Journey Two / Chapter 12

Southern Rajasthan

August 2016

In the second part of our travels through majestic arid Rajasthan we will visit Jodhpur, a majestic blue city with the largest fort in India, and southern beauty Udaipur, also known as Venice of India.

Let's continue our Journey through Rajasthan, the Land of the Kings. After visiting Jaipur and Jaisalmer in the previous chapter, we will move to the south now to visit more former princely city-states full of forts, palaces and oriental beauty.

At first we visit the city of Jodhpur sitting in the heart of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Marwari dynasty still sits in the city in a majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the world's largest private residences. It is also the latest grand oriental palace ever build - in year 1944. While half of the palace serves as a seat of the royal family, the other half is converted to luxurious hotel.

However, the main attraction of the city is the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India and the largest fort in Rajasthan. Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons . Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “ the work of giants”. Seven gates lead to the fort, and it is surrounded by whole array of ramparts, external walls, cliffs, lakes and hills. South of the Fort is the famous Blue city of Blue City of Brahmpur.

Udaipur, also known as Venice of the South, sits in the heart of southern end of the state. As it is surrounded by array of natural and artificial lakes connected by channels, the label makes some justice. Containing perhaps more palaces than any other city in the world, it is truly a sight to behold. Above all them in prominence sits central Udaipur City Palace, which is an majestic complex of small and big palaces, museums and gardens encompassing a rich blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, Medieval, European and Chinese architecture.

Please enjoy the walk through living history with me in perhaps the finest region of all of India.