open from morning 4:15 am to 1 pm and again 5:15 pm to 8 pm. It is one of the major monuments in Udaipur.

Culture of Udaipur:

Udaipur is a culturally vibrant city. The Bhil tribes who originated in this place are still residing in Udaipur. One can see people dressed in typical Rajasthani dress with a lot of silver jewelleries worn by these tribes.

Rajasthan is known for folk dance and music. Udaipur is no exception to it, the city is famous for Ghoomar dance, Kalbelia, Bhavai and Kachchhi ghodi. The city is famous for folk music.

The musicians mostly use musical instruments like sarangi, tanpura, naad and many more. The city which was the capital city for the Mewar dynasty has seen many court performances of music and dance.

Culture of Udaipur

The palaces in Udaipur are filled with many paintings. Miniature paintings were famous during different rulers. The walls in the palaces are filled with wall paintings . Even now people do wall paintings of their houses with some mythological stories or based on some themes. 

Udaipur is a must visit place to see beautiful forts, temples, palaces and the vibrant life of the local people.

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