City of Lakes
Nath Dwara temple, sits on the Avaralli Hills about 30 miles northeast from Udaipur on Highway 8. The small desert town is a popular pilgrimage destination to many Krishna devotees which is most known for its Krishna temple, which houses the idol of ‘Shreenathji’.
It is believed that the famous Krishna temple was built in the 14th century in the exact location where the god ‘Shrinathji’ was born. The tale of Shrinathji is a story of persecution, escape, and mystery; all the elements of a good adventure story. In 1665 a Mughal warrior emperor -Aurangzeb was hellbent on destroying the Hindu religion and culture. As his mighty army held siege to a town called Govardhana (the original home of Shrinathji), a small band of devotees loyal to the Shrinathji packed the holy idol onto a bullock cart and escaped in the dead of night. For 32 months the band of warriors and priest wandered the arid lands of Rajasthan in search for a new haven for the idol. Then one auspicious day their journey came to an abrupt end. When the party reached the Kingdom of Mewar, their bullock cart carrying the murti was halted waist deep in mud. Failing to move the cart out of the clutches of earth and clay, they saw it as an auspicious sign and built a temple at the very site where it had stopped. The Shrinathji murti (idol) is considered to be a 14th-century 7 year old infant incarnation Devotees from around the country visit this temple every year to get blessings from their favourite god. The temple is built with a very simple architecture, but its beauty is worth watching. The temple gates are opened 8 times a day for the devotees to view the idol of Shreenathji, which begins at 4am in the morning.
The idol of Shreenathji is decorated with different dresses throughout the day and is one of the main attractions to visit the temple. The Vaishnav community visit Nathdwara during the festival of Diwali every year, to enjoy the different traditions and rituals of the place. The temple has more than 500 cows and nearly all of them are in display during the Diwali and Khekra celebrations.
The ceilings of the temples are carved with fine, lace, leaf like motifs, scroll work and geometric patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and the brackets connecting the base of the dome with the top are covered with figures of deities, at the entrance of Ranakpur temple is a mythological character Kechak a five body one head human is representation of five evils among the humans are Lust (Kaam), Anger (Krodh), Greed (Lobh), Attachment (Moh) and Conceit ( Ahankaar) are to be left behind while one enters the temple.
The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight. Rishabhadev Ji is surrounded by several other smaller shrines and domes. These are in turn surrounded by a Bhamati or range of cells for images, each of which has a roof of its own.
City Palace, moulded with exotic ingenuity, it is a rich blend of Rajasthani and European architectural dexterity, which when entered, one can forget all his solace and wreath himself with bounties of the scenario. This majestic palace is located on the banks of serene Lake Pichola at 24.576°N 73.68°E, at an average elevation of 598 meters and provides a panoramic and breathtaking view of the city from its upper terraces. This majestic palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh II of Sisodia Rajput clan in 1559 and his successor Maharanas (76 generations) over a period of next 300 years. It comprises of 11 magnificent palaces, each built by 42 different rulers retaining a surprising uniformity to the design and is considered as largest palace complex in Rajasthan and is replete with history. It is often considered as ‘city within a city’. After independence Mewar Kings lost their opulent living and princely status. Now the successor Maharanas are running the palace by creating a trust, called the ‘Mewar Trust’. In 1969, the palace was opened to the public as the City Palace Museum.
Lake Pichhola - Lake Pichhola, “one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of Rajasthan” is located in the heart of the city. The lake is the oldest and largest lakes of Udaipur. Pichhola is enveloped by lofty palaces, temples, bathing “ghats” and elevated hills on all its sides.
Lake Palace / Jag Niwas: Another enchanting tourist attraction of Udaipur, the Lake Palace (also known as Jag Niwas) is a beautiful island palace built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1754. Situated on Lake Pichhola, the white marble structure appears like emerging out of the shimmering blue waters on the lake, creating a spellbound effect on visitors.