Udaipur is famous for its lakes, palaces, forts, temples, gardens, and romantic backdrops. It was the setting of many movies, including the 13th James Bond film, Octopussy.
In 1568, the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittorgarh, and Udai Singh was forced to flee and establish the city of Udaipur. Udaipur remained the capital of the state of Mewar, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. After India’s independence in 1947, Mewar was integrated into the state of Rajasthan.
Climate: Udaipur offers moderate climate all through the year, but the best season to visit the place is from September to March.
Rainfall: 61 cm
Clothing: Summer Tropical, Winter Woollen
Best Season: October to March.
Forts & Monuments
City Palace — City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Uday Singh initiated in the construction of the palace but succeeding Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complex retained a surprising uniformity to the design. The entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol, the Elephant gate. The Bari Pol or the Big gate brings you to the Tripolia, the Triple gate.
Fateh Prakash Palace — It’s like being cocooned in authentic royal luxury at the Fateh Prakash Palace, the grand heritage palace of the HRH group. The warmth of royal hospitality greets you as you walk along the corridors lined with large paintings of the Mewar school that flourished in the seventeenth through nineteenth century.
Crystal Gallery — It is situated in the Fateh Prakash Palace is a breath taking collection of crystals. Maharana Sajjan Singh mainly ordered these crystals from F & C Osler England. But he could not see the crystals because of his untimely death.
Durbar Hall — In India the Durbar Hall is generally a place where state banquets are held and is also used for formal and informal meetings. The Durbar Hall at the Fateh Prakash Palace is undoubtedly the most lavish Durbar Hall in India. It is one of the grandest chambers in Udaipur and its sheer size makes one gasp in awe.
The Lake Palace — The Lake Palace is located on the Jag Niwas Island and covers the whole of 1.5 hectare of the island in the middle of the Pichola Lake. Built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1743 it was meant as a royal summer palace and now converted in to a five star palace hotel. It is a magical palace and its image in the middle of the lake is like a leaf straight out of a fairy tale book with an excellent taste of intricate craftsmanship.
Bagore-Ki Haveli — This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too.
Maharana Pratap Memorial (MOTI MAGARI) — An impressive bronze statue of Maharana Pratap and his favorite and loyal horse, who was fiercely protective about his master and stood by him till his last breath, stands at the top of Moti Magri (Pearl Mount) overlooking Fateh Sagar.
City museum — The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artefacts. Down steps from the entrance is the armoury museum exhibiting a huge collection of protective gear, weapons including the lethal two-pronged sword. The City Palace museum is then entered through the Ganesh Deori meaning the door of Lord Ganesh. This leads to the Rajya Angan, the royal courtyard that is the very spot where Maharana Udai Singh met the sage who told him to find a city here.
Shilpgram — Literally meaning a “Craftsmen’s Village” is a living ethnographic museum depicting the enormous diversities in craft, art & culture between various Indian states, but the exquisite terracotta work mainly in dark red and dark brown sand material along with the wooden carvings are the forte of this ethnic village.
Ahar — Located about 2 km east of Udaipur is an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. There are about nineteen cenotaphs of Maharanas cremated there. The most striking cenotaph is that Maharana Amar Singh, who reigned from 1597 to 1620. Nearby is also Ahar Museum, where on display is limited but very rare earthen pottery.
Vintage Collection of Classic Car — The collection within the grounds of the Garden Hotel comprises a variety of classic and interestingly rare transportation vehicles; some stately and vintage like Cadalec, Chevalate, Morais etc., while the others are sleek and fast .The Maharanas of Udaipur once possessed and used these regal splendours of automobiles as their luxuries but most of the other models are gradually being added to the collection ,since it provides a unique aristocratic safari for the exclusive guests. Entry: Rs.80
Jag mandir –This is the other island palace in Lake Pichola, which was constructed by Maharana Karan Singh as a hideout for Prince Khurram the estranged son of Emperor Jehangir the implacable foe of the Maharana. The reason for the aid was that the prince was the son of a Rajput mother.
Jagdish Mandir — Built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651 the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lard Vishnu. There is a brass image of Garuda the Lord bird carrier. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators; elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rise in tiers.
Parks & Gardens
Sahelion Ki Bari — Maharana Sangram singh builds this in the mid 18th century. The ‘garden of the maidens’ brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The foundation of the Sahelion ki bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used.
Lake Pichola — Pichola Lake derives its name from Pichola Village was submerged and Maharana Udai Singh enlarged the lake after he founded the city. He built a masonry dam known as Badipol and lake is now 4 km long and 3 km wide. This picturesque lake encloses the Jag Niwas Island and the Jag Mandir. And, the City Palace extends along its eastern banks.
Fateh Sagar Lake — This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodland was constructed by Maharana jai Singh to the north of Lake Pichola. It is an artificial lake dug up in 1678, reconstructed by Maharana Fateh Singh A canal links the two, via Swaroop Sagar and Rang Sagar Lakes. The beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet bearing a solar observatory rises from the lake.
Rajsamand Lake — On the way to Kumbhalgarh lies their royal lake with a magnificent dam created in the 17th century offers a spectacular views of the sunset adorned by beautiful Torans [arches] and Chhatris And number of attractive pavilions. Stunning sculpture and Sanskrit verses are vividly inscribed in store a small counterpart of Nathdwara.