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Rajasthan's Mewar region encompasses dramatic hills, shimmering lakes, deep valleys and much more. It is a Land rich in royal heritage, with romantic water palaces, historic hilltop forts and beautiful gardens. Explore the beautiful region with its rich cultural heritage, visit its numerous picturesque villages and you will discover that the charm of Mewar is undoubtedly unique.

Udaipur the enchanting city is dominated by its lakes, its marble palaces, and its beautiful gardens. The founder, Maharana Udai Singh, was overcome by the misfortunes that his old capital of Chittaurgarh had to face. Weary of the repeated attacks that he had to face, Udai Singh sought the help of a holy man and asked him to suggest a safe place for his new capital.

Udai Singh was advised to shift his capital to the banks of Lake Pichola. The holy man assured him that his new capital would never be conquered. The city of Udaipur was thus founded and grew around the lakes.

The city Palace is the focal point of the city and has several areas of interest like the Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Bhim vilas, Chini Chitrashal, Mor Chowk, the Zenana Mahal, Fateh Prakash and Darbar Hall. Located close to the City Palace is the Jagdish temple with its imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. The abundance of water in Udaipur made it possible for the town planners to design some well laid out gardens. There were the spots where the Maharanis would come to enjoy the natural surroundings amidst the beautiful flowers and fountains. The 18th century Sahelion Ki Bari, or the garden of Maidens ,is a popular tourist spot with its fountains and delicately carved kiosks and elephants in marble.

Udaipur has other attractions like the Gulab Bagh, Doodh Talai, Jag Mandir, Magri, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Ahad the Sajjangarh Palace. As you move around this beautiful city there is lot that catches the eye, its as if the city has been laid out with the tourist in mind. Thankfully, with a growing awareness towards conservation, numerous heritage sites have been preserved. The Ahar village and Museum are of great archaeological importance. A little further away from the city are the Shri Eklingji Temple complex which houses 108

temples. Nagda where the temples of Saas-Bahu, or Shastrabahu and Adbhutji are worth seeing. More temples can be found at Rajsamand and Kankroli, located 60 Km from Udaipur. Nathdwara is a renowned centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of Krishna and Vishnu alike. Its is a town devoted totally to the Shrinathji Temple and all activities in this little town revlove around the famous temple of Shrinathji.

Let yourself be carried away by the religious atomosphere as you wander around the small market with tiny shops selling portraits of Shrinathji, beads, silver and mementoes and other related items. While you're there don't forget to try the special prasad or temple offerings and sweets that are popular with the devotees.If any one fort of Rajasthan had to be singled out for its

Eklingji Temple

glorious history and its stories of heroism then it would be the fort of Chittaurgarh. Countless tales of this rugged fort and the battles fought here by its legendary heroes fill the pages of history books. Equally well known were the Maharani's of Chittaur. As you explore the fort and its various palaces and temples do look out for Rani Padmini's palace. The beauty of Padmini attracted the Sultan of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji so much that he set out to attack the fort and win her in battle. A fierce battle was fought, 7000 warriors lost their lives but the Sultan could not get Padmini. The Maharani, with her entire entourage, committed Jauhar. It is one of Chittaurgarh's most enduring stories and one that is told and re-told countless times.

Chittaurgarh Fort

Travel to the west of chittaurgarh to reach the second most important bastion of Mewar-Kumbhalgarh. Covering an area of 12 sq. Km this formidable fort fell only once to the army of Akbar and that too becasue the water supply was contaminated by the enemy forces. Even today, it is one of the most inaccessible forts of Rajasthan and reached with great difficulty. It served as a refuge to the rulers of Mewar in times of strife and contained within its ramparts alomst an entire township . Some
areas of interest are the palaces and temples and water storage tanks. It is at a height of 1100 metres and if you walk along the ramparts you can get some excellent views of the countryside. Today most of the surrounding area has been turned into farmland but in the olden days these were the grounds on which many a battle was fought. The fort is also significant for being the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. This region is famous for its marble, miniature paintings, Kundan and meenakari work and clay and wooden products. The colourful mud panels of Molela available in Udaipur.