Udaipur

Magical milieu of mansions and moana

A perfect bride to the Regal Rajasthan, Udaipur is a site constituting picturesque sceneries of mountains and glorious mosaics of palaces mirrored in the waters of limpid lakes encircled by the the Aravalis that partition desert from water. The great Thar Desert lies northwest to Udaipur which embodies five major lakes and is woven beautifully in a honeycombed maze of castles in white and gold that spell royalty of the great Mewars. Located in the southern part of Rajasthan, Udaipur centers the sprawling metropolis of Mumbai and Delhi with well built connections to Gujarat. The sheer grandeur visible in the halls of the palaces and the bristle of air in the quiet of water sets a tone of romance rightly. Maharana Udai Singh II known to be the creator of this oasis is speculated to build his palace on counsel of a sage he met in the an eastern ridge of Lake Pichola during his exile at Kumbhalgarh, on the sage’s premonition that it would be protected from any enemy setting eyes. Already looking to shift his capital from the flood prone city of Ayad, the Maharana complied and the beautiful city palace came into existence on his cue in the wake of sixteenth century. However the palace kept expanding even after the Maharana’s reign. Having a vivid geography, the city has elevated plateaus towards its northern borders mixed with fertile land in the east and dense forests with rocky hill slopes in the south. Being populated by roughly four lakh inhabitants spread in an area of 64 sq km, it has a well connected system of lakes with exotic fortifications and authentic temples. A city rich in culture explores the arch old Rajasthani customs with modern age renditions to preserve the legacy of Mewar rulers and retain their essence. With folk dances still enjoyed by residents, the Ghoomar dance primarily is performed by women on auspicious occasions. Festivals celebrated musically are prevailed by tunes of classical instruments like the Morchang, Naad, Tanpura are a medium to connect with the soul. Endowed with a patronage of folk art, the Rajasthani Miniature Paintings have a story to tell in the subtle brush strokes of the Phad style authentically drawn on a cloth scrolls.

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Getting there

Air : Flights are taken off and landed on the Maharana Pratap Airport situated around 20 kms from Udaipur.

Rail : Trains to and fro from the Udaipur City Railway Station and Rana Pratap Nagar Railway Stations to all major cities of the country.

Road : The city alights on the intersection of major highways joining the East-West and North-South antipodes.


Climate

Summers : Mid March - June (23 C to 44 C)

Monsons :July - September (Moderately cool with some humidity)

Winters : October - March (5 C to 30 C)

Best time of a visit - Winter season, somewhere between mid-September to March is the most pleasant time for a visit. With the mornings and evenings being chilly the day bears the warmth of the sun making the stay all the more enjoyable.

Udaipur Tourist Places.

1. City Palace

Footed at the eastern edge of the Lake Pichola, the City Palace of Udaipur is constructed in congregation of multistoried vaults standing on colonnade of piers running in a facade covering 244 meters of length towering about 30 m high. It is a sight of white sandstone reflecting the yellow of the sun in shapes of pointed arches and rounded domes, mounted on an array of windows symmetrically constructed to showcase Mughal Architecture. The beautiful palace has entry through a triple arched gate called the Tripolia that leads to a main courtyard following to many more and small passages running in all directions. The proud royalty of the great rulers is visible in this magnificent building.

2. Lake Pichola

The clear waters of Lake Pichola lying in the heart of Udaipur casts shapes of the Aravalis within it. Extending 4 kms in length with a width of 3 kms, the lake is refreshingly beautiful for a boat ride. The view of the sun dipping in water at horizon is a sight for sore eyes. Not running very deep, the lake dries during severe summers but replenishes with the onset of monsoons. Having the City Palace, that runs a km on its eastern edge, it has the Jag Mandir Island on its southern end which is yet another visited place.

3. Jagmandir Island

The palace on Jag Mandir Island on Lake Pichola is a venue engaging the heart with the most exquisite setting especially during night. A magnanimous entry through a sculpture of eight stone elephants the palace opens up to a garden with a 17th century minaret made of blue sandstone. With panoramic views of the lake and a nearby village, the palace has exclusive hotel rooms for stay. Romancing in the coolness of air the beautifully lit palace set amidst a clear background of water takes one back to a fairy tale.

4. Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary

The foothill of Bansdara Hill has the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary that spreads in an area about 5 sq kms. Housing carnivores like Panthers, Hyenas, Jackals and exotic species of reptiles and birds this sanctuary is a fun site to be visited with an artificial lake called the Tiger Lake in the vicinity.

5. Sajjangarh Palace

Set atop the Bansdara peak of the Aravalli Hill Range, this palace was built to keep track of the monsoons serving its astronomical purpose. Having glorious views of the lakes and city, it is built in a white marble and also quite aptly called the monsoon palace.

6. Vintage and Classic Car Collection Museum

Capturing classic vehicles of the elite Maharanas, the museum has 22 excellent vehicles of the past and present with seven-seat 1938 Cadillac complete with Purdah System, a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom from the Bond Film Octopussy, and the Cadillac convertible that took Queen Elizabeth II to the airport in 1961 making it a site not to be missed.

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