The City Palace of Udaipur is one of the
most remarkable constructions of the Rajput rulers of Rajasthan.
Located in the heart of the city of Udaipur and towering over the
Lake Pichola, the City Palace unfailingly infuses a sense of awe
in the hearts of its onlookers. It is the standing testimony of
Rajput passion for art and architecture despite the fact that the
exterior is not as elegant as the interiors.
This white marble structure rising out of
the Lake Pichola has an irresistible charm that draws tourists
from far and wide. The beauty of the Lake Palace is in a way
responsible to bring Udaipur in the list of important tourists
destinations of the world. Infact, the Lake Palace, along with
two other palaces of Udaipur has also featured in the highly
popular James Bond film, Octopussy.
Pichola is home to another famous island, the Jag Mandir Island
which lies on its southern edge. The construction of a palace on
this island was begun by Maharana Karan Singh II of the Udaipur.
He ruled the region between the period of 1620-28 and it was
during his reign that prince Khurram (later Mughal Emperor Shah
Jahan) revolted against his father, Jehangir and left his
kingdom. Maharana Karan Singh provided prince Khurram, his family
(wife Mumtaz and sons Dara and Aurangzeb) and his men a safe
refuge in the City Palace, however, when the nobles failed to
adhere to the Rajput customs, Karan Singh moved them to the Jag
Mandir Palace which was still under construction. After the death
of Karan Singh in 1928, his son Jagat Singh was crowned the
Maharana and he added more structures to the island palace.
Dedicated to the patron deity of the
Marwar clan, the Eklingji Temple still holds a significant place
in the hearts of the Rajasthanis. The original structure of the
temple was built in the 8th century though the present structure
was built much later. Standing at the banks of the Indersagar
Lake, the Eklingji Temple exude a purity that cleanses heart and