Beside shimmering Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city's natural charms. If Jaipur is the pink city and Jodhpur the blue, Udaipur is the city of cream, rose and honeysuckle hues. The huge, cupola-crowned City Palace lines the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, with its balconies gazing out at Udaipur's other famous landmark, the Lake Palace - a fairy-tale confection that seems to float on the lake's waters, gleaming by day and spotlit by night. Eastward, away from the lake shore, extends a tangled inner city of lanes lined with homes, temples, shops and businesses that is fascinating to explore.
It's tag of the most romantic spot on the continent of India' was first applied in 1829 by Colonel James Tod, the East India Company's first Political Agent in the region. Today the romance is wearing ever so slightly thin as Udaipur strains to exploit it for tourist rupees. In the parts of the city nearest the lake, almost every building is a hotel, shop, restaurant, travel agent - or all four rolled into one. Ever-taller hotels compete for the best view, too many mediocre restaurants serve up near-identical menus, and noisy, dirty traffic clogs some of the streets that were made for people and donkeys.
Take a step back from the hustle, however, and Udaipur still has its magic, not just in its marvellous palaces and monuments, but in its matchless setting. Allow yourself a few days to enjoy the tranquillity of boat rides on the lake, the bustle of its ancient bazaars, its lively arts scene, the quaint old-world feel of its better hotels, its scattering of genuinely good restaurants, its endless tempting shops and some lovely countryside to explore on wheels, feet or horseback.
The old city is bound by the meagre remains of a city wall, with the train station and bus stand both just outside the city wall to the southeast. Udaipur's aesthetically challenging urban sprawl ranges out beyond.
The city of lakes Udaipur was founded in 1559 AD. as capital town of the former Mewar state by Maharana Udai Singh on the eastern banks of the lake Pichola. The city has a rich hinterland consisting of natural flora and fauna. Its location amidst the Aravali ranges provides numerous natural beauty spots. Its historical monuments in the forms of Palaces, Havelis, Temples, Kunds, Bavaris surrounded by the hills and a pleasant bracing climate have favoured its growth from a small princely town to an important urban tourist and mineral - trade center.
The Palaces and the old City are surrounded by fort walls constructed in the year 1770 with 9 gates. In raising the city and its monuments, different communities specializing in their own crafts co-operated and participated, living in different streets, localities and Mohallas, irrespective of their cast or creed. For generation they have lived harmoniously next to each other.
The city has a population of 5 lacks (plus) with an area of around 100 sq. kms. The lanes, streets and Mohallas of Old City are named after the inhabitant craftsmen casts and communities. The growth of the old city beyond the city walls is extending day to day, thus cannot be accounted by the influx of new population. This is due to the factors of socio-economic and historical significance such as establishment of several marble and mineral based and other varied developments. The historical ethics that Pichola ro pani pacho lave (Pichola's water calls back), is true that the lakes are main features and lifeline of this city but beyond this the harmony and tolerance of the habitants of this heritage city also invites the peoples to stay here.
The peaceful co-existence and communal cultural harmony has promoted the new industrial & business enterprises to establish here. The industrial peace and peaceful environment has increased the potential of trade & business developments in this region. Availability of raw material and increasing infrastructural facilities have created a wider scope for industrial development and generating employment in both product and service based industries.
The city has also witnessed rise of major social and educational institutions in keeping with the growth of the city, like ML Sukhadia University, Maharana Pratap Agriculture University, Vidhya Bhawan, Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth), Medical College, Railway Training Institute, Engineering & Management institutes, many private educational institutes, training centers etc. The development of IT industry has a larger scope due to the well equipped IT training centers in city. These developments explain the transformation of the old princely town to a large developing & modern business center. However the traditional wisdom still dominates the intellectual some of the city's art and cultural heritage even now.
Besides the city in the new millennium offers better opportunities for hospitality of tourists, visitors in all kind of luxurious and economical class hotels, resorts and heritage resorts in city and around. In hospitality this city is well known Zinda-dil Shahar . The cultural concept of our Indian Society Vasudhev kutumbakam still reflects well in culture of this city. In the present scenarios of the Kashmir Udaipur valley has become the alternative Kashmir.
Udaipur is also known the city of NGOs from independence movement to Lake Awareness Program and Capacity Building of Tribal & marginalised people of Adivasi Anchal the NGOs has been playing significant role. From freedom fighter Motilal Tejawat to founder member of constitutional committee Master Balwant Singh Mehta and till now many social workers are devoted to their aims and objects, have created a history and projected the Udaipur city on the national & international canvass. There are many institutions & NGOs working and intervening substantially in respected areas.
The city of Udaipur, strategically girded by spectacularly green, lofty and minerally rich Aravali hills and steel-blue lakes, nestles at about 1900 feet above sea level on the crossing point of 75 °E. Longitude and 24 °N. Latitude in the south-east of Rajasthan. The old city is mostly on a hillock and new extensions are on plain level. The old city is enclosed by a massive wall 5 feet thick and about 20 feet high and having about a 6-mile-circumference which was constructed during 1615-1734 A.D. The wall has 10 gates.
Climate of Udaipur is quite salubrious and moderate throughout the year being shunned from all the rigours of weather, viz., snow-falls, teasingly torrential rains, floods and extremities of temperature. Climatic data are as follow:
Average annual rainfall:
About 600 mms (25 inches).
Winter 28.3 c Max. and 11.6 c Min. Summer 44 c Max. and 22 c Min.