Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Udaipur - The city of lakes :
The city is one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan adorned with beautiful gardens, marble palaces and lakes which make Udaipur look like the mirage in the desert. Udaipur is also known as the “Jewel of Mewar” because it was ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for a consecutive duration of 1200 years. There are many places of tourist interest in Udaipur that make one’s journey unforgettable embedded with cherishable moments.Connectivity :By Air: Udaipur is well connected by air to to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai.By Road: Udaipur is well connected by rail with Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Chittaurgarh and Ahmedabad.By Road: Udaipur is well connected by road to Jaipur (400 kms), Jodhpur (275 kms) and Ahmedabad (260 kms).Highlights of thr city :The most memorable site of Udaipur is its Lake Palace, shimmering like a jewel on the Lake Pichola which was the former residence of the princes of Mewar and today is a magnificent luxury hotel.Lake Pichola: Hills, splendid temples, fantastic palaces, bathing ghats and embankments, encircle this beautiful lake which was built by Maharajah Udai Singh. The two breathtaking palaces namely Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) can be seen amidst this lake.City Palace: The City Palace lies on the banks of the Lake Pichola and happens to be an assortment of rooms, long corridors, open terraces, pavilions, hanging gardens and courtyards. The City Palace of Udaipur was built in 1559 and must be visited for all the tourists. It offers a clear view of the "Jag Niwas" (Now the Lake palace hotel) and the "Jag Mandir". The Mor-Chowk or Peacock courtyard and the Chini Chitrashala are striking features of City Palace with a series of wall paintings of Krishna.UdaipurErected in 1651 by Maharaja Jagat Singh, this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in the centre of the old city. The temple has a black marble image of Lord Vishnu, which is unusual for the northern part of the country, where statues of Gods are normally in marble.Sahelion Ki Bari: The "garden of the maids of honour" or Sahelion-ki-Bari was designed and built early in the eighteenth century as a retreat for ladies of the royal household to spend their time in leisure. The lotus pool, fountains, lawns, flowerbeds, and marble pavilions all together make it a captivating place.Eklingji and Nagda: Nagda, the ruined remnant of an ancient capital of Mewar, is situated 20km northeast of Udaipur and dates back to the 6th century AD. A few kilometers away is the famous temple complex called Eklingji. There is still a majestic pair of 10th century Vaishnavite temples, known as Saas-Bahu - literally "Mother-in-law" and "Daughter-in-law". The temple was erected in 734 A.D and contains 108 temples within its enclosure. The shrines are dedicated to the presiding deity of Mewar, Eklingji, an aspect of Shiva.Nathdwara: Nathdwara or "Gateway to God is situated 48 km from the city and is an important pilgrim center of the Hindus. It houses one of the most respected 17th century temple - Nathdwara, which pulls thousands of devotees from all over India especially during the festivals of Diwali, Holi and Janmashtami. The shrine, dedicated to Krishna - known as Nath, the most worshipped incarnations of Vishnu, is said to be the second richest temple in India after Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The radiant Pichwal paintings, which adorn the main sanctuary of the temple, are known for their eternal charisma and grace.Ranakpur: Ranakpur, a collection of temples, is situated 90km north of Udaipur and is one of the five holiest places of the Jains. The shrine is proud of graceful marble works, which can be compared to the famous Dilwara group of temples at Mount Abu and Shatrunjaya near Palitana in Gujarat.The prime shrine called as Chaumukha temple, a four faced temple, is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar, the ford maker, whose four-faced image is kept in the sanctum sanctorum. It was constructed in 1439 on land donated to the Jains by Rana Kumbha of Mewar.Other temples are dedicated to Parshvanath and Neminath. In the same compound is a contemporary Hindu temple in honour of lord Surya, the Sun god.

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