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Spectrum Tours » Rajasthan » Udaipur

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Udaipur 'VENICE OF THE EAST' known as the City of Lakes, is famous for tis marble palaces, beautiful gardens and placid blue lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis. Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar - a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 years. The founder, Maharana Udai Singh, was overcome by the misfortune that his old capital Chittorgarh had to face. Repeatedly sacked by the Mughal armies, the fort saw some very fierce battles in 1567, the army of Emperor Akbar sacked the fort and forced Udai Singh to seek refuge in the surrounding Aravelli hills. Udai Singh sought the advice of a holy man and then went building this city on the banks of Pichola Lake.

Of the original eleven gates, only five remain. The Suraj Polor Sun gate on the eastern side is the main entrance to the city

Places of Interest
» City Place A majestic architectural marvel towering over the lake on a hills surrounded by crenallated walls. City Palace is completely white and majestic and is approached through Tripoli gate, built in 1725 AD. The palace has several carved balconies, arches and decorated pillars. Located inside the palce are the Suraj Gokhanda, Bada Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Bhim Vilas, Chini Chitrashala and Mor Chowk. The Zenana Mahal, Fatehparkash, Durbar Hall and Shambu Niwas are other palaces of interest.

» Jagdish Temple Built in 1651 by Maharaja Jagajti Singh I, this Indo-Aryan temple is the larges and the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted ../images.

» Saheliyon - Ki Bari This garden of the maids of honour with numerous fountains brings the unique life style of the royal ladies who once strolled here.

» Pratap Memorial A bronze statue of Maharana Pratap is placed at Magari overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake.

» Fateh Sagar Built by Maharaja Fateh Singh, this elegant lake is surrounded on three sides by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Two island palaces, Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas on the lake are of breathtaking magnificence.

» Ahar The royal centotaphs of the royal Maharanas of Mewar lies here in remains.


Excursions in Udaipur
» Eklingji (22 Km) : This sandstone and marble temple built in 734 AD is a complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls and is devoted to the presiding deity of Maharans of Mewar. The walled complex encloses and elaborately pillared hall of mandap under a large pyramidal roof and has four-faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble.

» Nagda (23 Km) : Dating back to 06th century AD this ancient sight is famous for Sas-Bahu temple (09th - 10th C). Splendid Jain temple of Adbudji is also located in this area.

» Haldighati (40 Km) : Historic place where the battle between Maharan Pratap and Emperor Akbar was fought in 1576 AD. There is a Chhatri dedicated to the faithful horse of Maharana Pratap 'Chetak'

» Nathdwara (48 Km) : Built in the early 18th century, it is a renowned centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of Krishna and Vishnu. It is believed that when the statue of Srinath was being moved to a safer place to escape the wrath of Emperor Aurangzeb, the wheel of the chariot carrying this statue got stuck in the mud. Seeing it as a divine sign that Lord Krishna wished to dwell here, a temple was erected at this spot and a holy township grew around the temple. The main Shrinathji temple attracts devotees throughout the year. Cloth painting or pichhawais are famous.

» Jasmand Lake (48 Km) : Built by Maharana Jia Singh in the 17th century, this is the second largest artificial lake in Asia. Threare also some elegant marble cenotaphs on its banks and a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. On either side of the lake were the summer palaces built for the Maharanis of that time which today houses government offices. The lake attracts several species of migratory birds while the Jaismand wildlife sanctuary is the home of different species of animals.

» Dungarpur : It was founded in the early 13th century by Rana Dungar Singh. The Juna Palace and Udai Vilas Palace are the main attractions and the interior have some well-preserved wall paintings.

» Kumbalgarh (84 Km) : This is the second most important citadel of Mewar after Chittorgarh. Range after range of the Aravallis protect this fortress built by Rana Kumbha in mid 15th century, covering an area of 12 sq km. This fort fell only once to the army of Akbar and that too because of the water supply of the fort was contaminated by the enemy forces. The fort lies 1,100 meter above sea level and enclosed within its fortified ramparts are palaces, temples, field, water sources and farms, - fully self contained to withstand a long siege.

» Mount Abu (185 Km) : Rajasthan's only hill station and a major pilgrim center, this holy mountain lies at the southern extremity of the Aravelli. Mount Abu, owing to its good rainfall, has the richest vegetation in Rajasthan, a wide variety of trees and shrubs can be viewed as one drives up to Mount Abu. Abu, according to legend, stands for the one of Himalayas, deriving its name from Arbuda, the powerful serpent that rescued Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva, from a chasm. Yet another legend explains how the lake at Mt. Abut got its name. It is believed that the gods formed the lake by digging it with their fingernails 'nakh' hence Nakki Lake. Many sages and seers had their retreats on Mt Abu, most famous being Vashista who is believed to have created four agnikula Rajput clans from a fire-pit by performing a 'yagna' or fire sacrifice, to protect the earth from demons. Till 11th century Mt. Abu was dedicated to Lord Shiva before it became a Jain Pilgrim center. DILWARA JAIN TEMPLE, built between 11th- 13th centuries and dedicated to Jain Tirtankaras, is famous for its rich and intricate carvings in marble. The Vimal temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara. Built in 1031 AD, it is a superb example of temple architecture. The central shrine has a image of Rishabdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines, each housing a beautiful statue of tirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to courtyard. The Lun Vasahi Temple, dedicated to 22nd Tirthankara - Neminathji was built in 1231 AD by two brothers - Vastpal and Tejpal, Minister to Raja Vir Dhawal - ruler of Gujarat - belonging to the Porwal Jain family.

» Adhar Devi Temple : A beautiful temple chiseled out of a huge rock and flanked by natural cleft is reached by flight of 360 stairs.

» Nakki Lake : This lake is studded with little inlets, as legend has, it was dug out by gods with their nails. Nowhere in India except in the Himalayas does a lake exist 1200 metes above sea leve.

» Gaumukh Temple : Here a little stream flows from the mouth of a marble cow. It was her that the legend of the four Agnikula clans of Rajputs was born. Near by is the marble image of Nandi who was rescued by the mighty serpent Arbuda.

SUN SET POINT AND HONEYMOON POINT provides a pleasant view of the valley.

» Sri Raghunathji Temeple : It is believed that Shirt Ramanand, the famous Hindu preacher, placed the image of Shri Raghunathji on this spot in 14th century.

» Gardens And Parks : Abu is dotted with beautiful gardens blooming in a riot of colours.

» Ranakpur (80 Km From Udaipur On The Way To Mount Abu) : In a quite and picturesque valley which runs into the western slopes of the Aravalli hills is a remarkable complex of Jain temples at Ranakpur once of the five main holy places of the Jain sect. In the 15th century, Rana Kumbha of Mewar gave a large stretch of land in a quiet and picturesque valley, deep in the Aravellis, to the Jains. This area came to be known as Ranakpur. Thorugh over 500 years old the temples here are superbly preserved in a near perfect condition. In the center is the main temple dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabdeo with a Chamukha or four faced shrine dedicated to Adinath. The most distinctive features are the 29 halls of the temple, which contain 1444 pillars of which not even two are alike everyone being in a different style. Every conceivable surface of the wall pillars and ceilings is carved and every corner and angle is engraved with Jain ../images. The quadruple image stands in the main sanctuary, which is open on all four sides. Rising in three storeys, it has four subsidiary shrines with a total of 80 'spuies' supported by 420 columns. There are also 24 mandapas and spires.
There are two more Jain temples and temple dedicated to the Sun god.

» Chittorgar (112 Km) : Chittorgarh - pride and glory of Rajasthan - echoes with tales of romance and valour unique of Rajput tradition. It is more known for Rani Padmini, queen of Rana Bhim Singh whose beauty led the Sultan of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji to attach Chittor in 1303 AD. Legend has it, that Alauddin Khilji desired here and besieged Chitttor. Later he offered to return without fighting if the Rana let him see art the image of the queen in a mirror and not her directly. It was agreed and he was allowed to enter the fort and see the reflection of the queen's face in a mirrow. But when the Rana accompanied him up to the fort's gate to see him offc. Alauddin Khilji resorted to trecherry and arrested him and took him to his camp. He then offered to release the Rana provided the queen agreed to be his wife. History records that Rani Padmani attacked the Sultan's camp and freed the Rana., later Allauddin vengefully fought and killed every Rajput soldier. In the fierce battle 7,000 Rajput warriors lost their lives and the Maharani with her entire entourage committed 'Jauhar'. Countless tales of Chittor's legendary heroes are still sung by folk musicians all over Rajasthan. Strangely the historic mirror is till intact and can be seen in the fort. It is located on 180 meter high hill, covering 700 acres. Tablets and Chattries bearing testimony to the acts of sacrifice and gallantry lie between several monumental gates. The main gates are Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol.

» Rama Kumbha's Palce : This historical palace of which only ruins remain today is believed to be one of the underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women had committed 'Jauhar'. PADMIN'S PALACE, according to legend, was here and her glimpse was shown to Allauddin Khilji, here. It overlooks the pool in which the 'Zenana Mahal' is situated where Padmini had stood when her reflection and KUMBHA SHYAM TEMPLE is associated with Meerabai. She was the wife of Rana Bhojraj and is set to have consumed poison sent by the Rana but survived because of Lord Krishna's blessings.

» Kalika Mata Mandir : A temple of mother Goddess Kali, was originally built as Sun temple in the 8th century and was converted into Kalika Mata temple in the 17th century.

» Meerabai's Temple : Temple where Meerabai used to worship Lord Krishna

How To Reach
Air : Udaipur is connected by air with Aurangabad, Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai
Rail : Udaipur is connected by rail with Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur
Road : Udaipur is connected by road with all cities and towns in Rajasthan

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Daily tours conducted by RTDS starts from RTDC Hote Kajri, Shastri Circle

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