“The most romantic spot on the continent of India” – that is how James Tod, an officer of the British East India Company remembered Udaipur to be like.
A beautiful and royal city, Udaipur is one of the most incredible places in the state of Rajasthan as well as in the whole of India.
Known worldwide for it’s royal palaces, calming lakes, exciting camel rides and brilliant artworks, the city of Udaipur is worth every penny for a visit.
Today, we talk about this city, what it stands for and why is it referred as “The White City of India“.
Let’s get it!
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Why is Udaipur called white city of India?
Being the home of a myriad of stunning lakes and exciting vibes, the city of Udaipur is known by many names. One of those unique names that defines the city in a perfect way is “the White City“.
Colors have different meaning and vibes to them as well, right?
Just like Jaipur or the Pink City is a city full of joyful vibes and vibrant pieces of extraordinary stories, Jodhpur or the Blue City depicts open spaces, expansion and imagination.
Similarly, Udaipur or the White City inspires peace, calmness, purity and innocence.
Udaipur is called the White City of India due to the major reason that the city holds a great royal history and is covered with magnificent forts, temples and palaces built with shimmering white marbles since the Rajput-era.
How did the city get this name?
Udaipur has an interesting story related to its history that is worth a share!
It was the time during 1553 and beyond, when Maharana Udai Singh II ruled over Chittorgarh in Rajasthan. As per the legend, the Maharana once went out for hunting through the wilderness when he met a man (a hermit) meditating over a hill top overlooking the picturesque Lake Pichola.
The man, Goswami Premgiriji, blessed Udai Singh with a protection boon.
He told the king that if he builds his palace over this exact spot, it would be protected till eternity!
The Maharana took the man’s words and decided to make this wonderful valley the new capital of his dynasty.
And thus, Udaipur was found.
The Rajput king got a marvelous (and the largest palace complex to ever be built in the state of Rajasthan) City Palace constructed over the valley where he met the man.
The palace saw the reign and kingdoms of many Maharanas to come in the course of its construction over the next 400 years.
Built with a unique mix of architectural inspirations from Chinese, Medieval and European styles, the City Palace’s entirety is covered with unique Rajputana granite and marble.
The glowing white marble used in the construction of the main palace, it’s balconies, towers, neighboring forts and temples, etc. is what actually got Udaipur this unique reference as “The White City of India“.
What are the other names for Udaipur?
Places around the world get their names by many different aspects including the place’s history, ancient stories, popularity, etc.
Other than being the White City of Rajasthan, Udaipur has been called and referred as many different and interesting names throughout history and by the many travellers who experienced it in all it’s glory.
The City of Lakes
One of the most prominent among the few unique names given to this beautiful city is the city of lakes.
As per history, during Mewar-era, the people of Udaipur and nearby land used to have a shortage of water supply which would cause immense trouble in villages and daily life.
To counter this issue, the rulers of Mewar constructed 7 artificial lakes across the city now known as Udaipur. These lakes are – Lake Pichola, Udai Sagar, Fateh Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, Rang Sagar, Badi and Madar.
Due to all these wonderful lakes existing across the city, Udaipur got its name – “the City of Lakes”.
Venice of the East
Arguably one of Italy’s most precious and beautiful city – Venice or the City of Canals is famous worldwide for its beautiful lakes, exciting canals, and intriguing architecture.
Udaipur is called many-a-times by international explorers as the most accurate depiction of “Venice of the East“.
Also Venice always has a spot when anyone mentions “most beautiful places in the world“, and so does Udaipur.
Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod of the British East India Company reffered to Udaipur as “the most romantic spot on the continent of India” and truly so – many believe it to be!
Sheher-e-Khamoshi (the City of Silence)
This one I hadn’t heard before – and there are no official records of people calling it that. But while my venture into the white city of India, I saw a beautiful Mosque on the way to the infamous shopping market of the city – Hathi Pol.
At the top of the mosque was written the words “Sheher-e-khamoshi“. And coming to think of it, during my journey there – that is what Udaipur felt like – a city of silence, peaceful vibes and calming winds.
I am not sure if the reason for it was the fear of covid that lurks inside the minds of the locals, or the lesser number of tourists at the area, but I experienced an Udaipur which started to get closed down as shopkeepers shut down their shops and stores just as the night got darker and the streets – calmer.
I walked around the area (that too on the round-a-bout near my stay) and could see no one except a few people heading home.
It was weird – but in a good, calming way.
Major things to do in Udaipur
The white city of India is one of the most unique and exciting place to travel around in Rajasthan. It has plenty of things to do and experience on your trip here. Some of the most amazing ones are –
- Explore the City Palace to learn the History of Udaipur
- Boat ride over Lake Pichola or Fateh Sagar
- Relax or immerse yourself into nature’s photography in Saheliyo ki Bari
- Catch a Bird’s Eye View of Udaipur from the Manshapurn Karnimata Ropeway
- Have a Camel Ride Experience near the Lake
- Visit Shilpgram to get a glorious glimpse of Rajasthan on the trip
For more unique things to do and estimated budget needed to explore Udaipur, stay tuned for an upcoming blog about the best things to do in Udaipur.
To wrap things up
We hope after reading this article, you have a better idea of why Udaipur is called the white city of India. As always, if you would like to learn more about tourist destinations throughout India and the rest of the world, be sure to check out our website today!
That’s All Folks!