- What is special about the founding of Udaipur?
- Who advised the Maharana about building of Udaipur?
- What was taken into consideration while building the royal palace?
- Why were forts built on hills?
- What was special about the city gates?
Founded on 15th April 1553, Udaipur has the rare distinction of a city planned in keeping with the principles of ancient Indian Vastu Shastra. Adequate natural light, proper water flow and conservation of environment were taken into consideration. All the aspects of Vastu were kept in view.
No wonder, all this has resulted in the phenomenal progress of the city.
The city has several specialities related to architecture based on Vastu that set it apart from other cities of not only India but also the whole world.
It is worth noting that at the time of foundation of Udaipur, Mewar was fortunate to have Vastu Shastris who were best in the knowledge and experience of town planning and construction in the whole of India. Under royal patronage, the biggest number of books on Vastu Shastra were written. The Vastu principles of water management and location and construction of palaces and forts were dealt with in detail.
Bhardwaj, the grandson of renowned Mandan, kept in view that royal palaces were to be built in the east of waterbodies. In case of Udaipur, it was done in the east of Picchola Lake built during the time of Maharana Lakha. According to Vastu Shastra, Udaipur has prospered as it has waterbodies in the west.
It was borne in mind that there was no scarcity of water in spite of it being a hilly region. The city is built in the area where there is division of water stream and which is not earthquake prone and subject to natural calamities.
The chambers and other important places in the royal palace have been planned keeping in view the principles of Vastu. All the places such as the main chamber, chambers for king’s mother, the prince and ladies of royal family, coronation hall, meeting hall, store, kitchen, eating place, the place to keep clothes, etc. were built at places suitable according to Vastu. So were the location of abodes of gods and godesses like Laxmi, lecture halls, stores where arms were kept, courtyards, ‘vyayamshalas’ for wrestlers and place for cows. At the right place were built gardens like Gulab Bagh and Sahelion ki Bari that have trees, plants and shrubs considered to be auspicious. Also developed was Sarvaritu Vilas that was a cool place in all seasons. Gardens had fruits and flowers and places to play in the middle. For conservation of water were grown trees that maintained the underground water level. Before big gardens were developed, there were built ‘Kot’ walls with stones that were plastered with lime. Forts like Eklingarh, Sajjangarh, Sarneshwar and Amargarh were built on high hills for protection against the enemy.
For ample water supply, lakes like Picchola, Kumharia Talab, Swaroopsagar, Fatehsagar, Janasagar (Badi) and Udaisagar were built. Several ‘baoris’ and wells of different depths were dug. For drawing out water there were RahatsandPanwatisthat were moved with legs.
Five kinds of gates were built at right places so that persons entering through them had positive thoughts and became well-wishers of the city. Roads and streets had different width according to the need and Vastu principles.
Temples were built in different parts of city to make it a still more auspicious place to live in. All the aspects of Vastu were taken into consideration.
One of the most important factors that has made Udaipur a marvellous city to reside is the strict adherence to the principles of Vastu.
Content Courtesy: Dr. S.K. Jugnu