India, or Bharat, is etched in the mind of the world as some place that refuses to step out of a storybook. It has contributed its share to the modern world of drones and space cameras, and even then, by some secret contrivance, can manage to remain steeped in essence in the centuries long past.
India’s tourism is all historical glamour, and few places make the heart of the traveller on a quest happier than Udaipur. Talk about the best of both worlds- in weightage, it is important enough to rule the administrative dealings of its geographical location, and in aesthetic value, it is at the very top thanks to a bevy of historical architecture which tells without effort tales of the days gone by. From palaces to gardens, from culture to aristocracy, a delightful exploration of Udaipur’s historical places throws up no small quantity of delights.
- The Lake Palace
There are civilizations that grow up around rivers, and cities that grow up surrounding mountains. The common factor here is the one thing central to a settlement, and in the case of Udaipur, its the exceedingly remarked Lake Pichola. The Lake Palace is built along the eponymous lake, and is one of the major historical attractions here. It was built by Maharaja Jagat Singh II of the Mewar dynasty, named after him and used as a winter getaway. It used to facilitate the creed of Sun worship for devotees, and has been featured in popular media like in the James Bond movie franchise.
- Saheliyon Ki Bari
Very relevant to a culture of the world that is getting increasingly feminist and feminocentric, Saheliyon Ki Bari, built by Rana Sangram Singh, features on this list as something meant exclusively for female use. It was meant to accommodate 48 ladies who helped the queen usher in her married life, away from the public eye, much like Hawa Mahal. Its name literally translates to “House of the Maidens”.
- Sajjangarh Palace
Here comes another piece of wonder from the Mewars-The Monsoon Palace or Sajjangarh Palace constructed by Sajjan Singh. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Udaipur. It has received media exposure in both real worlds and fictional, in James Bond and in Bengali literature about Chittaurgarh. Even in those times, modern forethought about this palace was advanced enough to consider converting this into an astronomical high-rise, which plan had to be curtailed. It is located in the Aravalli Hills.
- Jag Mandir
Situated, not unusually, on iconic Lake Pichola, and built, not unusually either, by Mewar kings, is this palace Jag Mandir. It was constructed by three different monarchs, and it gets it name from distinctive elephant statues at the front which make it easy to spot from visitors on the lake afar. It has other titular constructions like the Bara Patharon Ka Mahal, called so due to the abundance of stones it is built of. The historical significance of the place is notable, with links to one of the most powerful clans to ever have ruled India, the Mughals.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort
Having a site in a country that is acclaimed by the whole world is a matter of immense pride, and that is what this fort brings to India, being a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the most important historical fort in its surroundings and is one of the must visit destinations in Kumbhalgarh, and boasts of being the place where Maharana Pratap took birth, among other things. It was constructed by Rana Kumbha, and has architectural styles that immediately put one in mind if the Great Wall of China, and not without reason-it is the second largest wall in the world (yes, that’s a thing) after the very same.
The old world coupled with the new makes for a tourist experience like no other, and that is precisely what Udaipur has in store to offer. With electrifying views, historical heritage in diverse forms like palaces, forts, lakes and museums, and being one of the development heavyweights of the country, Udaipur is enough to make any thoughtful traveler book his dates.