Famous as city of lakes, Udaipur's setting amongst the rolling hills is beautiful. The uncertain monsoon, the rising
population has taken a toll on the ciy. More often than not, the lakes are not full. A new canal promises to take care of this.
It is a place to relax, soak in. Especially as it comes in the middle of most Rajasthan tour itineraries.
Udaipur, founded in 1559, used to be the capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajasthan. Legend is that the then ruling king Udai Singh II came upon a hermit who assured the king that if he builds his capital at the spot, his capital will never be won over. Those were the times when Mughals were very powerful. History says that Udaipur has remain undefeated.
Called as Venice of the East, it has many Rajput palaces now converted to luxury hotels.
The most famous of them is the Lake Palace Hotel which occupies a whole island in the lake Pichola.
Maharana Fatah 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 Udaipur the highest gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipur,
Jodhpur, Bundi, Bikaner, Kota and Karauli. Must See
City Palace, Udaipur Situated on the east side of Lake Pichola, it is a collection of palaces built at different times from 1559. From the palace a panoramic view of the "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel) along with lovely view of Jag Mandir on one side and the city of Udaipur on the other. Once you walk through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725 your way shall now lead to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. Lake Palace Built in 1743-1746, this palace is made of marble and is situated on Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola. Built as a royal summer palace, it is now a famous luxury hotel. Octupussy (James Bond) was shot here. Jag Mandir Jag Mandir, which now has a restaurant, is another island in Lake Pichola which is known for its garden courtyard. Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father. Monsoon Palace Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjan Garh Palace is the summer resort of the royalty atop the hill overlooking all of the lakes. This palace had a way to collect rain water for consumption all year around. Even in the blistering mid-day sun of June, the draught is very cool and pleasant. Amazing! Jagdish Temple Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, it is a very big temple in the middle of Udaipur. It showcases interesting architecture and is located in the main touristy areas. Fateh Sagar Lake Fateh Sagar Lake is situated in the north of Lake Picholas and was expanded after heavy rains that caused much damage. Lake Pichola Lake Pichola is the main lake. It has many bathing and washing ghats. There are two islands in there - Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. Originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II, its today's jewel is the Lake Palace Hotel. It is not very deep lake and can get to be dry if monsoon fails. Saheliyon-ki-Bari Sahelion ki Bari is a garden that was constructed fora group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. Set below Fatah Sagar Lake, the garden has pavillions, fountains and lotus pools. Gulab Bagh and Zoo A rose garden near the palace on the east side of Lake Pichhola. It has a library which has a collection of ancient handwritten manuscripts and books. A famous arya samaj book, Satyarth Prakash has some of its part written here. Here in the garden, there is a zoo with tigers, leopards, Chinkara gazelle, birds, and many wild animals. Plus a mini train track which kids can enjoy as it runs through most part of the garden. Doodh Talai Take the rope way from Karni Mata temple to one of the gardens in Doodh Talai. This is a rock and fountain garden. At sunset you get panoramic views of Lake Pichhola and the old city. Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal A museum of folk arts which has an auditorium hosting puppet shows. Ahar Museum Here is a cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. Shilpgram A crafts village near Udaipur and hosts an annual crafts fair which is one of the biggest in India. Neemach Mata Temple A temple on a green hill in the Dewali area of Udaipur. Udaipur Solar Observatory Asia's only solar observatory, it is situated in the middle of the Lake Fatah Sagar. Sukhadia Circle A large roundabout in Udaipur, this is a popular recreational centre and meeting place for the locals.