City Palace of Udaipur is huge attraction for tourists. The legendary marvel built on the banks of Lake Pichhola has breathtaking architecture to attract. Its construction was started by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559 A.D. and took 400 years to complete. Due to different rules influence of Europeans, Chinese and Medieval panache is seen.
The fortification encloses courtyards, terraces, room, gardens, corridors and pavilions. The brief overview of gorgeous sections in the Palace is given below:
Gates (Pols): Granite and marble edifice has several arched gates or Pols.
Bada Pol: Enter to the complex courtyard through Bara Pol which is the first gate of City Palace. This pol in northern end was built in 1615.
There are 8 marble arches known as Torans, representing the eight times when Tuladaan, the custom where kings were weighed with gold and silver, were carried out under these.
Sheetla Mata Gate: The Sheetla Mata gate gives entry to the palace from south.
Tripolia gate: It is a broad triple arched gateway built in 1711. The beautified walls and parallel rows of waist high lamps are attractive. The pathway lined with numerous shops on either side opens into broad courtyard known as Manek Chowk or Bada Chowk. There is an arena where Elephant fights were staged.
Darikhane ki Pol: It is the main entrance to the palace interiors.
Toran Pol: Toran Pol is the exit of museum which opens in Manek chowk. The large tiger catching cage is set besides the pol.
Hathi Pol and Chandra Chowk Gate are the next gateways.
Palaces and chambers: There are 11 palaces in the complex.
City Palace Museum: Museum covers most part of the palace and comprises both Mardana and Zenana Mahal.
Salehkhana: Salehkhana is reached via Darikhane ki Pol. It was the state armory where arms of erstwhile rulers are displayed. This room was initially used as strong room. A small secrete door used to give access to guns, swords, pistols, cartridge etc. during war. Later righteous guests visiting the palace also added their weapons to the collection.
Surya Chaupar: Huge ornamented Sun lent this room its name. Mewar Maharanas were great devotees of Sun God so Maharana Karan Singh built this especial room. Huge gold sun is embellished with gemstones.
Amar Vilas: It has hanging gardens with fountains and pavilion built in Mughal style. The arcade encloses square marble tub. Amar Vilas leads to Badi Mahal.
Badi Mahal: Badi Mahal or garden palace has a grand central garden with variety of flowering shrubs and trees. Surrounded by arched pavilions and 104 intricately engraved pillars, the garden is dotted with fountains and water basin. The walls are decorated with 18th and 19th centuries Mewar style miniature as well as wall paintings. Here the cages of pigeons on display recall the use of pigeons as messenger in earlier times.
Amar Mahal: Amar Mahal displays general household things of traditional kitchen. The antique metal and clay pots with clay stove possess interesting addition between rich ornamentations.
Manak Mahal or Ruby Palace: It was enclosure for formal royal meetings. Small sun emblem of Sisodiya dynasty is illustrated on many parts of Manak Mahal but prominent insignia is seen on the portico of the palace.
Zenana palace: Built in 1600s the palace for royal ladies was used for wedding ceremonies. The arched Chowmukha pavilion turns vibrant during royal events.
Dilkhush Mahal: This palace was built in 1620. Palace of joy is decorated with fine and rare miniature paintings from Mewar School of art. The natural sun rays coming through coloured glasses of windows turns mild and coloured.
Moti Mahal: This ornate palace was used as residence of Rana Karan Singh ji. Bhim vilas and Pitam Niwas are part of Moti Mahal. Spectacular Bhim vilas is embellished with authentic life narrations of Radha-krishna.
Sheesh Mahal: This 1716 constructed palace was built by Maharana Pratap for his darling wife Ajabdeh. The walls are laid with mirrors everywhere and murals.
Krishna Vilas: Krishna Vilas is another chamber in City Palace that has vast collection of miniature paintings depicting processions, celebrations and games. A rather sad story behind Krishna Vilas made it popular. A royal princess committed suicide in dilemma of selecting groom for her between the prince from Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Mardana Mahal: In front of Manek Chowk this palace was developed for male royals.
FatehPrakash Palace: It is the newest addition to the complex which is converted into luxury hotel. Earlier females used to watch court proceedings from Durbar Hall of FatehPrakash and now its collection of artifacts gives a nail biting experience.
Laxmi Vilas chowk: Compile a selection of miniature paintings.
Ganesh chowk and Ganesh Deodhi: The whitewashed courtyard walls are painted with vibrant Rajput Style paintings. Ganesh Deodhi besides the chowk has a marble Lord Ganesh statue fabricated by Rana Karan Singh in 1620, figures and patterns in colorful glass inlay work around is an interest to tourists.
Rai Angan: It is the part of Mardana Mahal and an oldest structure of the palace. Maharanas were embrocated before ceremonies in this courtyard.
Manek chowk or Bada chowk: The large chowk is a beautiful space with fountains and lush grass to sooth the heat of Udaipur.
Mor Chowk: It is the most remarkable place of the palace. The beautiful glass inlay work and the three ornate glass peacocks with glass mosaics capture everyone’s heart. These peacocks represent the three seasons, summer, monsoon and winter.
Badi Chitrashali: It is an open air recreation area between Badi Mahal and Mor chowk. The blue coloured Chinese ornamental tiles are laid on the walls. On the front wall there are two big windows with glass panels with embedded small pieces of coloured glasses. Traveler would like to click photographs from its balcony.
Chitrashali: It is a gallery of Mewar school’s miniature paintings. These paintings are made on silk with genuine gold and natural colors.
Palanquins gallery: Large number of palanquins, elephant haudas and embellished horse-driven carts can take anyone into past. Also, the chairs on which Maharanas sit and were carried by four men are also exhibited.
City Palace is simple outside but glamorous inside. Delicate work, murals, paintings and inlays leave travelers speechless.
How to reach udaipur:
Udaipur is one of the most popular and well connected cities in Rajasthan, it is well connected through air and road links as well as railways and because of that a person traveling to Udaipur has all the options available and if a person is planing a road trip then also Udaipur is well connected to all the major cities of Rajasthan.
Maharana Pratap airport or Dabok airport is how the Udaipur airport is known as and it is well connected by daily flights from all the metro cities of India.
Udaipur railway station: It is known as udaipur city railway station (UDZ) and is well connected via rail route will all the major cities and town and trains are available round the clock also it is dotted with a number of hotels and lodges so if a person has not booked a place to stay can easily find accommodation here before starting his journey to the city of lakes .
by road connectivity: udaipur is connected to rest of the country through 3 national highways i.e NH8, NH48 , NH27 and apart from state transport buses there are a lot of private bus operators who connect udaipur to rest of the country and the kind of buses range from regular buses to sleeper coaches and Volvo bus service which is also operated by rajsthan state transport.