|Historical Region of Western India
|Dynasties||Moris (up to AD 734)
Guhilas (Guhilots), Sisodias (734–1952)
|Historical capitals||Nagda, Chittaurgarh, and Udaipur|
Mewar or Mewāḍ is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Pirawa Tehsil of Jhalawar District of Rajasthan, Neemuch and Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh and some parts of Gujarat.
For centuries, the region was ruled by Rajputs. The princely state of Udaipur emerged as an administrative unit during the period of British East India Company governance in India-ruled and remained until the end of the British Raj era.
The Mewar region lies between the Aravali Range to the northwest, Ajmer to the north, Gujarat and the Vagad region of Rajasthan to the south, the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh state to the southeast and the Hadoti region of Rajasthan to the east.
The word "Mewar" is vernacular form of "Medapata" (IAST: Medapāṭa), the ancient name of the region. The earliest epigraph that mentions the word "Medapata" is a 996-997 CE (1053 VS) inscription discovered at Hathundi (Bijapur). The word "pata" or "pataka" refers to an administrative unit. According to the historian G. C. Raychaudhuri, Medapata was named after the Meda tribe, which has been mentioned in Varāhamihira's Brihat-Samhita. The 1460 Kumbhalgarh inscription associates the Medas with Vardhana-giri (modern Badnor in Mewar region). Historian Sashi Bhusan Chaudhuri associates the ancient Medas with the modern Mer people.
The 1285 CE (1342 VS) Mount Abu (Achaleshwar) inscription of the Guhila king Samarasimha provides the following etymology while describing the military conquests of his ancestor Bappa Rawal (Bappaka): "This country which was, in battle, totally submerged in the dripping fat (medas) of wicked people by Bappaka bears the name of Śrī Medapāṭa." Historian Anil Chandra Banerjee dismisses this as a "poetic fancy".
The northern and eastern portions of Mewar are made up of an elevated plateau while the western and southern portions were rocky and hilly with dense forests. The watershed divide between drainage of the Bay of Bengal and drainage of the Gulf of Khambhat runs almost through the centre of Mewar. The northern and eastern part of Mewar is a gently sloping plain, drained by the Bedach and Banas River and its tributaries, which empty northwest into the Chambal River, a tributary of the Yamuna River. The southern and western part of the region is hilly, and marks the divide between the Banas and its tributaries and the headwaters of the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers and their tributaries, which drain south into the Gulf of Khambhat through Gujarat state. The Aravalli Range, which forms the northwestern boundary of the region, is composed mostly of sedimentary rocks, like marble and Kota Stone, which has traditionally been an important construction material.
The region is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests' ecoregion. Protected areas include the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mewar has a tropical climate. Rainfall averages 660 mm/year, and is generally higher in the southwest and lower in the northeast of the region. Over 90% of the rain typically falls in the period June to September every year, during the southwest monsoon.
The state of Mewar was founded around 530; later it would also, and ultimately predominantly, called Udaipur after the name of the capital. In 1568, Emperor Akbar conquered Chittorgarh, the capital of Mewar. In 1576, Maharana Pratap, the ruler of Mewar, was defeated at the Battle of Haldighati and Gogunda, Udaipur and Kumbalgarh were conquered. However through guerilla warfare, Mahrana Pratap recaptured Western Mewar. In 1615, Amar Singh accepted Mughal suzerainty over Mewar. It remained in Mughal hands thereof for about 150 years. When Udaipur State joined the Indian Union in 1949 it had been ruled by the Rajputs of Mori, Guhilot and Sisodia dynasties for over 1,400 years. Chittaurgarh was the capital of Sisodia clans of Rajputs of Mewar.
The economy of the Mewar region relies primarily on tourism, the marble and stone industry, mining, handicrafts, zinc smelters, cement and tyre factories, as well as agriculture. Major crops include maize, groundnut, soybean, wheat, and mustard. Opium is also grown in the adjoining regions of the southeast (Pratapgarh and Nimbahera). Fishery also thrives in the region's various lakes, supported by a government fisheries department.
- The massive Chittorgarh hilltop fort is one of the main tourist attractions of Mewar. The fort is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. It stands on a 2.4 square kilometre site on an 180 m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains below. The fort was sacked thrice by a stronger enemy. The first sacking occurred in 1303 by Alauddin Khalji. In 1535 Bahadur Shah of Gujarat besieged the fort, causing the women to commit Jauhar. In 1568 Mughal emperor Akbar captured the fort.The war between the Mewar and mughal turned the fort to rubble but Akbar's dream to conquer the whole of Mewar never fulfilled.But it was not resettled by royal family again
- Udaipur, also known as the city of lakes, is a world-famous and a very popular tourist destination with its grand palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes.
- The Lake Palace is a palace inaugurated in 1746, completely made of marble, and situated in the middle of Lake Pichola. In recent years Lake Pichola has experienced drought conditions.
- Jaisamand Lake
- Udaisagar lake
- Fatehsagar lake
- Shilpgram, a village northwest of Udaipur, hosts a crafts fair every year, which is one of the largest in India.
- Eklingji, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ruling deity of Mewar.
- Keshariaji, a temple of Rishabhdev.
- Nathdwara, a temple of Lord Shrinathji, one of the most important pilgrimage sites of India.
- Haldighati, a mountain pass in Rajsamand district that hosted the battle between Rana Pratap Singh and the Mughal emperor Akbar.
- Kumbhalgarh, a 15th-century fortress, built by Rana Kumbha, with 36 kilometres of walls. Over 360 temples are within the fort. It also has a wildlife sanctuary.
- Charbhuja Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Rajsamand, a huge lake near Rajsamand city, from which the city derives its name.
- The Ranakpur village is home to one of the most important Jain temples, which escaped the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's efforts to destroy Hindu and Jain temples, because it is hidden in a geographically difficult terrain.
- Mewar through the ages, by D. L. Paliwal. Sahitya Sansthan, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, 1970
- The Kingdom of Mewar: great struggles and glory of the world's oldest ruling dynasty, by Irmgard Meininger. D.K. Printworld, 2000. ISBN 81-246-0144-5.
- Costumes of the rulers of Mewar: with patterns and construction techniques, by Pushpa Rani Mathur. Abhinav Publications, 1994. ISBN 81-7017-293-4.
- G. C. Raychaudhuri (1940). History of Mewar from the Earliest Times to 1303 A.D. Kanjilal, Calcutta University Press. p. 8. OCLC 917040797.
- Dineschandra Sircar (1963). The Guhilas of Kiṣkindhā. Sanskrit College. p. 38. OCLC 161579.
- Sashi Bhusan Chaudhuri (1955). Ethnic settlements in ancient India. Calcutta: General. p. 26. OCLC 2278769.
- Anil Chandra Banerjee (1958). Medieval studies. A. Mukherjee & Co. p. 19. OCLC 254699661.
- Imperial Gazetteer of India : Provincial Series Rajputana. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing. 1908. pp. 106–168.
- Gupta, R.K.; Bakshi, S.R., eds. (2008). Studies in Indian History: Rajasthan Through the Ages Vol. 5. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. pp. 64–77. ISBN 978-81-7625-841-8.
- Chandra 2005, pp. 121–122.
- Pant 2012, p. 129.
- Princely States of India
- "Udaipur State (also called Mewar): History". The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 1909. pp. v. 24, p. 87.