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Destination of the Month

Udaipur

This city draws its beauty from the numerous lakes set amidst the green Aravalli Hills in the desert state of Rajasthan. The hue of clear blue waters of Lake Pichola is definitely a sight to vouch for as this destination gets its title as the 'Most Romantic city in India' apart from being globally acclaimed as 'Venice of India' and the 'City of Dawn'. Udaipur was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 AD. Here one witnesses the 17th century palaces made from sandstone and marble duly adorned with amber, colored glass, and fountains. With Japanese-style gardens, and a string of canals connecting the various artificial lakes, Udaipur truly defines a royal city which we all have dreamt of sometime or the other. City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Udaipur which is perched peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. A grand panoramic view of Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir on one side and Udaipur city on the other is offered by the City Palace. Built by Maharana Udai Singh in 1725, this palace of marble and granite today is home to the 74th Maharana of Udaipur, Shri Arvind Singh and his family. The City Palace Museum is the jewel in the crown of this magnificent City Palace. The museum allows you to flip through the pages and immerse yourself in the history Mewar. The interiors adorned with priceless artwork in the museum, truly reflects the ardor of Udaipur.

Lake Pichola is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes in Udaipur. This lake was created in the 15th century and a dam across was also created in that period. Later Maharana Udai Singh II strengthened the Dam and widened the lake, as he was building his capital on the shore of this beautiful Lake. A boat ride in this picturesque lake is a lifetime experience. The spectacular view of the sun setting beneath the mountain ranges in the backdrop of the lakes is a sight to behold as the color of sky gives a reddish tinge which beautifully engulfs the entire area.

Udaipur also is home to Fateh Prakash Palace which is well renowned for a bevy of crystal beauties proudly displayed for public viewing. The Crystal Gallery as it is known boasts of the largest private collection of crystal in the world. Maharaja Sajjan Singh had ordered the mesmeric collection from F&C Osler, a Birmingham based company in 1877. Unfortunately, he died before the collection arrived. These beautiful artefacts remained unpacked for 110 years before finally seeing the light of the day in 1994.

Talking of vintage and not mentioning the collection of vintage cars would be unfair. Like all Aristocrats, the kings and royalty of Udaipur truly indulged in collecting priceless objects d'art. This includes a great collection of some of the best cars in the world during those times. These were the cars which people could perhaps only dream of. Some of the earliest cars were custom made to suit the elegant and extravagant taste of the Maharajas. Enjoying a ride in a Vintage Car, while moving from one place to another in this romantic abode surely makes one feel like the Kings of Yester Years.

The breathtakingly beautiful Lake Palace in the middle of Lake Pichola leaves one gasping for breath as one delves deep into the architectural marvel and beauty that it has portrayed for centuries. Indeed a marvelous haven for that someone truly special in your like, the Lake Palace is worth visiting and the moments worth capturing for a lifetime. And yes all those who have seen Roger Moore as 007 in 'Octopussy' would surely relate themselves with the location. Lake Palace and Udaipur city truly acted as catalysts in making this Bond film a Hollywood epic. Built by Maharaja Jagat Singh II, the palace is an exemplary piece of exquisite architecture. One should definitely consider taking a heritage walk of this hotel, as at Lake Palace, romance surely gets redefined.

Just 22 kilometers from Udaipur is the famous Eklingji which is regarded as one of the most renowned temples of Rajasthan. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. The temple is known for its astonishing architecture. Also, Eklingji temple has a prominent four faced idol of Lord Shiva nowhere else to be seen. Another famous temple in Udaipur which also reflects a fine masterpiece of Indo-Aryan Art is Jagdish Temple. This temple dedicated to the preserver of universe Lord Vishnu has a spectacular of architecture that embraces exquisitely carved pillars, decorated ceilings, and painted walls. Nagda is famous for the Sas-Bahu Temple (Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law). The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is made in two structures - one by a mother-in-law and another, by a daughter-in-law. The temple is recognized for housing many wonderful carvings.

Roughly 64 kilometers from Udaipur is the iconic Kumbalgarh Fort. Being the second most important Fort after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region, Kumbalgarh Fort was built in 15th Century by Rana Kumbha and is surrounded and supported by Aravali Ranges. This fort served as refuge to the baby king Udai of Mewar and also holds sentimental significance for being the birthplace of Mewar's legendary King Maharana Partap. Kumbalgarh truly offers a mesmeric panoramic view of the surrounding areas.

Udaipur is well connected by air, rail and road; hence planning a vacation with family is easy. Besides, there is a wide range of hotels to choose from.

How about visiting the Venice of India this time with someone special in your lifeā€¦..!!!