Udayapura is a city and municipal corporation in the Udaipur district of the state of Rajasthan, India. It is the administrative headquarter of the Udaipur district. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. It was founded in 1559 by Udai Singh II of the Sisodia clan of Rajput when he shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur after Chittorgarh was besieged by Akbar. It remained the capital city till 1818 when it became a British princely state, and thereafter the Mewar province became a part of Rajasthan when India gained independence in 1947.
The city is located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. It is surrounded by the Aravali Range, which separates it from the Thar Desert. It is placed almost in the middle of two major Indian metro cities, around 660 km from Delhi and 800 km from Mumbai. Besides, connectivity with Gujarat ports provides Udaipur with a strategic geographical advantage. Udaipur is well connected with nearby cities and states using the road, rail, and air transportation facilities. The city is served by the Maharana Pratap Airport. Common languages spoken include Hindi, English, and Rajasthani (Mewari).
Five of the major lakes, namely Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar, and Doodh Talai Lake, have been included under the restoration project of the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India. Besides lakes, Udaipur is also known for its historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries, natural locations and gardens, architectural temples, as well as traditional fairs, festivals, and structures.
Due to the several lakes present here, it is sometimes dubbed “Venice of the East“. Udaipur’s economy is primarily driven by tourism, though minerals, marble processing, chemical manufacturing and development, electronic manufacturing, and the handicraft industry are also contributors.
Udaipur hosts several state and regional public offices, including offices of the Director of Mines and Geology, Commissioner of Excise, Commissioner of Tribal Area Development, Hindustan Zinc Limited, and Rajasthan State Mines and Mineral Corporation Limited.
The Udaipur Lake System can be divided into the following categories:
- Upper lakes: Lake Badi, Chhota Madar and Bada Madar
- City Lakes: Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rang Sagar, Kumharia Talab, Goverdhan Sagar.
- Downstream Lake: Udaisagar Lake
- River: Ayad River
Best Places to Visit in Udaipur
1. Udaipur City Palace
Once you have got your hotel room sorted, this is the first landmark that you should visit. The City Palace, located on the banks of Lake Pichola, will give you a glimpse into Rajasthan’s princely grandeur with its towering structures built for the erstwhile Mewar ruling family. The palace will wow travelers with its exquisite interiors consisting detailed mirror-work, unique paintings, murals, antique furniture and marble work. The palace complex is divided into many beautiful villas and palaces, including Amar Vilas, Bhim Vilas, Krishna Vilas, Manak Mahal and Moti Mahal. The Mewar Light and Sound Show in the evening is also worth waiting for!
- Timings: 09:30 am to 05:30 pm (All Days)
- Entry Fee: Rs. 30 for Adults and Rs. 15 for Children
2. Lake Palace
The iconic Lake Palace will arrest you with its beauty and scenic location on the 4-km long, man-made Lake Pichola. The palace is now operated by the Taj Group and offers captivating views of the Aravalli Hills. This is certainly one of the most romantic locations in the entire state and the heritage walks are to die for! Maharaja Jagat Singh II built this amazing palace that will bowl you over with its sculpted marble and moldings. While here, you can spend all day boating on the placid Lake Pichola, commencing from Rameshwar Ghat to the City Palace.
- Timings: 09:00 am to 06:00 pm (All Days)
- Entry Fee: None
- Boat Ride Fee:
Rs. 400 per head for Adults
Rs. 200 per head for Children
Another romantic destination in Udaipur, this 17th-century palace complex is also situated on Lake Pichola. Also, known as Lake Garden Palace, Jagmandir will draw you with its sheer splendor and tranquility. It has divisions like the Garden Courtyard, Gul Mahal, Darikhana, Bara Patharon ka Mahal, Kunwar Pada ka Mahal, and Zenana Mahal. This is another must-visit during your boat ride.
- Timings: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm (All Days)
- Entry Fee: None
4. Jagdish Temple
The Indo-Aryan Jagdish Temple owes its creation to the Maharana Jagat Singh. The temples in Udaipur lies near the City Palace’s Badi Pol entry and you have to go up through a few steps. The black stone deity of Lord Vishnu will awe you and so will the brass Garuda image facing it. There are many other shrines dedicated to the Sun God, Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. The sunset Aarti will be a wonderful experience here.
- Timings: 05:00 am – 02:30 pm and 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Everyday)
- Entry Fee: None
5. Saheliyon Ki Bari
Saheliyon Ki Bari or the Garden of the Maidens was built by Maharana Sangram Singh in the early years of the 18th century. This awe-inspiring development catered to the maids who would go with the Princess of Udaipur to her husband’s hearth (part of the dowry given by the Maharana). This place had pretty women dancing, singing and making merry and the beautiful marble elephants, fountains, a lotus pool and kiosks bear ample testimony to the richness of the time.
- Timings: 9:00 am – 07:00 pm (Everyday)
- Entry Fee: Rs. 5 per person