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Udaipur Tours Travel

Udaipur nestles like a gem in a valley surrounded by the green Aravalli hills, reflected smooth and white in the clear blue waters of Lake Pichola. Located on National Highway 8, it is commonly referred to as the City of Dawn. In the sandy City Palace Udaipurstate of Rajasthan, there are numerous lakes in Udaipur. A series of canals connecting the several artificial lakes of Udaipur have dubbed it the Venice of the East. These beautiful lakes surround imperial palaces of marble and sandstone decorated with amber, colored glass and pale jade built in the seventeenth century. Courtyards, fountains, towers and Japanese styled gardens lend the palaces a truly majestic appeal.

History
The Sisodia dynasty of Mewar, founded in the 6th century, was highly respected for its fierce pride and the passion with which its kings safeguarded their independence and racial purity. The Sisodia dynasty of Mewar is probably the oldest in the world, tracing its origins directly back through seventy-six generations. Bappa Rawal, the first of the great Sisodia kings ascended the throne in AD 734 and shifted his capital to the hilltop fortress of Chittorgarh. The strategic fort of Chittorgarh was to remain the capital of the Sisodias for the next 800 years.

The dynasty's most glorious period came in the 15th and 16th centuries during the reigns of Rana Kumbha, Rana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. Mewar made great progress in the arts and culture, consolidated its military strength and faced squarely up to the might of the Mughals – refusing to accede or be wooed over as most other Rajput rulers had done. Mewar was the one royal house in Rajputana that neither buckled down to the might of the Mughal Empire nor entered into military or matrimonial alliances with the Mughal Emperors. The valiant exploits of Maharana Pratap and his defiant guerrilla war against Akbar after the sacking of Chittorgarh in 1567, have passed into folklore and continue to inspire young Rajputs to this day.

Rana Amar Singh, who succeeded Maharana Pratap in 1597 finally contracted a peace treaty with Emperor Jehangir in the early 17th century, but with one condition - that neither he nor any of his successors would personally appear in the Mughal court. The peace that ensued the signing of this treaty opened the way for a period of cultural revival during which the Mewar School of Painting blossomed and several beautiful palaces were constructed in Udaipur. Before long, however, incursions by the Marathas and internal bickering led to a long period of turmoil till the Rana of Udaipur signed a treaty with the British in 1818.

Sightseeing
  • City Palace
    Balconies, towers and cupolas surmount the largest palace complex in Rajasthan and there are fine views over the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The grand Mor Chowk or Peacock Courtyard, with its walls covered with a dramatic glass mosaic relief of dancing peacocks, is a celebrated feature of the palace. A conglomeration of various palaces inside including Dilkhush Mahal, the Krishna Vilas and Moti Mahal, are all ornately decorated. The Manak Mahal with elaborate mirrors and coloured glasses on the ceiling, walls and even the floor is very imposing. It also includes the Chini Chitrashala. a collection of Chinese Porcelain. Housed in the City Palace is a museum which contains a wonderful collection of old Rajput weaponry including a suit of armour worn by Maharana Pratap, the most chivalrous of the Rajput rulers. This armour weighs as much as 165 pounds. Chetak was the Rana's equally famed horse whose armour, with a fake elephant trunk, is another notable feature here.
  • Lake Pichola
    Lake PicholaSituated on the western side of Udaipur, it derives its name from a nearby village Picholi. The lake is fifteen kms in area and has a depth of twenty-five feet. Udai Singh built a dam and since then the lake has become a meeting place for more than two hundred species of migratory and non-migratory birds. On a four-acre land at the centre of the lake is the Lake Palace built in white marble, which seems to float amongst the calm waters of the lake. One can take a boat ride and visit the numerous ghats. Lake Fatehsagar This lake was constructed in 1678 but was later was destroyed by floods.
  • Shiv Niwas
    Part of the City Palace complex it has played host not only to celebrities like Queen Elizabeth II, but has also been the location of a James Bond film, Octopussy. Fateh Prakash Smaller than the Shiv Niwas it has some of the most exquisite Mewar miniature paintings from the Maharana's private collection and the Crystal Gallery with Belgian glass furniture.
  • Guru Govindsingh Park
    This park has a rock garden, which overlooks Fatehsagar Lake. The sunset view is spectacular against the backdrop of the Aravalli hills.
Climate
Udaipur does not have the same harsh weather as in other parts of Rajasthan, partly because of its sheltered position in the Aravalli Hills and partly because it is a direct beneficiary of the monsoons that bring plenty of rainfall (61cm) to the region. Summer and winters remain moderate with little of the sharp variations common to seasonal temperatures in Rajasthan. Summer temperatures rise to a moderate (for Rajasthan) 38°/39° C and a minimum of 28° C. Winter temperatures remain at a pleasant 28.3°C with lows of 11.6° C during the coldest spell.

How to reach
  • Air
    Flights connecting Udaipur to Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad and Mumbai are available. The airport is 25 km from the city and one has to take an auto rickshaw or taxi to get to the city.
  • Rail
    The Chetak Express is the major connecting link to Delhi. Being meter gauged, it is probably a better option to take a bus. The Mewar Fast Express also does the trip to Chittaurgarh.
  • Road
    Udaipur is well connected by road to Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota/Bundi, Jodhpur, Reception Centre housed in Fateh Memorial Building, less then a kilometre from the Bus Stand is a valuable source of information and handy tips. There are also smaller tourist information centres at the train station, airport and the City Palace Complex.


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