Udaipur is a major city, municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajput founded the city 1553,and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur. 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.
Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination. Known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces, Udaipur was also voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine.
The lakes of the city being interconnected form a lake system which supports and sustains the ground water recharge, water availability for drinking, agriculture, industries and is a source of employment through tourism. The lake system has three main lakes in its upper catchment area, six lakes within its municipal boundary and one lake in the downstream. The Udaipur lake system, arising out of the river Berach (Banas Basin) and its tributaries, is an integral component of the upper Berach basin. The upper Berach basin is a part of the Gangetic river system, wherein the river Berach meets river Ganga through the rivers Banas, Chambal & Yamuna.
The Udaipur Lake System can be divided into the following categories
- Upper lakes: Lake Badi, Chhota Madar & Bada Madar.
- City Lakes: Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Swaroop Sagar, Rang Sagar, Kumharia Talab, Goverdhan Sagar.
- Downstream Lake: Lake Udai Sagar.
- River: River Ahar.
Watershed or the catchment areas include
- Bada Madar
- Chhota Madar
- Badi Lake
The city lacks an organised sewerage system and treatment facility for the solid wastes and sewage generated. With an absence of waste segregation, processing and scientific disposal facilities, the city's lakes have been facing increased levels of pollution, thereby threatening an ecological degradation. Five of the major lakes have been included under the restoration project of the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India in order to preserve the cleanliness of the water bodies in the city. These are :
- Fateh Sagar Lake
- Pichola Lake
- Doodh Talai Lake
Udaipur city has particularly a tropical climate. The three main seasons, summer, monsoon and winter respectively, dominate the city of Udaipur. Being located in the desert lands of Rajasthan, the climate and weather of Udaipur is usually hot. The summer season runs from mid-March to June and touches temperature ranging from 23 °C (73 °F) to 44 °C (111 °F) in the months of March to June. Monsoons arrive in the month of July heralded by dust and thunderstorms. With lush greenery and enchanting lakes, the sporadic rainfalls enhance the beauty of the city, making it one of the top monsoon destinations of the country. The winter season prevails from the month of October till the month of March. Humidity, which prevails during monsoons, diminishes at the arrival of winters. The city observes pleasant sunny days and enjoyable cool nights with the temperature ranging from 5 °C (41 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F).
Udaipur's winter climate is the most appealing time to visit. Tourists arrive in large numbers, anytime between mid-September to late March or early April. Even in January, the coldest month, the days are bright, sunny and warm with maximum temperature around 28.3 °C (82.9 °F). Mornings, evenings and nights are cold.