Udaipur(Venice of the East’ and ‘The City of Lakes), formerly the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, is a city in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, it’s set around a series of artificial lakes and is known for its lavish royal residences. City Palace, overlooking Lake Pichola, is a monumental complex of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens, famed for its intricate peacock mosaics.
City Palace was constructed in the year 1559 by Maharana Udai Mirza Singh. The palace is situated on the banks of Pichola Lake. The palace is a blend of European, Medieval and Chinese styles of architecture. City Palace houses 11 magnificent palaces and they were all constructed during various periods and by various rulers. The size of the palace is awe inspiring with the courtyards, terraces, pavilions, hanging gardens and a lot more. Everything about the palace is magnificent be it the architecture, the antiques inside and the exclusive paintings hanging on the walls.
Lake Pichola was created in 1362 AD. Rana Udai Singh II extended the lake in 16th century. The picturesque lake is surrounded by huge hills, magnificent palaces, temples and bathing ghats. The islands in Lake Pichola offer various tourist attractions and hence by cruising in Lake Pichola, you are sure to have a whale of a time. Sunset views are stunning. Boat cruise offers lovely views of the town, particularly in the evenings as you watch the sun go down on your eyes, you will find the city lit up. The palaces look stunning with the lights on and it is a great view from the lake.
Lake Palace or Jag Niwas is an architectural marvel. The palace is situated on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola and was built in the year 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II. It was later converted into a luxury hotel in 1960s and now is a part of Taj luxury resorts. This stunning location has also been featured in many Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
The Royal Vintage Car Museum is a must visit for any visitor. It was inaugurated in Feb 2000 and has become a very popular tourist destination since then. The museum houses many famous vintage cars like the 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom used in the Bond film Octopussy and many rare Rolls Royce models to name a few.
Bagore Ki Haveli is situated near Pichola Lake. The 18th century construction was built by Amir Chand Badwa, Chief Minister at the Royal Court of Mewar. The Haveli became the residence of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore in the year 1878 and hence the name Bagore Ki Haveli. This was converted into museum retaining the royal touch to the building. The museum presents the culture of Mewar. The antique collections include the stuff used by Rajputs such as jewellery boxes, hand fans, copper vessels and so on. The massive building has over 100 rooms and looks splendid with its unique style of architecture. When you are there, make sure you present yourself for the shows conducted here in the evenings.
Saheliyon Ki Bari (Garden of Companions) is a beautiful sight to behold. The king designed the garden himself and strived to make it a relaxed place where the queen could relax with her 48 maids. The garden still serves its purpose in many ways and people come to this place to escape the chaos of the city.
Jagdish Temple is Udaipur’s largest temple. An estimated 1.5 million INR were spent on this stunning Indo-Aryan architectural marvel. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also houses other shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesh, the Sun God, and Goddess Shakti. This temple should be visited not only to offer your devotion but also to witness beautiful wall carvings, elephant sculptures and for the stunning architecture.
Shilpgram is a rural arts and crafts complex set up to promote the traditional arts and crafts of Rajasthan. It provides employment to many rural craftsmen and is a centre of many cultural festivals which are organised here on a regular basis. Another attraction here is an open air Amphitheatre which provides the centre stage for many art festivals. Visit Shilpgram to experience the simplicity of village life, attend art or dance showcases and shop to your heart’s content.