Events History and Culture

Udaipur: A blessing turns 466 year old today

Every city deserves a birthday celebration, a royal one deserves after party. According to tradition, Maharana Udai Singh founded Udaipur on this day i.e. Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej in 1553. Today on the foundation day of this beautiful lake city where all lakes are man-made. Let’s go through some of the important stories that everyone out needs to know. Udaipur was a strategic foundation as it is surrounded by Girwa valley that is approximately 20 Km in length and 15 Km broad. Aravalli range separates Mewar from the desert area of Rajasthan. A circular fertile Girwa valley was a perfect place to settle our future in.

A history that was created:

Travelling in past always interest people because the city we live in has a part of us and that is roots. Walking on the roads of the city and thinking about how things reached here, how this valley turned into a city beautiful. The brilliant time of wonder of Chittorgarh that started with Bappa Rawal and proceeded under Rawals Khumaans to Maharana Sanga (Sangram Singh 1509-1527) lost its unmistakable quality after Sanga’s demise. The third child of Sanga i.e. Maharana Udai Singh II, luckily rescued the circumstance through balanced and venturesome standard. The political circumstance in India was changing quickly which the youthful Maharana needed to battle with.

Maharana Sanga
Maharana Sanga

The Portuguese built up themselves on the western bank of India with the new weapon of fighting the mounted guns, they set up themselves on the western shoreline of India-beginning in 1509 with development of ports and posts at Calicut, Cochin, Pulicat (Podouke), Goa, Bombay, Cambay, Diu, lastly landing in Gujarat by the 1530s. The Mughal ruler Babur set up himself in the north in 1526. He as well took the response to the new innovation of mounted guns. With the assistance of Portuguese, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat effectively attempted and tried the adequacy of cannons fighting on Chittaurgarh in 1535. They needed to inspire the Muslim ruler with the end goal of getting a decent footing on the Gujarat coast. They were likewise the primary “merchants” of black powder and gun in India. This viewpoint needs thought particularly in connection to the general discernment that Babur presented mounted guns fighting in India. Actually Portuguese beat the Mughal ruler by 25 years!

Maharana Udai Singh | Source: Eternal Mewar

With this foundation of an unfriendly and unstable north, a southern kingdom outfitted with new innovation and his own home in turmoil, Maharana Udai Singh admirably chose to conform to the changed circumstance in and around Mewar with “Krishan-Neeti”.

A Silent Warrior:

In around 1568, when Chittorgarh was attacked by Mughal Empire then Maharana moved his kingdom to Udaipur and hence the purpose of founding the city was served. Now the kingdom was defended by nature. The tall hills of Aravalli range fought hard all these years in the favour of Maharana. A silent knight.


It might interest you those Aravalli Hills are now broken beyond repair. What nature has given us we all know but maybe we don’t know how to return the favour. Inside one age, millions who once discovered it the hub of their sustenance, are presently accommodated to the loss of one of the planet’s most established physical highlights. This notwithstanding the way that a great many villages have announced changes in the nearby environment after the mountain range’s corruption, with critical effect on the general population’s lives. Knowing history might be easy but to preserve history is a task. A task for all the generations living the era that was gifted by the descendants.

Let’s take a pledge to preserve the beauty of the city and steer towards some interesting dates and facts about ‘Our Udaipur’.

1931- 1st cinema Hall – Mewar talkies

1943 1st Bank – Bharat bank ltd.

1915, 1st-time electricity was utilized in the palace.

1960 Feb 6, 1st flight from Airport-  Air India (Delhi –  Jaipur – Udaipur – Ahmedabad)

jag mandir island during the 18th century

Jag Mandir was the Inspiration for Taj Mahal: Shah Jahan mother was a Rajput woman, Maharana Karan Singh remained him securely inside the Jag Mandir Palace that was noted as ‘Gul-Mahal’ at the time. Shah Jahn adjacent to his better half and children were solid safe in Gul Mahal, it’s equivalent that sovereign religion got awed by the structure of Gul Mahal and planned Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the earth.

Your Ultimate Guide to Monsoons in Udaipur
Udaipur- Kashmir of Rajasthan

Udaipur is also known as the ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’: Udaipur is created like Kashmir once it comes regarding its beautiful landscapes, exciting sights and if truth be told a great thing about lakes. One more reason that connects Kashmir to Udaipur is that each of these cities is positioned on valleys that results in their spectacular beauty.

City palace
City palace


Maharana Udai Singh designed a six-kilometre-long town wall, with seven gates: Significantly Surajpole, Chandpole, Udiapole, Hathipole, Ambapole, Brahmpole are worth capturing. The realm among these walls and gates continues to be said the Old City or the walled town.



The sculpture of Queen Victoria is presently show-cased among the Saraswati Bhawan Library: In February 1890, a sculpture of Queen Victoria was unveiled among the Gulab Bagh. With the sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi stands amidst the luxurious garden;  collectively the Saraswati Bhawan Library in Gulab Bagh was initially called as ‘Victoria Museum’.

Historical places in Udaipur and the history behind them
Source: Pinterest


Sahastra-Bahu (Sas-Bahu) Temples is on a list of India’s Heritage Monument: Sahastra-Bahu Temples area is magnificently noted as ‘Sas-Bahu’ temples. Historical records say, that Sahastra Bahu means ‘Vishnu with one thousand arms’ but the native stories suggest a definite tale. They’re situated in Nagda at Udaipur, Located 20 km away from the city.

The curious case of Hare: Maharana Udai Singh II is said to have established his new capital city of Udaipur when he chased a rabbit/hare at Akshay Tritiya chase in the Girwa Valley, somewhat northwest of Ayad town. Same way chasing rabbit/hare Ahmedabad and Sirohi was found by their respective founders that too on Akshaya Tritiya.

Samor Gardens, Shiwaniwas Palace and Old Palace, Udaipur
Old Palace, Udaipur

With these stories, history is left open-ended. There is still a lot we need to know about this magical city, a book with empty pages where words need to be discovered to uncover. In the end, clinking glasses with the lakes, hills and aura of this city. We wish Venice of east a very Happy Birthday!

History and Culture

World Heritage Day: Udaipur Heritage, the strings attached to past       

In the year 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites decided to celebrate 18 April as World Heritage Day. It was a step taken towards spreading awareness about monuments and other sites which are a part of our history. Udaipur is one of the most prominent cultural heritage signatures of Mewar.

Future generations have the right to live history through these heritage sites and hence they should be preserved. Udaipur – The Venice of East, a beautiful city guarded by the Aravalli range, was founded in the 16th century by Maharana Udai Singh. Since it was a circular piece of fertile land in between Girwa valley, it was declared as the capital of Mewar. The prosperous cultural heritage legacy was received by the different generations of rulers. City Palace, Jagdish temple, Saheliyon ki Bari, Ahar Cenotaphs, Monsoon Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli and many such locations in Udaipur act like a bridge between the generations.

City palace
City palace

A sense of royalty can be felt through the architecture of such sites. With each passing day, each monument of the city repeats the story to every visitor and this story needs to be conserved. Safeguarding of heritage sites is very important because they give a sense of identity and continuity in a fast-changing world to the coming generations. Heritage sites basically reflect the culture of the city.

Let’s go on a roller coaster ride through the heritage sites of the city or wait, rather, let’s walk together across the city. While walking towards the old city you see Gulab Bagh on your left and vintage car museum on your right. The transition from new to the old city is worth noticing and can be seen through the gates and architecture of houses. When the lanes start to narrow down, it means you are close to witnessing something magical.

City Palace:

City Palace, 1910
City Palace, 1910

The palace complex situated on the east bank of Lake Pichola was constructed over a period of 400 years when the capital was shifted from Chittor district. The palace constantly got several modifications by other rulers of the dynasty. It was mostly constructed in Rajasthani style with a touch of Mughal architecture. It is designed so beautifully that it overlooks several other historical sites such as Lake Pichola, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace and a perfect view of the entire city. Crystal gallery is the major attraction in this complex.

Jagdish Temple:

Jagdish Temple
Jagdish Temple

Moving ahead, when the streets will shrink further, a treat to eyes is guaranteed. On a junction of three roads, Jagdish Temple is situated. 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 the preserver of the universe Lord Vishnu. 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 them succeed. Thank god a unique specimen of architecture was saved for us.

Saheliyon ki Bari:

Saheliyon ki badi
Saheliyon Ki Badi

Tired already? Let’s take an auto to Saheliyon ki Bari which is approximately 4 Kms away from the core of the city. Saheliyon ki Bari’s heritage talks about a group of forty-eight young women attendants who came with the princess as a part of her dowry. It is a major garden of the city and was built in the year 1710 by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal ladies. Imagine a historic garden built for a queen. Royalness of this place is refreshing.

Ahar Cenotaphs:

Ahar cenotaph complex
Ahar cenotaph complex

Now moving toward the destination where these great creators of this dynasty are buried. It has a total of 372 cenotaphs of around 19 Maharanas who once ruled the city. This spectacular field of domes was built approx. 400 years back. Most attractive cenotaph that you will be able to spot will be of Maharana Sangram Singh, go look for it and the newest was built in the year 2004 of Udaipur’s last Maharana, Bhagwat Singh. After a walk of 150 m from Ahar Cenotaphs, you can find Ahar government museum which contains copper and pottery objects that are around 3300-years-old.

Tip: Observe the silence here.

Monsoon Palace or Sajjan Garh:


We can’t walk to next destination but I bet the way to that place is an adventure in itself. 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 from there monsoon clouds could be seen coming towards the city. It was originally constructed by the royal family of Mewar and is now owned by the forest department of the government of Rajasthan but you don’t need to worry about that. 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 heaven during Monsoon.

A view of the old city

There are many such locations around which will take you back in time. On every location, one can stand and feel that the place has been standing there for a long time and knows the secrets that you might be interested in.

On this World Heritage Day, let’s take a pledge of preserving these locations on our part. Engraving names of your loved ones won’t make you a hero but preserving cultural heritage can make you one. Also, good knowledge to have, there are dustbins around these locations, please use them and don’t litter. Not just one day, make every day as Heritage Day. Come and celebrate this auspicious day like a festival because these monuments are none less than time travel machines.

Featured Travel

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