When talking about food of Udaipur, one word that comes in mind is ?Spicy?. Made from a variety of spices and herbs, the Mewari cuisine (food found in Udaipur) offers a delightfulcomposition of aromas, taste and presentation. Most of the people mistake, Mewari cuisine to be light and vegetarian. However, that is not the case. The vegetarian food found in Udaipur, with minimum use of spices, is eaten by only a section of the community, especially the Jains. The Rajputs, or the royals, were mostly non-vegetarian and their palate included a host of dishes consisting of meat. One of the popular non-vegetarian dishes of the Udaipur is the Laal Maas.Traditionally made from the game meat, this delightful dish is made from spiciest MathaniaChilies; give this dish a distinct taste. Served with chapattis or Indian flat bread made from wheat or millets flour, laalmaas is a aromatic dish. Another populardelicacy of Udaipur isGatte Ki Sabzi, a spicy dish made from gram flour and yogurt. During meals, people of the city preferpapad (Indian nachos) and pickles as an accompaniment.In the street food culture of Udaipur fried fetters dominate. One can find pakoras (fried fetters) madefrom different things starting from humble bread to chilies stuffed with curriedpotatoes. The culinary arts of Udaipur, is very colorful with vibrant and aromatic mix of spices and herbs.
Mewari, the language of the Udaipur, is widely spoken in here. According to a survey, more than 5 million people speak this language all over the world.The Mewari language is quite advanced and has vowels, consonants anddiphthongs in its lexicon. Part of the Indo-Aryan language family, the language takes in several loanwords from Hindi.Besides that, different dialects of Rajasthani and Guajarati are frequently heard in the lanes and by-lanes of Udaipur. Due to the incoming of huge amount of domestic and international tourists, the city has adapted to Hindi and English in order to communicate. Among the Muslim communities of the city, Urdu is spokenfrequently.
Festivals are anintegral part of Udaipur?s culture. Some of the popular festivals celebrated in the city are Gangaur,HariyaliAmavasya,and JagannathRathYatrais popular festivals of the city.Gangaur, an important festival of Rajasthan, is celebrated among women who pray to Shiva and Parvatifor maritalbless and happiness.Starting a day afterHoli, it is a 15 daycelebration. During the festival, women dress up in colorful attire, and follow strict fast, in order to appease the gods. On the final days of Gangaur, the clay idols of Gan (Shiva) and Gaura (Parvati) are immersed in the Lake Pichola, which marks the end of festivities.HariyaliAmavasyamarks the arrival of the monsoon. Hosted in the Lake FatehSagar, the festivalis very popular among locals. People pray to lord Shiva for abundant rain, necessaryfor farming. A special fair is organized on HariyaliAmavasya, where local artists perform their art.Besides this, International music festival is organized every year during the month of February. Artists and musicians from all over the world come here to showcase their art. This highly energetic festival is very popular among youth of the city.
People of Udaipur live a colorful life that can be seen from the colorful dresses they wear. The traditionalMerawi men wore dhoti and kurta, along with a huge turban.Traditionally, women wore ghagra (heavily embroidered skirt) and choli (blouse).Deep and vibrant colors dominate the dresses and usage of different embroideryschemes can be seen widely.Since, the royal family had aclose connection with the Britishcolonizers, western influences have also impacted the dressing sense of the royals. Royal men were seen sporting suits and jackets during royal functions, which influenced the different sections of the society.With time, the next generation has adapted to more contemporary dresses. Now, youth can be seen wearing modern dresses like skirts, tops and other forms of western wear. However, during festival and ritualsthey still preferthe traditional dresses.While taking about the dresses and costumes worn in Udaipur, it is important to mentiontie and dyeprinting. Done ondifferent fabrics like cotton, silk and chiffons, the tie and dye work of Udaipur is very stunning and is found in two varieties. The Lehariyaprinting creates a wave like illusion on the cloth piece, whereas Banhej creates an almost floralpattern on the fabric.Both are very attractive, and one canfindUdaipurisflaunting these patterns in their dresses.
Dance and Music
Music and dance are an integral part any culture. It helps members of the community to represent and express themselves, their feelings and emotions in a creative way. Udaipur is no exception to that. City housing different communities and cultures, Udaipur has developed a unite identity in its music and other creative arts. During the reign of the Mewari rulers, the royal family became the patrons of arts and helped in development of the creative arts in the region. The folk music of Udaipur was mostly dominated by string and percussion instruments. Accompanying this music, vibrant and colorful dances like Ghoomar or Kalbeliawere performed that created a surreal environment.Ghomar is a colorfuldance, done by women,performed during the auspicious occasions.Kalbelia is equally enticing folk dance, performed by the snake charmer community called Kaalbelia, where dancersmove in rhythmic steps mimicking the movement of the snakes.Currently, the music circuit of Udaipur has slowly evolvedfrom folk to contemporary. The city hosts World Music Festival, where musicians and artists from all over the world.The festival is very popular among the youth of the city, who are willing to explore the different style of world music.
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