When over six lakh readers from across the world submitted ratings and comments for selecting their favourite travel destinations and brands, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur got the third position in the list of top 10 best hotels in the World.
The global luxury and lifestyle magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, has combined the annual readers’ surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. into one Global Readers’ Choice Awards List.
The palatial hotel, undoubtedly, deserves every bit of this position with its awe-inspiring architecture and hospitality. The guests are treated like royals from the very first moment they enter into the property. The location of the hotel further adds to its charisma giving a feeling of a walk into the history and an experience of unique service that brings the “Tajness” to life.
This all, of course, comes with a price. One night stay at this luxurious property of Udaipur can cost somewhere between INR 80,000 to 11 lacs, depending on the business season.
However, for general people, watching this beauty during the boat ride in Lake Pichola is another experience especially during evening and night, when the property is lit with mesmerizing lights.
The hotel rose to another level of fame after the famous James Bond movie, Octopussy, was shot here in 1984. Post that, many Bollywood movies made The Taj Lake Palace their shooting location.
It is good if you have been to Venice, but if not and would still like to feel how lovely that atmosphere would be, hurry up and catch a flight to ‘The City of Lakes’, Udaipur. A small city in Rajasthan is perfect mélange of culture, history and royal traditions. This beauty around the city makes Udaipur a perfect honeymoon destination, cultural center and the showstopper of Rajasthan. The palaces built in the city reflects the architectural grandeur which prevailed during the period of Maharanas. On the other side, the dawns at lakeside show how mesmerizing nature can be.
We wouldn’t be wrong if we label Udaipur as one of the most romantic places in India. Udaipur is a pretty face of the brilliant architecture built by the Mewars. These clever rulers literally created an oasis amidst the desert. There is so much that one can see in Udaipur, so let’s narrow it down with the best ones.
Presenting you the list for the TOP Must-Visit Places while you are in UDAIPUR:
City Palace: The true reflection of the splendor of Rajasthan, City Palace which belongs to the royal family of Mewars is a must visit. It has a number of features that attract tourists magically. Needless to say that the architecture is exquisite, also there are a few structures that leave the visitors enthralled.
Lake Palace: Stunningly built on Lake Pichola, Lake Palace is one of the most visited places in Udaipur. Situated on Jagniwas Island is popularly known as Taj Lake Palace. Situated amidst the Aravalli Hills, Lake Palace is one of the most romantic places to stay in Rajasthan. Built by Late Maharaja Jagat Singh II, the palace is an example of exquisite architecture.
Lake Fatehsagar: The charm of Udaipur is incomplete without FatehSagar Lake, situated in the north of Lake Pichola. This lake is also one of the major tourist attractions in Udaipur. There are three islands situated in the lake out of which Nehru Park is the most famous one.
Saheliyon Ki Bari: ‘The Garden of the Maidens’, the literal meaning of the ‘Saheliyon ki Bari’ was constructed by Maharana Bhopal Singh. Located in the northern part of the city, this exquisite place was constructed for the maids who accompanied the Princess to Udaipur. Saheliyon ki Bari is one of those places where the maids used to cheer, sing, and dance for every festival celebrated around the city. The garden is decorated with well-maintained fountains, kiosks, elephants carved out of marble and a delightful lotus pool. Saheliyon Ki Bari is truly one of the most delightful places in Udaipur.
Ambrai Ghat: Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, Ambrai Ghat is a brilliant place for photographers. Overlooking City Palace and Lake Palace, this beautiful ghat, ensures that one gets an exclusive view of the two palaces from here. The Ghat often remains crowded with a large number of local couples in the evening as the place is quite romantic.
Sajjangarh Palace(Monsoon Palace): Located at a distance of about 9kms away from the Old City of Udaipur, Monsoon Palace is amongst the most favored destinations of the royal family during the monsoons. The palace is hung up on a hill and looks like one of those castles from a magical story that we all have heard in our childhood.
Forum Celebration Mall: Forum Celebration Mall, Udaipur, the first mall in the city offers world-class shopping and lifestyle experience under one roof. Built and designed in the ethnic architectural style. Forum Celebration Mall is one of the first iconic heritage malls build across the whole with a unique blend of ethnicity on the outside and modern conveniences within. It is considered a landmark of Udaipur, iconic and different.
Some famous and well-known brands in the Forum Celebration Mall are:
Famous food outlets at Forum Celebration Mall, one can enjoy:
This city is full of surprises and still much left that you can discover in this gorgeous city. There are also some great places near Udaipur like Ranakpur, Ekling Ji, Nathdwara that one can visit, so make sure you go through this guide a bit more carefully before traveling to the city of lakes.
Start the quiz and play all the 8 questions. If you guess all of them correct, post the screenshot of the result sheet in the facebook comments. If you are one of those lucky contestants, you might win an ‘I love Udaipur’ band.
Jagdish temple was made by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. Maharana Jagat Singh ruled Udaipur for 25 years from 1628 to 1653. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (the preserver of the universe). It is the largest temple in the city. After 28 years of the construction of the temple, Mughal ruler Aurangzeb wanted the temple to get destroyed and sent his army to do so. But the army of Maharana Raj Singh (ruler of Udaipur back then) didn’t let him do so. And so, Jagdish Mandir was saved from getting destroyed. To know more about Jagdish temple, click here.
Saheliyon ki Bari can be translated as the courtyard of Maiden in English. It is a major garden of the city. Saheliyon ki Badi was built in the year 1710 by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal ladies. It was built for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who came with the princess as a part of her dowry. It has beautiful lotus pools, marble pavilions, and elephant-shaped fountains. According to the legend the garden was designed by the king Sangram Singh himself and he presented it to the queen. To know more about Saheliyon ki Bari, click here.
City Palace is the palace complex situated on the east bank of Lake Pichola. It was built over a period of 400 years back by Maharana Udai Singh II when he shifted his capital from Chittor district. The palace constantly got addition and modification by other rulers of the dynasty. It is built in both Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. It is designed so beautifully that it overlooks several other historical monuments such as Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata temple, and a perfect view of the entire city. To know more about City Palace, click here.
About at a distance of 3 km, Ahar is called Udaipur’s royal cremation ground. It has a total of 372 cenotaphs of around 19 Maharanas who once ruled the city. This spectacular city of domes was built approx. 400 years back. The most striking cenotaph that you will be able to spot will be of Maharana Sangram Singh and the newest was built in the year 2004 of Udaipur’s last Maharana, Bhagwat Singh. At a distance of just 150 m from Ahar Cenotaphs, you can find Ahar government museum which contains copper and pottery objects of more than around 3300-year-old. It also has sculptures of Hindu gods and Jain tirthankars from the 8th and 16th century AD.
Bagore ki Haveli was built by ‘Shree Amarchand Badwa’ who was the Prime minister of Mewar from 1751 to 1778. He remained at the position throughout the reigns of Maharanas Pratap Singh II, Raj Singh II, Ari Singh, and Hamir Singh respectively. After the death of Amarchand, the Haveli was occupied by Nath Singh, a relative of Maharana back then. The property remained in the possession of Mewar state until 1947. After independence the government of India used the site for housing government employees. But after that for almost forty years, the Haveli’s condition got deteriorated and finally, the government handed it to West zone cultural center. West zone cultural center then renovated the Haveli into a museum. To know more about City Palace, click here.
Sajjangarh palace or monsoon palace
The monsoon palace, also called Sajjangarh palace is a hilltop palace at a distance of around 7 km from the city. It was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in the year 1884. It is said that Maharana Sajjan Singh built it at the top of the hill so that he can see his ancestral home which was Chittaurgarh. It was previously owned by the royal family of Mewar and is now owned by the forest department of the government of Rajasthan. The beautiful palace gives you a mind-blowing view of the sunset and is supposedly called monsoon palace because it seems like the palace is floating in the heaven during Monsoon. To know more about Sajjangarh Palace, click here.
Moti Magri or pearl hill is a memorial of the great Rajput hero Maharana Pratap. There is a bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on the top of the hill with his favorite horse, Chetak. It is said that Chetak was a very brave horse who climbed upon an elephant in the battle of Haldighati which crippled one of his legs. But when he thought that his master needs to be rescued from the battle, he landed him in a safe spot away from the battle with his crippled legs. He also jumped upon a stream while this journey and this led him towards his death. Along with the gardens, smaarak, and a magnificent view, Moti Magri has a hall of heroes which consists of 20 large paintings on the history of Mewar and modals of Chittaurgarh and Haldighati battle. To know more about the brave horse of Maharana Pratap, Chetak, click here.
Ghanta Ghar which is also called clock tower was built around 130 years back by Maharana Sajjan Singh. The reason for it being built was a conflict between Bohra and Mahajan religion. Then Maharana made them pay 5000 Rs. Each as a penalty and this money was used to build the Ghanta Ghar. That is the reason why Ghanta Ghar is called to be made from the sum of ‘Nazrana and Jhurmana’ (Penalties and punishments). The clock used in it was imported from London. The architecture of the clock is unique and splendid. The length of Ghanta Ghar is around 50 feet. It was city’s first public watch. Know more about Ghanta Ghar here.
Sas Bahu Temple
Sas Bahu or if we refer it to its full name which is Sahastra Bahu is a temple of Lord Vishnu. It is at a distance of 17 km from the city in Nagda. Sas Bahu temple was built back in 10th century AD. Nagda was once an important city for Mewar. It was probably the capital of some Mewar ruler back then. The temple is surrounded by Bagela Lake. Although the temple is now in ruins, one can easily see the magnificent architecture and the beautiful carvings on the walls of the temple. To know more about Sas Bahu temple, click here.
Eklingji temple was built by Bappa Rawal who was also the founder of Sisodia clan in Mewar. The original temple was built by Bappa Rawal but it has been renovated and refurbished by the successive rulers. It is said that Bappa Rawal was a firm devotee of Lord Vishnu and that he dedicated his entire kingdom in the feet of the deity. He proclaimed that the kingdom is of the deity and he is ruling it on behalf of the deity. The temple was attacked by the enemies several times but it got rebuilt and reconstructed repeatedly. To know more about Eklingji temple, click here.
Jag Mandir Palace
Jag Mandir Palace is a palace built amidst the Lake Pichola on an island. It was earlier called Gul Mahal. The history of Jag Mandir Palace is dated back to the year 1623. Maharana Karan Singh (1605-1627) extended a helping hand to protect Emperor Shahjahan (before he became the Mughal emperor) from the danger of getting thawed in his campaign. Initially, he was kept safe in city palace along with his wife Mumtaz Mahal and his two children Prince Aurangzeb and Prince Dara. After that, they were shifted to safe refuge, Gul Mahal. Gul Mahal was specially built for Shahjahan. It is said that the inspiration for one of the wonders of the world, Taj Mahal, came from Gul Mahal in Shahjahan’s mind. The palace is now converted into a resort. To know more about the Palace, Click here.
Fateh Prakash Palace
The palace was constructed by Fateh Singh who ruled Mewar from 1885 to 1935. The purpose of the palace back then was to serve the esteemed guests of the royal family during any royal functions. And the purpose has still not changed much. It is now converted into a heritage hotel where renowned people stay during their time in Udaipur.
Lake Palace was built under the direction of Maharana Jagat Singh during his ruling time from 1743 to 1746. It was initially called Jagat Niwas or Jan Niwas. Lake Palace was built as a winter palace by Jagat Niwas, however later on the successive rulers used it as a summer resort by holding their durbars in its courtyard. Now, it is converted into a luxury hotel where renowned guests and celebrities stay during their visit to Udaipur. To know more about Lake Palace, click here.
Shiv Niwas Palace
The work of Shiv Niwas Palace was started by Maharana Sajjan Shambhu Singh and finished by his successor Maharana Fateh Singh at the beginning of 20th century. Initially, it was the royal guesthouse for all the royal guests coming to visit the Maharanas. In those times it hosted a number of royal gatherings which includes George V of the United Kingdom in 1905, and Edward the Prince of Wales. But later it became difficult for the royal family to afford the cost of large number of royal residencies that it owned and so along with the Lake Palace, they decided to convert it into an income-generating hotel.
Mewar has always been rich when it comes to its history and culture. While most of us knew some of these places and their history behind, some of these were quite new for us, isn’t it? If you have any feedback regarding the article, you can either share it with us in the comment section below or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Taj Lake Palace is one of the most romantic hotels in the entire world and no wonder the unsurpassed beauty of this floating palace is one of a kind! But do you know that before it was a luxury hotel, it was the summer palace for the then Maharana of the Udaipur kingdom? This summer palace, now known as Lake Palace is indeed the most sought after destination in the whole world.
Let us read about the legendary palace built on the lake!
Jag Niwas Palace aka Lake Palace
Formerly known as Jag Niwas, the Lake Palace is built on a natural island of around 4 acres. It was built between the years 1743-1746 by the Maharana Jagat Singh II who ruled Mewar from 1734 to 1751 as the 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar. The Maharana decided to build a palace and named it Jag Niwas after himself. It’s an east facing palace and was built to enjoy summers.
It is said that the Maharana had friendly relations with the Mughal emperors and hence Jag Niwas was inspired by the Mughal art and architecture. As one can avidly see, the palace has a remarkable Mughal architecture blending seamlessly with Mewar’s beauty.
The Lake Palace was once a Refuge to British Families
It was during the Indian Sepoy Mutiny in 1857 that several European families fled from Nimach and sought refuge in the Mewar kingdom. Maharana Swaroop Singh (reigned 1842–1861) helped these families by keeping them safe at the Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and wiped out all the boats so that the agitators could not reach the families.
The Journey from Jag Niwas to the ‘Taj Lake Palace’
By the end of the 19th century, time and weather had deteriorated Jag Niwas, and the Palace started losing its fame. A French writer described Jag Niwas as – “slowly moldering in damp emanations of the lake.” Even its furniture and interiors started losing its dignity. Broken old chairs, clocks, and abrupt colored glass ornaments made the palace impassive towards foreign tourists. They described the place totally deserted.
In 1961, Maharana Bhagwat Singh decided to convert Jag Niwas Palace to a luxury hotel in Udaipur. An American artist became the interior designer and consultant of the project. He also mentioned in his words that – the palace was deteriorating and turning it into a hotel was only the way to restore and keep it maintained. He termed it as a job of conservation.
In 1971 the Taj group took over the management of Jag Niwas 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 the year 2000, another restoration of the hotel was undertaken.
The art and architecture of the Taj Lake Palace
The upper room of the Lake Palace is a perfect sphere of 21 feet in diameter. Its walls, decorated with Arabic designs similar to Taj Mahal of Agra. However, they all are made according to the Hindu religion. The floor is ornamented with the finest quality of black and white marble. The courtyards lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains, gardens and exquisitely beautiful domes.
Amenities at the Taj Lake Palace
The Taj Lake Palace has a total of 66 rooms and 17 suites namely Bada Mahal, Khush Mahal, Ajjan Niwas, Phool Mahal and Dhola Mahal. These exotic rooms are bejeweled with carved arches, paintings, crystal work, stained glass work, inland stones of pink and green lotus petals.
The rooms and suites give a magnificent look of the Lake Pichola. There are restaurants which serve Indian as well as European cuisines. This hotel is famous for Jiva Spa, outdoor pool, and yoga center. You can go for a boat ride on Lake Pichola provided by the Taj Lake Palace itself.
The Taj Lake Palace is undeniably one of the most luxurious properties across the country. It is invariably featured in the lists of all ‘Most Luxurious’, ‘Most Romantic’, ‘Best heritage Property’ that can give you an idea how travelers across the world praise the property. The palace’s beauty is well-known in the entire world and makes one of the most sought-after sights for travelers visiting Udaipur!
Have you ever been to the Taj Lake Palace? If yes, then share us your views on the most romantic hotel in the world, in the comments below!
Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the final capital of the erstwhile Mewar kingdom, located in the fertile circular valley – “Girwa” to the southwest of Nagda, on the Banas River, the first capital of the Mewar kingdom. Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained safe from Mughal influence in spite of much pressure. The rajvansh of Udaipur was one of the oldest dynasties of the world. In the recent years Udaipur has become very popular destination for people from all over the world! Being born and brought up in Udaipur, it will always be a HOME to me, I have often met people who either start swooning after only hearing the name or they ask me what’s so great about Udaipur apart from the Royalty and the lakes!!! Well this blog is my answer to them…
Udaipur is known as the city of lakes which one can read all about on the net, Here are My top 10 reasons!
1. The Lakes:
Lakes make a perfect backdrop to the romantic setting of Udaipur. Udaipur is truly famous for its beautiful lakes and watercourses. The city is popular by the phrase of ‘The City of Lakes’. The Picturesque lakes offering fabulous view of the mountains make Udaipur, a dream destination of every tourist. Since ages, these lakes have been providing water to the city dwellers.
Located in the heart of the city, Pichola Lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur. In 1362, the beautiful lake was built by Pichhu Banjara during the ruling period of Maharana Lakha.
Fateh Sagar Lake is the second artificial lake of Udaipur, the first being Jaisamand lake. Built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh, Fateh Sagar Lake got its name from Maharana Fateh Singh, who later made additions to it.
Jaisamand Lake is renowned for being the second largest artificial lake in Asia. Located at a distance of 48 kms from the city of Udaipur, Jaisamand Lake is also known as Dhebar. In 1685, Maharana Jai Singh built this lake while making a dam on the Gomti River.
On a 40 Acre Island in the midst of Jaisamand Lake is another resort worth going to stay called Jaisamand Island Resorts, it is the only resort in North West Region of the country to be built on a Private Island of 40 acres. Jaisamand Lake and the Sanctuary are rich in fauna with counts of over 300 bird species. So it is a must stay for all those Bird lovers!
Udaipur is at it’s best during monsoons, surrounded by the Aravali ranges on all sides, the rains during monsoons are what make the entire city look lush green. The Temperature drops, the sky stays overcast and the roasted corn on Fatehsagar , long drives on Rani road slow drives on Badi lake are just a few things that make you fall in love with this city!!
3. EklingNathji Mandir:
Eklingji Temple is one of the most famous temples of Rajasthan. Located in the town of Eklingji (Kailashpuri), the place got its popular name from the temple. The temple boasts of a striking four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva) that is made out of black marble. Its height ranges around 50 feet and its four faces depict four forms of Lord Shiva. The east-facing part is recognized as Surya, the west-facing part is Lord Brahma, the north-facing part is Lord Vishnu and the south-facing part is Rudra i.e. Lord Shiva himself. The zenith of the multifaceted idol is known as ‘Yantra that stands for the ultimate reality. The Shivlinga garlanded by a silver snake, acquires the major attraction of people. For one seeking solace, the cool, beautiful and calm surroundings of Ek Ling Nath Ji Temple are a must visit.
4. Shilpgram Utsav:
It takes place in December around Christmas and so I always wait for this Utsav to begin! As the name suggests it actually is an UTSAV, not only the local craftsmen but craftsmen from all over the country participate in it. Shilpgram is a miniature man-made village, so every year during winters there are not only stalls of clothes but also of craft, jewellery and eatables! The entire day just flies once you are here. As the sun sets in the backdrop..the evenings are the best time of the entire day, cold breezes and the typical Rajasthani good of Dal, Bati, Choorma and the Raab!! The hot food served with warmth and lots of love by the people here, accompanied by the Rajasthani folk dancers and folk singers just add to a whole new level of amazement; hearing them just takes you to a whole new world. There are many activities for kids too, but Ladies be sure you wear Flats or Shoes and not Heels!! We wouldn’t want swollen feet now do we!!?? 😉
5. Hariyali Amawas Mela/Fair:
It is one fun-fair which takes place only in Udaipur during monsoons, to be precise in the month of August! As the name suggests, it is to welcome the rains and the greenery it brings along.
Being a 2 day fun-fair celebrations, it has one day exclusively for men and the 2nd day for women! The entire road right from Fatehsagar till the road of Saheliyon ki Badi, everything stays jampacked and closed for vehicles! The only fair where you still get the village version of a yo-yo called ‘Ullu ka pattha’ No! I’m not abusing!! It’s what they’re called…they are basically water-balloons suspended by a rubber string!
6. Gangaur Festival:
Celebrated till date in the same way as it used to be during Udai Singhji’s reign!! His highness Arvind Singhji Mewar has ensured that this festival has the same essence to it as it did when he was a child! Attending the Gangaur festivities brings back memories of childhood and makes one proud of belonging to Udaipur, to Mewar!! Hats off to him for keeping it alive till now and celebrating it with the same zeal and enthusiasm.
Yes u read it right!! Shopping in Udaipur is one of its kind. Silver is the best thing to pick up, you get excellent jewellery and show pieces made of silver in Lal-Ghat area and the entire Palace Road! There are silver pieces which one would not find anywhere else in the world. Then there are Stoles which are famous, you get all kinds of work, whether you want plain, shaded, printed work, Jamawar work etc are just a few to name! For women who love buying borders or old sarees(like me), Palace Road is the place to go! There are awesome tailors in the city area who stitch kurtis, jackets, sherwani’s etc very nicely and very quickly! You get very unique and cute suits and ghagras for little kids and grown ups too, here in the city and jootis too!
8. The Erstwhile Royalty:
To get the feel of how the erstwhile Royals lived during the golden years one MUST visit The City Palace! It is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur. It is often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It was Maharana Udai Singh who initially built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions made by his successors. City Palace has several gates that are known as “Pols”. ‘Bara Pol’ (Great Gate) is the main gate to the City Palace complex that leads to the first courtyard. On passing ‘Bara Pol’, one comes across a triple arched gate, which is known as ‘Tripolia’. Between these two gates, are visible eight marble arches or Toranas, where Kings used to weigh themselves with gold and silver. Besides Tripolia, there is an arena where elephant fights were staged. After ‘Tripolia’, one enters the ‘Elephant Gate’ or the ‘Hathi Pol’.
The highest point of this Palace is Amar Vilas which has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers and terraces. City Palace is structured in a way that it offers a splendid view of the lake from all its Balconies, cupolas and towers. It has amazing interiors with delicate mirror-work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silver work, inlay work and colored glass. The exquisitly carved work of City Palace cannot be confined in words. To experience the beauty and to capture the real picture of this grand palace it is a must to visit this palace.
In a country less known for its romantic getaways, Udaipur offers tranquil nights, splendid strolls, and an exotic seduction that’s hard to resist, making it an ideally romantic honeymoon destination for newlyweds.
Right from long drives at Rani road and Badi Lake to dining out in places like Jagat Niwas, Sunset Terrace and Ambrai(to name a few) with the perfect view overlooking the Lake Pichola, cool breeze blowing and mouth watering food, one can’t help falling in love with this picturesquely beautiful city
10. Jagdish Temple:
This imposing white Hindu temple, with intricate architecture and carvings, is an unmissable landmark in the Lal Ghat area near the entrance to the City Palace. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1961 and houses a black stone idol of Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). The highlight there is the evocative Aarti every sunrise and sunset.
Udaipur should not be visited for all the reasons given above…. NO!! Udaipur should be visited for an experience of a lifetime and to make your own reasons to come back!!
My name is Amrit. I am a candid wedding photographer who shoots and travel all over India. I am here to share a picture story for UdaipurBlog.com from a couple-shoot that I did for Akshata & Akash in Lake Palace Udaipur. Aakash was in US when he first contacted me. I was absolutely delighted to hear that the shoot would be in the Lake Palace. I had been to Udaipur and had the seen the iconic hotel from outside. But had not been inside. So this sounded like a a great opportunity to not only visit the wonderful property but also get to take pictures.
After few weeks since Aakash first contacted me, I finally met him. In the Lake Palace hotel. I had met Akshata before – in a wedding that I had shot in Chennai. I still remember how she came to me during that Chennai shoot and said ‘hi, I am Akshata’. And I asked her if I knew her. And then she told that she was the same Akshata who had booked me to shoot her during her honeymoon, once she gets married to Aakash. And I was like ‘oh, so you are that Akshata’. And finally, I was there. With them, during their honeymoon. In a wonderful place. In the middle of a beautiful lake.
We spent around four hours together and shot in every nook and corner of the Lake Palace. They were pretty much in love with each other and the wonderful chemistry brought magic to a lot of pictures. I would let the pictures speak for themselves now. Hope you like some of them!
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.
TripAdvisor – The World Largest Travel Website that helps user to post Travel Reviews, Travel Suggestions in an engaging interactive travel forum and review section has just released its 10th Edition of Travellers’ Choice Awards. To our amazement our Udaipur’s – Taj Lake Palace bagged the No. 1 Hotel in India as well as ASIA. 🙂 This rating was based on the Travelers review.