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Udaipur is a major city, municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district 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 was also voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. HISTORY Udaipur was founded in 1553, by Maharana Udai Singh II in the fertile circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, on the Banas River. The city was established as the new capital of the Mewar kingdom. This area already had a thriving trading town, Ayad, which had served as capital of Mewar in the 10th through 12th centuries. The Girwa region was thus already well-known to Chittaud rulers who moved to it whenever the vulnerable tableland Chittaurgarh was threatened with enemy attacks. Maharana Udai Singh II, in the wake of 16th century emergence of artillery warfare, decided during his exile at Kumbhalgarh to move his capital to a more secure location. Ayad was flood-prone, hence he chose the ridge east of Pichola Lake to start his new capital city, where he came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and guided him to build a palace on the spot, assuring him it would be well protected. Udai Singh II consequently established a residence on the site. In November 1567, the Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege to the venerated fort of Chittor. To protect Udaipur from External attacks, Maharana Udai Singh built a six kilometer long city wall, with seven gates, namely Surajpole, Chandpole, Udiapole, Hathipole, Ambapole, Brahmpole and so on. The area within these walls and gates is still known as the old city or the walled city. As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia rulers, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except for Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained safe from Mughal influence despite much pressure. At present, Arvind Singh Mewar is the 76th custodian of the Mewar dynasty. GEOGRAPHY TOPOGRAPHY 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 above sea level. It is located in the southern region of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. The city lies 403 kilometres southwest of the state capital, Jaipur and 250 km 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 CITYSCAPE 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: Lake Udai Sagar. - River: River Ahar. Watershed or the catchment areas include : - Bada Madar: 8780.48 ha - Chhota Madar: 2987.23 ha - Badi Lake: 1906.55 ha The city lacks an organised sewerage system and treatment facility for the solid wastes and sewage generated. With an absence of waste segregation, processing and scientific disposal facilities, the city's lakes have been facing increased levels of pollution, thereby threatening an ecological degradation. Five of the major lakes have been included under the restoration project of the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India in order to preserve the cleanliness of the water bodies in the city. These are : - Fateh Sagar Lake - Pichola Lake - Swaroopsagar - Rangsagar - Doodh Talai Lake In a judgement passed by the Rajasthan High Court, all bathing activities at the lake shores and immersion of religious idols in the lake waters was banned in the city. The city recently scored poorly in the Swachh Bharat list of the cleanest cities in India, getting placed at 417th position out of a total 476 cities. CLIMATE Udaipur city has particularly a tropical climate. The three main seasons, summer, monsoon and winter respectively, dominate the city of Udaipur. Being located in the desert lands of Rajasthan, the climate and weather of Udaipur is usually hot. The summer season runs from mid-March to June and touches temperature ranging from 23 °C to 44 °C in the months of March to June. Monsoons arrive in the month of July heralded by dust and thunderstorms. With lush greenery and enchanting lakes, the sporadic rainfalls enhance the beauty of the city, making it one of the top monsoon destinations of the country. The winter season prevails from the month of October till the month of March. Humidity, which prevails during monsoons, diminishes at the arrival of winters. The city observes pleasant sunny days and enjoyable cool nights with the temperature ranging from 5 °C to 30 °C. Udaipur's winter climate is the most appealing time to visit. Tourists arrive in large numbers, anytime between mid-September to late March or early April. Even in January, the coldest month, the days are bright, sunny and warm with maximum temperature around 28.3 °C. Mornings, evenings and nights are cold DEMOGRAPHICS According to the 2011 census, the total urban population of Udaipur district was 608,426. and the population density was 262/km2. As per the data, the male population of the city was 315,485 and the female population was 292,941 in 2011. The total population for the age group of 0–6 years old was 67,068. The sex-ratio of the urban area was 929 while that for the rural area was 966, the average being 958. The child sex-ratio (0–6 years of age) was 865. Udaipur has an average effective literacy rate of 90.43 percent, as compared to the national average of 74.04 percent: male literacy rate being 95.41 percent while the female literacy rate being 85.08 percent. Hindi, Mewari and English are the major languages spoken in Udaipur. Marwari, Wagdi and Gujarati are some others which are in use in the city. Hinduism is the major religion followed in the city. With a large Jain community, Jainism is amongst the other main religions practised. Jains makes about 10% of the population, as compared to the national average of 0.37%. ECONOMY Udaipur has a diversified economic base. The major contributions to the city's economy come from tourism, agriculture and mineral industries. The handicraft and cottage industry sectors play an important part in contributing to the growing economy. The city has also been included under the Smart Cities mission initiated by the Government of India, and is selected in the list of first 20 cities to be developed as smart cities. HANDICRAFTS Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta. The Shilpgram is a platform where regional handicraft and hand-loom products is developed. Craft bazaars are organized by the Shilpgram, with an aim to encourage the regional arts and crafts, the handicraft and hand-loom works. TOURISM 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 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. RETAIL Udaipur has both traditional as well as modern retail shopping destinations. The traditional markets include Bapu Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Suraj Pole, Nehru Bazaar, Bada Bazaar and Chand Pole, 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. TOURISM CITY PALACE - 1559 Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. This gate leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. The palace now houses a museum with many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils from the royal era. LAKE PALACE - 1743-1746 Situated over an island in Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace was constructed to serve as a royal summer palace. Built of white marble, the palace is now a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces" banner. JAG MANDIR - 1551-1652 Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. Also known as the "Lake Garden Palace", it was constructed by three Maharanas of the Mewar kingdom. The construction started in 1551, and was completed by 1652. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace. MONSOON PALACE Monsoon Palace, also known as Sajjan Garh Palace, was built as an astronomical centre to keep track of the movement of monsoon clouds in the area and also served as the summer resort of the Maharanas. Built with white marble, it is located on Bansdara peak of the Aravalli hill range at an elevation of 944 m above mean sea level. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside. JAGDISH TEMPLE - 1651 The Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur, built by Maharana Jagat Singh I. A key tourist place in the city, this temple is an example of Māru-Gurjara Architecture. FATEH SAGAR LAKE - 1678 Lake Fatehsagar is an artificial lake situated in the north-west part of Udaipur. The lake was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh and later reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh. It is one of the most popular destinations in the city for tourists and the city residents. SUKHADIA CIRCLE Sukhadia Circle (square) is large roundabout in the city's northern suburb and is a popular recreational centre. The square has in its centre, a small pond admist which lies a 21 ft high three-tiered fountain. The fountain, made of marble is surmounted by a wheat-ear motif, a symbol of prosperity. SAHELIYON-KI-BARI - 1710-1734 Sahelion ki Bari is a major garden and a popular tourist space in the northern part of the city. The garden with its fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants, was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. LAKE PICHOLA - 1362 Lake Pichola is an artificial fresh water lake and is one of the several contiguous lakes in the city of Udaipur. The lake’s surroundings and the several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries, with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, bathing ghats and chabutaras (a raised platform, normally within a courtyard). MOTI MAGRI Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, is a memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap. It is basically a small hilloc, atop of which there is a bronze statue of the Maharana astride his favourite horse "Chetak". It was initiated by Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar, and carried over and completed with the help of a public trust. NEEMACH MATA TEMPLE Neemach mata is located on a hill near fateh sagar lake. The temple is 900 meters above on the top of the hill. One can see a beautiful view of Udaipur from the temple. CULTURE 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. - Ghoomar dance is a part of the tribal culture of the Mewar Region of Rajasthan. This is a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions where the ladies move gracefully in circles. - Kalbelia, one of the most sensuous dance forms of Rajasthan, is performed by the Kalbeliya snake charmers’ community with the sapera dancers wearing long, black skirts embroidered with silver ribbons. - Bhavai dance consists of veiled women dancers balancing up to seven or nine brass pitchers as they dance nimbly, pirouetting and then swaying with the soles of their feet perched on the top of a glass or on the edge of the sword - Kachchhi Ghodi dance dance is performed on dummy horses where men in elaborate costumes ride the equally well decorated dummy horses. Holding naked swords, these dancers move rhythmically to the beating of drums and fifes. Following a lineage of age old traditions and adhering to religious significance, the various dances complement the fairs and festivals held in the city. The city's music consists mainly of the use of Morchang, Naad, Tanpura, and Sarangi, among many other instruments, that used to echo in the courts of the erstwhile rulers of the state. Miniature paintings are amongst the most famous paintings developed under the patronage of the rulers of Rajasthan. The simplest among these are done on walls, and though folk in style, they nevertheless have some of the flavour of frescoes one sees in the old palaces. The tradition on painting the wall of houses with scenes from mythological and chivalric tales has been prevalent in Rajasthan for the past many centuries. The people of the city make use of such wall paintings for decorations during wedding celebrations. Noted amongst the miniature style of paintings are particularly the Pichvais, which are those made on cloth, and Phad, made on cloth scroll in folk style. The Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal is a cultural institution based in the city. The institute with its museum is a platform which displays a collection of Rajasthani culture. Offering an insight into the lifestyle of the royal era in Udaipur, the museum has a fine collection of dresses, tribal jewellery, turbans, dolls, masks, musical instruments, paintings and puppets. With various cultural events including folk song and dance performances, theatre and puppetry, the institute highlights the different social stigmas, thereby proving to be a powerful education tool for the masses. FESTIVALS GANGAUR FESTIVAL Gangaur is one of the most important local festivals in Rajasthan. In some form or the other it is celebrated all over Rajasthan. “gan” is a synonym for Lord Shiva and “gauri” or “gaur” stands for Goddess Parvati, the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is a symbol of conjugal and marital happiness. It is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March–April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. This festival is celebrated especially by women, who worship clay idols of “Gan” & “Gauri” in their houses. These idols are worshiped by the virgins who seek the blessings of Gan and Gauri for a good spouse, while the married women pray for the good health and long life of their husbands. On the eve of Gangaur festival, women decorate their palms and fingers with henna. The idols of Gan and Gauri are immersed in a pond or in a nearby lake on the last day of the festival. A traditional procession of Gangaur commences form the City Palace which passes through various areas of the city. The procession is headed by an old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performance folk artistes. SHILPGRAM UTSAV Shilpgram, a crafts village 3 km west of Lake Fateh Sagar, has displays of traditional houses from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra. There are also demonstrations by musicians, dancers, or artisans from these states. The 10 day festival organised here is a treat for the visitor to an array of exquisite art and craft. One of the important objectives of Shilpgram festival is in the sphere of increasing awareness and knowledge of rural life and crafts, specifically, for the younger generation. Special emphasis is laid on workshops for children on arts, crafts, theatre and music. HARIYALI AMAVASYA Hariyali Amavasya (new moon day of the Sawan / Shravan month) marks the beginning of the monsoons and greenery. It arrvies three days before the famous Hartalika Teej(Shravan shukla tritiya). People worship God Shiva for abundant rains and good agricultural season. Melas and fests are arranged in several places in the city. JAGANNATH RATH YATRA In udaipur, the third biggest Ratha-Yatra is organised on the auspicious day of Ashadh Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) Dwitiya according to Indian Vikram Samvat. On this cultural day of summer solstice theme, June 21 of every year, the journey of the lord jagannath to their aunts house is started. The presiding deities of the temple lord Jagannath (Krishna), Balabhadra (Balarama) and their sister Subhadra are taken through the streets in heavily decorated wooden chariots, which are made every year for the purpose. The Chariot of Lord Jagannath, called Nandighosha, has 16 wheels and is draped in red and yellow. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages. JAL-JHULNI EKADASHI According to the Hindu calendar, Gyaras, or Ekadashi is basically, the 11th day of each waxing (Shukla paksha ) and waning moon (Krishna paksha). This ekadashi, known as Jal-Jhulni Gyaras, or Jal-Jhulni Ekadashi, like all other festivals, is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Udaipur. Different processions start from the various parts of the city and end at one point i.e. Gangaur Ghat where people swing the idols of Lord Krishna in child form (Baal Gopal) in the Lake Pichola. These procession are called Ram Revdies. Udaipur in popular culture Udaipur was voted the Best City in the World in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine, and is now amongst the favourite wedding destinations for Indian as well as foreign nationals. The city is a blend of sights, sounds and experiences, which have made it one of the top destinations for weddings and celebrations. MOVIES AND TELEVISION Udaipur is mentioned under the spelling Oodeypore in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as the birthplace of Bagheera, the fictional panther in the king's Menagerie. Because of its picturesque and scenic locations, Udaipur has been the shooting location for many Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Indian sections of the James Bond film Octopussy were filmed in the city, the Lake Palace, and the Monsoon Palace. The nearby desert was the backdrop of the remarkable rescue of Octopussy (Maud Adams) by Bond (Roger Moore). Some scenes from the British television series The Jewel in the Crown were also filmed in Udaipur. The Disney channel film, The Cheetah Girls One World, was shot in Udaipur in January 2008. Some of the other non-Indian movies and TV shows filmed in Udaipur include: Darjeeling Limited, Opening Night, Heat and Dust, Indische Ring, Inside Octopussy, James Bond in India, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Gandhi, and The Fall. Jag Mandir, a documentary film directed for television by Werner Herzog in 1991, was also filmed in the city. Udaipur has been a popular location for Bollywood movies. Some of them shot here include : Guide, Mera Saaya, Phool Bane Angaray, Kachche Dhaage, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Jalmahal, Yaadein, Return of the thief of the bagdad, Eklavya: The Royal Guard, Dhamaal, Jis Desh Mei Ganga Rehta Hai, Chalo Ishq Ladaaye, Fiza, Gaddaar, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, Khuda Gawah, Kundan, Nandini, Saajan Ka Ghar,Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ramleela, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Udaipur is also the setting of various Television series like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Rakhi Ka Swayamwar and Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap. EDUCATION Udaipur has a well-established education infrastructure. There are a number of universities, colleges and schools meeting the requirements of not only the city but the region and country as well. The main universities in Udaipur include IIM Udaipur, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Sir Padampat Singhania University and Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology. Other educational institutes include College of Technology And Engineering, College of Dairy & Food Science Technology, R.N.T. Medical College, Pacific Medical College and Hospital, Pacific Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhupal Nobles' College, J.R.N. Rajasthan Vidyapeeth (Deemed), S S College Of Engineering, Techno India NJR Institute of Technology, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Pacific Commerce college, Pacific ENG College, Pacific Dental College & Hospital, Geetanjali Institute of technical studies, Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Tourism. Udaipur is now the first district in Rajasthan to have implemented a smart class system in all the government schools, enabling them with information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure. This model of ICT in education is getting replicated in all government schools of ICT infrastructure of Rajasthan State. This ICT based initiation was started on 4 December 2013 by Dept of Education, Udaipur in joint initiative with Moinee Foundation, Jaipur and is popularly known as Project Utkarsh According to the census-2011 data on educational status, Udaipur has the highest percentage of graduates in the entire state. It has 26 graduates for every 100 persons. Nowadays many students get the educational facilities here itself so they need not to go to Kota or some other place for IIT-JEE preparation. Many students of the place have cleared the prestigious exam. In fact the All India Rank-1 in IIT-JEE 2014 belonged to Udaipur city. WIKIPEDIA
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