Udaipur at a glance
Udaipur and Mount Abu are two such tourist destinations of India’s largest state Rajasthan which look as an exception. Rest of the cities and areas of the state have dry ambiance and a weather which at some time or another cannot be borne by a tourist. Udaipur also has been adjudged as the most sought after tourist destination in India. Founded in the 16th century (1559) by then ruler of the Mewar dynasty Maharana Uday singh as a capital of the Mewar kingdom, the city houses some of the most spectacular palaces and Lakes in the world. This is why Udaipur is also termed as the Venice of East. Other titles that Udaipur has received over the time are City of Lakes and Palaces, City of Lakes and fountains, and Kashmir of Rajasthan.
People of the city are decent and believe in great hospitality. Tourists keep coming to Udaipur throughout the year, and its the hospitality that pleases them immensely. Smiling face, Mewari and Hindi mixed accent, and cultural values are prime marks of the city.
Lakes of the Udaipur city are artificial and were dug by the erstwhile rulers who knew that for the growing population, water will be an issue. And in the state of Rajasthan, water already was an important entity.
Water Scenario in Udaipur
In normal and average rain, the Lakes get full to their capacity and store a huge amount of water for water needs of the Udaipur dwellers. Over the years the population has grown and then rain has become irregular. This is why there has been years in Udaipur’s recent and distant history that the Lakes of Udaipur went dry to the bottom. People could walk and children could play on the soil of Lakes. In order to solve this problem permanently, the Udaipur administration and the State government decided to divert the Dewas water to Udaipur. This was the water that would flow away to Gujrat. The Mansi Wakal, and Dewas are ambitious projects that are now near completion. Once completed, the water woes of Udaipur will become a part of history.
Gardens of Udaipur
The City boasts of some artfully created gardens in and around. Each of the gardens is special in some way or other. Gardens in Udaipur were made out of purposes and have interesting stories behind them. Gulab Bagh, the oldest garden for example has some medicated trees and plants that help cure many ailments. Walking in Gulab Bagh is considered useful for health. This garden also has India’s sixth oldest zoo which is now being divided into two parts. The bird sanctuary is being developed on the other corner of the city on the foot of Basandhra hills.
Historical glory of the Mewar and Udaipur
One name that represents entire history of the Udaipur is Maharana Pratap. He was the brave king of Mewar who never accepted the dominance of emperor Akbar. He fought bravely to akbar and had to live a deserted life in Jungles as well. The famous battle of Haldighati was fought between Mughal emperor and Maharana Pratap at Haldighati. Haldighati, the name was given
to the place because enormous amount of bloodshed had happened and the soil turned yellow with that.
A museum has been set up there and the precious artifacts of the fight are preserved. There also are many tableau, paintings, and models that represent and remind about the battle that is mentioned with golden letters on the pages of Mewar and Udaipur’s history.
In Udaipur, there are numerous institutions and places named after Maharana Pratap. Latest is the Maharana Pratap International airport and Maharana Pratap Khel Gaon.
The City Palace of Udaipur also has a museum where the artifact of Maharana Pratap have been preserved.
Development on the way
After a long duration of almost no considerable development, now the city has joined the development bandwagon. There is a good boom in the realty sector and several high profile malls are coing to the Udaipur city. One mall which is ready and is luring people is Celebration Mall. The speciality of this mall is it;s artistic royal design. The curves and design of the mall resemble a royal Palace. It also has a multiplex where PVR cinema operates.
Food fun in Udaipur
Popular eateries like KFC, McDonald, Cafe Coffee Day, Sankalp have already opened to lift the city’s standard while the local eateries like Bombay market at Fatehsagar and Sukhadia circle are also flourishing and serving to the taste of Udaipur.
Udaipur’s Connectivity with rest of the Country
In 2008, the Udaipur got the broad gauge lines and that opened a new chapter of connectivity in the history of the city. During this duration and earlier the road network was also improved and the people began to drive in as well. Currently the Udaipur Railway station has once sided connectivity with chittorgarh Junction from where the trains take their route. The other side of Udaipur-Ahmedabad railway track is still the meter gauge. The conversion of this track will be another boom factor and is awaited by one and all. Once Udaipur gets connected to Ahmedabad via broad gauge line, the city of Udaipur will fall right in the center between Mumbai and Delhi stations.
Recently when Prafull Patel was the aviation minister, the Dabok Airport was converted into International Airport and was named after Maharana Pratap. The development of the new runway is underway. Once Udaipur Airport gets upgraded, the Indian dependency on Karaachi Airport will be zeroed. In case of inclement weather, at times the International flights have to be halted in Karaachi.
Not just the airport but the old Railway station of Udaipur, Rana Pratap Nagar has also been marked to be upgraded and converted into Model Railway Station.
Development as mentioned elsewhere on this page, in Udaipur has been swift in last decade or so. Rajiv Gandhi Park was recently developed near the Fatehsagar Lake while the construction of Vibhooti Park is underway. Vibhooti Park will have statues of nine legends of the Udaipur and there will be several theme parks.
Lifestyle of Udaipur
Lifestyle of the people in Udaipur has also gone up and now they swear by brands and quality. Branded showrooms have come here and are swearing. Love for cars in Udaipur is evident with the fact that Udaipur has highest ratio of number of cars per people. Said that, the congestion has also grown in the city. the old Udiapur which dwells in the walled city has very narrow and unplanned roads. At many places like clock tower etc, taking a car means you will return with one scratch or two. But still the love of Udaipur for vehicles is uncomparable. In every house you will find at least 2-3 vehicles parked mostly one for each member.
Living culture in Udaipur is still the traditional one. People love to buy a plot and construct a house of their own. Though the apartments culture has come and is finding its feet in the city of Lakes but the day when we will see skyscraper buildings in Udaipur seems far away.
Udaipur the new Education hub
Education of the city has jumped like other aspects of development in last decade or so. With IIM operating in Udaipur, the city has five full fledged universities. After Kota, the Udaipur is fast becoming the education hub of Rajasthan. A good reason behind this increase is the ambiance and atmosphere, both are apt and provide a conducive platform for education to get nurtured.
Medical advances in Udaipur
Medical facilities have shot up as well in Udaipur. With the Maharana Bhupal General Hospital serving one and all, the private clinics and hospitals have acquired state of the art equipments. Dependency on Ahmedabad and Mumbai has reduced considerably. One of the private medical service firm also claim to have a mobile ICU in which the patient can be taken to Mumbai in status quo from Udaipur.
So overall, the City of Udaipur is growing fast and sensibly. On one hand it nurtures traditions through places like Shilpgram where art and culture of Western India breathes in its most natural habitat, the Celebration malls proves that the city of Lakes and Palaces is quite a modern yet cool customer.