City Palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559. It is situated at the eastern bank of Lake Pichhola and has many other palaces built within the City Palace. It is a must visiting place whoso ever wishes to travel Udaipur and has a keen interest in the history of Rajasthan.
Impressive Gateways or Poles pave access to the City Palace complex. The different poles of the City Palace include Bara Pole, Tripolia Pole, Toran Pole etc.
The other complexes which are made within the premise of the City Palace are Amar Vilas, Badi Mahal, Chinni Chitrashala, Choti Chitrashali, Dilkhusha Mahal, Darbar Hall, Fateh Prakash, Jagdish Mandir, Krishna Vilas, Laxmi Vilas Chowk, Manak Mahal, Mor Chowk, Rang Bhawan, Sheesh Mahal etc.
The famous Jagdish Temple is only 150 meters away from the Palace. From the Palace you can have the beautiful view of Lake Palace and Jag Mandir which are both located in midst of the Pichhola Lake. The major part of the City Palace has been converted into museum which displays a diverse range of preserved monuments and armor. The museum exhibits a wide collection of weapons, gears, clothes furniture etc.
Fateh Prakash Palace
This palace was constructed during the time of Maharana Fateh Singh who ruled during 1885 to 1935. The purpose of the venue was to serve the esteemed guests during the royal functions. Fateh Prakash Palace has also been converted into a luxury hotel which is now run & managed by the HRH group.
In 1909 the Viceroy of India Lord Minto laid down the foundation stone of the Darbar Hall henceforth the name was originally called as Minto Hall to respect the honor to the Viceroy. The interiors are decorated with royal artifacts, miniature painting, armor etc. which would take you to the legendary historical time of the Mewar dynasty.
The Darbar Hall, Crystal Gallery, Suites and Rooms are decorated with original paintings, furniture of the historic era and would take you to the journey of the authentic heritage of that time. The scenic beauty of Lake Pichhola through the decorative valued windows would soak you in real ecstasy. The Palace offers 21 Decorative Rooms and 45 Decorative Premier Suits and is equipped with period furniture, portraits and original miniature paintings, private sitting areas and facilities like air-conditioning, international direct dial telephone, satellite TV and a mini-bar.
Lake Palace, the name is enough to draw a picture of Udaipur and Pichhola Lake. It is another epithet of the Udaipur after the City Palace. To most of us if asked anything about Lake Palace the first answer come out – it is a luxury hotel. Obviously it is a luxury hotel, but earlier to a luxury hotel it was a place to relax for the kings and had a lot of different interiors.
Lake Palace was formerly known as Jag Niwas. Lake Palace is built on a natural island of around 4 acres which was earlier called as Jag Niwas Island and it is surrounded by Lake Pichhola. It was built in year 1743 to 1746 by the Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur. The Palace was built as a palace to spend summers. It was named after its founder Maharana Jagat Singh and hence was called as Jag Niwas.
In 1971 the Taj group took over the management of Lake Palace and the new name came out to be the Taj Lake Palace. Taj added another 75 rooms to it. Jamshyd D.F. Lam became the first General Manager of the Taj Lake Palace. Later in 2000 another restoration of the hotel was undertaken. Now Taj Lake Palace is certainly a luxury hotel surrounded by Lake Pichhola. The Lake Palace offers Luxury Rooms, Palace Rooms, Royal Suites, Grand Royal Suites and Grand Presidential Suites with all facilities like Spa, Bar, Fine Dinning etc.
Kumbhalgarh is 82 kilometers away from Udaipur and lies in Rajsamand District and it is the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great warrior of the Mewar. It was built in the 15th century by Maharana Kmbha. In the late 19th century the fort was opened for the tourists. It is the important fort of mewar after Chittorgarh.
The fort is accessed through seven different gateways which are named as Aret Pole, Hanuman Pole, Ram Pole, Vijay Pole, Nimboo Pole and Bhairon Pole. All gates lead to the palace complex and some are built with additional structures at a later stage.
The different palaces built in the fort consist of Kumbha Mahal and Badal Mahal. Various religious temples include Hindu and Jain temples of different periods ranging from 13th century to the later stage. Various temples built and covered in the fort area consists Ganesh Temple, Vedi Temple, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Parshvanath Temple, Bawan Devi Temple, Golerao Group of Temples, Mamadeo Temple, Pitalia Dev Temple, Kumbha Palace.
Kumbhalgarh fort also has several memorials like Badva Bund, Lagan Baori, Gardens, Stores, Pleasure Pavilions and a Dam.
Chittorgarh is situated in the southern part of Rajasthan and is 120 kilometers away from Udaipur. It is the midway between Delhi and Mumbai on the National Highway No 8. At Chittorgarh National Highways 76 and 79 intersect.
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India. Earlier it was capital of Mewar. The fort is spread in an area of 690 acres and situated at the height of 590 feet over a hill which lies in the bank of Berach River.
The Mewar Emperors lost the fort thrice to the Mughals in the battles which were fought in different periods. In 1303 Allauddin Khilji defeated Rana Ratan Singh, Bahadur Shah defeated Bikramjeet Singh in 1535 and Mughal Emperor Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II in 1567 who left and founded Udaipur as his next capital of Mewar. Approximately 13,000 Rajput Ladies committed Jauhar after the successive defeats of Mewar Emperors.
A zigzag hill road of more than 1 kilometer in length from the new town of Chittor leads to the west end main gate of the fort which is known as Ram Pol. Within the fort a circular road provides access to all other the gates and monuments. The fort has seven gates or Poles and they are Padan Pole, Bhairon Pole, Hanuman Pole, Ganesh Pole, Jodla Pole, Laxman Pole and the main gate is known as the Ram Pole. A road within the fort provides access to the numerous monuments, ruined structures and temples in the fort. Once the fort had 84 water bodies and only 22 are left as of now. It were in the form of ponds, wells and step wells. These water bodies were filled during the rainfall. The various other historical monuments of interest at the fort include Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh.
Photo Credits: Yash Sharma, HRH Hotels, hoparoudindia.com