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Udaipur (उदयपुर), also known as the City of Lakes, is a city, a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of, the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthanmarker in western Indiamarker. It is the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajputana Agency. Lake Picholamarker, Fateh Sagar Lakemarker, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered some of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

It is known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palacemarker, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels.

Geography

Udaipur is located at . It has an average elevation of 598.00 metres.

Climate

The climate of Udaipur is tropical, with the mercury staying between a maximum of 42.3°C and a minimum of 28.8°C during summers. Winters cold with the maximum temperature rising to 28.8°C and the minimum dipping to 2.5°C.

History

Old flag
Udaipur was the capital of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia clan. The founder of Udaipur was Rana Udai Singh. The ancient capital of Mewar was Nagdamarker, located on the Banas River northeast of Udaipur. Legend has it that Maharana Udai Singh came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Rangemarker. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot and it would be well protected. Udai Singh established a residence there. In 1568 the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittor, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his residence, which became the city of Udaipur. As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except the fort of Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. After India's Independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India's Rajasthanmarker state.

Sisodias, or the Guhilots (Suryavansh), have ruled the Mewar region since V.S 191, were against Mughal dominion, and tried to distance themselves from them. Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained unmolested from Mughal influence in spite of much pressure. Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911. This fierce sense of independence earned them the highest gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipurmarker, Jodhpurmarker, Bundimarker, Bikanermarker, Kotamarker and Karauli. Rosita Forbes, who passed this land during the decline of the British Raj, described it as "like no other place on earth".

The land area of the state was 33,543 mi². Its population in 1901 was 14,73,759. It enjoyed an estimated revenue of £20,29,000.

Demographics

 India census, Udaipur had a population of 550,000. Males constitute 53 percent of the population and females 47 percent. Udaipur has an average literacy rate of 77 percent, the national average is 79 percent: male literacy is 83 percent and female literacy is 72 percent.


Transport

Section of the highway near Jaipur
Udaipur is well connected to the all major cities in India through land, rail and air.

Road

The city lies on the Golden Quadrilateral, midway between Delhimarker and Mumbaimarker National Highway (NH) 8; it is around 700 kilometres from either metro. The roads in this part of the country are paved and fit for private vehicles. One can either drive from Jaipur (around 8 hours) or Surat (9 hours), or take a Rajasthan Tourism bus from Rajasthan House, India Gatemarker in Delhimarker.

The East West Corridor which starts from Porbandarmarker and ends at Silcharmarker passes and is intersecting the Golden Quadrilateral and shares the common space from Udaipur to Chittormarker.

Air

Dabok airportmarker, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport, is 24 kilometres from the city centre. Daily Indian Airlines flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai & Delhi. There are daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur on Jet Airways, Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines. The airport is going through modernisation project and will soon have a new terminal building with an additional 4 stands. The airport is under consideration as an International airport by the Government of Rajasthan and will be upgraded to International airport by 2011.

Train

Train connectivity is established between Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad through trains run by Indian Railway. Udaipur is connected with Delhimarker, Kotamarker and Mathuramarker with the "Mewar Express" on broadgauge tracks. Udaipur is connected with Kolkatta, by the "Ananya Express". A train has also been introduced between Mumbai and Udaipur via Vadodaramarker, Ratlam and Chittorgarhmarker. Udaipur lacks direct connectivity to South India, and one has to reach it either via Kota or Ahmedabad or Surat.

A new train has been launched which connects Udaipur to Indore. (Train No 9658, Train Name - UDZ INDB EXPRES, Schedule Tue, Thu, Sat, Departs Udaipur At 2030 and arrives Indore at 0650 (next day))

Local transport

Unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, tongas, city bus, and regular city bus service is available for Udaipur City main roads to Dabok Airport, Badi Lake, and Bedala.

Places of interest

Sukhadia Circle at Night
The Udaipur Palace Complex at night
City Palace
Sajjangarh Palace flood-lit during late evening
Nehru Garden on an island in Fatehsagar Lake
Udaipur Bathing Ghat
City palace complex
Oberoi Hotel
Lake Palace
Jag Mandir
Fateh Sagar Lake
Heritage Complex
Heritage Buildings
Lake Palace

City Palace Udaipur

Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of the "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel). They also have great views of Jag Mandir on one side and the city of Udaipur on the other. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of Krishna are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other palaces such as Dilkhush mahal, Sheesh mahal, Moti mahal and Krishna vilas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princes. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.The former guesthouse of the city palace, Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace have been converted into heritage hotels.

Lake PalacemarkerBuilt in 1743-1746 of marble on Jag Niwas island in Lake Picholamarker as a royal summer palace and now a luxury 5 Star hotel operating under the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.

Jag Mandir

Another island in the Lake Pichola, which is known for its garden courtyard. Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father. At present a restaurant is run by HRH group of hotels .

City Palace and Museum

Pratap Museum, While entering the City palace the straight way go to the Government Pratap Museum housed with old sculptures and inscriptions. The antique paintings of Mewar, the turban of prince Khurram later on called Shah Jahan, who built the world famous Taj Mahalmarker has also been displayed here as a token of friendship of Maharana Khazan Singh. Next to Fateh Prakash Palace, houses glass and mirror works.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal

A museum of folk arts. Also hosts puppet shows in its auditorium.

Maharana Pratap Memorial or Moti Magri

Atop the Moti Magrimarker or Pearl Hill, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake is the memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap with a bronze statue of the Maharana astride his favourite horse "Chetak". More details are available at Maharanapratap.net, a collection of facts and figures on Maharana Pratap and his life.

Sajjangarh Fortmarker (Monsoon Palace)

The summer resort of the Maharajas is atop the hill overlooking all the lakes. This palace had a way to collect rain water for consumption all year around.

Sukhadia Circle

Sukhadia Circle (Square), Udaipur, a large roundabout in the city's northern suburb of Panchwati, on the road to Ranakpur and Mt. Abu. The centrepiece of the Circle is a large, three-tiered fountain just over 21 m. high, with scalloped dishes surmounted by a wheat-ear motif, representing prosperity. Illuminated at night, it is now a well-known landmark. Its foundation was laid in 1968 and was opened in 1970. The Circle is a popular recreational centre and meeting place. A circular pond surrounds the fountain; nearby are pleasant gardens. Families and friends come together, especially at night, when music plays, and dozens of food, cold drinks and tea stalls do a flourishing trade. Children particularly enjoy the experience: they float toy boats in the central pond, where odd duck-shaped pedallos (paddle boats) vie for space; there is even a mini train nearby. Sukhadia Circle commemorates the memory of Udaipur's Mohan Lal Sukhadia, one-time Chief Minister of Rajasthan and a native of Udaipur.

Jagdish Temple

The Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai, but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double storeyed Mandapa (hall) to a double - storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D. It is an example of Indo - Aryan architecture.

Bohara Ganesh JI

This temple is situated near old railway station (Thokar) and M L S University. This is old and famous Ganesh Temple with standing statue of Shree Ganesh Ji considered very fruitful (Chamatkarik).Thousands of Bhaktas come here every Wednesday.

Fateh Sagar Lakemarker

Fateh Sagar Lake is situated in the north of Lake Picholas. It was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in the year 1678 AD, but later on reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh after much destruction was caused by heavy rains. In 1993-1994, the water vanished from the lake, but in 2005-2006, the lake regained its water.

Lake Picholamarker

The Sapphire Udaipur : Lake Pichola is a lake that has two islands, Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4 km long and 3 km wide, originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. There are many ghats, like the bathing and washing ghats, which can be approached through boats from the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat). In the heart of the lake the Lake Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. The lake remains fairly shallow even during heavy rains, and gets dry easily in times of severe drought.

Saheliyon-ki-Bari

Sahelion ki Bari was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake have lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant-shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose.

Udaipur Solar Observatory

Asia's only solar observatory, the Udaipur Solar Observatorymarker, is situated on an island in the middle of the Lake Fatehsagar, and the main office building is located at its NW shore near the Bari Road - Rani Road Junction. The site is run under the PRL (Physical Research Lab) in Ahemdabad. The sky conditions at Udaipur are quite favourable for solar observations. The large body of water surrounding the telescopes decreases the amount of heating of the surface layers, which decreases the turbulence in the air mass and thereby improves the image quality and seeing.

Gulab Bagh & Zoomarker

A rose garden laid out by Maharaja Sajjan Singh is situated near the palace on the east side of Lake Pichhola. A library in the garden has a collection of ancient handwritten manuscripts and books. Some of the part of the Satyarth Prakash have been written in this library. Styarth Prakash stup is situated in Gulab Bagh. Within the garden, there is a zoo with tigers, leopards, Chinkara gazelle, birds, and many wild animals. Children can enjoy mini train, track of which covers the main part of the garden and the zoo.

Doodh Talai

A rock and fountain garden and the sunset point from which one can enjoy the sunset view in Lake Pichhola and a panoramic view of the old city. Also one can enjoy the Aerial tramway (rope way) which connects one of the dudh talai gardens to Karni Mata temple.

Nehru Garden

This is a park situated in the middle of Fateh Sager Lake. This park covers about , with flower gardens and a lily pond. It was inaugurated on the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The garden overlooks the ancient Moti Mahal of Maharana Pratap and gives a view of the Aravalli hills on three sides.

Bagore-ki-Haveli

This is an old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over a hundred rooms, with displays of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors are Haveli work. It also preserves an example of Mewar painting on the walls of the Queen's Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are examples of glasswork. After the death of Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore, who built the palace of the three arches in 1878, and it acquired its name of Bagore-ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986, when it housed the West Zone Cultural Centre. The haveli now stages Rajasthani traditional dance and music.

Ahar Museum

Located about 2 km east of Udaipur is a cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. There are about nineteen cenotaphsmarker of Maharanas cremated there. One cenotaph is that Maharana Amar Singh, who reigned from 1597 to 1620. Nearby is also Ahar Museum, where on display is limited but very rare earthen pottery, as well as some sculptures and other archaeological finds. Some pieces date back to 1700 BC, and a tenth-century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction.

Shilpgram

A crafts village located northwest of Udaipur, Shilpgram hosts an annual crafts fair which is one of the biggest in India; people from different states in the country have stalls showcasing their art and crafts work.

Neemach Mata Temple

This temple is located on a green hill in the Dewali area of Udaipur. It has both stairs and an uphill slope way to climb, which is around 800 meters.

Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral

The Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Udaipur, in front of St. Paul's School.

Udaipur in Popular Culture



Places nearby

  • Nathdwaramarker - Shri Nathdwara (a pathway to Lord Shri Krishna) lies 48 km from Udaipur and literally means the gateway to the Lord. Devotees throng the shrine in large numbers during occasions of "Janmashtmi", the day of the Lord's birth, and other festivals like Holi. It is famous for its 'pichwai' paintings, with Shri Krishna in the centre and is recognized for profuse use of gold colour.


  • Ranakpurmarker - A village that is home to one of the most important Jain temples. 1400+ marble pillars support the temple. Opposite the Jain temple is the much older Sun Temple. Located in Rajsamand District, 110 km north of Udaipur.


  • Chittorgarhmarker- About 140 km from Udaipur, Chittorgarh was the capital of Mewar from 734 AD to 1559. Chittorgarh Fortmarker is a massive fort situated on a hilltop near Chittorgarh town in Rajasthanmarker state in India.




  • Kumbhalgarhmarker - A 15th-century fortress, built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, with 36 kilometres of walls. Over 360 temples are within the fort. It also has a wildlife sanctuary. Located in Rajsamand District, 64 km from Udaipur. The vista from the top of the palace typically extends tens of kilometers into the Aravalli hills.


  • Mount Abumarker - A popular tourist hill station.


  • Eklingji - Eklingji is a temple complexes situated nearly 22 km in the north of Udaipur. It was built in 734 A.D. and consists of 108 temples chiseled out of sandstone and marbles; it is devoted to the royal family of Mewar.


  • Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the most rugged of the Aravali in Pali, Rajsamandmarker and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan. It takes its name after the historic fort of Kumbhalgarhmarker, which comes into view over the Park. It is 578 km² in area and at an altitude of 500 to 1,300 metres. It is home to a very large variety of wildlife, some of which are highly endangered species. The wildlife includes wolf, leopards, sloth bear, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, smabhar, nilgai, chaisingh (the four horned antelope), chinkara, and hare.




  • Rishabhdeomarker: Famous Jain pilgrimage center sacred to Jains and local tribals.
  • Jagat
  • Bambora
  • Jaisamand Lakemarker:
  • Udaisagar Lake
  • Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary if you need Wild Life Escort contact email : devendra@miniatureclub.com
  • Baneshwar
  • Galiakotmarker (Mazar-e-Seyadi Fakhruddun Shaheed)
  • Dungarpurmarker
  • Banswaramarker
  • Chawand -The Third Capital of Mewar and also the place where Great Maharana Pratap spent his last years.
  • Molela - A village near Haldi Ghati famous for its red pottery.


Education

The city has four universities and many schools and colleges. The town has a university and a medical college and many schools. For more detailed information see Schools in Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Detailed information about education in Udaipur can be found at the education site of Udaipur.

Gallery



Lake Palace Hotel


Udaipur panorama with dried Lake Pichola


References

  1. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Udaipur
  2. Udaipur Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.
  3. Udaipur City Bus/City Bus View
  4. Shilpgram


External links




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