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Transport Companies in Udaipur

Transport Companies in Udaipur


This Fairy-Tale City, with its marble palaces and lakes surrounded by a ring of hills, was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559, and became the capital of Mewar after the fall of Chittorgarh in 1567. The rulers of Mewar, who belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs, traced their dynasty back to AD 566. Fiercely independent, they refused, matrimonial alliance with the Mughals, and took great pride in their reputation as the prime defenders of Rajput honour. The city is dominated by the massive City palace, which overlooks Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces. Picturesque havelis, ghats and temples line the lake front, with the lively bazzrs of the old walled city stretching behind them. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

Sightseeing in and around Udaipur

City Palace

Lake Pichola. daily. City Palace Jetty. Jag Niwas (0294) 52 8800. open to non-residents.

Jag Mandir, with its lush gardens and marble chambers exquisitely inlaid with coloured stone, was built in 1620. Eight stone elephants stand solemn guard at its entrance. Between 1623 and 1624, this island palace provided refuge to Prince Khurram (who would later become the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan) while he rebelled against his father It is believed to have inspired many of his ideas for the Taj Mahal.

Jag Niwas, or the Lake Palace, built between 1734 and 1751, was once a royal summer retreat and is now one of the world's great hotels. It is also a popular location for film shoots (including James Bond's Octopussy). Both palaces can be seen on a boat tour of Lake Pichola. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

Jagdish Mandir Moti Chhohta Rd. daily. Bagore ki Haveli Gangaur Ghat. (0294) 52 3858
This 17th-century temple, just north of the City Palace's main gate, has an enormous black stone image of Vishnu in its profusely carved main shrine. The entrance is flanked by stone elephants, and a superb bronze image of Garuda (the mythical bird who is Vishnu's vehicle) stands in front of the temple. Nearby, at Gangaur Ghat, is the 18th-century Bagore ki Hayek now a splendid museum exhibiting Udaipur's traditional arts and crafts, costumes, musical instruments and marblework. Folk music and dance performances are held here every evening at 7pm.

The old walled city, a jumble of shops and houses, many with beautifully painted facades, lies east of the Jagdish Mandir. In its narrow, lanes are the Bapu and Bara Bazaars, selling wooden toys, puppets, textiles, jewels and pichhwais. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

Fateh Sagar Lake, Fateh Sagar Rd. North of Lake Pichola is Fateh Sagar Lake, with a garden cafe on its island. Over-looking it is moti Magri Hill with a statue of Udaipur's great 16th-century warrior, Maharana Pratap, and his valiant steed, Chetak.

Saheliyon ki Bari, This delightful 18th-century retreat in the north of the city (its name means "Garden of the Maids of Honour") has ornamental fountains, a lotus pool and a rose garden. It was built for a queen of Udaipur, whose dowry included 48 maids.

Ahar, Ashok Nagar Rd. Museum Sat-Thu. Public Hols. Located 3 km (2 miles) east of Udaipur, Ahar has the impressive cenotaphs of 19 Mewar rulers, and a small archaeological museum.

Environs: Shilpgram, 8 km (5 miles) nonhwest of Udaipur, is a lively ethnographic crafts village, with artisans, folk performers, and replicas of traditional houses. Camel rides are also available. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

Eklingji, 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Udaipur, is a complex of 108 temples and shrines, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It marks the site where the founder of the Mewar ruling dynasty, Bappa Rawal, received special blessings from a sage who lived here. The main temple dates to the 16th century. Built of marble and granite, it includes an impressive pillared hall and a four-faced image of Shiva crafted in black marble, with a silver Nandi facing it.

Nagda, a short distance away from Eklingji, is worth a visit for the Saas-Bahu Temples ("Mother and Daughter-in-law Temples"), twin structures dedicated to Vishnu. The 11th-century temples are entered through a finely carved torana and are renowned for their elaborate sculptures depicting amorous couples and scenes from the epic Ramayana.

One of Rajasthan's main pilgrimage sites is the 18th-century Shrinathji Temple at Nathdwara, 48 km (30 miles) northeast of Udaipur. The main deity is Lord Krishna, known locally as Shrinathji. His black stone image was brought here from Mathura (see p1 78) to save it from destruction by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century. Beautiful painted cloth hangings known as pichhwais are hung behind it. Non-Hindus cannot enter the temple, but Nathdwara town's picturesque bazaar, with its pichhwai painters at work, is worth a visit. Pichhwais, one of the most vibrant forms of Indian painting, are done on stiff cloth in vegetable and mineral colours. They depict 24 scenes from the Krishna legend each linked with a particular festival or holy day. At the centre of each painting is a stylised image of Lord Krishna, with dusky skin, slanting eyes and intricate jewellery, set against a background of verdant foliage, birds, animals and skyscapes. Around the deity are cows, milkmaids and devotees. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

Exploring the City Palace

The older section of the City Palace complex dates from 1568. Behind its fortified walls is a maze of royal apartments, reception halls and courtyards. They are linked to each other by narrow passages and steep staircases - a feature typical of Rajput palaces of that period, designed to that period, designed to confuse invaders.

The superb City Palace Museum is spread out through several palaces in this section, and is entered through the imposing Tripolia Gate (built in 1713). Above the entrance is the Mewar crest - a large Sun face (rein-forcing the Sisodia clan's claim to be descended from the Sun), flanked by Rajput and Bhil warriors (the tribal Bhils, skilled archers, played a heroic role in Mewar's great battles). Beyond this is the Ganesh Deorht Gate where entrance tickets for the museum are sold. It leads into a courtyard decorated with frescoes of horses and elephants, and a marble relief of the god Ganesha surrounded by dazzling mirror and glass inlay. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

The next courtyard is the Rajya Angan Chowk, from where steps lead to the Chandra Mahal (built in 1620). One of the loveliest palaces in the complex, it has beautiful columns, fretwork windows and striking marble reliefs of Rajput women, one of whom carries a shield. There is a magical view of Lake Pichola and its island palaces from here.

Another flight of steps from here leads to the charming Bari Mahal (built in 1699). Perched 27 m (89 ft) above the ground, it is built on a terraced hillside that is completely enclosed within the palace walls. Deep halls with receding rows of carved arches open into an enchanting courtyard with a marble pool in the middle. Tall neem trees stand around it, pro-viding dappled shade. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

The Bari Mahal leads to the Dilkhushal Mahal (built in 1620) with two remarkable chambers - the Kanch Burj ("Glass Turret") inlaid with red and silver glass, and the Krishna Niwas which exhibits outstanding Mewar miniature paintings. This was the room of 16-year-old Princess Krishna Kumari, who committed suicide in 1807 when rival suitors from Jodhpur and Jaipur threatened to go to war over her hand.

To the left of this palace is the ornate Mod Mahal, the chamber of the dissolute Maharana Jawan Singh (r.1828-38), who once promised a dancing girl half his kingdom if she could walk a tightrope across Lake Pichola. The girl had almost reached when the maharana's alarmed courtiers cut the rope, and the dancer drowned. Still further left is the Mor Chowk ("Peacock Courtyard") with its brilliantly coloured 19th-century mosaics of three dancing peacocks. Transport Companies in Udaipur...

The southern end of the City Palace complex has three other opulent palaces built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - Shambhu Niwas where the descendants of the rulers now live: Fateh Prakash with its magnificent Durbar Hall, fine portraits and gallery of crystal furniture: and the semicircular Shiv Niwas built as the royal guesthouse (Queen Elizabeth II once stayed here). Fateh Prakash and Shiv Niwas are now luxury hotels, but are open to non-residents for tours and meals.

Swan Tours is one of the leading transport companies promoting Udaipur in Rajasthan, Please contact the transport division in Swan Tours to get the best possible customised itineraries covering Udaipur and other nearby destinations.

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