Kashmir of Rajasthan
|Type of Tourism||: Heritage Tourism|
|Area||: 37 square kilometers|
|Population||: 559,317 (As per Indian census- 2001)|
|Altitude||: 600 meters|
|Best Tourist Season||: September to April|
|Clothing recommended||: Light cotton in summer, light woolen in winter|
|Languages spoken||: Rajasthani, Mewari, Hindi, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (0294), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 313001|
|What to buy||: Traditional Batik, Hand Prints and Bandhani Clothes, Dyed Saris, Turbans, Handicrafts, Pottery Items, Wooden Toys, Puppets, Miniature Paintings of Rajput, Mughal & Mewar Style, Silk, Wood, Paper, Marble and Ivory Paintings, Pichwais, Wall Hangings, Cloth Lanterns, Pen Stands, Painted Wooden Boxes, Handmade Papers, Greeting Cards, Different Kinds Of Containers, Brassware and Terracotta Sculptures, Precious Stones, Silver Jewelry, Kundan, Metal Inlay Furniture, Marble Handicrafts, other antique items.|
|Food Specialties||: Dil Jani, Daal-Baati-Choorma, Gatte-Ki-Sabzi, Mirchi Bada, Kachori, Bhujia, Mathri, Khatta-Meetha Sev, Daal-Moth, Tarfini, Raabdi, Bail-Gatte, Panchkoota Imarti, Ghevar, Feeni, Besan Chakki, Balusahi, Dilkhushaal, Jhajariya, Palang Torh, Milk-Cake, Kicha Ki Sabji, Moranga Ki Sabji, Guwar Fali Ki Saag, Gajar Ki Sabji, Badi, Ker-Saangri Ki Sabji, Papad Ki Sabji, Pyaaz Paneer, Sev Tamatar, Dal Chawal Kutt, Lauki Key Koftey, Dahi Mein Aloo, Rabori Ki Sabji, Chaavadi, Laapsi, Boondi, Mohan Maans, Laal Maans, Safed Maans, Saanth Ro Achaar, Khad Khargosh, Bajri Ki Raab|
|Local transportation||: On Foot, Rental Car, Taxi, Auto Rickshaw, Horse Carts, Bicycle, city bus|
Udaipur, the erstwhile capital of the ancient Mewar Kingdom of Rajputana Agency and now a municipal corporation and the administrative capital of the Udaipur District is one of the principal cities of the state of Rajasthan. Placed amidst the elevated Aravalli Mountain Ranges, this ‘city romantic’ is the second most sought after tourist destination of Rajasthan after Jaipur. Renowned worldwide for its plethora of picturesque lakes creating a chimerical appeal, Udaipur is justly entitled as ‘the city of lakes’. Also nicknamed as the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur, the civic watermarked with incredible glamour and alluring legacy is a snare of all prosaic revelry in its true sense. This ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’ placed about 405 km from the state capital Jaipur is thronged by the tourists; both domestic and foreigners all round the year.
Celebrated for its interconnected dazzling lakes, the floating Lake Palace, imposing forts, seraphic temples, mesmerizing palaces, opulent museums, pleasing lush gardens, ecological riches, classic monuments, and civilization immersed with its heroic past, and the most exuberant traditional festivals ornament the facet of Udaipur with their rich cultural and historical endowment. The spectrum that this patrimony of bygone era creates through its merger with the modern mien renders Udaipur a fairy tale like demeanor. Udaipur, the most romantic and the most quixotic city of Rajasthan has also acted as the backdrop to a James Bond film ‘Octopussy’. Moreover, Udaipur is also a favorite marriage venue and a number of dignitaries of the country such as politicians, business families, and film stars and so on organize their wedding ceremonies as well as other parties at Udaipur.
Udaipur indulges in popular sports such as cricket, hockey, football, tennis, table tennis, archery, badminton, water sports in the lakes etc. The city owns ‘Luv Kush Indoor Stadium’ and ‘Mahrana Bhupal Singh Stadium’. Udaipur is also a flourishing educational hub of Rajasthan. The chief educational institutes at Udaipur include IIM Udaipur, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Sir Padampat Singhania University, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, RNT Medical College, J.R.N.Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Bhupal Nobles' College, Techno India NJR Institute of Technology, and so on. Udaipur also lies in the proximity with other famous tourist destinations of Rajasthan such as Nathdwara, Ranakpur, Chittorgarh, Haldighati, Mount Abu, Eklingji, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Jodhpur, etc.
The best period to pay a visit to Udaipur is September to April. In the month of March or April the Mewar Festival of Udaipur is held and the Shilpgram Crafts Fair is organized in November or December every year.
History Of Udaipur
Udaipur, the ultimate capital of the ancient Mewar Kingdom was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in the year 1559. Maharana Udai Singh II, who also fathered the great Maharana Pratap, belonged to the valorous Rajput clan named Sisodia. Sisodia is believed to be the oldest ruling family and the descendants of the Sun God. As per the legend goes, Maharana Udai Singh II was enjoying the sport of hunting at the foothills of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges. At that time he came across a hermit who blessed the Maharana and instructed him to build a palace at the very venue. He also predicted that this palace will be well protected from enemy invasions and aid him in the time of adversity. Maharana Udai Singh II following the command of the hermit laid the foundation stone of Udaipur in the year 1557 and constructed a royal residence there.
In the year 1568 when the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar captured the Chittorgarh (the fort of Chittor), Maharana Udai Singh II found refuge to the palace built at the foothills of Aravalli. He shifted the capital of Mewar Kingdom from Chittor to that place and christened it as ‘Udaipur’ after his own name. The term ‘Udaipur’ can be explained as the city (Pur) of Maharana Udai Singh (Udai). With the decline of Mughal Empire, the Sisodia Kings recaptured most of Mewar region except for Chittor and reasserted their independence. Udaipur retained the status as the capital of the Mewar State and remained unmolested from Mughals due to its mountainous geographical features. Some of the Sisodia rulers who reined Udaipur include Maharana Udai Singh II, Pratap Singh I, Amar Singh II, Jai Singh, Sangram Singh II, Ari Singh II, Swaroop Singh, Sajjan Singh, Fateh Singh and the last ruler being the Maharana Bhagwat Singh.
In the year 1818 Mewar was made a Princely State under British East India Co. and Udaipur, the administrative headquarters of the Mewar State. After the independence of India in 1947, the Maharana of Udaipur signed the Instrument of Accession and facilitated the process of national integration. The princely state of Mewar was then integrated into the state of Rajasthan.