The city of Udaipur in Rajasthan is one of the most famous tourist spots of the state. As with all the major cities of Rajasthan, Udaipur has a large number of historic monuments that reflect its past glory. The City Palace in Udaipur is the most prominent among these and is regarded as one of the most remarkable palaces in Rajasthan. It stands proudly on the banks of Lake Pichola, which is a famous water body in Udaipur.
Construction of this elegant palace is attributed to Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. He is also the founder of the city of Udaipur. Rulers after him continued to add to the building, parts of which have been converted into a luxury hotel in recent times. Along with the other famous landmarks of Udaipur, like the Lake Palace, the City Palace in Udaipur is one of the highlights of tourism in Rajasthan.
The architecture of this fascinating medieval structure is a fine blend of European, Chinese, and traditional architecture of Rajasthan. Granite and marble have been extensively used in the palace. The entrance to the palace is through an impressive gateway called the Hathi pol or elephant gate. Two other gates have to be crossed to enter the palace. These are the Bada Pol and the Tripoli Gate. After crossing the latter, one enters a vast courtyard where elephant fights and other royal recreations were staged in the days of the Maharanas. A beautiful palace called the Moti Mahal (palace of pearls) is the major attraction to be seen in this compound. The Suraj Gokhada is a structure from where the rulers used to address the people.
As one enters further into the palace, several structures present themselves with all their glory and grandeur. The main buildings today serve as a museum. The Krishna Vilas is one of the buildings in the compound, and it exhibits a fascinating collection of paintings and other art work reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. Near the entrance, the armory showcases a collection of the weaponry of the medieval ages. The Manak Mahal is another place where a large number of porcelain and crystal artifacts are on display. Another palace, known as the Bhim Vilas is known for the beautiful paintings of Radha and Krishna that adorn its walls. The Dilkhush Mahal and the Zenana Mahal are the other structure that reflects the mastery of the builders in their intricate interiors and marvelous frescoes.
The other important structures within the City Palace include the Mor Chowk, which has colorful glass mosaics depicting peacocks in various seasons, the Sheesh mahal, with its intricate assembly of mirrors, and the Chini Chitrashala, with its Chinese and Dutch tiles depicting a variety of themes.
Tourists must not miss the art gallery at the Laxmi Vilas Chowk, or the hanging gardens of Amar Vilas. Two palaces, namely, the Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace have been converted into hotels. The Crystal Gallery is a must watch place at the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel. One of the highlights of a tour to the City Palace is the panoramic view of Udaipur city and the Pichola Lake.
For all the grandeur and architectural brilliance of this historic building, the City Palace is undoubtedly among the top tourist attractions in Udaipur.
To know more about the City Palace in Udaipur, and the other tourist spots in Rajasthan and India, log on to touristplacesinindia.com.