Udaipur: Marble mosaic of amour

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Overpowering clouds creating an aura of ominous storm in the City of Udaipur.

Udaipur, a marble mosaic of amour, is often reflected back on its seven lakes and frequently known as the ‘City of Lakes’.

Starting with your stay in charming family run Havelis or heritage hotels, which bring the taste of luxury. You’d come across puppeteers and enjoy Churma, the one of a kind Rajasthani delicacy.

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Lake palace, floating in the Lake Pichola

Udaipur seems to be gliding across the time of its own lakes with lights beaming like stars, while you wander around the city in the late evening. Dining at any of its famous royal restaurants will transport you to the aura of grandeur and romance. Hence, Udaipur is also named ‘Venice of India’ by many.

Gliding across the time of its own lakes

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City Palace, wrapped up in the leaves of historical marvel with overwhelming beauty in every corner.

White City, since the Palaces and the Havelis of Udaipur lean mostly towards the tones of white, be it City Palace, Sajan Gar, Lake Palace, etc. After entering the palaces, I felt the blend of natural magnetism and aged allure onto the walls, windows and plafonds.

This mesmerizes the visitors and the locals alike, and the poets and lovers in Udaipur are more as compared to other places in the vicinity.

Udaipur feels to be walled by the ranges of Aravalli and a day or two for trekking and camping in Mount Abu is another exciting possibility. I was there during the start of monsoon, so it had to be dropped though I will definitely roam around the forest of Mount Abu next time.

Udaipur is the destination you can visit at any time of the year, but the summers are not recommendable. The climate over here is predominantly tropical.

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Otherworldly feel of Fateh Sagar Lake.

The destination is 598 Mts., above the sea level, right in the heart of a desert. The climatic conditions are best defined as sultry.

As compared to the remainder of Rajasthan, Udaipur’s climate is moderate through seasons. Winters are pleasant and make the best time for your visit.

In summers, one can expect to find scorching temperatures in the city of Udaipur. From mid-March to June, the maximum temperatures hover in the range of 38 degrees.

But when the monsoons arrive in July, they are accompanied by dust storms. Monsoon and dust give rise to the characteristic fragrance Rajasthan is known for. Rooftop cafes hang onto their umbrellas in the mist of occasional rains.

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The rainfall received is frequently in the line of 637mm. But the humidity levels stay higher during monsoons.

Winters last from October through to March and the weather takes a turn to be pleasant. The high humidity levels become more comfortable and the overall temperatures are cool, while not being very cold. The days are sunny and the nights are cool. The nighttime temperatures seldom fall below 11.6 degrees. Winters are the best time to visit Udaipur.

All photos are taken on iPhone XS by me.

Sustaining the glory of Udaipur

Environmental degradation poses a range of problems for mankind. Udaipur too has been smitten with a range of environmental issues owing to development, deforestation, and misuse of lakes over the recent decades.

The water crisis is one of the primary environmental issues encountered by Udaipur. Udai Sagar Lake lies in the eastern part of the city. It once had a strategic significance and met water requirements, but now meets the industrial requirements for water.

Rising population is one of the reasons why the lakes find it overwhelming to support Udaipur. The lakes are now characterized by high pollution levels and a lesser inflow of water. Despite being the city of lakes, Udaipur is currently dependent on external sources for the supply of water.

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Demand for water in Udaipur stays more towards the higher side. The flowing traffic in Udaipur, induced by tourism is high. With the booming tourism industry, the in-migration is higher as well, as the tourism industry brings in more job opportunities.

Annual rainfall in Udaipur is around 640 mm. There is also runoff from the hills in the neighborhood. City planners have come up with ideas to store this water in tanks and lakes. It can later be directed towards irrigation channels that span across hectares.

The lakes are all interconnected to ensure that an overflow goes to the other. This makes Udaipur a prime example of good rainwater harvesting.

The pollution level in lakes of Udaipur still stays a matter which needs to be addressed. Indicators of high pollution levels are the blue-green algae, reduction in fish population and water hyacinth.

A water quality index of 50 represents good quality. Nevertheless, the WQI in Udai Sagar Lake and Pichola Lake are 180 and 120 respectively.

The government has been taking measures to tackle the issue. In 2008, the government sanctioned 125 crores for the rejuvenation of lakes. But the solutions have not been comprehensive. The lakes have now begun to affect groundwater, and the access to hygienic water is affected.

The changes in recent times have been vastly cosmetic, in the form of new ghats and fountains. They do not address the core water and environmental related issues prevailing in Udaipur.

 

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The situation today indicates a dire need for change. The government and related authorities should gauge the depth of the situation and strike a balance between development and its effects on the sustainability of Udaipur’s ecosystem.

The issue of lakes should be addressed in particular. The pollution encountered by the lakes should be brought in check with the introduction of world-class standards in waste disposal management.

This will sustain Udaipur as a top tourist destination across the generations to come and there will be a marked reduction in health-related disorders. Udaipur will once again regain its lost glory.

Problems meet their requisite resolution only when an individual effort is involved. It may not be right to leave it to the government and NGOs to figure out a resolution.

Sustainable steps have been taken in this regard. As an example, students from Udaipur have developed environment-friendly bricks developed from industrial waste.

Some steps we can take for the environment of Udaipur at a personal level include:

  1. We should plant more trees. This can be at an individual, organizational or corporate level. This helps counter pollution and helps with maintaining soil quality. Several NGOs pertaining to the plantation of trees operate in Udaipur.
  2. People sometimes use Bawris for dumping the garbage. This should be avoided.
  3. People of Udaipur should practice water conservation.

 

All the photos are shot on iPhone XS by me.