The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sounds and experiences - an inspiration for the imagination of the poets, painters and writers. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens an narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavour of heroic past, epitomising valour and chivalry.
Once the capital of Mewar, Udaipur was founded by Rana Udai Singh after the fall of Chittor to Akbar in 1568. Although the Rajputs were thrown out of their capital they never gave up their sense of freedom, choosing to give up their lives for dignity and honour instead.
The foundation of the city has an interesting legend associated with it. According to it, Maharana Udai Singh, the founder, was hunting one day when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola.
The hermit blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favourably located spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake, an agreeable altitude and an amphitheater of low mountains. Maharana followed the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
The Maharana built a small shrine, Dhuni Mata, to mark the spot which is now the oldest part of the City Palace.
Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands the splendid City Palace - a marvel in granite and marble.
Of the original eleven gates of the Udaipur City, only five remain. The Surajpole or Sun Gate on the eastern side is the main entrance to the city.