The Udaipur Military Festival – 2023


Introduction: Welcome to India’s first global military festival at Udaipur

India plays host to a spectrum of conclaves, culture and literature festivals held across the country every year. These events have, over the years, become popular forums to raise issues of concern in domains as diverse as literature, history and heritage on the one hand; to business, economic, cultural and political issues at the other end. Forums like the Raisina Dialogue or the Jaipur Literature Festival have gained iconic status and become marquee events in the calendar year of India.

There is a noteworthy absence of an exclusive Military Conclave which focuses on issues of contemporary and historical concern to India, and Asia as a geo-political strategic region.  As India seeks to be a major player in military and strategic affairs on the world stage, the Udaipur Military Festival is emerging as the appropriate platform.

The United Service Institution of India (USI), a 152-year-old institution of military repute is collaborating with the Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti (MPSS) to institutionalize and curate this multi-disciplinary international military festival to be held annually in the heritage-city of Udaipur.

Udaipur, once the capital-city of the erstwhile Princely State of Udaipur, Mewar, exemplifies the finest values which define our Indian civilization and culture. Valour, loyalty, discipline, respect for mankind, ethical dealings in times of peace and war, and the ideal of independence have been upheld in the region of Mewar and Rajasthan over the centuries.

The Udaipur Military Festival, in many ways, is a tribute to generations of our Custodians of the State of Udaipur, warriors, soldiers and their families who have lived by this universal value-system. Often sacrificing their lives for these ideals which are the living heritage of our land, a spectrum of legacies to which today we are proud to be contributing.

In Udaipur and the region of Mewar, and across the modern state of Rajasthan, the presence of ancient fort-cities, forts, fortifications at the village-levels and temples are indicative of the significance of the army and all its affiliated activities.

It also is a pointer to the development of the sciences, knowledge-systems and crafts which flourished in this region enabling the armies to maintain elephants, horses, soldiers, arms and armouries, medicines, and fodder. 

In the twenty-first century, the city of Udaipur and the House of Mewar continue to provide platforms for Indian and global audiences to remain rooted in their culture and heritage.

The Custodians of the House of Mewar are bringing together like-minded institutions, non-profits and people who are facilitating the preservation of the living heritage of Mewar which belongs not just our land but the entire humankind. The Udaipur Military Festival is a shining example of these collective endeavours.    


About theMaharana Pratap Smarak Samiti (MPSS)

Located at Moti Magri in Udaipur, the MPSS was formed in the pre-Independence era by the State of Mewar with the objective of raising a befitting memorial for Maharana Pratap. By 1955-56, the memorial at Moti Magri took shape and has remained a centre for initiatives and activities related to Maharana Pratap and the history of Mewar, Rajasthan. The Smarak Samiti was registered under the provisions of the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1955 (No. XXVIII of 1955) in the year 1982 and a certificate of registration was issued by the Registrar in favour of the Smarak Samiti. Members of the former Royal House of Mewar are steering the Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti with the aim of keeping alive the legacies of the Custodians of Mewar since the 8th century CE.


About the United Service Institution of India (USI)

The United Service Institution of India (USI) (founded 1870) is India's premier national security and defence services think-tank. Its aim is the “furtherance of interest and knowledge in the art, science and literature of the defence services". The USI Journal is the oldest military journal in Asia and has been a barometer of India's strategic and military concerns over the years. The Institution has niche expertise in the field of National Security, Geopolitics, International Relations, Military Diplomacy, Military Heritage, UN Peacekeeping, professional skill development and Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence technology. The institution regularly conducts programmes for the National Defence College, War Colleges, IAS Academy, Foreign Service Institute, National Policy Academy and Universities. It brings together the strategic community and policymakers on one platform for informed debates on evolving strategic affairs and security concerns.

The USI Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies (CMHCS) encourages objective study of all facets of Indian military history with a special emphasis on the history of the Indian Armed Forces. It is the only centre of its kind dedicated to the study of Indian military history and the preservation of India’s military heritage. It focuses on diverse aspects of Indian military evolution, policies and practices, as well as the field of contemporary conflict studies in the broader sense. In addition, the Centre is active in the field of public diplomacy, commemoration and remembrance, development of military museums and conservation of military heritage, for which it collaborates with multiple global partners.


To acquaint future thought leaders with the dynamics of comprehensive national security with special emphasis on India's strategic culture, military heritage, modernisation of security forces and Atmanirbhar Bharat Programme.


1. Promote India's rich military heritage and indigenous military cultures.

2. Promote literature on Indian military history, indigenous historical knowledge and the art and science of warfare.

3. Facilitate policymakers and strategic thinkers to build consensus on issues concerning modern warfare and India's interests and aspirations.

4. To provide a platform to the designers, developers, manufacturers and Industry partners for promoting the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme.

5. Provide a stage for discussions of future and emerging technologies in the military domain and showcase developments in these technologies in influencing the modern battlespace.

6. To promote a nuanced understanding of evolving geopolitics, its impact on the global order and implications for India's strategic security.

7. Inculcate not only the 'All of Government' approach to national security, but to engage the whole of the nation to foster greater understanding of the current and emerging security challenges in a holistic manner.



The Udaipur Military Festival will have suitable interactive sessions on the following four broad themes:

1.       Military Heritage & Culture including Indigenous Military Strategic Thought.

2.      Contemporary Wars Across the World, Changing Military Strategies & Technologies.

3.      Veer Gatha - Special Session for Children on our military history, valour and gallantry in keeping with the new Education Policy.

4.     Civil - Military Fusion in Defence with focus on Make in India & Atmanirbhar India.


*       The Udaipur Military Festival is a major rendezvous for the entire military ecosystem – academicians, writers, military professionals, soldiers, defence manufacturers, military users, government officials entrusted with the security of India.

*      It’s a platform for foreign and defence companies to seek common areas of interest to further their businesses under the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives.

*       The Udaipur Military Festival seeks to delve into India’s history and culture and showcase it to the world community. In doing so, it takes pride in reinforcing India’s stature as an old civilization with a rich history and a military tradition of soldiering and warfighting over centuries.

*       It’s a platform for writers, academicians, thinkers, journalists and military history buffs to release their books/works, publish their views & thoughts as well as share their knowledge on military history & culture of India.

*       As a part of a novel initiative by the Ministries of Defence and Education to promote a sense of pride in history in successive generations, this event will provide impetus to the VEERGATHA programme and involve children and youth in learning about the courage, valour and military achievements of our ancestors and forefathers.


The Udaipur Military Festival  will be hosted at the historic City Palace of Udaipur. The festival is planned to be conducted over three days, annually in October during the holy period of Dussehra. This is symbolic, in that the festival of Dussehra celebrates the military spirit of victory and fits well into the theme of the Udaipur Military Festival. For the year 2023 it is planned as follows:

       Day 1 (21 Oct 2023) - The Inaugural Session (Valedictory address) and Subsequentsessions with cultural performances interspersed in between.


       Day 2 (22 Oct 2023) - Multiple sessions with book signings and cultural performances such as folk puppet shows and martial arts and a live witness to the Ban Mataji Procession at the City palace in the morning.


       Day 3 (23 Oct 2023) - Closing Session followed by Ashwa Poojan (Worship of Horses) in the evening (5-7.30 pm), an event which is a big draw due to its immense popularity.


Every day sessions will be held across two or more venues simultaneously. These venues are all located within Udaipur in and around the City Palace and Moti Magri.