Discover a land that glitters with tales of courage, valor and undying pride of the famed Sisodia Rajputs. Listen to soul stirring ballads sung by local bards, see Udaipur 's architectural glory and experience the haunting Udaipur romance on your historical tours to fascinating Udaipur - a scintillating vision in cream-white. Royal Udaipur owes its existence to Maharana Udai Singhji.
According to common legend the history of Udaipur begins with a chance rendezvous between Maharana Udai Singh on a hunting expedition and a holy sage meditating on the banks of a lake in the midst of the Aravlli's.
The hermit advised the Rana to build a city at that spot and Udai Singh built the Dhuni Mata shrine at that very spot to commemorate this historic meeting.
Udaipur's history began with the construction of the Nouchouki palace on the banks of a pond dug by a gypsy in the 15th century. Udai Singh extended this pond and dug a massive manmade lake and christened it Pichola after a tiny village Picholi, located close by.
A suryavanshi and a descendant of the Sisodia Rajputs who are the oldest ruling family in the world with a traceable history of over 26 generations, Maharana Udai Singh created a dream city that is an oasis with lakes, wildlife, flora and fauna in the midst of desert Rajasthan.
The Capital of Mewar, Udaipur refused to pay obeisance to the mighty Mughals. After the death of Udai Singh, his valiant son Maharana Pratap took over the royal throne and was engaged in constant power skirmishes with the Mughals with an aim to recapture the erstwhile capital of Mewar, Chittor.
A landmark in the history of Udaipur, the fierce battle of Haldighati was fought in between Akbar and Maharana Pratap. Till date you can see a delightful shrine that was constructed in the memory of Chetak, Maharana Pratap's beloved horse, who in spite of suffering fatal injuries had brought its master to safety from the battlefield.
Foundation of Udaipur
Once the capital of Mewar, Udaipur was founded by Rana Udai Singh after the fall of Chittor to Akbar in 1568. Although the Rajputs were thrown out of their capital they never gave up their sense of freedom, choosing to give up their lives lives for dignity and honour instead. Legend says that Maharana Udai Singh was out hunting one day and he came upon a sage seated beside the Pichola Lake. The sage said that the king would build his palace at the same site, and then the fortunes of his family would change. The Maharana built a small shrine, Dhuni Mata, to mark the spot which is now the oldest part of the City Palace. Udai Singh chose the site of Udaipur for his new capital and built an artificial lake named Udai Sagar after himself. Later he hit upon a pond said to have been made in the 15th century by a banjara (gypsy).
The Architecture Expension of City
The gypsy had built a dyke upon a stream for his bullocks cross over. Udai Singh further extended this pond and created one of the most picturesque man made lakes in Rajasthan. The Rana named it Pichola after the neighbouring village of Picholi. His new capital was established when in 1559 he built a small palace, Nochouki, on an overlooking ridge. Other buildings and structures soon mushroomed around the palace. With successive generations the marble and granite palace of the Rana spread out, always allowing an architectural excellence quite unique to the Mewar dynasty. The city palace went on expanding until it could claim itself to be one of the largest palaces in the world.
Udaipur remained Untouched from Mughals
Sisodias, offshoots of the Chauhanas who ruled the Mewar region, were against Mughal dominion and tried every trick possible to distance themselves from them. Udaipur remained untouched from Mughal religious and aesthetics influences and remained so till the coming of the Europeans. Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911. This fierce sense of independence earned them the highest gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Bikaner, Kota and Karauli. Udaipur retained its romantic quality and Rosita Forbes, who passed this land of bravery during the decline of the British Raj, described it as "like no other place on earth."
Sisodia Kings who ruled from Udaipur
Rana Udai Singh II – reigned 1568-1572
Maharana Pratap Singh – reigned 1572-1597
Rana Amar Singh I – reigned 1597-1620
Rana Karan Singh – reigned 1620-28
Rana Jagat Singh I – reigned 1628-54
Rana Raj Singh I – reigned 1654- 1681
Maharana Jai Singh – reigned 1681-1700
Rana Amar Singh II – reigned 1700-16
Maharana Sangram Singh II – reigned 1716-34
Rana Jagat Singh II – reigned 1734-51
Rana Pratap Singh II – reigned 1752-55
Rana Raj Singh II – reigned 1755-62
Rana Ari Singh II – reigned 1762-72
Rana Hamir Singh II – reigned 1772-78
Rana Bhim Singh – reigned 1778-1828
Maharana Jawan Singh – reigned 1828-38
Maharana Swaroop Singh – reigned 1842-1861
Maharana Shambhu Singh – reigned 1861-74
Rana Sajjan Singh – reigned 1874-84
Maharana Fateh Singh – reigned 1884-1930
Maharana Bhopal Singh – reigned 1930-55
Maharana Bhagwat Singh – reigned 1955-84
Maharana Arvind Singh from 1984-