Udaipur, Rājasthān, India

Udaipur, also known as the "City of Lakes", is a city in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. It was founded in 1559 by Udai Singh II of the Sisodia clan of Rajput, when he shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur after Chittorgarh was besieged by Akbar. It remained as the capital city till 1818 when it became a British princely state, and thereafter the Mewar province became a part of Rajasthan when India gained independence in 1947.

The city is located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan, near the Gujarat border. It is surrounded by the Aravali Range, which separates it from the Thar Desert. It is around 660 km from Delhi and approximately 800 km from Mumbai, placed almost in the middle of two major Indian metro cities. Besides, connectivity with Gujarat ports provide Udaipur a strategic geographical advantage. Udaipur is well connected with nearby cities and states by means of road, rail and air transportation facilities. The city is served by the Maharana Pratap Airport. Common languages spoken include Hindi, English and Rajasthani (Mewari).

Udaipur has a diversified economic base. The major contributions to the city's economy come from tourism, agriculture and mineral industries. The handicraft and cottage industry sectors play an important part in contributing to the growing economy. The city has also been included under the Smart Cities mission initiated by the Government of India, and is selected in the list of first 20 cities to be developed as smart cities.

Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta. The Shilpgram is a platform where regional handicraft and hand-loom products are developed. Craft bazaars are organised by the Shilpgram, with an aim to encourage the regional arts and crafts, the handicraft and hand-loom works.

Udaipur, with its lakes, and historic palaces and architecture, is a major destination for tourists, both domestic and foreign nationals visiting the state. Over 1.4 million tourists visited Udaipur in 2016. With numerous hotels to serve visiting tourists, Udaipur is home to some of the country's most popular luxury hotels and resorts. The Oberoi Udaivilas has been ranked as the world's number 1 hotel. The Taj Lake Palace and the Leela Palace Udaipur are also amongst the most expensive hotels in the country. With various other renowned hotel chains present in the city, the tourism sector has been a fairly large contributor to the economic growth and fame of Udaipur. As a capital of the erstwhile Mewar kingdom, Udaipur is also the launching point for visits to the historic forts of Khumbhalgarh and Chittor and the temple of Ranakpur, Shrinathji at Nathdwara and Eklingji. Religious tourism is a major source of regular visitors to Udaipur.

Udaipur district is particularly rich in mineral resources as a large variety of important minerals are found here. Copper, lead, zinc and silver, industrial minerals like phosphate, asbestos, calcite, limestone, Talc (soapstone), barites, wollastonite and marble are the major driving resources behind the industries based in the city. Marble is exclusively mined, processed and exported from here around the world. The marble industry is well set and established with proper infrastructure and technological support for mining and processing. It is the largest sector giving employment to many people in the city and the immigrants from nearby areas. Udaipur is also home to the world's second largest Zinc producer, Hindustan Zinc.

Udaipur is host to medium and large enterprises designing and manufacturing electronic instruments, control panels, sensitive metering technology and LED lamps. The electrical and electronics industry in Udaipur employs over 6,000 people. These businesses are Tempsens, Pyrotech and Secure Meters Ltd. Secure Meter Limited is one of the major meter manufacturers across the globe.

Agriculture as in most other parts of the country, remains a leading sector in the city's economy. The Major crops of the area are Maize and Jowar in Kharif season and Wheat and Mustard in the Rabi season. Pulses, Groundnut and vegetables like brinjals are some of the major food products grown in the city. The Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, along with its affiliated institutions, has been working towards identifying, designing, preparing and adapting new techniques in the field of production technology for agricultural development since its establishment.

Kolkata Time 
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Image: Adobe Stock By Roop Dey #124695375

Udaipur has a population of over 451,100 people. Udaipur also forms part of the wider Udaipur metropolitan area which has a population of over 662,992 people.

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