Udaipur is a royal city that had been the capital of Mewar rulers for centuries. The romantic city of Udaipur has a legend behind its origin and it goes like this. Once, Maharana Udai Singh happened to meet a holy sage when he was on his hunting expedition in the Aravalli Hills. The Sage counseled the King to establish a kingdom in the fertile valley that would be well-protected by the elevated Aravalli Hills.
Subsequently, Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation stone of Udaipur in 1557 A.D. Chittorgarh was the previous capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar. Maharana Udai Singh was a successor of the Sisodias, who claimed to be the descendants of the Sun God. The Sisodias are believed to be the oldest ruling family in the World. Amongst the warrior clans, Sisodias are recognized as the most powerful ones in Rajasthan.
Another reason for shifting the capital from Chittorgarh to Udaipur was constant attacks of enemies. Udaipur continued to be the capital of Mewar, till it became the princely state of British India in 1818. When India got independent in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur granted the place to the Government of India. At that time, Mewar was merged into the state of Rajasthan. In the present date, Udaipur enjoys a favorable position on the maps of Rajasthan. Udaipur is known for its picturesque surroundings and its royal past. Various ancient monuments, massive palaces, architectural temples and beautiful lakes fascinate people to visit the ancient land of the Royalty.
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.
A 17th century structure that stands gloriously amidst Lake Pichola on the Jagmandir Island, Jag Mandir is an excellent place to visit on Udaipur tour. Jagmandir is an impressive set of structures with the central building being called Jagmandir, which can be recognized by the marble-made elephants positioned outside. It is a three-storied structure and includes sections like Gul Mahal, an elegant façade, a Garden Courtyard and the Darikhana on its northern side, the Bara Patharon ka Mahal (palace of the 12 stones), the Zenana Mahal – a southern extension to the Gul Mahal and the Kunwar Pada ka Mahal.
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.
Kumbhalgarh Fort was constructed by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century. One of the specialties of the fort is that it is the birthplace of the famous warrior and King of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. The near invincible fort is the most highest and strongest of forts in Rajasthan. The fort was a challenge to the greatest of kings. The fort stands formidably on 1180 m high ridge. The fort is protected and surrounded by a thick wall of approximately 15 kms long. This is the second longest wall in the world and the first is known the world over – The Great Wall of China.
Another man made wonder in the city dominated by nature, 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.
If you are partial to the beauty offered by nature more than man made wonders, you are sure to love Sajjan Garh. The palace is small but the views are stunning. The palace is not maintained well but the sunset view from here is awesome. The palace was constructed by Maha Rana Sajjan Singh in 1884. The aim of the king was to construct an observatory here to observe the arrival of monsoon as well as predict weather conditions. Owing to his untimely demise, the work was not completed. However, the views from here fascinate you beyond words. Nearly 1000 feet above the sea level, the views of Udaipur from here are breathtaking.