Rebuilding of Mewar Dynasty-I

The Mewar dynasty has survived the turbulence of invasions and Independence, which shattered its lifestyle. Exclusive extracts from a book that chronicles its evolution.
By 1570, Udai Singh ji had begun to build his new capital and to rebuild the Mewar dynasty. Although defeated, he resolved to rebel Mughal authority as long as he lived.
While Maharana Udai Singh  and his family resided in Moti Mahal, Udai Singh constructed a more spacious dwelling, the City Palace, a few kilometers to the south. The foundation stone at the heart of the new lakeside palace marked the spot where Udai Singh had met the sagacious who had suggested the site for a new capital.
Over the next centuries, Udai Singh's successors added new palaces of their own to the City Palace complex and in the lake itself. Today, this compound of striking royal dwellings will collapse along almost two kilometers of the lake's eastern shore.
Udaipur, the "cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan", has garnered several epithet, including "City of Sunrise", "City of Dreams", and "the Venice of India". In the early 1800's, Colonel James Tod, a British administrator stationed in Udaipur, he called medieval Udaipur "the most romantic city in India".
It is interesting to note that around the same time that Maharana Udai Singh II of Chittor first contemplated building his new capital of Udaipur, Emperor Akbar of Agra was building his own new capital of Fatehpur Sikri.
Akbar forced Udai Singh to relocate to Udaipur, and abandoned Agra for Fatehpur Sikri. However, an element of poetic justice underscored both ventures. Whereas Udaipur survived, Fatehpur Sikri fell into ruin within 15 years. Actually, the result shows a lack of proper planning by Akbar and his advisers. With Udaipur, a river was dammed and huge lakes created to supply the city with life's essential sustenance, fresh water.
Fatehpur Sikri was built atop a high hill, to which water had to be channeled in from Bharatpur, several kilometers away. During a battle between the Mughals and the Jats, the water channels were deliberately cut and the reservoirs at Fatehpur Sikri soon became empty. Akbar was forced to return to Agra, and turn his attention to other battles on India's northwest frontier. Fatehpur Sikri became a glorious ghost town. Udaipur flourished to become Rajasthan's most gracious capital.
Udai Singh basked in the enjoyment of his new city for a mere two years. In 1572, he died at the relatively young age of 51 while visiting the northern town of Gogunda. It was the end of a new beginning in Mewar's history, but there was glory yet to come which could have been averted ... As he lay dying, in deference to his favorite queen, Udai Singh disregarded the tradition of primogeniture. With his last breath, he named her son, Jagmal, as his successor.

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