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City Palace Udaipur
The majestic white City Palace located in the heart of Udaipur, was
originally built by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia Rajput clan
and extended to its present form by subsequent Maharanas. Built in
granite and marble and surrounded by crenellated fort walls, the largest
palace complex in Rajasthan stands on a crest overlooking the Pichola
City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Uday Singh initiated
in the construction of the palace but succeeding Maharanas added several
palaces and structures to the complex retained a surprising uniformity
to the design. The entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol, the Elephant
gate. The Bari Pol or the Big gate brings you to the Tripolia, the
Triple gate. It was once a custom that the Maharana would weigh under
this gate in gold and silver.
The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and
paintings. Manak Mahal or the Ruby Palace has a lovely collection
of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas display a rich collection
of miniature paintings. Moti Mahal or the pearl palace has beautiful
mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The
Surya Chopar or the sun square depicts a huge ornamental sun symbolising
the sun dynasty to which the Mewar dynasty belongs. The Bari Mahal
is a central garden with view of the city. Some more beautiful paintings
can be seen in the Zenana Mahal or the ladies chamber, which leads
to Lakshmi Chowk a beautiful white pavilion.
Approach to the city palace is through the 'Hati Pol' or the 'Elephant
Gate'. The 'Bara Pol' or the 'great gate' leads to the first court,
which joins Tripolia or the 'triple gate'. Between the two gates are
eight carved 'toranas' or arches, which mark the spot where the rulers
were weighed against gold or silver, the equivalent value of which
was then distributed among the poor. Beyond the Tripolia is the arena
where the elephant fights were staged.
The path then leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping pavilions,
terraces, corridors and hanging gardens- a harmonious profusion hard
to describe.The soft cream coloured central 'Chhatri' has facing of
blue coloured tiles with massive octagonal towers crowned with cupolas.
The Sheesh Mahal has inlaid mirror work. The Krishna Vilas has a series
of miniature paintings, which are witness to the royal processions,
festivals and the game of 'Chogan'.
The Chini Chitrashala is famous for its Chinese and Dutch tiles, the
latter of which has depiction of Biblical scenes including the flight
to Egypt. Radha-Krishna stories are painted on the walls of the Bhim
Vilas. The glass mosaic gallery with its superb stained glasses and
portraits afford a panoramic view of the Udaipur city below. The Mor
Chowk has a brilliant mosaic of peacocks set in the walls showing
the three seasons: summer, winter and monsoon. There are exquisite
terrace gardens with fountains in the Amar Vilas.
There is also a museum in the fort which houses the armour of the
valiant Maharana Pratap and the drums & bugles of Rana Sanga,
another Mewar ruler.
How to Reach
Air : Indian Airlines daily connects Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur,
Aurangabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Dabok Airport is 21 Km. from the city
centre and transportation by taxi takes 35-45 minutes. Indian airlines
office, Delhi gate- Ph 410999
Rail :The Railway Station is about 4 Km. from the city centre. Udaipur
is directly connected by rail with Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Chittaur,
Jodhpur and Ahmedabad. For Reservation and Enquiry at the Railway
Station, Contact Tel.: 131, 527390, 483979
Road : Udaipur is connected by National Highway No. 8, the major road
link between Mumbai and Delhi. The Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh
and Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation operate buses to Udaipur
from various regions. Private bus companies also operate in the region
during night hours. The State Transport Bus Stand is on City Station
Road, NH 8, Udaipur, for reservation and enquiry contact Tel. 484191.