Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by hills, Udaipur grew in complete contrast to the harsh deserts of the rest of Rajasthan. As the capital of the old Mewar State, it was the only Rajput stronghold to uphold its Hindu allegiance in the face of Muslim invasion. This fairy – tale city, with its marble palaces and lakes surrounded by a ring of hills, was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559. The city is dominated by 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.

Like Jaipur, other cities in Rajasthan too have their own forms of handicrafts. Udaipur is particularly famous for its miniature paintings. These paintings show a strong influence of Rajput and Mughal art. Another famous art form is the Pichwai Painting which are mostly devotional paintings depicting Lord Shrinathji on various materials like silk, paper, wood, marble or ivory. These paintings are patronised by the Mewar Rulers. You will find tie dye here too but a little different in patterns and colours from the one you see in Jaipur or Jodhpur. Another speciality of this region is the Thewa Jewellery which originated from a place called Pratapgarh near Udaipur. Thewa is the intricate art of fusing gold sheet work into brightly coloured pieces of molten glass.

Udaipur is known as the city of Lakes and is a beautiful landscaped city with snaking roads that take you from one hill to another and one lake to another. City Palace and Museum is a must visit for every tourist. The largest palace complex in India, it is a blend of Mughal and Rajput influences. Also, see the 17th century Jagdish temple, drive around the Fatehsagar Lake, and visit the Sahelion ki Bari (the Garden for the Maids of Honour), an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and marble kiosks. Also visit-worthy is the Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir or the Folk Art Museum.

Most popular tourist activity here is evening boat rides on the 4 km long and 3 km wide Lake Pichola, which is fringed with hills, palaces, havelis, ghats, embankments and temples and offers spectacular views of the city.The Jag Mandir Island showcases an exquisite Gul Mahal Pavilion.

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