Udaipur About this sound pronunciation (help·info) is a city, a municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located 403 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of the state capital, Jaipur and 250 km (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad. Udaipur is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. The Sisodia clan of Rajputs ruled the Mewar and its capital was shifted from Chittorgarh to Udaipur after founding city of Udaipur by Maharana Udai Singh.
The Mewar province became part of Rajasthan after India became independent. Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination. Apart from its history, culture, and scenic locations, it is also known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palace, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels. It is often called the "Venice of the East", and is also nicknamed the "Lake City" or "City of Lakes". Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered the most beautiful lakes in the country.
Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana pratap singh II as a new capital of the Mewar kingdom, located in the fertile circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, on the Banas River, the first capital of Mewar. This area already had a thriving trading town, Ayad, which had served as capital of Mewar in the 10th through 12th centuries. The Girwa region was thus already well-known to Chittaud rulers who moved to it whenever the vulnerable tableland Chittaudgadh was threatened with enemy attacks. Maharana Udai Singh II, in the wake of 16th century emergence of artillery warfare, decided during his exile at Kumbhalgadh to move his capital to a more secure location.
Ayad was flood-prone, hence he chose the ridge east of Pichola Lake to start his new capital city, where he came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot, assuring him it would be well protected. Udai Singh II consequently established a residence on the site. In November 1567, the Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege to the venerated fort of Chittor, which was reduced to one of the 84 forts of Mewar. As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas (also called the Guhilots or Suryavansh), who had always tried to oppose Mughal dominance, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except for Chittor.
Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained safe from Mughal influence in spite of much pressure. The rajvansh of Udaipur was one of the oldest dynasties of the world. Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar of the Royal Family of Udaipur is the current symbolic ruler of the city.