The beautiful city of Udaipur got a rich cultural heritage from the past. Nowadays, Udaipur has adopted the city lifestyle – still, there are some culture and festival in Udaipur that would be new for tourists. The city has been a favorite place for the Rajputs because of its romantic ambience. If you are planning to explore this city, it is important to understand the customs, traditions and culture that the city follows.
Jainism is the principal religion here, though other religions such as Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Christianity are still observed. The primary language is Mewari, but Hindi, English and Rajasthani are also common.
Known as the ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’ and ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur is the second most visited city in Rajasthan next to Jaipur. Until today, Udaipur is still inhabited by the native tribe ‘Bhil’ – a tribe still virgin from the strong currents of modernism and retained its innocence and simplicity.
The culture and festivals in Udaipur is particularly marked with its lively and colorful dance performances commonly displayed during fairs and ceremonies. The deep cultural heritage of Rajputs is showed and preserved through vibrant folk dances. The Udaipur tribal culture is characterized with sensuous and stunning dance performances that include several dance forms such as Chari dance, Ghoomar, Kalbeliva dance, Sasariya dance, Dang Lila, and so on.
Besides the religious festivals that are celebrated in different parts of the country, Udaipur city has a wide variety of its unique gatherings that are not observed elsewhere in India. Most festivals take place based on the moon’s activity, meaning that they don’t occur at the same date every year.
The major festivals celebrated in Udaipur consist of Mewar Festival, Shilpgram Crafts Festival, and the Gangaur Festival. Usually celebrated during March or April, the Mewar Festival marks the arrival of spring. During this festival, the images of Goddess Gangaur (Parvati) and Lord Shiva are carried in a religious procession across the city until it reached Gangaur Ghat at Pichola Lake, where the images are dipped into the lake water.
After the procession, the locals engage in merry making and fun activities. The Mewar Festival is marked with the performances of folk songs and dances presenting the cultural legacy of Rajasthan. The curtains of the festival are brought down with a gleaming display of fireworks.
The Shilpgram Crafts Fair commonly celebrated in November or December is a famous event organized in the western part of Udaipur. The main purpose behind this festivity is to promote and highlight the arts and crafts of the state of Rajasthan. You can purchase various artifacts and handicrafts such as camel leather, woven clothes, glass works and embroideries here.
Tourists are suggested to check with hotel information desks and local tourist agencies on the exact date of the festival that you may want to participate. Also, it’s best to determine the weather during that time so you can pack appropriate clothes for that event. The culture and festivals in Udaipur are known as the gala time for the women and the girls, especially Gangaur Festival, so make sure you bring your most colorful outfit and your camera for these events.