Environment & Ecology
Land & Water | Udaipur: The city of Lakes | Rupal Rathore
LA 58
Udaipur has long been self-sufficient in its water supply through its indigenous system of interconnected water bodies which lend it the title, 'City of Lakes'. The city's history and culture are enriched with this natural element that features in many of paintings and traditional practices. Thus, Architectural growth in the city today must be conscious of the importance of this water network and must not seek to impose on or modify it. Development must be respectful of heritage and not superior to it.
The city of Udaipur is located in the southern end of Rajasthan, a fertile valley bounded by hills. Owing to the mountainous divide of the Aravalli ranges in the state, the region of Mewar, characterised by rocky hills, dense forests, elevated plateaus and alluvial plains, presents a geographical scenario almost opposite to the sandy, arid landscape of Marwar. While the south west monsoon winds, running parallel to the Aravallis, bypass this region causing very little rainfall, Southern Rajasthan captures low-velocity winds obstructed by hills, causing humid conditions. Mewar's unique topography is drained by two main rivers-Banas and the Berach, the floodplains of which have been home to ancient Ahar cultures dating back to the time of the Harappan civilization.

Udaipur's ancient synonymy with lakes began as early as 1568 when Rana Udai Singh decided to move his capital here, after Chittorgarh had succumbed to Akbar's forces. He strategically ordered the royal palace to be built on the east of the artificial embankment of Lake Pichhola, securely surrounded by scrub-forested hills. Negotiating the gradually sloping terrain of the region, the flow of water had to be checked at crucial points to provide for domestic and irrigational needs as well as create a recreational landscape for Rajput royalty. The southern tip of Lake Pichhola, with its depth varying from 4 to 8 meters, was secured with a stone masonry dam to ensure a perennial supply of water for the city's sustenance. The early settlement of Udaipur spread in the bowl-shaped basin fed by river Ayad, a tributary of Banas that ultimately drains into the Gulf of Kutch.



 


ISSUE NO: 58
report
Reimagining Landscapes
Identity | Approach | Stewardship
Isola 13th annual conference, Kochi, 2019

Rajesh George, Nupur Prothi Khanna and Nikhil Dhar

tribute
Remembering Nimish

Sohan Nilkanth

ecology & environment
Mapping a waste treatment landscape
East Kolkata wetlands

Dhruba Das Gupta


Land & Water
Udaipur: The city of lakes

Rupal Rathore


Lakes of Delhi
Intekhab Alam


competition
Auroville

Garden of the unexpected

Eyes on the canal
Buckingham canal open-ideas competition

profile
A site to behold

Sujata Kohli

conversation
Sustainable designs, unique identities

In Conversation with Shyam Khandekar

Imagining landscapes of social and
Ecological resilience

In conversation with Breck Gastinger


view from within
Those old days in these new Times

Geeta Wahi Dua

landscape design
Weaving culture through the Landscape
Tata Consultancy Services, Mihan, Nagpur

LSG Landscape Architecture and Green Space Alliance [GSA]

VILLA 270°
Harne, Dapoli, Maharashtra

Sparrow Landscape Initiative

seeing the unseen
Stories of everyday, everywhere and for everyone

PULP


book review
Look what we found when we planted seeds
Of curiosity!
UNESCO World heritage sites of India series

Review by Malvika Bajaj Saini






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