Udaipur is a beautiful city in India, picturesquely situated on the hills of Aravalli in the state Rajasthan. Udaipur is a significant historical place, which obligatory has to be visited. This city is an original natural fairy-tale. It is called the Venice of the East, because of its magnificent and magnetic lakes. Besides its lakes, however, Udaipur is popular with its palaces and temples, each one of them more gorgeous and extravagant than the other.
But nowhere the majesty and the wealth of the local meharana are not so strongly demonstrated than in the enormous City palace in Udaipur. Because being a maharana means to have never lost a battle, and this makes you great and someone should tell stories about your majesty.
The City Palace
In fact the City palace in Udaipur is one romantic place, which is immersed in its overwhelming story. In the past the rulers used to measure their superiority in gold and silver in this palace, as later the wealth was given away to the poor people. A legend narrates that one day, while he was hunting, Udai Singh received a blessing by a sainted man, who meditated on the hill above the lake. Namely this man advised maharana to build a palace on this place.
The series of palaces in the complex of the City palace in Udaipur are put behind an exquisite facade with length 244 meters and height 30,4 meters. The whole of this complex is regally alighted on the ridge Eastward from the lake Pichola. Because of the location of the palace, its balconies, towers and cupolas offer excellent views.
The whole palace complex has been built for a long period of time, as the beginning was put in year 1559. After Udai Singh another 76 generations of the Sisodia dynasty. Several maharana, beginning with Udai Singh II, have contributed for this building, this unique conglomeration with distinctive architectural design to transform into such a historical and cultural heritage. The palaces in the complex are connected within themselves through several quadrangles with zigzag corridors, which have been planned deliberately, in order to be avoided surprising attacks by foes.
The complex of the city palace in Udaipur is provided with a post office branch, bank, tourist agency, numerous craft shops and an Indian boutique, which belongs to the World Wild Nature Fund (WWF). The whole complex is ownership of the royal family Mevar with different trusts for maintenance of the structures.
The city palace in Udaipur is built by maharana Udai Singh from the dynasty Sisodia and it has been enlarged to its today’s look by every next ruler. In the past the city palace in Udaipur has been the biggest palace complex in Rajasthan, and today it is an impressive conglomerate of fabulously decorated buildings and private apartments with outbuildings, which have been added by the next maharana.
The city palace was built simultaneously with the establishment of city of Udaipur, as the maharanas used to live and rule their kingdom from this palace, as this way they have transformed the palace into a complex of important historical landmarks.
As a whole the City palace in Udaipur is built out of granite and marble and it rivets the look with its copper colour. The buildings and the fence walls of the palace combine in themselves the traits of the European and Chinese architectures, it impresses with its hanging gardens and octagonal towers, with its mind-blowing fountains and balconies, from which is revealed view towards its only rival in beauty and magnificence in the city – the Lake palace.
In the main part of the facade of the palace in Udaipur is found room for a small museum, which has preserved a collection of works of art and artefacts, among which are distinguished heraldic objects and models.
The rooms of the City palace in Udaipur are also „a work of art” – beautiful drawings, complex stained glass, mirror tiles and colourful enamel. Pleasure, splendour, majesty. Comfort, luxury, superiority. Every part of the palace should whisper about this. Nowadays the palace is still dwelled by the today’s maharana, but the visitors can be guests without problems and live like kings in the former guest section, which today is the luxurious Shiv Niwas hotel. The fame of the City palace in Udaipur is not connected only with the majesty of maharana. Glory of the palace also bring its visitors. The spacious premises with views towards the lake in the past used to be hospitable towards the shah of Iran, the king of Nepal and Roger Moore. The name of the latter is entered in the annals of the palace, since he lived here several months, while he entered into the part of James Bond during the shooting of the film Octopussy in year 1982. The antique furniture, which fill the king’s apartments have remained as heritage from the private collection of the maharana, and the enormous beds are one of the things, with which the visitors in this magical hotel are spoiled.
The most appropriate time to visit the City palace in Udaipur is October-March. The city palace is accessible from city of Udaipur, which is well connected with road, railway and air connections with the rest part of the country.