anthem India
Impressions of India - Udaipur
~ the fairytale city of lakes ~

life / culture / religion
cities / metropolis
religious places
palaces / forts / monuments

Udaipur city palace viewed from Lake PicholaComing from Jodhpur we passed the Thar desert in the direction of Udaipur. On the road, close to Udaipur, we visited the magnificent Jain-Temple in Ranakpur, which is in any case a "must". Finally we reached the fairy tale "city of lakes", Udaipur (266 km), which is often referred as the 'Venice of the East' also. It is the most romantic and most charming city we have seen on our tour - a jewel in the kingdom Mewar in Rajasthan, ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 years. After the legend Maharaja Udai Singh founded the city in 1559 A.D, following the advise of a hermit. The marvellous city is a blend of fairy tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow streets. 

Udaipur city palaceThe imposing City Palace is on the Eastern shore of the lake, , towering over the lake on a hill. It is  the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The majestic, architectural marvel in granite and marble is a composition of courtyards, pavilions, terraces and palaces, decorated with numerous balconies, cupolas and towers.Jagdish temple UdaipurThe interior impresses by interesting and elaborate works of art, among them the famous peacock mosaic.

Close to the City Palace is the Jagdish Temple, which is consecrated to Lord Wishnu. Built in 1651. It is the largest and most splendid temple in Udaipur. Its walls are decorated with a lavish abundance  of marvellous stonemason works on white marble. There are also beautiful wall paintings of the most important Hindu deities.

The two most scenic and famous lakes of the city are Lake Pichola and Lake Fateh Sagar. Our hotel "Lake Pichola" was located right at shore of lake Pichola and offered a charming view of the lake and the skyline of the city. In the morning we awoke with rhythmical noises, which came from the opposite site of the lake, where people at the ghats beat their washing with sticks. 

Lake Pichola is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples and bathing ghats and has two island palaces- Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and Jag Mandir, which appear to be floating on the lake. Thus a highlight of our stay in Udaipur was a boat ride on this charming lake. The small cruise started at the City Palace.   and this lovely girl was sitting in our boat. First we  passedhotel "Lake Palace", formerly Jag Niwas and were told, that it is one of the world's most spectacular hotels. The palace, built in 1754, covers an area of about 4 acres with landscaped  courtyards, fountains, and gardens  and may be the very image of what a maharaja's place should be like. 

Lake Pichola - Island Palace Jag MandirThen we arrived the picturesque island palace Jag Mandir, where the elephant sculptures welcomed us. It is the place, where Prince Khurram (later emperor Shahjahan) took refuge in the 17th century. We were allowed, to visit the place and enjoyed the beautiful cupolas, a lofty dome, majestic palms, beautiful rooms with inlaid stones and paintings, as well as a Udaipur Garden of the Maids of Honor  - Saheliyon-ki-Barimarvellous view back to the skyline of the city with the City Palace.

Another highlight was 'Saheliyon-ki-Bari or the Garden of the Maids of Honour' in the north of the city, so called because this charming ornamental garden was a popular relaxing spot, where royal ladies came  for a stroll. It is a picturesque garden with well tended extensive lawns, shady walks and beautiful flower beds, with fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and delightful lotus pools.

Delhi Varanasi Agra-Fort Taj Mahal in the country Amber-Fort
Jaipur Pushkar Jodpur.Mehr.Fort Jain-Templ.R. Udaipur Ind. Marriage

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