City Palace Udaipur

City Palace situated in the city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty


City Palace, Udaipur is a palace complex placed in the city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with offering from various emperors of the Mewar dynasty. Its construction began in 1553, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he moved his capital from the Chittor to the new found city of Udaipur. The palace is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola and has various palaces built within its complex. The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the huge of its type in the state of Rajasthan. It was built on the top a hill, in a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, providing a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Overlooking Lake Pichola, various historic monuments like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata temple, are all in the vicinity of the palace complex.

The City Palace was built concurrently with the formation of the Udaipur city by Maharana Udai Singh II and his successor Maharanas over a period of the next 400 years. The Maharanas lived and administered their empire from this palace, there by making the palace complex an important historic landmark. The Mewar kingdom was flourished initially in Nagda (30 kilometres (19 meter) to the north of Udaipur), established in 568 AD by Guhil, the first Maharana of Mewar. In the 8th century, the capital was shifted to Chittor, a hilltop fort from where the Sisodias and Choudharys ruled for 800 years. Maharana Udai Singh II inherited the Mewar kingdom at Chittor in 1537 but by that time there were signs of losing power of the fort in wars with the Mughals. Udai Singh II, therefore, choose the site near Lake Pichola for his new kingdom as the location was well protected on all sides by forests, lakes and the Aravalli hills. He had chosen this site for his new capital, much before the sacking of Chittor by Emperor Akbar, on the command of a hermit he had met during one of his hunting expeditions.

The earliest royal structure he built here was the Royal courtyard or ‘Rai Angan’, which was the starting of the building of the City Palace complex. The court was built at the location where the hermit had given a advise to Maharana to build his new capital. After Udai Singh’s death in 1572, his son Maharana Pratap took the power in her hands. Later, in the famous Battle of Haldighati; Maharana Pratap defeated against the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1576. After the death of Maharana Pratap, Amar Singh I took the power in hands.

But with the growing Marathas attacks by 1761, Udaipur and the Mewar state were in dire straits and in ruins. By 1818, Maharana Bhim Singh signed a alliance with the British accepting their protection against the other kingdoms. After the Indian independence in 1947, the Mewar Kingdom, along with other princely states of Rajasthan, combined with the democratic India, in 1949. The Mewar Kings consequently also lost their special royal privileges and titles. The successive Maharanas, however, retained their ownership of the palaces in Udaipur and changed parts of the palace complex into heritage hotels.