Royal tour to Udaipur, Rajasthan India for an imperial voyage
A trip to Udaipur, Rajasthan India brings some of the images that epitomize India offering unique blend of royal tradition of classical India. Travel to Udaipur to enjoy the splendid sight of grand forts and exquisite palaces testifying India’s rich architectural heritage. Find best Udaipur travel guide for unique experience around the Taj Lake Palace,Udaipur and travel around the beautiful old city with narrow lanes flanked by gardens, lakes, palaces and temples meandering through Udaipur.
“Venice of the East”. “City of lakes.” “City of dawn”. With that many names, you know you need to make a trip to Udaipur to find out more about the city!
"Udai" means "dawn" or "sunrise" and therefore, the city has the surname "city of dawn. Udaipur—which lies at 580 feet above sea level-- is believed to be one of India’s most beautiful and romantic cities. You’ll quickly see that it’s a b contrast to the desert cities of Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Two well-known Hollywood films 'Tiger of Eschnapur' and James bandage’s 'Octopussy' were filmed in Udaipur.
The city was established in 1568 AD by Maharaja Udai Singh II after escaping Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh was the ancestral seat of the rulers of Mewar for eight centuries but was conquered and destroyed in 1568 by the Mughal emperor Akbar. After continuous years of attacks, in 1818, Udaipur was put under British colonial rule.
The huge and massive city palace believed to be the largest palace complex of Rajasthan, is located on the eastern bank of the Lake Pichola. The palace is actually made up of several different palaces that were built starting in the north and ending in the south between the 16th and 20th centuries. Despite the different architectural styles, this palace presents itself in a uniform structure. Most of the palace buildings have been converted into a museum which houses old weapons, miniature paintings, beautiful frescoes, and extravagant peacock mosaics. The palace features the crest of the rulers of Mewar–the sun–from which this dynasty derives its origin. From different locations within the palace, you will have a magnificent view of the lake which has the two islands-Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir–and the palaces that sit on those islands. North of the city palace lies the Ghats, which are steps that lead to the lake allowing people to walk down to the lake to bathe and wash their clothes.
According to the legend, Maharana Udai Singh met a Sadhu (holy man) during a hunt at the bank of a lake. The king let himself be blessed by the Sadhu who then advised the king to build his capital around the lake. In 1559 he built Udaipur. After the king left Chittorgarh, he transferred the capital to Udaipur. As a chief of the sun clan of the Rajputs, the crest of the Maharanas carries the sun as a symbol, giving Udaipur another name: 'city of the rising sun'. On Pichola Lake, Udai Singh led the erection of his magnificent Jag Niwas palace, which was rebuilt into a hotel–Lake Palace Hotel--on the advice of Jacqueline Onassis.
You will find Udaipur active and enchanting at the same time with Lake Pichola, its imposing city Palace, the Lake Palace hotel and its many small bazaars. Stroll through these bazaars and you’ll discover the uniqueness of Udaipur. Take a boat ride on romantic Lake Pichola and you’ll have a spectacular view of the city palace complex from the lake.
In addition to visiting the sites within the city, you can embark on side excursions to Ranakpur and Chittorgarh.
RanakpurLocated about 49 miles from Udaipur in a valley of the Aravalli Mountains, you will see one of the five holiest places of the Jain religion. Although the temples are over 500 years old, they are in almost perfect condition. The Chaumukha temple, with its three floors, possesses the most complex architecture. To make a pilgrimage to the Chaumukha temple is extremely important for the people of the Jain religion.
Ranakpur temple covers an area of about 14,000 square feet, is made of white marble and possesses 29 halls, 80 domes and 1444 unique, exquisitely carved columns. This very well-maintained temple is still used for ritual ceremonies and is one of the main Jain architectures in India.
Both temples not only are ornately decorated outside, but inside they are designed to allow in as much light as possible. This allows the worshippers to feel enlightened, while searching for clarity of their own consciousness during worship and meditation.
Ranakpur temple was constructed in 1439 by a rich statesman who had it dedicated to the 24th Tirthankara (teacher of Jain religion), Adinatha.
Tirthankaras are the originators of Jainism which does not share the divinity or caste system of Hinduism. The 24th Tirthankara, a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama and the founder of Buddhism, established the religion in 500 BC. Jainism has many similarities with Buddhism and also with Hinduism. Hindus worship Adinatha, as he is regarded as the incarnation of Vishnu in Hinduism, under the name Rishabdev. This temple—with its unique ornamental and figurative work out of marble--is a monument for its builder Dipak and his artists. Within the complex, there are smaller dedicated to the sun god, Neminath and Parasnath.
Chittorgarh-- an ancient town in the state Rajasthan—is located about 60 miles from Udaipur. This town is the best example of the pride and heroism of the Rajputs. It is the former capital of the kingdom Mewar and home to the 8th-century massive Chittorgarh Fort. Founded by Bappa Rawal of Sisodia, the fort lies on a 540-foot-high hill and covers an area of 700 acres.
In 1303, Aladdin Khilji captured the fort and took vengeance on the Rajputs because he had not been successful to win the heart of Padmini, the legendary beauty of Chittorgarh. An embittered battle was led, during which more than 7000 Rajputs died and Maharani Padmini committed suicide with her total following. The ruins show that "death before dishonor", was another generally accepted component of life. During 1535 the fort fell into the hands of Bahadur Shah, the sultan of Gujarat. Then, the Mughal king Great Akbar conquered the city in 1568. In 1616, the fort was abandoned. In 1905, began the first restoration and renewed inhabitation of the fort began.
Today, the remnants of other grand monuments are found in Chittorgarh, including the Vijay Stambha, a seven-story tower of victory built during 1400; the Kirti Stambha (pillar), dedicated to Sri Adinath, the first teacher of Jainism; the massive buildings of the Kumbha palace; and the magnificent temples of Chittor. You can also visit the temple of the poet princess Mira--the Kalika Mata temple--and the palaces of Rana Kumbha and Padmini. You can visit Chittorgarh best on your way from Udaipur to Bundi or as a day excursion from Udaipur. Make sure you schedule 3 to 4 hours so you can explore the entire fort!
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