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A romance with Nature

In 1567 , Maharajah Udai Singh, the ruler of the kingdom of Mewar in Rajasthan, shifted his capital from Chittorgarh to a new city, Udaipur for security reasons. The city was built on the slopes of a hill and on the banks of Lake Pichola. Even today, life in the ghats adjoining the lake continues as before. Here the sacred and the mundane co-exist. An architectural vocabulary based on gates, narrow streets, interspersed by intimate courtyards - which might contain a small shrine or a well - and overhanging balconies and platforms in front of each house, promotes contacts between neighbors, creating an extraordinary community feeling. The traditional houses in the city as well as the palace, with their courtyards and terraces at various levels, are perfectly adapted to the hot, dry climate of the region. But the palace’s originality lies in the way its walls encase the hill around which it is built. This explains why the palace has a garden at its topmost level. The accord with nature is carried further in the pleasure palace of Jag Mandir, on an island in the midst of Lake Pichola, where Shah Jahan was given asylum when he rebelled against his father, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Its ethereal ambience probably inspired Shah Jahan to conceive the Taj Mahal.

A voice over narration accompanies images of the city as it is today, inter-cut with occasional miniature paintings that either illustrate historical events or architectural concepts. Local folk music as well as classical North Indian music has been used to evoke the Rasa of this unique city.

30 minutes

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