Located at 24.58°N 73.68°E with an average elevation of 598.00 metres (1,962 ft), the city of Udaipur is situated in the southern region of Rajasthan state in western India. Known as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is a Municipal Council and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district which lies on the Golden Quadrilateral, midway between Delhi and Mumbai national highways and about 403 kms (250 mi) southwest of the state capital, Jaipur, 248 kms (154 mi) west of Kota, and 250 kms (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
As per the legend the city of Udaipur came into being after a chance meeting between Maharana Udai Singh with a holy sage, on a hunting trip. The saint advised Rana Udai Singh to build a city at that location, on the banks of a lake and in the midst of Aravalli mountain ranges. History began in 1559, with the construction of Dhuni Mata Shrine at the very spot followed by Nouchouki palace on the banks of a pond dug by a gypsy. Udai Singh extended this pond and dug a massive manmade lake and renamed it as Lake Pichola. Maharana Udai Singh created Udaipur- a dream city, an oasis of lakes, wildlife, gardens and magnificent palaces in the midst of Rajasthan desert. The city is named appropriately after its creator Maha Rana Udai Singh.
Formerly known as Mewar, Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh. Udaipur is very appropriately named as the "City of Sunrise” and is also referred to as the "Venice of the East" and the "Most Romantic City of India". Tourists flock to this enchanting place filled with nostalgic memories of great warriors and heroes of Rajasthan. As Maha Ranas of Udaipur resisted Muslim might, the city developed a reputation of patriotic fervor and an aching love of independence.
The city was built in 1559 by Rana Udai Singh. It was built amidst four manmade lakes with exotic palaces and beautiful gardens reflecting in the blue waters. The city of Udaipur has a reflective and distant view of the Aravalli mountain ranges that are apparently the oldest in the world, predating even the Himalayas. A current tourist favorite, especially for up-market Westerners, it was a backdrop for numerous movies including the James Bond flick "Octopussy".
Surrounded by the splendor of nature, Udaipur has always been one of India’s truly enchanting cities. It is the most sought after destination both by Indian and International tourists. Udaipur wins its place as the favorite tourist destination due to its natural scenic beauty, inspirational history, wonderful palaces, manmade lakes, local festivals, its rich mineral wealth, art and crafts.
Udaipur depicts the proud Hindu history, as the Maha Rana rulers of Udaipur maintained fierce independence from every invader. They fought bloody wars to keep the Turkish, Afghan, Tartar, and Mongol invaders off their empire. They even rejected to ally with the Mughals, only to surrender to British Empire in 1818.
According to the 2001 India census, Udaipur has a population of 550,000, making it the fourth largest city of Rajasthan. Udaipur was named as the ‘Best City of the World’ in 2009 by Travel & Leisure magazine. Udaipur is a favorite destination for rich and royal weddings. Many celebrities, film stars, business families, and politicians choose Udaipur to hold the typical Fat Indian Weddings.