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Udaipur

Located in the Aravalli ranges of Rajasthan, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences. Founded in 1559 and named after Maharana Udai Singh, Udaipur became the capital of the Sisodia dynasty whose earlier capital was Chittor. According to legend, the Maharana was out hunting one day when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichola. The hermit blessed the Maharana and told him to built a palace at that very spot, as it would be well protected. The Maharana followed the holy man"s advice and Udaipur came into being. Today, Udaipur is a one of the better-known tourist destinations of India. If Jaipur is a city in pink, Udaipur is a city in white. The city is famous for its palaces, lake, museums, temples, and gardens. The city acquires its scenic beauty from the Aravallis. Three lakes- Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar make it an oasis in the desert.

How to reach


by Air
The City of Lakes is well connected by air services. The Dabok Airport is 21 kms from the city centre.

by Train
Railway has trains from all over the country to destination Udaipur. The Palace On Wheels covers this magnificent city during its eight day package tour.

by Road
Udaipur is situated at a distance of about 405 km from the state capital Jaipur. The city is well connected through air, rail, and road to other important cities of India like Jaipur, Delhi, and Mumbai.

Fairs and Festivals

Shilpgarm Festival
The 10 day festival is a treat for the visitor to an array of exquisite art and craft. Shilpgram hosts the festival.

Mewar Festival
The onset of spring brings the Mewar festival. During the festival, the tradition and culture of Rajasthan dominates every other thing in one's mind.

Shopping

Shopping can be a pleasure at the Hathipole, Chetak Circle, Clock Tower, Palace Road and bapu bazaar. Rajasthan Government also has its own Handicraft emporium. The shops of Udaipur have plenty of exquisite items to offer. The dainty folk toys, brightly coloured garments, hand printed textiles, batiks, and tie & dye sarees and fabrics to name few. 'Pichwais' or wall hangings painted on cloth are world renowned for their vivid colours and themes. The craftsmanship is at its peak in the metal images and chunky silver jewellery.

Climate

The lakes surrounding Udaipur regulates the climate, which is pleasant than in any other city in Rajasthan. The summers are hot and winters are cold but the temperature does not rise to extremes. The rainfall is less, around 61 cms annually. The winters are the best time to visit historic city.

Distance from Udaipur to :
Ajmer 290 Km
Ahmedabad 255 Km
bambora 45 Km
bhenswara 185 Km
bijapur 160 Km
bassi 120 Km
banswara 180 Km
bhilwara 160 Km
bundi 280 Km
bhadrajun 280 Km
Chhittorgarh 112 Km
Charbhuja 118 Km
Daspan 240 Km
Dhariyawad 120 Km
Devgarh 140 Km
Devigarh 26 Km
Dhamli 180 Km
Dungarpur 120 Km
Ghanerao (Via Kumbhalgarh)
(Via Ranakpur)
120 Km
110 Km
Haldighati 63 Km
Jaisamand 50 Km
Jaipur 425 Km
Jodhpur 275 Km
Jojawar 160 Km
Khempur 50 Km
Kumbhalgarh 85 Km
Kishangarh 315 Km
Kankroli 66 Km
Kota 275 Km
Luni 250 Km
Mt. Abu (Via Pindwara) 185 Km
(Via Ranakpur) 225 Km
Nathdwara 50 Km
Narlai 135 Km
Pushkar 301 Km
Rohet 235 Km
Rajsamand 64 Km
Ranakpur 90 Km
Rishabhdevji 66 Km
Roopangarh 335 Km
Udaipur at a glance :
Area 37 sq. km
Population 3,66,000
Altitude 577 metres above sea level
Languages Rajasthani, Hindi, English
STD Code 0294
best time to visit September-March
Famous As City Of Lakes

Places of Interest

Palaces
City Palace And Museum
Lake Palace
Jag Mandir

Gardens
Sahelion Ki bari

Museums
bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
Pratap Memorial
Ahar Museum

Temples
Jagdish Temple

Lakes
Pichola Lake
Fateh Sagar
Udai Sagar

Places of Interest around Udaipur

Temples
Eklingji (22 Km)
Ranakpur (98 Km)
Narlai
Nathdwara (48 Km)
Nagda
Kankroli (65 Km)
Jagat (58 Kms)
Rishabhdeoji (65 Kms)

Lakes
Jaisamand Lake
Rajsamand Lake
Sardarsamand

Fort and Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumbhalgarh

Cities
Haldighati
Ghanerao
Dungarpur
banswara (151km from Udaipur)

Palaces

City Palace And Museum

This majestic white royal building towers itself on a hill and is surrounded by crenellated walls. The palace stands along the shores of Pichola. It is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Although a conglomeration of buildings constructed by various Maharanas over a period of time, the complex still manages to retain a uniformity of design. The palace has many courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. One can get a magnificent view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces of the palace. The main part of the palace has now been preserved as a museum. One get to see the beautiful mosaics of peacocks at the Mor Chowk, the glass and mirror work in the Manak Mahal and Moti Mahal, and a beautiful collection of miniatures in Krishna Vilas.

Lake Palace
This former summer residence of the royal family has now been converted into a fabulous hotel.

Jag Mandir
Commenced by Maharana Karan Singh, the island palace takes its name from Maharana Jagat Singh who had made a number of additions to it. The island has an impressive chhatri (cenotaph) carved from grey blue stone and is flanked by a row of enormous stone elephants. It is believed that Prince Khurram (later Shah Jahan) was given refuge here when he was leading a revolt against his father Jehangir. From the balconies, One get a superb view of the lake and the city.

Gardens

Sahelion Ki bari

On the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake was built a garden for the 48 young girls waiting to be sent to the royal house as part of dowry. This garden is laid with extensive lawns, fountains and shady walking lanes. There are four pools with dainty kiosks and fountains with elephant trunks for spouts. These gardens appear discrete and impeccable in taste.

Museums

bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal

This is a museum of folk arts, which has rich collection of folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments and paintings. World famous puppeteers put shows here, on request in advance.

Pratap Memorial
On the top of Moti Magri overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on his horse Chetak. Known as Pratap Smarak (memorial), the statue is kept in a well laid out garden. Legend has it that Chetak jumped an abyss of extraordinary width in the battle of Haldighati to save his master's life.

Ahar Museum
About 3 km from Udaipur lies Ahar, the ancient capital of the Sisodias. A small government museum has on display a rare collection of antiquities including earthen pots, iron objects and other art items excavated in the region. You can also have a look at an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar that stand nearby.

Temples

Jagdish Temple

built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh, the temple is located at about 150 metres north of the entrance to the City Palace. The temple, built in Indo-Aryan style, is the largest temple of Udaipur. Here one can have a look at a black stone image of Lord Vishnu, who has been enshrined here as Jagannath, lord of the universe. A brass image of Garuda lies in front of the temple.

Lakes

Pichola Lake

About 4 km in length and 3 km wide, the picturesque Pichhola Lake is fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples. The lake was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh II after he founded the city. The two islands on the lake, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas, present a magnificent sight. One of the major attractions here are the boat rides. The boats leave regularly from the City Palace jetty (known as bansi Ghat) and take you on a pleasant trip around the lake including a visit to Jag Mandir Island and other ghats around the lake.

Fateh Sagar
This beautiful lake, constructed in 1678, lies to the north of Lake Pichola. The lake, built by Maharana Fateh Singh, is overlooked by a number of hills on three sides and the Pratap Memorial on the north. The east bank of the lake has a pleasant drive along it. In the middle of the lake is Nehru Park-a lovely garden island that has a boat-shaped restaurant in it. The island can be accessed only by boat.

Udai Sagar
The Udai Sagar Lake lies 15 km east of Udaipur. It was built Maharana Udai Singh in order to provide the city with secure water supply in case of a war besides agricultural and leisure purposes. The lake is around 4 km long and 2.5 km wide with a maximum depth of around 9 metres. Today, the waters of the lake are used in the nearby zinc smelter.

Places of Interest around Udaipur

Temples

Eklingji (22 Km)

Eklingji is a small town famous for its temples. It is a temple complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls. built in 1734 AD, the temples are dedicated to the royal deity Ekling ji. The complex has been chiselled out of sandstone and marble. It has an ornate 'mandap' or pillared hall, the canopy of a huge pyramidical roof composed of hundreds of knots. The Eklingji Temple is dedicated to Shiva, who is regarded to be the guardian deity of the Mewar. The deity was regarded as the virtual ruler by the Maharajas of Mewar who considered themselves to be the regents (dewans) under Eklingji.

Ranakpur (98km from Udaipur)
Ranakpur, located 25km southwest of Kumbhalgarh, named after Rana Kumbha, is one of the five main holy places of the Jains. Its 500 years old temples are unique in their style & design, with no other place in Rajasthan having the same ambience and setting as that of Ranakpur. The most famous is the Chaumukha Temple sprawling over 48,000 sq.ft with 29 halls, 80 domes & 1,444 distinctively carved pillars. Another temple worth visiting is the Sun Temple having polygonal walls with impressive carvings of warriors, horses & splendid chariots. The temples in Ranakpur are quite unique in style and design. The ceilings of the temples are carved with fine, lace-like foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and the brackets connecting the base of the dome with the top are covered with figures of deities.

Narlai
Also known as Rawal Narlai, this place is situated 25 km beyond Kumbhalgarh Fort. It is famous for its 17th century fort. It is also a renowned Hindu and Jain pilgrimage.

Nathdwara (48 Km)
Nathdwara, 48 kilometres from Udaipur, is an important Hindu pilgrim centre. It is also famous for nurturing the glorious tradition of Pichwal paintings.

Nagda
Nagda has three the ruined Jain temples-Adbhutji Temple and the Vaishnavite Sas-bahu Temples-all dating back to the 11th century. Nagda is situated in the vicinity of Eklingi and can be reached by bicycles.

Kankroli (65 Km)
Known as Dwarkadhish, this temple is an important Vaishnava temple and ranks very high among the temples of the Vallabhacharya.

Jagat (58 Kms)
The tenth century Ambika Mata Temple is well preserved in all its splendour.

Rishabhdeoji (65 Kms)
Popularly known as Kesariyaji because of the large saffron offerings, this temple is dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara Rishabhdeoji.

Lakes

Jaisamand Lake
With an area of 15 km by 10 km, it is a vast artificial lake situated at a distance of around 52 km southeast of Udaipur. The lake is surrounded by the summer palaces of the Ranis of Udaipur dating back to 17th centuries. The main attractions here are Hawa Mahal and Ruti Rani palaces.

Rajsamand Lake
The lake is situated 56 km north of Udaipur on National highway 8 at Kankroli. A vast expanse of water, the lake was the result of a dam constructed on the Gomati River by Maharana Raj Singh I (1653-6180). There are ornamental arches and pavilions lining the lake.

Sardarsamand
Situated at a distance of around 200 km from Udaipur on the road to Jodhpur, Sardarsamand is named after the great grandfather of Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur. The Sardarsamand Palace (now converted into a hotel) and balsamand Lake are two other highlights of the place

Fort and Wildlife Sanctuary

Kumbhalgarh (64km from Udaipur)

Kumbhalgarh is located 64 Km from Udaipur at an altitude of 1087 m. This mountain fortress built in 15th century was called the "eye of Mewar" because of its strategic position in relation to its agressive neighbours of Gujarat and Marwar. Designed in accordance with the ancient Hindu treatise, Vastu Shastra, it has a commanding view of the wild and rugged landscape of the Aravallis, having an array of magnificient palaces and ruined temples. The fort of Kumbhalgarh stands a proud sentinel on a craggy mountain along with its consorts, the splendid palaces, near the village of Kailwara and is strategically placed on the northern point of the Aravalli Hills. After Chittaurgarh it was the second most important bastion of Mewar and covers an area of 12sq km. The fort lies 1100m above sea level. The palaces inside the fort can be approached only through any one of the seven gates of the fort. Main temples in the fort complex are Nilkanth Mahadev, Vedi, Mammadev temple and Kumbhaswami. Nilkanth Mahadev is much older than the other buildings and has a unique design of slender fluted pillars. Another unusual feature of the temple lies in the fact that such high pillared temples are pretty rare in Rajasthan. One of the most interesting part is that Kumbhalgarh fort has a fort within itself named Kartargarh.. Kartargarh has 365 temples and shrines including one with a huge Shiv Linga dedicated to Lord Shiva. besides all these there are three old Jain Temples including bavan Deola and Golera Jain temple. The former has 52 rooms and is of the same date as that of the Kumbhalgarh fort. The Golera Jain temple is beautifully carved and once housed an intricately carved small brass image of a Jain saint. The third temple contains a Jain idol in white marble and is said to have been installed in 1551AD.

Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary
Right beside the Kumbhalgarh fort in the Aravalli Range with an area of 560 sq km, the sanctuary is 84 km north of Udaipur. best known for its wolves who roam in packs of upto 40, it also plays residence to the rare chowsinghas (four horned antelope), nilgai, sloth bears, wild boar, sambar (large Asiatic deer), leopards, and jackals. The sanctuary is one of the few parks that allows people on horseback. The convenient time to visit the reserve is from the months of October to June and it also has quite an inexpensive accommodation.

Cities

Dungarpur (110km south of Udaipur )

Founded by Rawal Veer Singh in 1282, Dungarpur (the City of Hills) was one of the major cities of the Vagad region. Secure at the foothills of the Aravallis, this region is a beautiful blend of wild and rugged terrain towards its northeast and fertile alluvial plains in the southwest. The Mahi and the Som rivers quietly flow through here, the former separating it from banswara and the latter forming a natural boundary from Udaipur. Originally the native place of the bhils and once quite inaccessible, Dungarpur still retains its isolation. Anyone in love with nature and wildlife can look forward to a peaceful sojourn here. The city is pretty well known for its distinguished style of architecture which has been extensively followed in the royal palaces and havelis (mansions). Dungarpur is also famous for its lacquer toys and the art of picture framing, which can be abundantly seen on display during the fairs and festivals here. Artisans first make toys from wood and coat them with lacquer, giving them a shining coat. Semi liquid lacquer is also moulded into a certain shape and then left to dry, eventually being shaped into animal and human figures. Rich in teak, mahua, mango and date trees, Dungarpur also plays residence to a wide variety of wildlife. In the celebration section it does not lack in festivals. The Vagad Festival is a beautiful amalgamation of folk music and local amusement like archery competitions. It is held just a day before the baneshwar Fair (17-23 Feb 2000), a famous tribal festival at the baneshwar Temple. This fair is held on the full moon day in the month of February when hundreds of bhils from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh take a holy dip at the confluence of the Mahi and Som rivers. Magic shows and acrobatic skills are on display as a part of the festivities. Holi, the festival of colours, is celebrated in an interesting way with gair dances by the tribals in their bright clothes and swords, arrows and sticks. The bar bij Fair is held a month after Diwali, the festival of lights. It has an important place among the major fairs of the region and is celebrated thoroughly by the bhils of Dungarpur. The tribals show up in all their finery and sing, dance and revel in their celebrations.

Ghanerao
With its red sandstone havelis and a number of old temples, baolis, and marble chattris, Ghanerao is an irresistible place. Founded in 1606 by Gopal Das Rathore, Ghanerao is situated just 5 km beyond the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary.

Haldighati
Haldighati is a historical place that has now become a symbol of courage and bravery. It hosted the legendary war between Rana Pratap and Akbar in 1576. Haldighati is situated at a distance of around 60 km from Udaipur.

Deogarh
While the princes of Rajasthan built stately palaces and forts, their noblemen were not for behind in building stately mansions. Deogarh is one such feudal estate in Mewar, the premier state of Rajasthan. The chieftains of this region were titled Rawats (feudal barons) and their estates were called thikanas. The thikana of Deogarh lies on the border of Mewar, Marwar and Merwara, about 135 kilometres north-east of Udaipur and 280 kilometres south-west of Jaipur.

Places of Interest

The fort of Deogarh

The fort of Deogarh with its greying battlements stands magnificent high up on a hillock towering over the town. The fort was built in the year 1670 by then Rawat Dwarkadasji of the Chaudawat clan of the Sisodia Dynasty. The fort went through many modifications in the years to come. The palace here has more than two hundred rooms, exotic mural paintings on the walls, and numerous balconies with carved pillars. The use of marble in a big way enhances the aesthetic value of the palace. The fort and the palace today is a magnificent heritage hotel run by the Rawats.

Gokul Vilas
This magnificent palace situated over a hillock is the home of the present Rawat. Set in a picturesque locale around Raghosagar Lake, the palace is around 200 years old.

Anjaneshwar Mahadev
It is an extraordinary cave temple believed to be 2,000 years old. This ruined temple is situated on an island in the Raghosagar Lake.

Places of Interest around Deogarh

Eklingji

Eklingji is a small town famous for its temples. The Eklingji Temple is dedicated to Shiva, who is regarded to be the guardian deity of the Mewar. The deity was regarded as the virtual ruler by the Maharajas of Mewar who considered themselves to be the regents (dewans) under Eklingji.

Kumbalgarh Fort
built in the in 15th century AD by Maharana Kumbha, the Kumbhalgarh fort is situated at a taxing height of 1,100 metres above sea level amidst a cluster of thirteen mountain peaks of the Aravali range. Today, the fort stands like a prudent sentinel to the past glory of its kings and princes. The fort was considered highly important, as it was here that the rulers of Mewar retreated during times of danger.

Nagda
Nagda has three the ruined Jain temples-Adbhutji Temple and the Vaishnavite Sas-bahu Temples-all dating back to the 11th century. Nagda is situated in the vicinity of Eklingi and can be reached by bicycles.

banswara (151km from Udaipur)
banswara lies on the southeast of Rajasthan and is bounded by Udaipur in the west, Chittaurgarh in the north and the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the east and the south respectively. banswara either got its name from bans or bamboo trees (Dendorocalamus stricus) which once grew in abundance here, or from a bhil chieftain named bansna. banswara is presently known as the City of Hundred Islands due to the river Mahi, which borders the district and surrounds a number of islands. The Mahi river, revered by the locals, separates the banswara and Dungarpur districts into two distinct regions. banswara's beautiful landscape may be divided into two regions - the eastern and the western. The former consists of the Aravallis while the western are plain agricultural lands. The fruit trees mainly include mangoes and date palm (khajur). The forests here are of tropical dry deciduous variety that includes teak found on the slopes of Aravallis. Axlewood, rosewood and common bamboo are the other varieties. The wildlife here includes a large variety of animals, reptiles and fish. A number of important festivals are celebrated with much joy and gaiety at banswara. Traditional and cultural activities play an active role in these festivals in which the tribal population adds to the fun and merriment. During these tribal festivals the bhils worship several deities, the principal ones being Kharo Dhain, Moto Dharm and bhalo Dharm. The colourfully attired tribals perform various dances. The Gair dance is performed more boisterously than the others with the help of sticks and swords while moving to the tunes of the beating drum in a circular fashion. The colourfully attired bhils, the warrior tribe, carry swords and sticks that form an integral part of their means of enjoyment. Deevo, another important event in the lives of the locals here is the festival of lamps. Unlike Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, Deevo is dedicated to the worship of animals; cows and bullocks are held sacred as most festivals in India have a distinctly agricultural origin. It falls on the new moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan (Jun/Jul). bullocks are first washed and then worshipped, reflecting upon the bond established by the human beings with other living beings.Ghodi Ranchodji fair is held on the bank of river Mahi near the village of Motagaon. It is annually held in the month of Magha (Jan/Feb) in the temple of Ranchodji, dedicated to lord Krishna. The temple has a famous namesake - the Ranchodji temple in Gujarat. The fair is attended mostly by the tribal bhils.