The White City of India: Udaipur, The City Of White Palaces

Udaipur is a city situated in the southern part of Rajasthan. Flanked by the Aravali hills, Udaipur has a lot of different titles and names associated with it including being called the City of Lakes, The Kashmir of Rajasthan, and of course, The White City of Rajasthan. It is surrounded by different lakes such as Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake and so on - hence, giving it the popular title of The City of Lakes. 

Which City is the White City of Rajasthan?

Udaipur is called The White City of India, because of the large number of Rajput - style palaces, and the main City Palace built in the middle of the city. Back then, the Rajput kings built palaces made of marble. Hence, the colour white is prominent in different marble palaces of the city. The houses in the town are also mostly painted white, thus justifying the title.

Architecture in the White City Of India

1. Palaces

The main City Palace complex is the most historical place in the city. As mentioned earlier, all the palaces were built with marble and granite - thus giving it a distinct white colour. The architectural design was a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal designs with marble and mirror work throughout the palace.

2. Havelis/Houses

Havelis of Udaipur
Another distinct architectural feature of Udaipur is a Haveli or an Aristocratic house. The Haveli consists of a vast courtyard, with rooms around and above it. There are different areas within the home that are kitchens, and different regions for grounding spices. There are separate sections for men and women, private rooms, and a parlour or a waiting area. Havelis have decoratively arched doors and windows that distinguish them from a common man's house.

Forts and Palaces 

1. City Palace

City Palace

City Palace is the most famous tourist spot in the city of Udaipur and the construction using marble and granite gives it a distinct white colour. The City Palace has several other palaces within its complex. It occupies an area of over 800 feet in length and about 100 feet in height. The interiors of the mansion are beautiful with coloured glass, mirrors, marble work, etc. It has several balconies with a scenic view of the city.

The palace was built for over four centuries, with different rulers taking over the construction. It consists of different sections and monuments such as the Sheesh Mahal, the Durbar Hall, the Badi Mahal, etc. The Sheesh Mahal, as its name suggests, is entirely made of mirrors, and is a popular tourist attraction. The Durbar Hall is the royal banquet present in the Fateh Prakash Palace. So when you visit the white city of India, don't forget to visit the City Palace and admire the beauty of Lake Pichola!
Address: Old City, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313001
Time: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Ticket Price: INR 300 / INR 100 for students with ID card

2. Fateh Prakash Palace

Fateh Sagar Palace

When in Udaipur, you can find a few palaces, near the City Palace, which are now luxury hotels. Fateh Prakash Palace is one such palace - turned - hotel, built to fulfil the common man's dream to live life king size (quite literally). It is found within the City Palace Complex. This luxury palace hotel offers royal amenities like a fine dining restaurant, a waterfront bar, a spa, balconies with lake views, etc. All this, while you get an exclusively close look on the rich heritage of Udaipur.
Address: City Palace Complex, City Palace Road, Silawatwari, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313001
Check-in Time: 2 PM
Check-out Time: 12 PM

3. Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace

Another white, marble palace built in the city of Udaipur was the Monsoon Palace. This palace is also known as the Sajjan Garh Palace and is placed atop a hill that overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake and Lake Pichola. This mansion was built to watch and monitor monsoon clouds and hence was named appropriately.

The Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary surrounds the Monsoon Palace, which was initially a hunting spot for the Royals and is preserved by them. It is now home to various species of birds, reptiles, tigers, Nilgai, etc.
Address: 11 Monsoon Colony, Sajjan Garh Road, near Mewar Garh Hotel, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313001
Palace Timings: 8 AM - 6 PM
Ticket Price: INR 10 for Indians / INR 80 for Foreigners

4. Jag Mandir Palace

Jag Mandir Palace
Named after the last Maharana Jagat Singh, the Jag Mandir Palace is situated on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola and is also called the Lake Garden Palace. It has four carved elephants on the lake side of the palace, the Gul Mahal which has Mughal architectural influences, and the flower garden that has different types of fragrant and non-fragrant flowering plants. The Jag Mandir Palace is accessible by a boat from the Bansi Ghat jetty.
Address: Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313001
Time: 10 AM - 6 PM
Ticket Price: INR 325 (for adults 1-hour boat ride)
INR 165 (for children 1-hour boat ride)
INR 225 (for adults 30 minutes boat ride)
INR 115 (for children 30 minutes boat ride)

5. Kumbhalgarh

Kumbhalgarh Fort is in the district of Rajsamand, on the western side of the Aravali hills. It is about two hours away from the city of Udaipur. It runs on for over 38 kms and is the second-largest fort in the country. The fort has many Hindu and Jain Temples, and the Lakhola Tank. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and people travelling to Udaipur should pay a visit.
Time: 9 AM - 5 PM (closed on Sundays)
Ticket Price: INR 15
Distance from Udaipur: 103.3 kms
The city of Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities in India. All the palaces and the lakes come together to make this city look scenic - hence, the title 'The Kashmir of Rajasthan'. The colour white depicts serenity, and the lakes and the marble palaces portray that to the fullest.

This post was published by Radha Iyer

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