Udaipur is a major city, municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajput founded the city 1553 and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur. It remained as the capital city till 1818 when it became a British princely state and thereafter the Mewar province became a part of Rajasthan when India gained independence in 1947.Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination. Known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces.
Udaipur is located at 24.525049°N 73.677116°E The city covers an area of 37 km2 and lies at an altitude of 598.00 m (1,962 ft) above sea level. It is located in the southern region of Rajasthan, near the Gujrat border.The city lies 403 kilometers (250 mi) southwest of the state capital, jaipur and 250 km (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad.
Udaipur with its lakes lies on the south slope of the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan. The Northern part of the district consists generally of elevated plateaus, while the eastern part has vast stretches of fertile plains. The southern part is covered with rocks, Hills and dense Forest. There are two important passages in the Aravali ranges viz. Desuri Nal and Saoke which serves as a link between Udaipur and Jodhpur District.
The lakes of the city being interconnected form a lake system which supports and sustains the ground water recharge, water availability for drinking, agriculture, industries and is a source of employment through tourism. The lake system has three main lakes in its upper catchment area, six lakes within its municipal boundary and one lake in the downstream. The Udaipur lake system, arising out of the river Berach (Banas Basin) and its tributaries, is an integral component of the upper Berach basin. The upper Berach basin is a part of the Gangetic river system, wherein the river Berach meets river Ganga through the rivers Banas,Chambal & Yamuna.
The Udaipur Lake System can be divided into the following categories:
- Upper lakes:Lake Badi , Chhota Madar & Bada Madar.
- City Lakes: Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Swaroop Sagar, Rang Sagar, Kumharia Talab, Goverdhan Sagar.
- Downstream Lake: Udai Sagar Lake.
- River: Ahar River
Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta. The Shilpgarm is a platform where regional handicraft and hand-loom products is developed. Craft bazaars are organised by the Shilpgram, with an aim to encourage the regional arts and crafts, the handicraft and hand-loom works.
Udaipur, with its picturesque landscape, lakes, and historic palaces and architecture, is a major destination for most tourists, both domestic and foreign nationals visiting the state. With numerous hotels to serve visiting tourists, Udaipur is home to some of the world’s most renowned and the country’s best luxury hotels and resorts.The Oberoi Udaivilas has been ranked as the world’s number 1 hotel in 2015.The Taj Lake Palace and the Leela palace Udaipur are also amongst the most expensive hotels in the country.With various other renowned hotel chains present in the city, the tourism sector has been a fairly large contributor to the economic growth and fame of Udaipur.
- Metals and Minerals industries
Udaipur District is particularly rich in mineral resources as a large variety of important minerals are found here. Copper, lead, zinc and silver, industrial minerals like phosphate, asbestos, calcite, lime-stone, Talc (soap stone), barites, wollastonite and marble are the major driving resources behind the industries based in the city.Marble is exclusively mined, processed and exported from here around the world. The marble industry is well set and established with proper infrastructure and technological support for mining and processing. It is the largest sector giving employment to many people of the city and the immigrants from nearby areas. Udaipur is also home to the world’s second largest Zinc producer,Hindustan Zinc.
Agriculture like most other parts of the country, remains a leading sector in the city’s economy. The Major crops of the area are Maize and Jowar in Kharif season and Wheat and Mustard in the Rabi season.Pulses, Groundnut and vegetables like brinjals are some of the major food products grown in the city.The Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, along with its affiliated institutions, has been working towards identifying, designing, preparing and adapting new techniques in the field of production technology for agricultural development since its establishment.
Udaipur has both traditional as well as modern retail shopping destinations. The traditional markets include Bapu Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Surajpole, Nehru Bazaar, Bada Bazaar and Chandpole, while the areas including Durga Nursery Road, Shakti Nagar and Sudkhadia Circle provide opportunities to new entrants. Udaipur is also progressing towards a mall culture, and has witnessed many retail malls including Celebration Mall, Lakecity Mall, Arvana Shopping Mall, Chetak Shopping Mall, City Centre Mall, Mangalam Square Mall and R.Kay Mall.
Udaipur has received a rich cultural heritage from the bygone ages. The lakes, temples, huge forts and palaces boast about the rich legacy of this city. The city has kept a balance between preserving the rituals and traditions of the past while keeping up with the modern advancements and changes in lifestyle. Like any other place in the state of Rajasthan, folk dance and music have an important place in adding to the city’s cultural richness. The dynamic and vibrant dances of Bhavai, Ghoomar, Kachchhi Ghodi, Kalbeliya and Terahtaali add a sparkle to the rich cultural heritage of Udaipur.
Tourist attraction in Udaipur
Apart from the local attractions within the city, there are several charming places to see around Udaipur. Each place has a great legacy of cultural, spiritual and traditional history. Various such places with rich historical background and importance, lakes and forests and important religious temples and shrines are located nearby the city. Most of them are easily accessible by road and railways.