‘Meywar’ as it was spelt in earlier days instantly conjures up the entire panorama of the Indian history. The Mewar region replete with annals of valour and chivalry is an oasis in the arid landscape. Two names Rana Pratap and Meera Bai are absolutely synonymous with the region. It is that region which abounds in superlatives with magnificent hills, azure blue lakes, breathtaking forts and palaces and vivid landscape.
Legend has it that the king of Chittor, Maharana Udai Singh, was out on a hunting expedition when came across a hermit meditating on the banks of a lake. The hermit blessed the Maharana and told him that if he built a palace at that very spot on the banks of Lake Pichola it would be well protected. The Maharana took his advice. And so did the ‘Venice of India’ as it is known, Udaipur comes into being named after Rana Udai Singh in 1559 AD. You could be a part of the valiant kingdom, pack your bags and set out to explore the region with its rich cultural legacy and beauty par excellence for that unparalleled Indian vacation.
Places of Interest
Before you set out on this circuit, you probably already know you are headed to the city of lakes. The City Palace resting on Lake Pichola with its courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors and spectacular gardens is the focal point of the city. An exemplary testimony of Mughal-Rajput architecture the courtyards lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains and gardens all add to its stunning image.
However, besides that, there are several areas of tourist attraction like the Mor Chowk with magnificent peacock mosaics, Moti Mahal with spellbinding mirror work and the Bhim Vilas Palaces with splendid wall paintings. You could also pay a visit to Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Chini Chitrashal the Zenana Mahal and Darbar Hall.
Want to know what inspired Taj Mahal’s architecture? Then you ought to pay a visit to the Jag Mandir Palace on Lake Pichola with its pleta dura work. The island has an impressive chhatri (cenotaph) carved from grey-blue stone and is flanked by a row of enormous stone elephants.
To the north of the city lies Saheliyo-Ki-Bari, a garden of the maids of honour. This small ornamental garden has many fountains, delightful lotus pools, chiselled kiosks and marble elephants.
The Ahar Museum is of great Archeological importance. The museum preserves the excavated items of the ancient period by the Archaeological Department of Rajasthan that date back to the 10th century. Here you get to see earthen pots. Iron objects and other artefacts that used to be part of the lifestyle of primordial people.
Some other places you must see in Udaipur are the Gulab Bagh, Doodh Talai, Fateh Sagar, Moti Magri, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Ahad, Sajjangarh Fort, Shilpgram etc.
Interested in pilgrimage? Shree Eklingji Temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva Houses 108 temples that are a major attraction. The unusual Sas-Bahu Temple at Nagda dates back to the 10th century. The Nathdwara is famous for its 17th century temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, and a renowned center of pilgrimage for the devotees of Krishna and Vishnu alike. An important Vaishnava Temple popularly called Dwarikadhish is one of the most important temple of Vallabhacharya sect in Kankroli.
The arresting layout of Fort Kumbhalgarh, the birthplace of the great warrior Maharana Pratap, is worth the travel. It is the second most important fort in Rajasthan built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, it encloses many temples, palaces and garden. A little known fact is that after the Great Wall of China, Kumbhalgarh has the second largest stretch of wall in the world. Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary that imbibes its name from the Kumbhalgarh fort is a major attraction for the tourists coming to Udaipur. The sanctuary is home to many endangered species of wildlife. From here to on visit the hsitoric Battlefield of Rana Pratap at Haldigahati.
If you travel 110kms east of Udaipur, you reach the most important fort, a stronghold of Mewar-Chittorgarh. It epitomizes Rajput spirit, valour, pride and Romance. The imposing and awe inspiring fort stands on 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains. Important places to visit on the fort are Victory Tower, Kirti Stambh, Govt.Museum (Fatch Prakash Palace), Rama Kumbha’s Palace, Padmini’s Palace, Meera Bai’s temple, Kalika Mata Temple etc.
Carry back what the region is famous for its marble art, miniature paintings, Kundan and Meenakari work, clay and wooden products of the colourful mud panels of Molela.