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The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance

About Udaipur

Ask any Udaipurite and they will tell you what the City of Lakes means to them. The love for the city is immense when we talk to the people of the city. Udaipur is a beautiful and scenic city, encompassed by lush Aravali Ranges. The lakes of Udaipur are interconnected, forming a unique lake system. The city sits amidst the peaceful milieu of a dense thicket and people from all over the globe come and experience the tranquil.

The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance
Photo Courtesy: Lala Deen Dayal

History of Udaipur

In 1553, Maharana Udai Singh shifted his capital from Chittorgarh to a fertile valley region which later got its name as Udaipur. How did his happen? Let’s read further!

This valley was famous in the past for Ayad (Ahar River) for being a bustling trade town in Mewar region. But Ayad was flood-prone. He foresaw that Bahadur Shah or the campaign of Sher Shah Suri may arise.

Maharana Udai Singh had realized the advantages of the hilly areas when he was residing in exile at Kumbhalgarh. He decided to move his capital to a secured place and chose the eastern side of Lake Pichola. This was the place where he had met a hermit, Goswami Premgiriji while hunting in the ranges. The hermit blessed him to build a palace at the shoreline of the Lake, now known as Pichola. So, he decided to shift the capital from Chittaurgarh to Girwa Valley.

The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance
Photo Courtesy: Lala Deen Dayal

The valley, at the eastern part of the Aravalli Hill Range, was fed by two perennial rivers -Ayad and Sisarma, they merge further downstream to form Bedach River. This strategically located Girwa valley was endowed with a natural defense system, which made it as an ideal location for human settlement. Further, there was the lake Pichola which could suffice the water needs of his people. Also, the hills of Aravalli provided natural fortification and the hilly region made it difficult for armored Mughal horses to climb.

The foundation day

Taking all aspects into consideration Maharana Udai Singh founded the city on the auspicious Aakhaa-Teej day of 1553 CE (Akshay Tritiya, Vaishaakh Sudi Teej, Saturday- April 15, 1553).

The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance
Photo Courtesy: Lala Deen Dayal

In 1567, when Mughal Empire was threatening Mewar and captured Chittorgarh fort, Udai Singh built a large, six-kilometer long wall to protect Udaipur from attacks. The wall had seven gates. Even today, this region is called as the walled city of Udaipur.

Mughal Emperors Akbar (1576) and later on by Aurangzeb (1680) attacked the city and the city’s terrain proved to be an advantage for the Maharana.

Maharana Udai Singh also constructed a major masonry dam to the east of the capital city which he named after him as Udaisagar.

After the change of the Capital

The Maharana encouraged people of all castes & communities to settle in the new city for which he liberally granted lands.

The nobles and traders also settled here with the construction of their havelis, while the general masses constructed ordinary houses. Step wells were also constructed in addition to the bathing ghats on Pichola’s banks.

The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance
Photo Courtesy: Lala Deen Dayal

Maharana Jagat Singh-I (1628-1652) further added more rooms to the Palace that Maharana Udai Singh built and further developed Jagmandir island palace and temples in the city. Over the centuries, four more water bodies were added to Pichola to its north- Amar Kund, Rang Sagar, Kumbhariya Talab (an extension to Swaroop), Swaroop Sagar.

What happened after the Mughals?

Later on, when Mughal Empire became weak, Sisodia called upon themselves independent and reasserted Udaipur and other areas of Mewar except for Chittorgarh. Though Mughals tried to recapture Udaipur and its nearby areas, it remained by the Sisodias until it became a princely state under British control.

The History of Udaipur: The City at A Glance
Photo Courtesy: Lala Deen Dayal

Today, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar is the 76th custodian of Mewar Dynasty.

Quick Facts about the City of Lakes Udaipur

Area: 64 sq. km

Date of establishment: In the year 1553

Founded by: Maharana Udai Singh

Location: Southern part of Rajasthan state

How to reach:

  • By air- Maharana Pratap Airport Udaipur,
  • By rail- Udaipur railway station
  • By road- Ahmedabad (256 km), Chittorgarh (115km), Alwar (348 km) Jaipur (418 km), Jodhpur (255 km), Kota (248 km) and Jaisalmer (508 km),

Best time to Visit: September to March

Languages Spoken: Hindi, English, and Rajasthani (Mewari)

Famous delicacies: Daal Baati Choorma, Baajre ki Khichdi, and more.

Source: andbeyond

City Overview:

The city of Udaipur located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. The abundance of lakes and the Aravalli Range that acts as a border and separate the city from the Thar desert makes the city differ in the climate as well as terrain.

For more photos of Old Udaipur, Click Here



Travel Udaipur Speaks

10 Reasons You will fall in love with Udaipur!

Mother nature has been very kind to Udaipur when it comes to natural beauty. The City of Lakes offers something to everyone, the kind of beautification that can make you fall in love with, irrelevant of your personal tastes. It would be difficult for someone to visit Udaipur and not find a part of it stunning. Let’s see why –

1. Aravallis:

Aravalli hill range
Photo via:

The city of lakes lies in the lap of nature cushioned by an eroded stub of range of ancient folded mountains boasting some stunning views which conquer hearts. Blessed with beauty, Aravallis are gifted with appealing and serene sights that sooth minds away from the city commotion. Nestled in the aravalli hill ranges, one cannot help but get lost in its landscapes. This range offers a tranquil scenic beauty with unlimited composure.


2. Lakes:

fatehsagar udaipur

Known for its forte, the Lakecity offers unadulterated beauty to eyes of the viewers giving them a new vista with every glimpse. Fatehsagar lake, Pichhola, Swaroop Sagar, Udaisagar, Dudh Talai and lakes alike run in competition with each other in showcasing their ecstatic beauty. You find yourself in a complete dilemma regarding comparison of these lakes in the daytime when beauty emerges in its vibrant colours with the time they are decorated with stars in the starry night.


3. Palaces on Lakes:

Taj Lake Palace
Taj Lake Palace – Photos From

Crowned with palaces on mountains, the historic capital of the former kingdom of  Mewar procures forts and temples like Sajjangarh, Neemach Mata, Karni Mata that deliver a complete and a scenic view of the whole city. This relaxing sight cannot be described as anything but beautiful regardless of in what context and respect.

Being the home for palaces like Jag Mandir, Lake palace etc. these can make you stop and stare in sheer awe for hours. It is when looking at it in the dark hours at underneath glassy lakes when it truly appears to be beautiful and somewhat magical.


4. Strong historical base:

Palace, Udaipur
City Palace Photo, Udaipur

Peeping into the history we learn about brave kings of Mewar specially the legendary kings Maharana Udai Singh, Maharana Pratap, Amar Singh who set examples of bravery and chivalry. Udaipur city is pompous about its royalty which it acquired from its Rajput rulers which is the reason why it is a storehouse of fascinating monuments and ancient temples.


5. Handicrafts:

handicrafts in udaipur
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Since ages, Rajasthani handicrafts have fascinated the world with its creativity and craftsmanship. These reflect rich tradition and culture of Udaipur and tell stories of its heritage. Etched with beautiful designs these handicrafts hold their own identity leaving you completely mesmerized.


6. Hotels:

hotel mahendra prakash udaipur

Udaipur stands first in India when it comes to beautiful and best budget hotels. The reason behind being the most famous tourist destination is besides making your stay comfortable these hotels offer a bravo combination of luxury and natural beauty which separates it from other tourist spots across india. Possessing a royal historic background is also one of the reasons you will wish you had planned a longer stay.


7. Monsoon:

Monsoon in Udaipur

Nothing can stop you to fall in love with rejuvenating combination of monsoon and city of lakes. The colours of the city seem all the more vibrant and intense at this time. People seem to have a renewed sense of purpose, and a genuine appreciation for the rains. Everything comes alive. It brings with it a lot of energy and emotion, and any form of celebration of its arrival seems acceptable and is worthy of changing moods.


8. Fests and Fetes:

Festivals in Udaipur

Freeing udaipurites from the routine monotonous work, season-oriented fests like Haryali amawas, Gangaur Mela give them a dose of mental and physical relaxation. To the visitors and residents every fest and fete like the Shilp Gram Mela conveys a beautiful message pertaining to the customs, traditional values, culture, mythology and even historical events with a touch of great patriotic flavor. They are rich, harmonious, varied and colourful. This celebration of life brings peace and joy to masses.


9. Peaceful city:

peaceful udaipur
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Away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities, Udaipur isolates itself in an untroubled zone which makes it peaceful. Besides lesser crimes and less traffic, the town is on its own way to development which is adding to the beauty of the city day by day.


10. People of Udaipur:

people of udaipur
Photo via:

Last but not the least, The city of lakes possesses a quality population which is willing to reach out and help when you are in need. Udaipurites are adaptive to changes, willing to accept new ideas and are ahead of many cities in fashion. The town witnesses rapid growth in number of malls, multiplexes, educational institutes etc. which demonstrates active participation of the people of Udaipur.


Article by: Divyani Nagar