When you hear the name of Rajasthan, the first thing that comes to mind are the sand dunes, majestic forts and camels. However, Rajasthan is so much more than that and that’s where Udaipur lies. It is a small and quaint city surrounded by the Aravalli hills separating it from the harsh heat of the desert.
Historically, Udaipur was the capital of the Mewar Kingdom and was established by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1553. With its many artificial lakes, extravagant palaces and historically important location, it has come to be known as a city full of rich cultural heritage. With budget-friendly hotels in Udaipur, you can always have a great time with loved ones.
1. City Palace
The City Palace is the largest royal complex in all of Rajasthan. It is a pure architectural marvel and portrays the utmost class of the Mewar Royalty. The palace has an assortment of mahals, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, terraces and so much more. It is known for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Mughal style gardens.
The intricate layout of the palace can make you feel as if you are in a giant artistic maze. Some sections of the palace have glittering marble tiles, chandeliers, mirrors and ornaments of rich jewels. The palace is so big that you can easily spend 3 to 4 hours viewing all the sections and reading its rich history documented on the many inscriptions inside the palace.
2. Bagore ki Haveli
This 200-year-old mansion once served as the home of the Mewar royal family. It was built by Rana Hamir Singh during his reign from 1751 to 1778. The western part of the haveli is converted into a museum offering a rare insight into the history of Mewar and the royal family.
If you are an art lover, you are bound to adore the rich architecture of the haveli. It showcases the traditions of Rajasthan and the rich aristocratic influence of the Britishers. The exceptionally artistic mirror work in any of the 138 rooms is the primary highlight and epitome of the local artisans’ craftsmanship.
3. Jagdish Temple
Jagdish Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is a remarkable monument showcasing the authentically rich beauty of Mewar art and architecture. It has three stories and is built on a raised platform supported by intricately designed carved pillars. The Shikhar of the main sanctum is adorned with statues of horses, mammoths, musicians and dancers.
The statue of God Jagannath is a treat to watch since it’s sculpted out of one piece of black gravestone. It is believed that the statue of Lord Vishnu tends to have a narcotic effect on the addicts and bring a sense of calmness and serenity. Check for Udaipur hotels near the temple for a budget-friendly stay.
4. Saheliyon ki Bari
Saheliyon ki Bari was built by Maharan Sangram Singh II between 1710-34. It served as entertainment for the royal women of the Mewar Dynasty. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful gardens in the city as it gives a fascinating glimpse of a bygone lifestyle.
Initially, there were many gardens immediately below the Fateh Sagar Lake and these were subsequently merged into one massive garden that came to be known as Saheliyon ki Bari. The lush green lawns, flower beds, lotus pool and the majestic marble fountains can catch your glimpse the moment you step foot in the garden.
5. Moti Magri
Moti Magri was once a forest over 400 years ago and this is where the brave king Maharana Pratap spent most of his life. According to common folklore, at this place he took a pledge to renounce all worldly comforts accorded to a king, including the palaces and other riches till he drove the Mughals out of his country.
In the centre of the premises is the commemorative statue of Maharan Pratap seated on his loyal horse, Chetak. Magri means hill and it is situated next to the Aravalli hills and you can get a picturesque view of the City Palace, Pichola lake and Fatehsagar Lake.
6. Ghanta Ghar
The iconic Ghanta Ghar of Udaipur is over 150 years old and is situated right in the centre of the city. It is quite a well-known landmark of the city as it was the first public clock commissioned by the royal family of Mewar. Look for hotels in Udaipur near the Ghanta Ghar for a soothing stay.
It is surrounded by the prestigious and decades old jewellery shops that have been in business since the British era. You can find the rarest and most unique antique stores to shop for local handmade jewellery, artefacts and traditional dresses.
7. Sajjangarh Palace
The Sajjangarh Palace is situated at the top of Aravallis and portrays the rich and stunning history of the Mewar state. It was constructed in 1884 as the monsoon palace of Maharana Sajjan Singh. From the first floor of the palace, you can catch an unimaginable view of Fateh Sagar Lake.
Moreover, the marble pillars are laced with extensive artwork of flowers, leaves, maidens and animals. The highlight of the palace is the stunning central court from where you can admire the extravagant chandeliers and artistic staircases. You can always look for luxurious Udaipur hotels near the famous Sajjangarh Palace.
8. Ahar Cenotaphs
There are more than 300 cenotaphs serving as memorials for the royal family of Mewar including 19 memorials of the Maharanas of Mewar. The architecture here is defined in such a distinct manner that it is easy for anyone to spot out the importance of the cenotaphs.
The bigger ones are for the kings and the smaller ones also known as Chhatris are for the Queens and Princesses. Every cenotaph is different from another with regards to the details, designs and material used. Although it is considered a cremation area, you can find the royal intrigue of Mewar and its rulers.
9. Eklingji Temple
Eklingji temple is regarded as the personal deity of the Maharanas of Mewar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it was built during 734 A.D and is one of the prominent ancient temples of India. The primary deity of the temple, Shivling has 4 faces on the side namely Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
Bappa Rawal, who got this temple built, was known by the name of Kalbhoj and during his time Eklingji was considered as the ‘King of Mewar’. Moreover, the generations after generations of Maharans that came later on are the Diwans of Eklingji.
This place is called Haldighati due to the colour of the soil which is naturally yellow resembling Turmeric or Haldi. During the rule of Akbar in 1576, the Mughal army was on the way to Haldighati to attack Mewar, it was Maharana Pratap’s strategy to bring them to this canyon to trap them.
Close to it is the Haldighati Museum consisting of many statues depicting the battle scenes, chieftains and other warriors. The Armory gallery showcases several small pictorial representations of Maharana Pratap’s life. During the evenings, you can also attend a 30-minute long light and sound show.
11. Saas Bahu Temple
Situated at a distance of about 2 kilometres from the Eklingji temple is the Sas-Bahu Temple. It has been recognized as a monument of national importance and the locals call it the Sahastrabahu Temple. It belongs to the 11th century and is regarded as one of the oldest temples in Rajasthan.
Lord Vishnu was once worshipped as the central deity of the temple by the local communities and the royal family. This temple has many ancient sculptures depicting various prominent gods and goddesses. You can spend time here capturing the mesmerising work of the artisans on the pillars and walls of the temples.
12. Laxmi Vilas Palace
This exquisite palace rests grandly on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake and is surrounded by the mighty Aravalli Hills. Constructed in 1911 as the royal palace of the Mewar Family by Maharana Bhupal Singh, it has now been converted into a heritage hotel serving world-class 5-star amenities.
The palace is a wonderful example of Rajput-Mughal architecture and recreates the glorious era of the Rajputana culture in every way possible. Staying or dining in this heritage hotel is a cherished memory for many tourists.
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Some people call it the Venice of the East, while others consider it to be a glorious example of Rajasthan’s valour. Udaipur is a city with a mysterious and infectious charm that stays with you long after you have left.
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