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Udaipur :: City Information

Udaipur - weather

Best Travel Duration

In Summer: 38.3 C (Max) - 28.8 C (Min)
In Winter: 28.3 C (Max) - 8 C (Min)
Rainy Season from July to Mid Sept, and very humid (upto 90%)

October to March

About Udaipur

Udaipur was the premier house in Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Singh founded the city of Udaipur after his old capital which was based around the Chitthorgarh fort was sacked by the Mughals under Emperor Akbar. It is said that Udai Singh sought the advice of a holy man as to where to locate his new capital, the holy man is said to have told him to build near Lake Pichola. At this site grew the famous city of Udaipur. Maharana the title of the Udaipur rulers means Light of the Hindus.

Rana Pratap who fought against Emperor Akbar in 1576 is remembered throughout India for his bravery on the battlefield. The rulers of Udaipur never gave any of their women in marriage to the Mughals unlike some of the other royal houses of Rajputana.

More recently in 1985 Maharana Baghwat Singh who turned many of his palaces into hotels died and his two sons became entangled in a battle over the palaces and associated wealth. The elder son Maharana Mohendra Singh inherited the title of Maharana only; the bulk of the palaces went to his younger brother Arvind Singh.

Royal House of Mewar: Legend has it that the Sisodias of Mewar are descended from Lord Rama whose life story is told in India's great epic, the Ramayana. They came from the borders of Kashmir and by the second Century B.C. they had moved south to what is now Gujarat, founding, as they went, several cities along the coast, one of which was called Vallabhai.

The chronicles of the bards tell us that in the sixth century Vallabhai was sacked by strangers from the west. The Queen of Vallabhai, Pushpavati, who was on a pilgrimage offering prayers for her unborn child, heard of the destruction of Vallabhai and the death of her husband while traveling through the Aravalli hills in the north. Despairing, she took refuge in a cave, and there gave birth to a son whom she called Guhil, or "cave born." Then, entrusts her child to a maidservant, the queen ordered a funeral pyre lit, and walked into it to join her dead husband's soul. Guhil, or Guhadatta, was befriended by the Bhils, tribal aborigines who had lived in the Aravalli hills since well before 2000 B.C. Amongst the Bhils, Guhadatta grew in power, and became a chieftain. His progeny came to be known as Guhilols.

In the seventh century the Guhil moved north, and down to the plains of Mewar, changing their name to Sisodia, after a village they encountered on the way. The descendants of Guhadatia were the great Ranas, Rawals and Maharanas of Mewar, builders of forts and palaces, whose exploits in peace and war are unmatched in valor and chivalry.By the time of India's independence, the royal line of Mewar had ruled for 75 generations, 1,400 years; the oldest of Rajasthan's ancient dynasties.

The Founding of Udaipur: In 1 567, the capital of Mewar, Chittor, was sacked for the third time by the armies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar; Rana Udai Singh 11 withdrew into the hills and ravines of the Aravalli. One morning, the rana was out by Lake Pichola hunting. While mounted and on the move he performed the difficult feat of spearing a fast-moving rabbit. Then, a short distance away, he saw a sage meditating. The Rana dutifully paid full respects to the holy man. "Where, 0 Revered One," the rana asked the sage, having recounted the fall of Chittor, "should 1 build my next capital city?"And the sage answered, as sages will, "Why, right here of course, where your destiny has brought you to ask such a question."And that's what Udai Singh did.Surrounded by forests , lakes and the protective Aravalli range, the new capital of Mewar was certainly less vulnerable location then Chittor.Maharaja Udai Singh died in 1572 and was succeeded by his son, Pratap, who bravely defended Udaipur from subsequent Mughal Attacks.

Rana Pratap (ruled 1572-97) was palace one of the great warrior kings of right, Mewar. He lived in troubled times.Emperor Akbar, the Great Mughal ,emblem was expanding his domains, irresistibly in and, across the subcontinent. He had already sacked the Mewar stronghold,richly Chittor, driving Pratap's father, Rana Udai Singh II, out towards a new life in the new capital, Udaipur. Rana Pratap gallery was imbued with stories of the lost em greatness of Mewar and obsessed with pieces a desire to recover its territories, and the the the fort of Chittor, the soul of Mewar. The indomitable Pratap threw him- is the self against the might of the Mughal armies again and again, losing the battle of Haldighati, losing every fort, including Kumbalgarh, retreating to the hills and ravines of the Aravallis where sometimes his family hadn't enough to cat. In these years of adversity, they were sustained by loyal Bhil tribesmen, whose ancestors had, centuries earlier, supported the rana's ancestor, Guhadatta.

Rana Pratap was one of the two Rajput kings who refused to accept Mughal suzerainty or compromise with Akbar: no daughter of Mewar was ever given to a Mughal emperor or prince in marriage. The other Rajput ruler similarly to hold out against the Mughals was the king of Bundi. Akbar allowed both states to survive and the next generation of rulers had to accept reality and sign treaties with the Mughals.eventually, Pratap freed Udaipur and much of Mewar from the Mughals Niwas, grip but he failed to win his heart's part of the desire: Chittor.

After struggling against the Mughals, Udaipur was later attacked by the Marathas.

An end to the bloody battles and instability came with British Intervention in the early 1900 century, when a treaty was signed which pledged to protect Udaipur from invaders. Along with all other Princely states, Udaipur surrendered its Sovereignty and became a part of a United India.

Fairs & Festivals

Mewar Festival

About the Fair

The Mewar Festival is celebrated to welcome the advent of spring. It coincides with the festival of Gangaur in Udaipur and has a unique charm about it. The festival of Gangaur is very significant for women of Rajasthan. It is a time for them to dress up in their best clothes and participate in the festival.

Mewar Festival

Activities

They gather to dress the images of Isar and Gangaur and then carry them in a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. The procession winds its way to the Gangaur Ghat at Lake Pichhola. Here, the images are transferred to special boats amidst much singing and festivity.

Once the religious part of the festival is over, it is time for cultural events where Rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dances and other programmes. The festival culminates with an impressive fireworks display. Like other fairs and festivals celebrated throughout the state, there is a lot of activity, which keeps the participants in a joyful frame of mind, eager to enjoy every moment.

Places to Visit

City Palace

Description: City Palace

This is a largest place complex in Rajasthan. A majestic architectural marvel towering over the lake on a hill surrounded by crenellated walls, it is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, balconies, corridors and rooms. The main entrance is through the triple arched gate, the ‘Tripolia’ with eight marble porticos.

Saheliyon-ki-Bari

Description: Saheliyon-ki-Bari

This small ornamental garden was a popular relaxing spot where royal ladies came for a stroll and therefore the name. The garden has many fountains in its four delightful pools, chiseled kiosks and marble elephants.

Jagdish Temple

Description: Jagdish Temple

This temple built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. This Indo-Aryan temple is the largest and the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with enshrine of a black stone image of lord Vishnu.

Ahar

Description: Ahar

The ancient capital of Sisodias, 3 km from city centre, Ahar boasts of a large amount of royal cenotaphs of the rulers of Mewar. A rare collection of antiquities including earthen pots, iron objects and other art items excavated in the region are displayed in a small Govt. museum.

Sajjan Garh

Description: Sajjan Garh

This is called as a Mansoon Palace. Maharana Sajjan Singh built it in the late 19th century. The palace is illuminated at night and from a distance looks like something out of a fairy tale. It also offers a panoramic overview of the city’s lakes, palaces and the surrounding countryside.

Pichhola Lake

Description: Pichhola Lake

The picturesque lake that built by Maharana Udai Singh II after founded the city. Hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments, surround this lake.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum

Description: Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum

The interesting collection exhibited by this Indian folk arts museum includes local folk dresses, dolls, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings.

Shilpgram

Description: Shilpgram

A crafts village situated 5 km west of the city Centre. West Zone Cultural Center in Udaipur has set up an artisan's village called - Shilpgram, It is a living ethnographic museum show life style, traditions, customs and folk arts of the rural and tribal people of the states of Rajasthan.

Eklingji Temple

Description: Eklingji Temple

The beautifully sculptured temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva was built in 734. The walled complex encloses 108 temples.

How To Get To Udaipur

By Air:

 

The airport at Udaipur air links it with other major cities of India like Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, and Mumbai.

By Rail:

 

The railway network connects Udaipur with Delhi, Chittor, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, and Jodhpur.

By Road:

 

Udaipur can be easily reached by road as well. There are well-maintained roads linking it to tourism destinations in Rajasthan and neighbouring states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.