Maharajas' Express Blog

Experience the Rare Amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal Architectural Styles at City Palace, Udaipur

Udaipur-City-Palace-Sunset“Udaipur, a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is popularly known as the Venice of the East for its mesmerizing lakes that could leave anyone spellbound. These captivating lakes encompass numerous islands, where historical monuments depicting the rich heritage of this city could be abundantly found. Udaipurs history is nothing short of an epic tale replete with heroic war stories, interesting facts about its origin & development and thriving art & architectural styles under various kingdoms.

Named after its founder, Maharana Uday Singh, Udaipur was the last and the most celebrated capital of the famous Mewar kingdom ruled by the Rajput dynasty. Chittor, another important place in the Mewar kingdom, was the former capital of the Rajputs, which happened to be under constant siege from the Mughals. Once hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli mountain range, Maharana Uday Singh met a hermit who advised him to make his new capital near the Aravalli range at the backdrop of the Lake Pichola. Following this advice, Udaipur was founded in 1559 A.D.

The City Palace, built alongside the other parts of the city, served as the residence and administrative center for Maharana Uday Singh. It is a complex of palaces that was built under the 76 different generations of Maharanas over a period of 400 years to reach its current form. It has been touted as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Located on a hilltop at an average height of 1962 ft., it consists of several palaces that were built facing east depicting the traditional Maharana style of architecture. It provides an astounding panoramic view of the entire city against the riveting backdrop of Lake Pichola.

Different monuments within this colossal palace exhibit a unique fusion of Rajput, Mughal, European and Chinese architectural styles. A strong influence of Rajput and Mughal art styles is also quite evident throughout the city. The entire palace is built with marble and granite blocks.

The architectural design of the palace complex is such that, when viewed from a distance it appears as one massive fort rather than a series of interconnected palaces. Various palaces within the complex were made over a long period of time by different rulers and intricate passages and crossroads were built to connect them with each other.

There are numerous gates (pols) within the complex that give access to different palaces. The main entrance gate, Bara Pol (big gate), leads to the first courtyard within the complex. At some distance from the Bara Pol is the triple arched gate known as Tripolia. There are eight marble arches between these two gates that were interestingly used by the Mewar kings to weigh themselves in gold and silver. Adjacent to the Tripolia, is a huge arena where elephant fights”.