December 29, 2016

5 Historical facts about Udaipur that you did not know

Image credit- The Leela
Udaipur used to be the seat of kings and princes. Today, it retains its old world grandeur with a dash of modern charm.

Udaipur is certainly a scenic city worth many visits. What is great about it is that despite the demands of modern life, it has remained largely intact in terms of its history. If you are looking to get a glimpse of India’s rich Rajputana history today, you would do well to take a trip to Udaipur – and start by booking yourself into Udaipur palace hotel.

Here are some historical facts about Udaipur you may not have known:

1 A friendly capital for the British. Udaipur did not face political upheaval when the British invaded India, and it was in fact made the capital city of Mewar in 1818. However, the local kings were not in favour of the foreigners ruling them, and Maharana Fatah Singh showed open rebellion by not attending the Delhi Durbar held for the coronation of King George V in 1911. However, the Brits remained friendly till the end. Before independence, Maharana Bhupal Singh assented to Udaipur merging with the new Republic of India.

2 A great big lake. The famous Jaisamand Lake in Udaipur is Asia’s second largest, and India’s largest artificial freshwater lake. It is also known as Dhebar Lake, and was built in 1685 by Maharana Jai Singh, while building a dam on River Gomati. It is over 14 km long! Even the dam adjoining it is a massive 1,200 feet long and 116 feet high. It is said that the lake holds seven islands, one of which is inhabited by the Bhil Minas tribe.

3 A palace with a view. The Sajjangarh palace is a derelict site with interesting beginnings. The story goes that this 19th century palace was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh as a site to watch the night skies. Soon it became a palace that offered a beautiful monsoon retreat and hunting grounds. Today, it falls under the aegis of the Indian Government and is in ruins, but visitors still come here to watch the stunning view around and the Sajjangarh sanctuary at its base.

4 The second biggest ‘wall’. We’ve all heard about the Great Wall of China, the largest such edifice in the world, but who has heard of the second largest? You will be surprised to note that the wall of the famous Kumbhalgarh Fort is second to China’s Great Wall, and it is located in Udaipur. The Fort was built by Rana Kumbha from Mewar, and is now included in the Rajasmand District.

5 Welcome to the animal fair! This quaint tradition has been in force for centuries now. It is said that this wonderful animal and handicrafts fair is held to worship Lord Shiva and draws devotees from far and wide. It is held at Baneshwar in February and is mostly attended by tribal people. It was originally meant to be an annual gathering of the Bhil community, but today, many others join in. Apart from the animal and cattle fair, there is live music, magic shows, handicrafts sale etc.

P.S.: This is a sponsored post.

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