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Udaipur Introduction

The city of Udaipur is located in South Rajasthan about 635 km (about 400 miles) from Delhi.  We decided to fly there as we were only taking a short break.  On the drive from the airport to the city you pass a zinc smelting works as there is apparently rich resources of zinc ore in the region.  The city is unusual in the region because of the number of Lakes in its area.  It was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh and became the capital of the House of Mewar which can trace a lineage back too 589. The city is dominated by the City Palace which sits on the edge of Lake Pichola, the main lake in the city. It is still home to members of the Royal Family as well as housing a museum and hotel. The city has a population of about half a million.

Within Lake Palace are two royal retreats, the Jag Mandir and the Jag Niwas (or Lake Palace Hotel).  The Monsoon Palace, also built by the Royal Family sits on the top of a hill on the opposite side of the Lake from the centre of the city.  During our weekend we visited all these place.

In the early 1980s it was used as a location for the Bond film Octopussy.  The Lake Palace Hotel was used as Octopussy's bas of operations whilst the Monsoon Palace was the supposed location of the villain Khan's Palace.  The Monsoon Palace though was not the actual one used for shooting the close up locations, as you'll see from our photos it does not quite match the opulence of the one seen in the film.  Various scenes were also filmed within the city itself.

The city is a very beautiful location and quite a contrast to Delhi, small, with Lake Waters, surrounding hills and clear blue skies, the perfect location for a short get away break.



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