Sights to See
City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Udai Singh initiated the construction of the palace but successive Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complexbut retainedremarkable uniformity in the design. The entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol, the Elephant Gate. The Bari Pol or the Big Gate brings you to the Tripolia, the Triple gate. It wasa custom to weigh the Maharajaunder this gate in gold and silver, which was distributed to the populace.
The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artifacts. As we go down the steps from the entrance is the armoury museum exhibiting a huge collection of protectivegears and various kinds ofweapons including the lethal two-pronged sword. The City Palace museum is then entered through the Ganesh Deori. This leads to the Rajya Angan or the royal courtyard. This is thespot where Maharana Udai Singh is said to havemet the sage whoadvised him to found a city here. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings. Manak Mahal or the Ruby Palace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas displays a rich collection of miniature paintings. Moti Mahal (the pearl palace) has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The Surya Chopar(the sun square) depicts a huge ornamental sun symbolising the sun dynasty to which the Maharajas and their ancestorsbelonged. The Bari Mahal is a central gardengiving aview of the city. Some more beautiful paintings can be seen in the ‘Zenana Mahal’ (the ladies chamber). Then, there is the Lakshmi Chowk which isa beautiful white pavilion.
Fateh Prakash Palace
The Fateh Prakash Palace, the grand heritage palace hotelof the HRH group represents the authentic royal luxury at its best. The warmth of royal hospitality greets you as you walk along the corridors lined with large paintings of the Mewar School that flourishedthrough the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.
Situated in the Fateh Prakash Palace, it has a breath taking collection of crystals. These were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singhfrom F & C Osler England butcould not live tosee them because of his untimely death. The crystal items include tables, sofa sets, dining tables, dressers, fountains and even beds besides a whole array of washing bowls, decanters and perfume bottles. There is also an exquisite jewel studded carpet.
Located about 2 kms east of Udaipur, Ahar is an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. There are about nineteen cenotaphs of Maharanas who werecremated there. The most striking cenotaph is that of Maharana Amar Singh who reigned from 1597 to 1620. Nearby lies the Ahar Museum, where display is limited.However it containsvery rare earthen pottery,some sculptures and other archaeological finds. Some of thepieces date back to 1700 BC.The tenth century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction.
This is the other island palace on Lake Pichola, which was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singh I in the year 1620AD. It also served as a hideout for Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan),during hisrevolt against his father, Emperor Jehangir.
Outside Udaipur, this 18th century palace was built by Maharaja Sajjan Singh at a height of 2268 ft on the top of Bansdara Mountain. It was originally intended to be a five storey astronomical centre but the plan was shelved due to premature death of the Maharaja. It was later used as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. The palace majestically dominates the sky line and offers breath taking view of the countryside.
The Lake Palace
The Lake Palace is located on Jag Niwas Island and covers the whole area (1.5 hectares) of the island in the middle of the Pichola Lake. Built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1743, it was meant as a royal summer palacebut now has been converted into a five star palace hotel.Its superb beauty and enduring charm and its reflectionin the middle of the lake is like a leaf straight out of a fairy tale book. With intricate craftsmanship and ethnic themes using textiles and handicrafts all over,its beauty is beyond description. The surrounding lake murmurs pleasantly, with her rippling and lapping waves.
Collection of Vintage / Classic Cars
The collection within the grounds of the Garden Hotel comprises a variety of vintage and classic vehicles like Cadillac, Chevrolet, Morris etc owned by theMaharanas of Udaipur.They used these automobiles as their luxurious modes of transport. However, other models are gradually being added to the collection in order to a unique aristocratic safari for the exclusive guests.
Sahelion Ki Bari
Maharana Sangram Singh built this in the mid-18th century. The 'garden of the maidens' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardensreflect theirdiscreet and impeccable taste.
Maharana Pratap Memorial (Moti Magari)
An impressive bronze statue of Maharana Pratapon his favourite horse Chetak, stands atop the Moti Magri (Pearl Mount) overlooking Fateh Sagar. Local people climb up the hill to pay homage to Rana Pratap and his faithful charger 'Chetak' who was fiercely protective about its master and stood by him till its last breath.
The sound and light show held here every evening is worth viewing.
Built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651, the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu. There is a brass image of Garuda, the Lord of Birds, and mount of Vishnu. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators, elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rising in tiers. Chanting, ringing ofbells and music can be heard throughout the day. It is the largest and most splendid temple of Udaipur.
Fateh Sagar Lake
This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodlands was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh to the north of Lake Pichola in 1678 AD.This artificial lakewas reconstructed by Maharana Fateh Singh (1884-1930 AD). A canal links the two via Swaroop Sagar and Rang Sagar Lakes. The beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet bearing a solar observatory rise from the lake.