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History of Udaipur

The Sisodia dynasty of Mewar, founded in the 6th century, was highly respected for its fierce pride and the passion with which its kings safeguarded their independence and racial purity. The Sisodia dynasty of Mewar is probably the oldest in the world, tracing its origins directly back through seventy-six generations. Bappa Rawal, the first of the great Sisodia kings ascended the throne in AD 734 and shifted his capital to the hilltop fortress of Chittorgarh. The strategic fort of Chittorgarh was to remain the capital of the Sisodias for the next 800 years.

The dynasty's most glorious period came in the 15th and 16th centuries during the reigns of Rana Kumbha, Rana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. Mewar made great progress in the arts and culture, consolidated its military strength and faced squarely up to the might of the Mughals – refusing to accede or be wooed over as most other Rajput rulers had done. Mewar was the one royal house in Rajputana that neither buckled down to the might of the Mughal Empire nor entered into military or matrimonial alliances with the Mughal Emperors. The valiant exploits of Maharana Pratap and his defiant guerrilla war against Akbar after the sacking of Chittorgarh in 1567, have passed into folklore and continue to inspire young Rajputs to this day.

Rana Amar Singh, who succeeded Maharana Pratap in 1597 finally contracted a peace treaty with Emperor Jehangir in the early 17th century, but with one condition - that neither he nor any of his successors would personally appear in the Mughal court. The peace that ensued the signing of this treaty opened the way for a period of cultural revival during which the Mewar School of Painting blossomed and several beautiful palaces were constructed in Udaipur. Before long, however, incursions by the Marathas and internal bickering led to a long period of turmoil till the Rana of Udaipur signed a treaty with the British in 1818.

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