City of Murals should be Udaipur’s official nickname. It’s more fitting than Lake City or the Venice of Rajasthan. There are only five main lakes within Udaipur’s city limits, but there are hundreds — maybe thousands — of murals. I haven’t seen such a proliferation of murals in any other Indian city.
Murals aren’t just a quaint custom of the past in Udaipur. New ones are going up all the time on homes and commercial buildings. Murals aren’t found only in more prosperous areas. I’ve seen them all over the city, in modest neighborhoods as well as more opulent ones.
The one thing they have in common is that they are painted in the traditional style, depicting scenes from the Mughal age.
Once murals are painted, it doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s priority list to keep them maintained. They seem to show the wear and tear of weather and pollution rather quickly.
This one, next to the Mewar Haveli Hotel in the Lal Ghat area, looked newly painted in 2007. Only five years later, the effects of sun, rain and auto exhaust are evident.
The murals at the City Palace were in excellent condition. Maybe they were recently done, or perhaps they’re better cared for because they are part of an important tourist attraction.
I hope the custom of mural painting never goes out of style in this city. It’s one of the many things about Udaipur that I love.