Udaipur : The City of Lakes

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Udaipur is called the city of lakes and true to its name Udaipur has numerous lakes in and around the city. Considered to be one of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is located in the state of Rajasthan.Udaipur was founded by Udai Singh and the city is named after him. Udai Singh had to abandon Udaipur in 1567 when Akbar besieged Chittaur and Udaipur was annexed to the Mughal Empire after Shah Jahan defeated the Rajputs.The Rajput prince Maharana Pratap is considered a hero by the people of Udaipur as he single-handedly resisted Akbar’s forces.
 
The City Palace, one of the prominent tourist spots in Udaipur, is located on the eastern bank of Lake Pichola. The whole complex is built with marble and houses two hotels, Shiv Niwas and Fateh Prakash.  Shambhu Niwas is the palace where the Sisodia family lives.Inside the City Palace is a museum. The highlights of the museum are a glass house or ‘Kaanch ki burj’, a gallery embellished with Chinese and Danish tiles, the ‘Mor chowk’ or peacock gallery, the Zenana Mahal and galleries displaying miniature paintings.
 
Next to the Fateh Prakash Palace is a crystal gallery. There are thrones, beds, chairs, and sofas entirely made of crystal. These crystal items were specially flown in from Britain.About 2 kilometres from the City Palace is the Vintage and Classic car collection. Here about 20 vehicles are on display like the 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom and the 1939 Cadillac convertible.The Jagmandir Island Palace is located on an island in Lake Pichola and the architecture is hugely inspired by the Taj Mahal. The palace courtyard has been converted into a restaurant.
 
Jagnivas or Lake Palace, located on another island, was converted into a hotel in the 1960s and is frequented by many foreign tourists.Eklingji temple, 22 kilometres from Udaipur, is a 15th century temple dedicated to the chief guardian deity of the Sisodias. The 10th century temple, Lakulisha temple, is nearby. There is also a ‘Saasbahu’ temple at Nagda, 24 kilometres from Udaipur.
 
Udaipur is a shoppers’ paradise. The main shops are found on the streets between City Palace and Jagdish temple. These shops sell everything from embroidered and block printed fabrics, miniature paintings and carved wood artefacts.Udaipur has many hotels ranging from the luxurious, to the mid-range and to the budget ones. A lot of summer palaces and havelis have been converted into heritage hotels.
 
Udaipur is well connected by road, rail and air. State owned buses ply from Udaipur to all the major cities. The nearest railway station is Udaipur station. The nearest airport is Dabok airport, 26 kilometres from the city.
 
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Udaipur : The City of Lakes

This article was published on 2012/02/17