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Venice of the east
City palace, Udaipur
|Nickname(s): White City and The City of Lakes and Venice of the east|
|• Total||64 km2 (25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||600 m (2,000 ft)|
|• Density||242/km2 (630/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Nearest city||Jodhpur, Kota, Jaipur, Indore, rajsamand|
Udaipur pronunciation (help·info), is a city, a municipal corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Udaipur district in the state of Rajasthan in western India. It is located 403 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of the state capital, Jaipur and 250 km (155 mi) northeast from Ahmedabad. Udaipur is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. The Sisodia clan of Rajputs ruled the Mewar and its capital was shifted from Chittorgarh to Udaipur after founding city of Udaipur by Maharana Udai Singh. The Mewar province became part of Rajasthan after India became independent.
Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination. Apart from its history, culture, and scenic locations, it is also known for its Rajput-era palaces. The Lake Palace, for instance, covers an entire island in the Pichola Lake. Many of the palaces have been converted into luxury hotels. It is often called the "Venice of the East", and is also nicknamed the "Lake City" or "City of Lakes". Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are considered the most beautiful lakes in the country.
Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the final capital of the erstwhile Mewar kingdom, located in the fertile circular valley-"Girwa" to the southwest of Nagda, on the Banas River, the first capital of the Mewar kingdom. This area already had a thriving trading town of "Ayad" which had served as capital of Mewar for over 200 years and 17 rulers of Mewar had ruled from Ayad town of Girwa Valley (~10-12th centuries, Ruler #18-34), still earlier (4+1) Rawals ruled from Nagda; so the “Girwa” (& adjoining) valley was already well-known to Chittaud rulers who moved to it whenever the vulnerable tableland (Mesa)Chittaudgadh was threatened with enemy attacks. Maharana Udai Singh II, in the wake of 16th century emergence of artillery warfare decided to move his capital to a more secure location, importance of which he had realized during his exile at Kumbhalgadh. Ayad was flood-prone, hence he chose the ridge east of Pichola Lake to start his new capital city, where he came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot, assuring him it would be well protected. Udai Singh II consequently established a residence on the site. In November 1567, the Mughal emperor Akbar attacked & laid siege of the venerated fort of Chittor, which was reduced to one of the 84 forts of Mewar.
As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas (also called the Guhilots or Suryavansh), who had always tried to oppose Mughal dominance, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except for Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. Being a mountainous region and unsuitable for heavily armoured Mughal horses, Udaipur remained safe from Mughal influence in spite of much pressure. The rajvansh of Udaipur was one of the oldest dynasties of the world. Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar (the Royal Family of Udaipur),is the current symbolic ruler of the city.
Geography and climate
Udaipur is located at  It has an average elevation of 598.00 m (1,962 ft). It is located in the southern region of Rajasthan and is close to Gujarat. It has five major lakes, which are under restoration with funds provided by the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) of the Government of India:.
Udaipur's autumn / winter climate is the most appealing time to pay her a visit. Tourists arrive in numbers, anytime between mid-September to late March or early April. Even in January, the coldest month, the days are bright, sunny and warm with maximum temperature around 28.3 °C (82.9 °F). Mornings, evenings and nights are cold with minimum temperature around 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) especially if there is a slight breeze in the air.
|Climate data for Udaipur|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.2
|Average low °C (°F)||7.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||3.5
- City Palace, Udaipur
Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of the "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel). They also have views of Jag Mandir on one side and the city of Udaipur on the other. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of Krishna are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other palaces such as Dilkhush mahal, Sheesh mahal, Moti mahal and Krishna vilas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princes. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day. Celebration mall (Highest rated mall of Rajasthan) that is India's first and only Heritage mall, is now serving as a tourist attraction destination.
The former guesthouse of the city palace, Shiv Niwas Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace have been converted into heritage hotels.
- Lake Palace
The Lake Palace was built in 1743-1746. It is made of marble and is situated on Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola. It was originally built as a royal summer palace, but is now a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces" banner.
- Jag Mandir
Jag Mandir is another island in Lake Pichola which is known for its garden courtyard. Shah Jahan took refuge here while revolting against his father. There is a restaurant run by the HRH group of hotels.
- Monsoon Palace
Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjan Garh Palace The summer resort of the Maharajas is atop the hill overlooking all of the lakes. This palace had a way to collect rain water for consumption all year around.
- Jagdish Temple
The Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D. It is an example of Indo - Aryan architecture. This temple is a great example of architecture and art. The area is the main tourist place in the city. You can also find some special kind of things like rajasthani dress, paintings etc.
- Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is situated in the north of Lake Picholas. It was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in the year 1678 AD, but later on reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh after much destruction was caused by heavy rains. In 1993-1994, the water vanished from the lake, but in 2005-2006, the lake regained its water.
- Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola has two islands, Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4 km long and 3 km wide, originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. There are many ghats, like the bathing and washing ghats, which can be approached through boats from the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat). In the heart of the lake the Lake Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. The lake remains fairly shallow even during heavy rains, and gets dry easily in times of severe drought.
Sahelion ki Bari was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below the embankment of the Fatah Sagar Lake have lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant-shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose.
- Gulab Bagh and Zoo
A rose garden laid out by Maharaja Sajjan Singh is situated near the palace on the east side of Lake Pichhola. A library in the garden has a collection of ancient handwritten manuscripts and books. Some of the part of the Satyarth Prakash have been written in this library. Styarth Prakash stup is situated in Gulab Bagh. Within the garden, there is a zoo with tigers, leopards, Chinkara gazelle, birds, and many wild animals. Children can enjoy mini train, track of which covers the main part of the garden and the zoo.
A museum of folk arts. It also hosts puppet shows in its auditorium.
- Maharana Pratap Memorial or Moti Magri
This is an old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. The haveli now stages Rajasthani traditional dance and music.
- Ahar Museum
Located about 2 km east of Udaipur is a cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. There are about nineteen cenotaphs of Maharanas cremated there. One cenotaph is that Maharana Amar Singh, who reigned from 1597 to 1620. Nearby is also Ahar Museum, where on display is limited but very rare earthen pottery, as well as some sculptures and other archaeological finds. Some pieces date back to 1700 BC, and a tenth-century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction.
A crafts village located northwest of Udaipur, Shilpgram hosts an annual crafts fair which is one of the biggest in India; people from different states in the country have stalls showcasing their art and crafts work.
- Udaipur Solar Observatory
Asia's only solar observatory, the Udaipur Solar Observatory, is situated on an island in the middle of the Lake Fatah Sagar.
Udaipur in popular culture
Because of its picturesque and scenic locations, Udaipur has been the shooting location for many Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Indian sections of the James Bond film Octopussy were filmed in the city, the Lake Palace, and the Monsoon Palace. The nearby desert was the backdrop of the remarkable rescue of Octopussy (Maud Adams) by Bond (Roger Moore). Some scenes from the British television series The Jewel in the Crown were filmed in Udaipur. The Disney channel film, The Cheetah Girls One World, was shot in Udaipur in January 2008. Additional non-Indian movies/TV serials filmed in Udaipur include: Darjeeling Limited, Opening Night, Heat and Dust, Indische Ring, Inside Octopussy, James Bond in India, Gandhi, and The Fall.
Some of the Bollywood movies shot here are Guide, Mera Saaya, Phool Bane Angaray, Kachche Dhaage, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Jalmahal, Yaadein, Return of the thief of the bagdad, Eklavya: The Royal Guard, Dhamaal, Jis Desh Mei Ganga Rehta Hai, Chalo Ishq Ladaaye, Fiza, Gaddaar, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, Khuda Gawah, Kundan, Nandini, Saajan Ka Ghar,Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,Ramleela, In addition, many Bollywood films' songs were filmed in Udaipur. Udaipur is also the setting of Star Plus's hit serial Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. TV serials Swayamber of Rakhi Sawant and Swayambar of Rahul Mahajan on NDTV Imagine also filmed here at Hotel Fatehgarh. A hit historical show by Contiloe Telefilms named "Maharana Pratap" on Sony is shooting in that place. The pop Star Shakira performed in a party on 15 November 2011 of real estate tycoon owner of DLF Kush Pal Singh.The Party was held in Jag Mandir Palace
Udaipur is well connected to the major cities of India by land, rail and air.
Dabok airport, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport, is situated in a satellite town about 20 kilometres from Udaipur. Daily Indian Airlines flights connect Udaipur with Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi. There are daily flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur on Jet Airways and Indian Airlines. The airport has been renovated by the Airport Authority of India for a possible International status, but with the lesser political will the airport has remained confined to the routes mentioned above.
Udaipur City has direct trains on the broad gauge network to most of the major cities in Rajasthan and the rest of India such as Khajuraho, Alwar, Jaipur, Kota, Chittorgarh, Ajmer, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ratlam, Indore, Ujjain, Mumbai, Surat, Baroda, and Gwalior [Agra, U.P.] and a metre gauge network to Ahmedabad. Famous luxurious trains, The Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharaja Express and The Indian Maharaja have Udaipur as the scheduled stop on their itinerary. The popular trains connecting Udaipur with the Capital of India, Delhi are Mewar Express and Chetak Express.
The city lies on the intersection point of East West Corridor, Golden Quadrilateral, National Highway (NH) 76 and National Highway (NH) 8, midway between Delhi and Mumbai, located around 700 kilometres from either city. The East West Corridor which starts from Porbandar and ends at Silchar is intersecting the Golden Quadrilateral and shares the common space from Udaipur to Chittor. The roads in this part of the country are paved and fit for private vehicles. One can either drive from Jaipur (around 6 hours), Ahmedabad (4.1/2 hours) or Surat (9 hours) on NH 8 or Golden Quadrilateral, from Kota (3 hours - EW Corridor or NH 76). Apart from Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC), there are numerous private operators or companies provide the bus services to and from the other cities.
Unmetered taxis, Private Taxi, Radio taxi, auto rickshaws, and regular city bus services are available for Udaipur City main roads to Dabok Airport, Badi Lake, and Bedala. City bus route number 1 runs from Badgaon to Titardi via Hiran Magri and route number 2 runs from Rampura to Dabok via DelhiGate .
- Nathdwara - Shri Nathdwara (a pathway to Lord Shri Krishna) lies 48 km from Udaipur and literally means the gateway to the Lord. Devotees throng the shrine in large numbers during occasions of "Janmashtmi", the day of the Lord's birth, and other festivals like Holi. It is famous for its pichwai paintings, with Shri Krishna in the centre and is recognized for profuse use of gold colour.
- Ranakpur - A village that is home to one of the most important Jain temples. 1400+ marble pillars support the temple. Opposite the Jain temple is the much older Sun Temple. Located in Pali District, 110 km north of Udaipur.
- Chittorgarh- About 112 km from Udaipur, Chittorgarh was the capital of Mewar from 734 AD to 1559. Chittorgarh Fort is a massive fort situated on a hilltop near Chittorgarh town in Rajasthan state in India.
- Haldighati - A mountain pass in Rajsamand District that hosted the battle between Rana Pratap Singh of Mewar and the Mughal emperor Akbar. Now a memorial site.
- Kumbhalgarh - A 15th-century fortress, built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar, with 36 kilometres of walls. Over 360 temples are within the fort. It also has a wildlife sanctuary. Located in Rajsamand District, 90 km from Udaipur. The vista from the top of the palace typically extends tens of kilometers into the Aravalli hills.
- Mount Abu - A popular tourist hill station.
- Eklingji - Eklingji is a temple complexes situated nearly 22 km in the north of Udaipur. It was built in 734 A.D. and consists of 108 temples chiseled out of sandstone and marbles; it is devoted to the royal family of Mewar.
- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the most rugged of the Aravali in Pali, Rajsamand and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan. It takes its name after the historic fort of Kumbhalgarh, which comes into view over the Park. It is 578 km² in area and at an altitude of 500 to 1,300 metres. It is home to a very large variety of wildlife, some of which are highly endangered species. The wildlife includes wolf, leopards, sloth bear, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, smabhar, nilgai, chaisingh (the four horned antelope), chinkara, and hare.
- Kankroli and Rajsamand Lake: Dwarakadish Temple, Nau Choukiya, JK Tyre factory
- Adinda Parshwnath:A famous jain temple of "Parshwnath ji",42 kilometre from Udaipur.It was only south faced jain temple in India.
- Rishabhdeo: also known as "Kesariya ji" or "Kala Baoji" Famous Jain pilgrimage center sacred to Jains and local tribals, local name is Dhulev.
- Jagat: known as Khajuraho of Rajasthan, famous for Jagadambeshwari Durga temple.
- Bambora: fort and Idana mata temple nearby.
- Jaisamand Lake: second biggest man-made lake in the Asia.Very picturesque and beautiful lake has many inhabitable islands.
- Udaisagar Lake
- Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary: It is said that Sita spend her exile period here in Guru Valmiki ashram, here are many places related to Sita and Luv-Kush. Sita also go into mother Earth's lap here it is near Bansi, Barisadri and Dhariyawad, famous for flying squirrel, teak forest, tiger and very big fair of Sitamata is also organized every year in May. Jakham dam is also inside this sanctuary.
- Baneshwar:120 km from Udaipur on Banswara road near Sabla, Jakham, Som and Mahi river are merged here, every year Kumbh for Aadiwasi's in January month organised.
- Galiakot (Mazar-e-Seyadi Fakhruddun Shaheed)
- Dungarpur: Gap sagar, city palace
- Banswara:Mahi dam and Tripura Sundari temple
- Chavand-The Third Capital of Mewar and also the place where Great Maharana Pratap spent his last 21 years.
- Bhinder: fort, pond, temples, Drgah Sultan-ji-Shahhed.
- Bandoli: near Chawand, Maharana Pratap's canopy is situated here
- Mayaro ki Gufa; Rana Pratap used to keep his arms and ammunitions here.
- Molela - A village near Haldi Ghati famous for its red pottery "terracota".
- Kamal Nath- near Jhadol, it is said that Ravana the demon king of Lanka worshiped here of Lord Shiva and offer his head instead of lotus flower to God. Rana Pratap also stayed here for some time after Haldighati war.
- Matrikundia: it is known as Prayag of Mewar, holi place near Rashmi on Banas river bank.
- Sanwaliaji Temple: 70 km east from Udaipur famous krishna temple.
- Avari Mata temple: 80 km in east from Udaipur
- Jhakham Dam: in Sita mata century
- Salumber: fort, pond, temples, famous for Hadi Rani's sacrifice.
- Charbhuja ji: at Gadbor village in Rajsamand district, one of the char-dham of Mewar, 90 km in north from Udaipur.
- Sardar garh: fort and lotus (Kamal) shaped Alakh mandir [self-realization place of Mahatma Bhuri Bai]
- Laksmanpura: famous for Ram Jharokha,village of notable saint Sri Guman Singh ji, 25 km east from Udaipur
- Nauwa: near Khemli 20 km from udaipur, self -realization place for yogivirya Baoji Chatur Singh ji Mewar.
- Bemla: famous for Kurabadia Bheruji, beautiful land-scape, Bemleshwar mahadev, dhuni.
- Tidi Dam: 40 km in south of Udaipur near Zawar mines
- Som Kagdar Dam: 65 km in South of Udaipur and near Kherwara
- Som-Kamala-Amba Dam: near Aaspur
- Nandeshwar ji: 11 km south-west from Udaipur on Jhadol road.
- Ubeshwar ji:19 km west from Udaipur
- Mansi Wakal dam: 60 km from Udaipur
- Keleshwar Mahadeo: 29 km west of Udaipur
- Jhameshwar Mahadeo: 22 km in south of Udaipur, mahadeo temple, Ambika mata temple, water fall and picnic spot
- Baghdada:Crocodile park and habitate center, 12 km south of Udaipur
- Statue of Shiva: Situated at the beautiful village "Menar" between Udaipur and Chittor - 45 km, eastern to Udaipur. This Statue is on the bank of Bhram Sagar.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Udaipur. Other popular sports include football, hockey, tennis, badminton, archery, etc. Luv Kush Indoor Stadium is generally used for the indoor sports especially Badminton and TT. Mahrana Bhupal Singh Stadium is a multi purpose stadium used for organizing matches of football, cricket and other sports. The lakes provide an opportunity for the water sports.
For Encouraging Sports in the city and even for encouraging International Sports in this ‘City of Lakes’.A step has been put forward by establishing ‘Khel Gaon (village)’or Maharana Pratap Khel Gaon in Chitrakoot Nagar. It will be committed to 12 sports namely like Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Handball, Archery, Rifle shooting, Judo – Karate, Boxing, Swimming, Squash. The sum of 7.53 crore has already been spent on the main stadium. At present it has an audience capacity of 15000.
Kayaking and Canoeing Sport Camps have also been started at the Fateh Sagar Lake.
Udaipur has a well-established education infrastructure. There are a number of universities, colleges and schools meeting the requirements of not only the city but the region and country as well. The main universities in Udaipur include IIM Udaipur, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Sir Padampat Singhania University and Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology. Other educational institutes include College of Technology And Engineering, College of Dairy & Food Science Technology, RNT Medical College, Bhupal Nobles' College, J.R.N.Rajasthan Vidyapeeth(Deemed), S S College Of Engineering, Techno India NJR Institute of Technology, Geetanjali Medical College and Hospital, Pacific Commerce college, Pacific ENG College, Pacific Dental College & Hospital, Geetanjali Institute of technical studies.
Udaipur is now the first district in Rajasthan to have implemented a smart class system in all the government schools, enabling them with information and communication technologies(ICT) infrastructure. This model of ICT in education is getting replicated in all government schools of ICT infrastructure of Rajasthan State. This ICT based initiation was started on 4 December 2013 by Dept of Education, Udaipur in joint initiative with Moinee Foundation, Jaipur and is popularly known as Project Utkarsh
Newspapers in Udaipur include Hindi dailies as Rajasthan Patrika, Dainik Bhaskar, Navbharat Times, Amber Ka Darshan, Apranha Times, Udaipur Express, Pratahkal and English dailies such as The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, etc. The state-owned All India Radio is broadcast both on the Medium Wave and FM bands (101.9 MHz) in the city. It competes with Three private local FM stations — Big FM (92.7 MHz), My FM (94.3 MHz) by Bhaskar Group, Radio Tadka [95 MHz]. The public broadcaster Doordarshan (Prasar Bharati) provide a regional channel besides the mainstay channels. DTH is gaining popularity over private cable operators for television viewing.
Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta.
|Population Growth of Udaipur|
According to the 2011 India census population is 475,150. After expansion of city area limits in 2013 population became 598,685. Males constitute 53 percent of the population and females 47 percent. Udaipur has an average literacy rate of 62.74 percent, the national average is 79 percent: male literacy is 75.91 percent and female literacy is 49.10 percent.
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- Mathur, Pushparani (1994). Costumes of the Rulers of Mewar. p. 22. ISBN 9788170172932.
- http://www.worldlakes.org/uploads/Management_of_lakes_in_India_10Mar04.pdf Management of Lakes in Inda
- "Udaipur - Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan". Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- More details are available at Maharanapratap.net, a collection of facts and figures on Maharana Pratap and his life
- Udaipur City Bus/City Bus View
- "Cricket styled weddings in Udaipur". Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- Stadiums in Rajasthan
- "Official website of Project Utkarsh, Udaipur".
- "उदयपुर की योजना अब पूरे प्रदेश में, साढ़े 6 हजार स्कूलों में चलेगा "उत्कर्ष"". Dainik Bhaskar. Aug 20, 2014.
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- "Historical Census of India".
- "Census of Udaipur".
- "Census 2011-Urban Region Overview". Census 2011 by Govt. of India. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
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- Masters, Brian (1990). Maharana: the story of the rulers of Udaipur. Mapin Pub. ISBN 0-944142-28-1.
- Mehra, S, Mehra, S. P. & Sharma, K. K. (2012). Importance of aquatic avifauna in southern Rajasthan, India. Pg. 159-183. (In: Rawat., M. & Dookia, S. (eds.) Biodiversity of Aquatic Resources, Daya Publishing House, Delhi, 2012) (978-81-7035-789-6)
- Mehra, S, Mehra, S. P. & Sharma, K. K. (2012). Aquatic Avifauna: Its Importance for Wetland conservation in Rajasthan, India. Pg. 179-190. (In: Mathur, S. M.; Shrivastava, V. K. & Purohit, R. C. (eds.) Conservation of Lakes and Water Resources Management strategies, Himanshu Publications, Udaipur, 2011) (978-81-7906-263-0) Mehra, S, Mehra, S. P. & Sharma, K. K. (2011). Aquatic avifauna of Aravalli Hills Rajasthan, India. pp. 145–167 (In Gupta, V. K. & Verma, A. K. (eds.) Animal Diversity, Natural History and Conservation Vol. I, Daya Publishing House, Delhi, 2011) (ISBN 978-81-7035-752-0)
- Sharma, K. K. & Mehra, S. P. (2007). Need of studies on anuran in habitats of southern Rajasthan. Frogleg 13: 12–16.
- Islam, M. Z. & Rahmani, A. R. (2004). Important Bird Areas of India: Priority Sites for Conservation. Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK). Pp. xviii + 1133. (ISBN 019-567333-6)
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