Rana Udai Singh
Rana Udai Singh is defined as scuffle, faith and a sense of eternal. These were the main factors that have been gone through the mind of Rana Udai Singh who founded Udaipur in 1559 AD. He was driven from his fort by the armies of Emperor Akbar then also Rana rose again. He chose the fertile valley between Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh to build a new city Udaipur which is famous as the city of Lakes. Today Udaipur nestles in a scenic beauty ringed by the Aravali and is one where you can still see the glory of past.
UDAIPUR: Chittaur falls when Udai Singh dies in 1572 A.D which is to be succeeded by the Pratap Singh I who later ascended the throne of Mewar at Gogunda.
The Mughal Emperor, Akbar who had already extended his supreme power over the whole of Rajputana. He demanded an acknowledgement from the newly crowned Pratap Singh I. Akbar even sent three missions to Maharana Pratap’s court to establish his position in his regard as the supreme. Maharana Pratap refused the offer only to face Akbar’s wrath. Throughout his period of rule between 1572- 97 AD, Maharana Pratap was up well prepared for the fight with the Mughal force. In 1615 A.D. peace prevailed at last and a treaty was signed between pratap’s son and Rana Amar Singh. Rana met prince Khurram to bring peace.
Udaipur remained the capital of Mewar and by accepting British rule in 1818 A.D. In 1947, India got independence and the state merged with the republic of India. Udaipur is today a city of pleasant lakes, splendid palaces and of fascinating gardens. The Mewar School originated and nurtured some of the world’s most remarkable miniature paintings and craft work.
AHAR: Timings: 1000 to 1700 hrs
It is the ancient capital of the Sisodias who built the Kindom of Mewar. The Royal Cenotaphs of the Maharanas was built with white marble encircle the sacred tank of Gangobhar Kund. There is a museum here containing the excavations from Ahar including earthen pots and iron objects which are fascinating archaeological of historical importance.
BAGORE KI HAVELI: Timings: 1000 to 1900 hrs
It is situated on the bank of Lake Pichola and incorporating the awesome Gangaur Ghats. The prime minister of Mewar built this Haveli in the second half of the 18th century. A cultural program is held every evening at 7.00 pm and is organized especially for tourists known as ‘DHAROHAR’. Currently it is a cultural museum which is under West Zone Cultural centre.
BHARTIYA LOK KALA MANDAL: Timings: 0900 to 1700hrs.
A Museum of ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk arts, displays a rich collection of folk dresses, folk musical instruments and paintings. It has a special section devoted to tribal art. The world’s renowned puppeteers of Udaipur custodians of an ancient tradition regularly arrange splendid shows here. Daily at 6 pm special folk cultural programs for tourist is organized this is worth visiting as it attracts with glorious beauty.
CITY PALACE: Timings: 0930 to 1630 hrs.
It is one of the largest palace complexes in Rajasthan. The construction of city palace was started by Udai Singh. The white marble is the architectural marvel standing majestically on a hill surrounded by crenellated walls. This is a massive palace of around 30.4 meters high and 244 meters long. The extension was done by late rulers but it is quite well planned and integrated that it is hard to say that it was not conceived as a complete structure. The entrance to the palace is from ‘Hathi Pol’ (Elephant Gate) along the main street of the old city. The ‘Bara Pol’ or Great Gate takes you into the first court leading to the tripolia Gate which has eight carved marbles ‘Torans’ or Archways which is astonishing.
Here, the eye catches the Suraj Gokhada (Balcony of the Sun) where the ‘Suryavanshi’s’ (descendants of the Sun God) the problems were already sorted by the Maharana’s of Mewar for the people. The Mor Chowk takes its name from the amazing colour glass mosaics of peacocks which furnish the walls. The Chini Chitrashala is also a attractive place with its blue and white ceramics. The wall painting of Lord Krishna’s life at Bhim Vilas Palace seeks great attention.
The other palaces which attracts are Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Dilkhush Mahal and Krishna Mahal. A Government Museum in city palace is very rich in artifacts which worth visiting.
FATEH SAGAR LAKE:
This is a wonderful lake lying to the north of and connected by a small canal with Lake Pichhola. This was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678 AD because of excessive rains in Udaipur. The old dam was washed away and Maharana Fateh Singh built the new present embankment. Crystal gallery, handicrafts, vintage car collection and light & sound show at Manak Chowk City Palace integrates more attention for tourists.
JAG MANDIR: This is one of the oldest water palaces, which was built by Rana Jagat Singh I in 1620 AD. The main purpose was to serve asylum to the Mughal Prince Kurram, while in rebel against father Jehangir. Prince Khurram laid the foundation stone of the big dome in this building. It is also the place where European families were accommodated by Maharana Sarup Singh during the 1857AD. Fergusson wrote “indeed, I know of nothing that will bear comparison with the two island palaces anywhere. Boat trips are also available from Bansi ghat which gives a spectacular view.
GULAB BAGH: It is also known as ‘Rose Garden’. This was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh and is situated near the palaces. In the days of past courts were held here. A small zoo and toy train is integrated attraction for children.
LAKE PALACE (JAG NIWAS): Better famed by the name lake Palace. This palace is huge and splendid which fascinates the tourist. The mere sight of this white wonder rising from the turquoise water of Lake Pichola is like nightmare. This palace is a pleasure place for Maharana Jagat Singh II and was built by him in 1746 AD. It is famed because it is one of the most beautiful and attractive creation of man. Today the lake Palace is converted to a five-star heritage hotel.
SAHELIYON KI BARI: ‘Saheliyon ki Bari’ was set down for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who escort a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens was set on the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake which have beautiful lotus pools, romantic view, marble pavilions and elephant-shaped fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose. The ambience of this place is geared up with the mingling sound of water.
MANIKYA LAL VERMA PARK (Dudh Talai): This is an impressive park located on the hills know as “Machla Margo”. This Palace is famous for its sunset view and Musical foundation. A small pond known as Dudh Talai is also situated down the hill which is a good tourist attraction. The Place abounds in scenic beauty.
SAJJAN GARH: In the days of yore, it was an astronomical centre. Later on it became a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. It gives a breathtaking view of the Mewar countryside. This palace is also famed for its sunset view and wildlife sanctuary.
PRATAP MEMORIAL (Moti Magri) : The Maharana Pratap statue is fascinating and attractive as it is made up of one of the precious thing bronze. This statue of Maharana Pratap sitting on his horse known as Chetak, it stands at the top of Moti Magri overlooking Fateh Sgar. Local People ascend the hill to pay homage to Rana historical battle of Haldighati. The Light & sound show glows up this place and make it worth visiting.
EKLINGJI: It was built in 734 AD which is a complex of 108 temples with steps leading down to a water tank (Kund). These temples are exquisitely carved out of sandstone and marble which are devoted to Lord Shiva and the family deity of the Mewar rulers. It has an ornate ‘Mandap’ or pillared hall which hindu people make during wedding. The shade of the huge pyramid call roof is composed of hundred knots or more. The shrine sanctorum has a four-faced image of Eklingji. Outside the main face, there is a large statue of Bappa Rawal standing beside ‘Nandi’ the Lord Shiva’s bull.
HALDIGHATI: This is known as historic battlefield where Maharana Pratap Fought Akbar the Great in 1576 AD. The rich cenotaph here is made with delicate white marble columns and is dedicated to the unbeatable Maharana Pratap’s Loyal Horse, named Chetak. Haldighati Museum is worth visiting because of lot of history behind it. The Museum entertains tourist with a light & sound show reflecting the life of Maharana Pratap and the big battle of Halldighati.
JAISAMAND LAKE: This is the second largest artificial lake in Asia and was built in the 17th century by Maharaja Jai Singh. The Graceful marble Chhatris glows up the embankment. The very attractive Hawa Mahal and Roothi Rani Ka Mahal both are located on the hilltops, used to be a winter capital of Maharanas in Udaipur. On the other sides are summer palaces includes Bhils and also it inhabit Sanctuary which makes an exciting excursion. The key fauna of the sanctuary are the panthers, deer, four-horned antelope, mongoose, wild boar and various other species of birds.