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Udaipur Lake Palaces

     Rajasthan's city of Udaipur was founded by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia dynasty in 1559 AD. It was a part of the Mewar kingdom. There are several palaces, lakes and temples in and around the city. Udaipur had 11 entry points or gates, of which five can be seen today. It is situated around Aravalli hills.

     City Palace: The palace overlooks Pichchola lake. The main entrance is the Tripolia, the triple arched gate. The notable sights in the palace are the peacock mosaics, the balcony and the ceramic art works.

     Pichchola lake: The lake has two lake palaces on it (see picture). The lake has around it hills, palaces and temples. Good spot for sight-seeing.

     Fateh Sagar: Another lake surrounded by hills. It was constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. At the centre of the lake is a garden.

     Ahar: About 3 km away is Ahar, the then Capital of the Mewar rulers.

     Other sites: Jagdish temple, the largest in the town; Saheliyon-ki-Bari, a garden with fountains; Gulab Bagh, a rose garden.


     Jaisamand lake (48 km): A very large, artificial lake. It was built by Maharana Jai Singh in the 17th century. It served as a summer resort for the royalty; Kumbhalgarh fort (84 km): It is a well-known fort like Chittaurgarh. It was built by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century. Perched on the Aravallis, it sprawls over a 12 km stretch; Haldighati (40 km): This was the place where Rana Pratap and Emperor Akbar fought; Nathdwara (48 km): This pilgrim centre has a 17th century shrine of Lord Krishna; Eklingji (22 km): An 8th century temple complex. There are about a hundred temples dedicated to Lord Shiva; Ranakpur (90 km): There are many Jain temples lying in the lap of Aravalli hills at this spot. Of them, the most important is the Chaumukha temple. It has 29 halls and 1444 pillars.

     HOW TO REACH: The airport is a little away from the city centre. Udaipur is linked to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai by air. There is bus and rail service to all major towns. The distances to note: Jaipur 400 km, Jodhpur 275 km, Mount Abu 185 km, Agra 630 km, Ahmedabad 260 km. Local transport: Autorickshaw, tonga, taxi, bus.

     CLIMATE: Summer, 28 to 38 deg C; winter, 10 to 28 deg C; Best season: Sept-March

     CLOTHING: Light cotton in summer and light woollen in winter

     SHOPPING: The exclusive shopping items are colourful saris, silver jewellery, miniature paintings and Nathdwara-made idols. The shopping centres are Lake Palace Road, Jagdish temple.

     LANGUAGES: Rajasthani, Hindi and English

     FESTIVALS: The Mewar festival in March-April; Gangaur festival, also in March-April, Teej, in July-August.

     ENTERTAINMENT: Fishing at Jaisamand lake; Swimming; Cultural programmes at Kala centres.

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