Founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559, Udaipur is often referred to as the “Venice of the East” and the “City of Lakes” and not without good reason.

Enchanting Udaipur, set in the Girwa Valley in the Aravalli Hills of south Rajasthan, is one of the most romantic cities in India, with white marble palaces, placid blue lakes, attractive gardens and green hills that are a world away from the surrounding desert. It became the capital of Mewar after the fall of Chittogarh in 1567. The rulers of Mewar, who belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs, traced their dynasty back to 566 AD. Fiercely independent, they refused matrimonial alliances with the Mughals, and took great pride in their reputation as the prime defenders of Rajput honour.

Udaipur is dominated by the massive City Palace, which overlooks Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces. Picturesque havelis, ghats and temples line the lake front, with the lively bazaars of the old walled city stretching behind them. A tourist favourite, especially for up-market Westerners, Udaipur has been a backdrop for numerous movies, including the James Bond flick “Octopussy”.


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