Saturday, 25 August 2012

Destination India



Unforgettable Udaipur, the charming ‘City of Lakes’ was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in1559 and was named after him. The beautiful city sprawls picturesquely on the slop of a low ridge along the banks of Pichola and Fatehsagar lakes. It is surrounded by an amphitheatre of low hills and studded with placid blue lakes, white marble palaces, graceful gardens and sacred shrines. The numerous water bodies give Venetian look to the city, which stands out in stark contrast with its desert neighborhood. Undoubtedly Udaipur is one of the most romantic and enchanting city of the country. It is often called the "Venice of the East", and is also nicknamed the "Lake City".

City Palace

City Palace, Udaipur, is a palace complex in Udaipur, in the Indian state Rajasthan. It was built by the Maharana Udai Singh as the capital of the Sisodia Rajput clan in 1559, after he moved from Chittor. It is located on the east bank of the Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in the Rajputana Agency and its last capital.
The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, and was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city.

Sheesh Mahal

The palace complex is a conglomeration of eleven palaces, numerous courtyard, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens, built ovar a span of over three hundred years. The complex is approached through the ‘Hathi Pol’ or the ‘Elephant gate’. The ‘Bara Pole’ or the ‘Great Gate’ brings you to the first courtyard which leads to the ‘Tripolia Gate’, with eight carved marble arches or torans.
The way now leads to a series of courtyards overlapping pavilion terraces, corridors and hanging gardens. There is a ‘Suraj Gokhara’ or the ‘Balcony of Sun’. The walls of seventh century ‘Mor Chowk’ or ‘Peacock Courtyard’ are adorned with three large peacocks (mor), a vivid mosaic in the glass. The ‘Zenana Mahal’ or ‘women’s quarters’ facing the Mor Chowk has some of the most splendid room in the Palace.Other important chambers includes, the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ with inlaid mirror (Sheesh) work and the ‘Chandra Chowk’ or the ‘Moon Square’, at the top of the palace. The ‘Krishna Vilas’ is full of fine miniatures depicting splendid scince of royal processions, festivals, the games of Chogan etc. The ‘Chini Ghitrasala’ is noteworthy for its blue and white Chinese and Dutch ceramics. The ‘Bhim Bilas Palace’ exhibits a series of wall paintings on Lord Krishna. The ‘Amar Bilas’ has a well laid out terrace garden.

Lake Palace

Lake Palace was built in 1743- 1746 under the direction of the Maharana Jagat Singh II (62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar) of Udaipur, Rajasthanas a royal summer palace and was initially called Jagniwas or Jan Niwas after its founder. The Maharana, ruler of Udaipur from 1628 to 1654, was very friendly with Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and encouraged his craftsmen to copy some of the glories of his incomparable buildings at Agra. The palace was constructed facing east, allowing its inhabitants to pray to the Sun god at the crack of dawn. The successive rulers used this cool haven as their summer resort, holding their regal durbars in its courtyards lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains and gardens.

Lake Palace (formerly known as Jag Niwas) is now a luxury hotel, of 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls, located on a natural foundation of 4 acres (16,000 m2) rock on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India. The hotel operates a boat which transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace. It has been voted as the most romantic hotel in India.

Lake Pichola

Picturesque Pichola surrounded by hills palaces, temples, bathing ghat and embankments, is about 4km. in length and 3km. wide. It is named after the village of Picholi. The main attractions are two island palaces Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir set splendidly in the turquoise waters of lake. The majestic City Palace sprawls along the eastern bank of the lake.

Jag Mandir

Jag Mandir tis the second island palace of Pichola. The construction of the palace was started by Maharaja Karan Singh. Later on, several additions were made by Maharana Jagat Singh and was named after him.

Fateh Sagar

Fateh Sagar was built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh to the north of lake Pichola and two lakes are linked by a canal. The lake is enclosed on the three sides by hills and the Pratap Memorial lies to the north of the reservoir. It is named after Fateh Singh who undertook renovations of the lake and rebuilt the dam. A drive around the lake during the sunset is a truly enchanting experience.

Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur in Rajasthan. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double-storey Mandapa (hall) to a double-story saandhara (with a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell-roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, nonfunctional stories.

Saheliyon ki Bari

Splendid Saheliyon ki Bari or the ‘Gardens of the maids’ reflect the luxurious and unique life style of the ladies of the royal court.The well laid out garden flanking the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake was built for the forty eight young ladies-in-waiting who accompanied a princes to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens noted for their discreet and impeccable taste are studded with four lotus pools with dainty kiosks, marble pavilions and elephant shape fountains. The colorful flower beds, lawns are protected by a series of walls and shady trees. 

* There are many places in Udaipur besides these. I am just trying to share the most beautiful places.

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