Udaipur is a beautiful and historic city where you get a taste of Indian royalty of ancient times
12/2/2015 3:27:19 PM
|written By : Nithya Subramanian|
There is popular local quote, that goes “See Venice and die, but see Udaipur and live to see it again and again.” The beauty of this Rajasthani city, popularly known as the Venice of the East is so captivating that one visit is not sufficient to take in all the grandeur.
For magnificent forts and palaces are scattered around this ancient capital city that is known for its lakes. Located in the southern slope of the Aravalli range, the city has an interconnected lake system that supports and sustains the ground water. The lake system has about 10 lakes located at different levels and for this reason it is called the Lake City.
From a historical perspective, Maharana Udai Singh founded the city in 1559 after the Mughals threatened Chittaurgarh. In November 1567, the Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege to the venerated fort of Chittor. As the Mughal Empire weakened, the Sisodia rulers reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except for Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818.
Udaipur is filled with gems that would require at least a few days to cover. You can start off your trip with a visit to the City Palace, one of the largest in Rajasthan that is a vast arrangement of 16th and 17th century Mewar structures, with some European touches. The seven-gated entrance was where the Queens were publicly weighed in gold and silver, which was later distributed to the poor.
Within the precincts of the City Palace, do take a look at Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Chitra Shali - lined with delft blue tile and the Manak Mahal (Ruby Palace), which is trimmed with porcelain figures, and Belgium coloured glass. The rooftop Chini ki Chitra Mahal has finely detailed Chinese and Dutch tiles interspersed with more mirror mosaics. Don’t miss the rooftop garden with its hanging gardens, fountains and terraces and fabulous view over the city.
Apart from the Crystal Palace that was prepared for Prince Albert’s visit
take time to truly marvel at the Surya Prakash wall, with its famed Peacocks. These beautiful mosaic panels are 6 feet tall and incredibly detailed. Each feather in the peacock’s tail is cut individually cut silvers of glass.