Rajasthan Tours, Vacation & Holiday Ideas: Travel to Udaipur and around.
Excursions from Udaipur
The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex, 60 kms. from
Udaipur, is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India. The temples are tucked away in a remote and
picturesque valley of the Aravallis.
The main temple is the Chaumukha (four- faced) temple dedicated to the first tirthankara
Adinath. Built in the 15th century, this well-preserved temple complex has 29 halls supported by
1,444 intricately carved pillars and the most interesting fact is that
no two pillars are alike!
Sometimes it looks more like lacework than stone carving. The construction of the main shrine alone took more than 50 years. In the temple courtyard there's a 400 year old tree,
said to have been planted during the construction of the temple.
Perched on the
Aravallis, 84 kms. north
of Udaipur is the second principal fortress in Mewar region after
Chittorgarh. Built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, it extends over 36 kms. and encloses many temples, palaces and gardens. It is considered to be invincible and was taken
only once in its history. The
Badal Mahal offers a spectacular bird's-eye view of the surrounding countryside.
Close by is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary with a rich variety of wildlife. Best time to view the wildlife is between March and June when there is
a paucity of water. The reserve is accessible only by jeep from Kelwara through the seven gates.
Narlai Surrounded by the Aravalli hills in southern Rajasthan, Narlai is located
25 kms. from the historic Kumbalgarh fort. The name Narlai had its origin from the
word `Narad' , the legend. There is a legend that the playful saint Narad who
was a constant companion of Lord Vishnu, the creator, mediated the disputes on
the hill that lies at the center of the village. The fort of Kumbalgarh,
Ranakpur temples and excavation sites at Nadol are all nearby and therefore an
ideal base for exploration.
Situated 22 Kms. from
Udaipur is a
beautifully sculpted complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls. Built in 734 AD, the temples are dedicated to the royal deity Eklingji. The complex has been chiselled out of sandstone and marble. It has an ornate 'mandap' or pillared hall, under a large pyramidal roof and features a
four-faced Shiva statue in black marble.
Nagda About a Km. from Eklingji are situated the famous temples of Nagda, which have fine carving on walls, roof, pillars and courtyard.
The Jain temples of Adbudji are in ruins, but their architecture is
quite interesting. The Sas-Bahu (Mother & Daughter-in-law) group of temples
have intricate carvings and architecture,
including some erotic figures.
place 40 Kms.
from Udaipur, has immense historical importance. Here, Maharana Pratap
valiantly defied the superior Mughal forces of Akbar in 1576. A chhatri with
delicate white marble columns is dedicated to the indomitable hero and his
loyal horse, Chetak.
It is the most revered shrine dedicated to Shrinathji or Lord Krishna,
and attracts thousands Of pilgrims from all over the country, especially during
the festivals of Diwali, Holi and Janmashtami.
Legend has it that the temple's image of Shrinathji was originally situated at
Mathura. However, in the 17th century, fearing an attack on the temple by the fanatical Mughal Emperor
Aurangzeb, it was decided to shift the idol to a safer, more remote place. When the carriage carrying the image arrived at
Nathdwara, its wheels got stuck in the sand and could not be moved. Taking this as a message from
Lord Krishna, it was decided to build a new temple on the spot.
The black idol of the deity is treated like a child, clothes and
jewelry are changed six times a day and special meals are prepared during different intervals of the day.
Nathdwara is also known for Pichwai paintings (religious paintings on cloth), which came into the origin after the idol was brought here.
Kankroli & Rajsamand Lake Further north,
at Kankroli, is a famous temple of Dwarkadhish (an
incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Built in the 16th century, it is similar to the temple of
Nearby is the Rajsamand Lake, which was created by a dam constructed in 1660.
There are many ornamental arches and chhatris along the huge
second largest artificial lake in Asia, this stunningly situated
lake was built in the 17th century A.D. by Maharana Jai Singh. Graceful marble chhatris flank the embankment
with the beautiful summer
palaces of the Udaipur queens built on either side of the lake. Jaisamand
Island Resort is also worth visiting.
A trip to Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary allows a close encounter with the rich wildlife in their natural habitat. The fauna includes panther, wild boar, deer,
four-homed antelope, mongoose and various species of migratory bird.
Dungarpur Nestling in the foothills of the
Aravallis, Dungarpur has an interesting topography, ranging from wild and rugged terrain in the
north-east to fertile plains of alluvial soil in the south-west. Two rivers – Mahi and Som
- flow through the area.
Dungarpur is famous for its unique style of architecture and museum, with pieces dating back to the 6th century.
The museum also has a panel of portraits of the erstwhile Maharajas of Dungarpur state and photographs of palaces, temples and monuments from the many phases of the land's history.
The area is quite rich in teak, mahua, mango and khajur trees. Dungarpur is also noted for its
wildlife variety – jackal, jungle cat, Indian fox, hyena, black faced monkey, porcupine, common mongoose are the common inhabitants. The commonly seen bird variety includes partridges,
peafowls, quails, cuckoos, eagles and vultures. Various migratory birds also visit the area during the winters.