Maharana uday Singh II inherited the Mewar kingdom at Chittor in 1537 but by that time there were signs of losing control of the fort in wars with the Mughals. Udai Singh II, therefore, chose the site near Lake Pichola for his new kingdom because the location was well protected on all sides by forests, lakes and the Aravalli hills. He had chosen this site for his new capital, much before the sacking of Chittor by Emperor Akbar, on the advice of a hermit he had met during one of his hunting expeditions.
City Palace, Udaipur, is a palace complex in Udaipur, in the Indian state Rajasthan. It was built over a period of nearly 400 years being contributed by several kings of the dynasty, starting by the Maharana Udai Singh II as the capital of the Sisodia Rajput clan in 1553, after he moved from Chittor.
The City Palace in Udaipur was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city and its surrounding, including several historic monuments such as the Lake Palace in Lake Pichola.Lake Palace, Udaipur. Now it is Taj Lake Palace, a Five star Hotel of Taj Group, at Udaipur on Pichola Lake.
After Udai Singh’s death in 1572, his son Maharana Pratap took the reins of power at Udaipur. He was defeated by Akbar at the battle of Haldighati in 1576 and thereafter trouble remained in Udaipur for sometime.
Statue of Maharana Pratap
But in 1736, the marauding Marathas attacked Udaipur and by the end of the century the Mewar state was in dire straits and in ruins. However, the British came to Mewar’s rescue in the 19th century and soon the State of Mewar got re-established and prospered under British protection, under a treaty signed with the British. However, the British were not allowed to replace them. Once India got independence in 1947, the Mewar Kingdom, along with other princely states of Rajasthan, merged with the democratic India, in 1949. The Mewar Kings subsequently also lost their special royal privileges and titles. However, the successor Maharanas have enjoyed the trust of their people and also retained their ownership of the palaces in Udaipur. They are now running the palaces by creating a trust, called the Mewar Trust, with the income generated from tourism and the heritage hotels that they have established in some of their palaces.