General Information about Chhota Udepur
Chhota Udepur was among the three princely states of eastern Gujarat. The town is situated at the edge of a big lake, with blooming lillies and a boulevard with palm trees. The series of temples along the lake dotting the skyline makes a perfect setting for the colourful tribal haat.
History of Chhota Udepur
The founders of Chhota Udepur were the direct descendants of the famous Hindu king Prithviraj Chauhan, who bravely fought against the invaders and immortalized in Prithviraj Raso – a romantic heroic ballad, narrating the love of Samyukta and Prithviraj. After losing a long battle at Ranthambore to Muslim invaders, the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs moved to the hills of Pavagadh via Malwa, established the capital at Mohan near Narmada and shifted the capital to Chhota Udepur.
After 1882 AD treaty with British, an era of peace prevailed and many royal and public buildings were erected in the town. The original fortification in the town lies in ruins, overgrown with shrubs and creepers and Darbar Hall burnt down few years back. Many buildings were built in early 20’s, around this fortification in the fashion of big mansions of Bombay, by the relatives of the ruler.
How to reach Chhota Udepur
The nearest airport is located at Vadodara, which is about 102 kms.
The nearest railway station is located on the Vadodara – Chhota Udepur railway line.
Chhota Udepur is connected by road with all the major cities of Gujarat like Ahmedabad and Vadodara
Tourist Attractions in Chhota Udepur
The Kali Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali and is worshipped by the royal family.
The Jain Derasar is a typical example of plaster-decorated buildings of Gujarat, imitating woodcarvings and figurines in plasterwrk, showing the influence of Victorian art. The arcades, with decorated pillars, the figures with musical instruments, ther dressing, headgears and hairstyles painted in an unconventional manner with bright colours, make a beautiful composition.
Kusum Vilas Palace
The Kusum Vilas Palace was designed by a famous architectural firm of Bombay – Bhatkar & Bhatkar in the early 1920. The design concept was to create a palace in a harmonious fusion of the architectural style of Champaner with modern amenities of an elevator and other functional requirements. A large porch, arcaded facade and balanced architectural treatment of the 5 storeyed central wing with receding volume, capped with a dome lends majesty to the palace.
The interiors are a blend of east and west. The carved plasters, friezes gilded with real gold are the replicas of the such architectural elements at Champaner. The British made elevator has a foyer at ground level, enclosed by the series of exquisitely carved stone jalis bringing in a etheral light effect.
The grand reception room on ground floor has large doors, a carved false ceiling, French furniture, Belgian mirrors and superb Italian marble statues. The wall paintings by an Indian artist, depicting the picturesque settings at Chhota Udepur and previous capital Mohan are most remarkable.
Prem Bhavan Palace
The Prem Bhavan Palace is located in the same palace campus of Kusum Vilas Palace and has now been converted into a heritage hotel. This hotel offers excellent accommodation, food and package tours to nearby interesting places.