Monday, 23 July 2012

Udaipur, Venice of the East

 Udaipur, the City of Lakes. Some have dubbed it the Venice of the East. Despite being one of Rajasthan's largest cities, with a population of over a half-million people, Udaipur still manages to feel like a small town;people are friendly and time still moves according to the whims of nature and the gods.
The old city center is a labyrinth of winding streets,  bordering Lake Pichola's eastern side. Five main gates lead into Udaipur's old city:

Hathi Pol (Elephant Gate) to the north; Kishan Gate to the south; Delhi Gate to the northeast; Chand Pol (Moon Gate) to the west; and Suraj Pol (Sun Gate) to the east.
Anchoring Udaipur's old city are the famed City Palace and Lake Palace; the latter is in the middle of Lake Pichola, and is now a Taj hotel.
The Mewar region is famous for its silver jewelry, wooden folk toys, miniature paintings, tribal arts, molela (terra-cotta work), appliqué, and embroidery.

Udaipur is also known for its spirit of voluntarism: it has one of the largest numbers of non-government organizations (NGOs) in India. Many of these groups are grappling with crucial environmental issues, such as drought and deforestation, and social issues, including the displacement of tribes and bride dowries.


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