1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Udaipur

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UDAIPUR, Oodeypore or Mewar, a native state of India in the Rajputana agency. Area, 12,691 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 1,030,212. Estimated revenue £200,000; tribute £17,000. The greater part of the country is level plain. A section of the Aravalli Mountains extends over the south-western and southern portions, and is rich in minerals, but the mines have been long closed. The general inclination of the country is from south-west to north-east, the Banas and its numerous feeders flowing from the base of the Aravalli range. There are many lakes and tanks in the state, the finest of which is the Debar or Jaisamand, with an area of nearly 21 sq. m.; it is considered to be the largest artificial sheet of water in the world. A portion of the state is traversed by the Malwa line of the Rajputana railway. A branch from Chitor towards Udaipur was taken over by the state in 1898, and was extended nearer to the capital. Like the rest of Rajputana the state suffered severely from famine in 1900. The ancient coinage is of the Sasanian or Persian type, copper issues of this type being still in circulation. Modern coins bear on the reverse the words “Friend of London.”

The chief, whose title is maharana, is the head of the Sisodhyia clan of Rajputs, and claims to be the direct representative of Rama, the mythical king of Ajodhya. He is universally recognized as the highest in rank of all the Rajput princes. The dynasty offered a heroic resistance to the Mahommedans, and boast that they never gave a daughter to a Mogul emperor. They are said to have come from Gujarat and settled at Chitor in the 8th century. After the capture of Chitor by Akbar in 1568 the capital was removed to Udaipur by Maharana Udai Singh. During the 18th century the state suffered greatly from internal dissension and from the inroads of the Mahrattas. It came under British protection in 1817. The Maharana Fateh Singh, G.C.S.I. (b. 1848), succeeded by adoption in 1884.

The name of Mewar is derived from the Meos, or Minas, a tribe of

mixed Rajput origin, who have likewise given their name to a different tract in northern Rajputana, called Mewat, where they are now all Mahommedans. About 1400 a sub-division of the Mewatis, Called Khanzadas, made themselves the dominant power in this tract; and at the end of the 18th century, and again during the Mutiny, they were notorious for their ravages in the Upper Doab, around Agra and Delhi. In 1901 the total number of Mewatis in Rajputana was 168,596, forming 13% of the population in the state of Alwar. Down to 1906 the Mewar residency was the title of a political agency in Rajputana, comprising the four states. of Udaipur, Banswara, Dungarpur and Partabgarh; area, 16,970 sq. m.; pop. (1901), 1,336,283. But in that year the three last states were separated from Udaipur, and formed into the Southern Rajputana States agency. The Mewar Bhil Corps, raised as a local battalion in 1840, which was conspicuously loyal during the Mutiny, was in 1897 attached to the Indian army, with its headquarters at


The city of Udaipur is 2469 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901), 45,976. It is situated in a valley amid wooded hills, on the bank of a large lake (Pichola), with palaces built of granite and marble. The maharana's palace, which crowns the ridge on which the city stands, dates originally from about 1570, but has had additions made to it till it has become a conglomeration of various architectural styles. On Lake Pichola are two islands, on which are palaces dating respectively from the middle of the 17th and of the 18th centuries. In one of these the European residents were sheltered during the Indian Mutiny. In the neighbourhood are Eklingji (with a magnificent temple of the 15th century), and Nagda, the seat of the ancestors of the chiefs of Udaipur, with a number of temples, two of which are said to date from the 11th century.

There is another Udaipur State in the Central Provinces (till

1905 one of the Chota Nagpur states of Bengal). Area, 1052 sq. m.;

pop. (1901), 45,391. Its capital is Dharmjaygarh.