Rajasthan is situated in the north-western part of India. It covers 342,239 square kilometres (132,139 square miles). Rajasthan lies between latitudes 23 degree 3'and 30 degree 12', north and longitudes 69 degree 30' and 78 degree 17', east. Compared to many countries that are located in a similar latitudinal belt, such as in northern Arabia, Rajasthan has a less harsh climate. The State's scorching and dry summers and its parched landscape is undergoing significant changes because of the developmental effort that have led to the spread of the Indira Gandhi Nahar.
The southern part of Rajasthan is about 225 km from the Gulf of Kutch and about 400 km from the Arabian Sea. Rajasthan is bounded by Pakistan in the west and north-west; by the State of Punjab in the north; by Haryana in the north-east; by Uttar Pradesh in the east, by Madhya Pradesh in the south-east and Gujarat in the south-west.
The Aravali mountain ranges that run from Delhi to Gujarat cut through the State almost vertically. The Aravali ranges divide the State through south-east and north-west. The north-west region covering two-thirds of the state consist mostly of a series of sand dunes. Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and part of the Jhunjhunu districts form part of this region. The eastern region has large fertile tracts.Climate
The climate of Rajasthan varies from semi arid to arid. The mercury touches 49 degrees centigrade at some places during summer and drops below freezing point during winter. Though the average annual rainfall ranges between 200-400 mm, it is as low as 150 mm in extreme arid zones and as high as 1000 mm in the south eastern part of the State. Most of the rainfall (60-80%) is received with the South west monsoon in the period from July to September. The average number of rainy days vary from 6 to 42 depending on the aridity of the area.Festivals Camel Festival
The camel festival is organised by the Department of Tourism of the Rajasthan Government in January every year in Bikaner. The festival begins with a colourful procession of bedecked camels against the red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh fort. The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the directions of their trainers. bridal bridles, bejeweled necks, jingling anklets and camel shadows, cast a spell on the audience. In the evenings, is held a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes and folkNagaur Fair
The fair is held every year in January-February in Nagaur, is a trading fair for cattle and camels and gives one an opportunity to catch up with rural life as owners from all over the state camp on the outskirts of the town while they buy and sell animals. the hides of the animals, cut into wonderful patterns, are particularly attractive.Culture of Rajasthan
When we talk about Rajasthan at first come in our mind is its proud culture. Our discussion is incomplete without paying some words for its culture. Rajasthan is globally known for its rich and proud culture. In fact, one of the most prime reasons why Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is no doubt its rich and proud culture. The desert state of Rajasthan is best known for its exotic and rich culture that still remains intact. Its strict devotion to the tradition and culture is really noteworthy. Rajasthani people are very fond of colourful costumes. Rajasthani men’s love for colourful turbans and Rajasthani women’s love for ornaments like colourful bangles, anklet, armlet, rings and earrings as well as full Ghaghra (Skirt) are well-known.
Everything of Rajasthan like interesting paintings, soulful music, colourful handicrafts, folk dance and music, religion, resplendent fairs and festivals and breathtaking art and architecture show the rich culture of Rajasthan. Hindi is widely spoken in all over in Rajasthan but there are also local dialects in Rajasthan. These are Jaipuri, Marwari, Mewati, Malwi and Rajasthani. There are also English speaking people in the cities of Rajasthan. Hindi is the official language of Rajasthan. History of Rajasthan
Among 28 states of the sub-continent of India Rajasthan is one. The capital of Rajasthan is Jaipur which is also popularly known as the Pink City. The history of Rajasthan is so rich that every roadside village has its own tales of heroism and sacrifice.
During the period of 700 AD Rajput clans emerged and began to spread their influence and hold control over different parts of Rajasthan. Before emergence of Rajput clans, Rajasthan was a part of several small states. It was a part of Mauryan Empire. Malavas, Hunas, Guptas, Satraps, Saka, Kushans, Yaudhyas, Arjunyas, Malavas are some other republics which dominated this region.
Ajmer situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills has been a witness to an interesting past. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major center of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. when Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri.since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties, which came and left leaving behind indelible marks of their culture and traditions on the city’s history, converting it to an amalgam of various cultures and blend of Hinduism and Islam.
Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage center for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti,which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims.
Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar(11 km.),the abode of Lord Brahma,lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake.The Pushkar lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik(Oct./Nov.),devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake.The Dargah
At the foot of a barren hill, is situated India’s most important pilgrimage center for people from all faiths. It is the splendid tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti more popularly known as Khawaja Saheb or Khawaja Sharif. The shrine is next only to Mecca or Median for the Muslims of south Asia. Akbar used to make a pilgrimage to the Dargah from Agra once a year.
The mausoleum has a gigantic gate,which was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad.The two massive cauldrons in the courtyard are of particular interest and on the right side of the courtyard ins the Akbari Masjid built in white marble. There is another mosque in the courtyard built by Shahjhan.
The saint’s tomb with a splendid marble dome is in the centre of the second courtyard which is surrounded by a silver platform. The shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims during the Urs-commemorating the death anniversary of the Saint, held from the 1st to 6th day of the Islamic month of Rajab. A colourful fair that springs up during this time is the major attraction.Shahjhan’s Mosque
In the corner of the inner court of the Dargah, is a magnificent building in white marble with a long (30.5m) and narrow court having low arcade and delicate carvings with trellis-work.It is the most marvelous of all the sanctums within the sanctuary of the Dargah.Adhai-din-ka-jhonpra
A remarkable structure, this is a masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture located on the outskirts, of the city, just beyond the Dargah. As the legend goes, its construction took two and a half days (Adhai-Din) to complete. It was originally a Sanskrit college, built within a temple. In 1193 A.D. Mohhamed Ghauri conquered Ajmer and converted the building into a mosque by adding a sevenarched wall in front of the pillared hall in just two-and-half days(adhai-din) and hence the name. The distinct pillars-and arched "Screen" with its ruined minarets make it a splendid architectural masterpiece.Taragarh Fort
A steep one and a half hour climb beyond the Adhai-din-ka-jhopra leads to the ruins of the Taragarh Fort, perched on a hill.One can have an excellent view of the city from here. The fort was the site of the military activity during the Mughal period, later used as a sanatorium by the BritishAdhal-din-ka-Jhonpra The Museum
Once the royal residence of Emperor Akbar ,the museum houses a rich repository of the Mughal and Rajput armour and exquisite sculptures.
Bharatpur - The 'Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan', was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, it was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan.
The place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur. The legends say the rulers Laxman's name is engraved on the state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Suraj Mal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam, and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.
The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th century. Leaders like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with. Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century.Keoladeo National Park
A paradise for the avian world, and the pilgrimage for the bird lovers, it was known as the best duck shooting resort in the British empire. But was declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to National Park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site.
The geographical location is ideal as it is on the main North - South avian route of India. Although small in size, 29 sq. km. only, it boasts to house more than 375 species of beautiful birds, and more than 132 of them breed inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park and nearly every year new ones are added to the list. The sanctuary not only attracts birds from India but also from places like Europe, Siberia, China and Tibet.
Before mansoon hundreds of these exotic birds roost and nest building activities start on the babool and kadam trees of the park. Water coming through the Ajan Bandh starts filling the various ponds and lakes of the Park. When assured of enough food, hundreds of large, medium and little cormorant, darter, purple and Grey heron, various species of egret, painted, open-billed, white necked and black necked stork, white ibis, spoonbill, night heron and other birds get busy in courting and mating. The trees are over flowed with nests, one can observe a tree housing nests upto fifties and sixties in number belonging to different species of birds looking after their loving young ones. The nests on the trees look like pearl necklaces.
Gracious Saras cranes, the tallest flight birds nest in exposed and open area, both partners share the duty of hatching, while chanting incubating duties, they come together, raise their neckand give out shrill trumpetic calls in unison and at the same time fan their feathers. The newly born chicks are only 10 cm. in size but grows upto one meter in height within a year.
The animal populace also show their presence although they are thoroughly dominated by feathers, wings and beaks. The animals include the Black Buck, Sambhar - the largest Indian Antelope, Spotted deer, and Nigais. Pythons can also be observed at some places lazing in the sun.
Vehicles are only permitted upto Shanti Kutir inside the park. The Electra Van of forest department can be engaged in the sanctuary, although the best way to explore the park is on foot or bicycles which are available on hire. Cycle rickshaws can also be hired.
Bikaner's forts, palaces and temples - magnificent creations in red and yellow sandstone, are living manifestations of its rich historical and architectural legacy. One can feel the medieval aura pervading the city's lifestyle. Not only do the traditions come alive here in colorful bazaars and havelis, but Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels in the world. One can witness gaily caparisoned camels at the spectacular Camel Festival at Bikaner, held annually.
The city was founded in 1486 AD by the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, hence the name Bikaner. Bikaji was son of Rao Jodhaji who had asked his son to establish a kingdom of his own. The challenge was accepted and Bikaji choose the wild country 'Jangaldesh' as his territory and thus the city of Bikaner came into existence.
A seven-kilometres wall with five entrances was built to protect the city from vagaries of the desert and any external aggression. The city flourished as an important trade centre between Gujarat seaports and West Asian countries. The unbroken line of descendants of Bikaji ruled Bikaner till India got Independence. Bikaner is known for good breed of riding camels, which are among the best in the world. The Camel Festival held every year is famous all over the globe. Bikaner has many magnificent buildings made of Reddish Pink sandstone that transcends the surrounding barren wilderness. Unlike other cities of Rajasthan, Bikaner has been able to preserve its traditional aura of the medieval era, which makes a visitor come here year after year.
Junagarh Fortnagarh Fort Revel in the architectural splendour, built by Akbar's contemporary Raja Rai Singh. Within the fort are thirty seven palaces, pavilions Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate is the main entrance to the fort. The palaces worth visiting are Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal and Karan Mahal. It is built in red sandstone and marble are ornate with mirror work, carvings and paintings. An array of kiosks and balconies embellish the fort at intervals, breaking the monotony. A museum with valuable miniature paintings and rare antiques is also located in the Junagarh Fort.
Lalgarh Palace The magnificent fort in red sandstone, a fascinating juxtaposition of the Oriental style and European luxury that leaves you truly mesmerized. Designed by Sir Swinton Jacob for Maharaja Ganga Singh almost -90 years ago, this is an extraordinary monument. The palace has a billiards room, a library, a cards room and a smoking room. Belgian chandeliers, cut - glass ornaments, oil paintings and lamps add to its charm.
Bhandeshwar Jain Temples It is a beautiful 16th century Jain temples, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar Parshvanathji. Other important temples of Bikaner include the Lakshminathji, Ratan Bihariji, Shiv Bari, and Nagnechiji temple. The Bhaironji Temple at Kodamdesar, about 40 km from Bikaner, is another noteworthy temple.
Camel Breeding Farm Acquaint yourself with the indispensable ship of the desert at this camel research and breeding center, the only one of its kind in Asia.
Devi Kund This is a royal crematorium with cenotaphs of the house of Bikaji Rathore. Many decorated Chhatris, built in the memory of the Bika dynasty, offer splendid example of the Rajput architecture.
The name itself evokes countless images of courageous Rajput rulers who laid down down their lives in battle field to well known superior enemies, of gorgeous queens whose beauty had a maddening appeal that forced foreigners to launch wars and of the sacred fire that embraced many women and children in its arms to save them from the atrocities of invading armies.
Chittaurgarh's history is laced with such events that still ring a bell in the hearts of the visitors and even those who are sitting far off comfortably in their homes and offices. The stories from its history begin to flow the moment an interested ear turns towards it. By the end of the session, Chittaurgarh leaves an impression that is wondrous, awe inspiring, confusing and heart rending at the same time. The sacrifices given to preserve the honour of the city inspire a patriot heart while simultaneously filling it with sorrow for the innocent lives lost due to the greed of others.
The early town that was confined within the walls of fort atop a hill, now spreads to the western part (of the hill). This new town is known as the Lower Town and has nothing much in specific to allure the tourists. However, the fort area is definitely not to be missed. Chittaurgarh can be explored at a leisurely pace from a bicycle or an autorickshaw. Charges are pretty reasonable and provides sufficient time to roam around as per one's choice.
For those who have little time in hand, a trip to Chittaurgarh can be clubbed with that of Udaipur. A single day should suffice to give a brief introduction to a place that has suffered so much but still managed to retain its identity.By Air
The nearest airport to reach Chittaurgarh is Dabok Airport in Udaipur which is 90 km away. Udaipur is well connected by a daily flight to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Aurangabad.By Rail
Several trains connect Chittaurgah to major cities within and outside Rajasthan. The Chetak Express covers Ajmer, Jaipur and Delhi while Neemuch Agra connects to Kota. Other trains run to Ahmedabad and Udaipur as well.By Road
NH 8 connects Delhi and Jaipur to NH 79 TO Ajmer. From here, Chittaurgarh is little less than 4 hours drive via Nasirabad, Bhilwara and Bundi. Chittaurgarh can be reached by 2 ½ hr drive from Udaipur. Buses also connect Chittaurgarh to Delhi, Ajmer, Jaipur and Udaipur.
Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh. The pink color was used at the time of making to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities - and repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world not visible to the tourist-in-a-hurry.
The city was designed by Vidyasagar Chkravarty, a young Bengali architect, who succeeded in making a marvellous synthesis of many influences- Hindu, Jain, Mughal (with Persian overtones), beside his own idea from eastern India.
This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to an epoch of royalty and tradition. The imperial city, replete with amazing legends of romance and heroism. This is the fortified city of Jodhpur, standing a wary sentinel to the great Thar Desert. Beckoning you to the wilderness of fascinating dunes, rocky terrain and thorny vegetation.
Hawa Mahal Or palace of winds, which is , in fact, no Palace, but an extraordinary facade 0f 953 airy windows used by the ladies of the Palace to watch the outside world. It was built in 1799. The top of the honeycomb like frontage of Hawa Mahal offers an excellent view of the surrounding
City Palace In the center of the sprawling old walled city stands the City Palace with its ornate entrance gates, arches, projecting balconies and a series of courtyards. The ground and first floors of the seven storey Chandra Mahal houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. The museum has a rare and rich collection of ornaments, arms, royal costumes, carpets and decorative art objects.
Jantar Mantar The observatory of Maharaja Jai Singh II. The construction and precision of the observatory were a unique achievement for the year 1716. This observatory best reflects the passion of its founder for astronomy and his scientific genius. It helped in calculating the movements and positions of stars and planets and in foretelling the eclipses.
Jaigarh Fort It was recently opened to the public after being sealed for seven years, following a rumor that an enormous treasure in gold was buried in vaults under deep reservoirs.
Jaigarh , or the Fort of Victory, is a rugged fort built in 1726. The world's largest cannon on wheels is to be found here. The fort houses a museum and provides some excellent views of the Amer Palace.
Nahargarh Fort Nahargarh Fort 15 km, provides a marvelous view of Jaipur city. Shekhawati 168 km, the painted town, was once subordinate to Jaipur. Sariska Palace 37 km, once a hunting lodge, now a private hotel set on the outskirs of a wildlife sanctuary where tiger, panther, blue bull, wild boar and deer roam the scrubby thicket and bush.
The Garland Forts These forts, though built at different periods, are so located that they seem to be stringed together. AMER Set in a picturesque location, Amer is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh, it sprawls on the hillside. Click here to see a panoramic view of the formidable Amer with Jaigarh in the background. Built in red sandstone and white marble, the palace complex has some very interesting apartments, the likes of which are not to be found anywhere else in the country. Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas and Ganesh Pole are the prominent areas of interest.
The old township of Amer lies at the foothills of the palace and has an old world charm, a character of its own. Jagat Shiromani Temple, Narsingh Temple are some of the places of interest.
Mehrangarh Fort One of the largest forts in India, it is unsurpassed in beauty and grandeur. Innumerable palaces in the fort, interspersed with sprawling courtyards, are intricately carved. Various folk musicians and bands gather here on important occasions and perform against the magical backdrop of the fort - reviving the regal splendor of a bygone era.
Jaswant Thada The 19th centuryJaswant Thada royal cenotaph, a creation in white marble was built in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and displays some rare portraits of Jodhpur's rulers.
Umaid Bhawan Palace The only palace built in the 20th century as a famine relief project, which gave employment to hundreds of people for 16 years. Its sculpted lawns with sandstone pavements and bouquets of bougainvillea bushes, offer a lovely sight. The palace now runs as a hotel with a part of it retained as a museum.
Mandore The capital of ancient Marwar, it is truly an oasis in the desert with its beautifully laid out gardens. The sprawling greenery of peepal, banyan, palms and plantains along with swirling fountains and lovely peacocks make Mandore a visual treat. The main attraction is the 'Hall of Heroes' housing sixteen gigantic figures chiselled out of a single rock and the cenotaphs of the former maharajas of Jodhpur.
Clock Tower and Sardar Market One can go shopping for Jodhpur tie-and-dye textile, embroidered leather shoes, lacquer ware, antiques, carpets and puppets, amidst the setting of traditional haat bazaar and the well-planned Sardar Market near the Clock Tower.By Air
Jaipur is connected by air with Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Aurangabad, Bombay, Varanasi, Calcutta, Ahmedabad.By Rail
Jaipur is connected by rail with Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Abu Road (Mount Abu), Udaipur, Bombay and Sawai Madhopur.By Road
Good motorable roads connect Jaipur with Delhi 258 km, Agra 236 km, Bikaner 321 km, Udaipur 405 km, Ajmer 131 km, Jodhpur 316 km, Bharatpur 176 km, Jaisalmer 638 km and Bombay 1202 km
The name JAISALMER evokes a vivid picture of sheer magic and brilliance of the desert. Founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 A.D., the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences, even during the days of the Raj. Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British.
Very few cities can boast of the magnificence that surrounds Jaisalmer. There is a fort that seems to rise out of a desert haze, its yellow sandstone walls and bastions taking on a golden hue in the afternoon sun, which is why it is aptly called Sonar Kila or the Golden Fort.
Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhati Rajput, laid the foundation of this city in 1156 AD. Trikuta was the hill chosen and Jaisal abandoned his old fort at Lodurva and established his new capital here.
The Bhati Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived on the forced levy on the caravans that crossed their territory en-route Delhi. These caravans, laden with precious cargos of spices and silk brought great wealth to this town. Because of its remote location, Jaisalmer for years remained untouched by outside influences and during the British Raj, the rulers of Jaisalmer were the last to sign the instrument of agreement with the British.
In medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The glory of Jaisalmer faded when sea trade replaced the old land routes. But there is still an 'Arabian Nights' quality about the town. The narrow streets in the walled city preserve a traditional way of life : the craftsmen still work at the ancient crafts of weaving and stone carving, the making of silver jewellery and embroidery. And the stately, nonchalant camel is everywhere.
The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival every year when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contest especially the turban-tying contest, Mr.Desert contest and camel races enlighten the festivities. Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience. This is a city to be visitedJaislmer Fort
The fort stands about 100 meters over the city and in fact houses a citadel within its huge ramparts. Walking down the narrow cobbled stone lanes, one can feel the sheer magic of Jaisalmer. Several entrances called Pols , including the Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoota Pol and the Hava Pol guard the Megh Durbar and the Jawahar Mahal which were occupied by the royal family. Outside the fort is the main market place called Manek Chowk. From Manek Chowk, one can walk into the lanes where the famous carved havelis are to be found.Salim Singh Ki Haveli
This haveli was the residence of the powerful Mohta clan - the hereditary ministers of the Jaisalmer rulers. The blue cupola roof is distinctive and an exquisite projecting balcony adorns the top storey.Patwon Ki Haveli
This is one of the largest and most elaborate havelis in Jaisalmer. It is five storeys high and extensively carved.Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
One very interesting fact about this haveli is that its two sides were carved by two brothers. Although the motif used by one is not similar to the other, they are in harmony. One has to look very closely to spot dissimilarities. The excellent craftsmanship of the stone carver is illustrated in the gossamer quality of the screened windows.Tazia Tower
The Pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from the Badal Mahal (Palace of Clouds). Each storey of this five-tiered tower has a beautifully carved balcony.Amar Sagar Jain Temple
The Parswanath Temple is the oldest and the most beautiful of the Jain temples. The walls of the sanctum are carved with animal and human figures. There is a small dome which is crowned by an amalak and a waterpot containing a lotus flower. Toran, Lodurva Jain Temple
Once the capital of Rawal Jaisal, Lodurva now has ruins of the ancient townhip. It is an important center of Jain pilgrimage. The temples at Lodurva exhibit some more fine examples of intricate craftsmanship on yellow stone.Sam From Jaisalmer
It is possible to get an insight into desert life by visiting SAM. It is great place to see patterns carved out by winds on the sand. Camel rides on the sand dunes are an unforgettable experience as is the sunset.
Set at the edge of the Thar desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state , it waMehrangarh Forts founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana.
The massive 15th century A.D. Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.
A major trade centre of the 16th century A.D. the fortress-city of Jodhpur is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. While the graceful palaces , forts and temples strewn throughout the city bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts , folk dances music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.
The lifestyle in jodhpur is unusually fascinating with folks wearing lovely multihued costumes,artistically designed. Women folk wear wide gathered skirts and a hip length jacket, with three quarter length sleeves , covering the front and back. The colorful turbans worn by the men folk add more color to the city . It was from here that the popularity worn baggy - tight , horse riding trousers- ‘ Jodhpurs’ took their name.
Shopping in Jodhpur bazaars is a heady experience with a colorful display of the rich collection of exquisite handicrafts. The tie and dye fabric, embroidered ‘jutis’ or slippers in suede, cancel skin, velvet and more color to the city.it was form here that the popularly worn baggy-tight horse riding trousers,-" Jodhpurs" ,took their name. Mehrangarh Fort : The 5 km long majestic fort on a 125 metre high hill is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Although invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels , latticed windows and evocative names. Not worthy of these are the Moti Mahal, the Phool Mahal, the Sheesh Mahal, the Sileh Khana and the Daulat Khana. These palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant hawdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments, costumes and furniture.Umaid Bhawan Palace
The only 20th century palace built under the famine relief project that gave employment to famine struck population. The palace was completed in 16 years. This opulent edifice in sandstone is still the residence of the former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining part as a museum.Girdikot and Sardar Market
These colourful markets with tiny shops dotting the narrow lanes are situated in the heart of the city and are popular for a wide range of handicrafts, making them the favorite haunt of shoppers.Museum
The museum has an exquisite ensemble of paintings, sculptures and antique weapons.Jaswant ThadaJaswant Thada
A cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers.Balsamand Lake and Gardens (5 km)
A pretty lake built in 1159 A.D. A splendid summer Palace stands by the lake side surrounded by beautiful gardens. An idyllic spot for excursions.Mandore (8 km)
The ancient capital of Marwar has cenotaphs of the Jodhpur rulers. The Hall of heroes has fifteen figures carved out of the rock on the wall which represent Hindu deities. Its beautiful gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular picnic spot.
Mount Abu Cradled in the cluster of thirteen mountain peaks of the Aravali ranges,the formidable medieval citadel- Kumbhalgarh standsa wary sentinel to the past glory. Rising from a prominent ridge, 1914 metres high from the sea level, the fort was built in 15th century AD by Maharana Kumbha (1419-63 AD) and is the principal fortification after Chittaurgarh, lying 90 km north-west of Udaipur.
The massive fort,encompassed by a 36 km long wall,has seven majestic gates and seven ramparts, one within the other. Rounded bastions and soaring watch towers strengthen the crenallated walls of the fort making it an impregnable structure Fascinating chambers are built on the western side of the last gate- the ‘Nimboo Pol’. According to history, the infant Udai Singh was smuggled from Bundi and hidden in these chambers by his faithful maid Panna Dai to save him from the murderous intentions of his Uncles who desired the throne. Udai Singh ascended the throne of Mewar with Kumbhalgarh as his residence and later established Udaipur-the beautiful lake city. Within the fort are many magnificent palaces and an array of ruined temples.
The most picturesque of the palace is the ‘Badal Mahal’ or the palace of the cloud. The palace has got its name for being the highest of all the structures. It offers a superb bird’s eye view of the countryside surrounding the fort as well as of other ruins within the fort.The ancient ruins of the temples within the fort date back to the Mauryan period built during the reign of the grandson of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka who belonged to the Jai community.
As one moves to the east ,Kali Temple and the Mamadev Kund with royal chhatris can be seen. Another notweorthy temple, a little further, exshrines a fine black marble lingam. The mandap or the hall of the temple has beautiful pillars, finely fluted and having a tapering shape.Dilwara Jain Temple
These beautifully carved temples built between 11th and 13th century A.D. are sheer elegance in marble, dedicated to the jain Tirthankaras. The Vimal Vasahi temple is the oldest of these dedicated to the first Tirthankara. Built in 1031 A.D. (by Vimal Shah-a merchant and representative of then Gujarat ruler), it is a superb example of temple architecture.
The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines,each housing a beautiful statue of thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars form the entrance to the courtyard.The Lun Vasahi Temple, dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankaras-Neminath, was built in 1231 A.D. by two brothers-Vastupal and Tejpal,Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a ruler of Gujarat-belonging to the Porwal Jain community.With door casings, pillars, architraves and sculptures on porticos,the temple is a fine specimen of craftsmanshipMuseum and Art Gallery
Located at the Raj Bhawan, it was a collection of archaeological excavations dating back to 8th-12th century A.D. It also has Jain bronze carvings,brassworks etc. for viewing.Gaumukh Temple
A natural spring flowing through a sculpted cow’s head gives the shrine its name.The famous ‘yagna’ of sage Vashishtha was performed here. A beautifully sculpted hill temple of Arbuada-the mighty serpent stands against the beautiful backdrop. Nearby is the magnificent marble image of Nandi, the celestial bull rescued by Arbuada.Adhar Devi Temple
The temple is chiselled out of a huge rock reached by a flight of 360 stairs. A favourite tourist spot.Sunset Point
Spectacular sight of the setting sun when the hills are covered in the golden glow can be viewed from here.Air
Nearest airport is Udaipur, 185 kms.Rail
Abu Road is the closest railhead linked with Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur and JodhpurRoad
Good network of bus services connect Mount Abu to major cities of Rajasthan and India.
Pushkar for a devout Hindu Pushkar is a very important pilgrim centre, for one visit to this holy place in a lifetime is highly prescribed. Brahma forms the great Hindu trilogy of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, each symbolising the lifecycle of birth, preservation and destruction. Brahma the creator is depicted as of four bearded heads and four hands each holding a book of Vedas (knowledge). His vehicle is the swan and his consort is Savitri. According to the legend Pushkar means a pond created by flower, was formed when Brahma dropped a lotus flower on the earth to determine a place for his yagna, a holy sacrifice.
The story goes that Brahma wanted to perform the yagna at the most auspicious time but his consort Savitri whose presence at the yagna was vital for its performance kept him waiting. Irritated by this Brahma married Gayatri, a milkmaid and installed her instead. Savitri on seeing someone else in her place was infuriated and cursed Brahma that he would be forgotten by people on earth and never worshiped. She relented on pleas from other Gods that he could only be worshiped in Pushkar, hence there are no Brahma Temples elsewhere
The well-known and marked with largest participation of all the festivals of Rajasthan, Pushkar is an important pilgrimage as well as the venue of a mammoth cattle fair. Bazaars, auctions, music and sports are highlight of this event. Recommended. The Pushkar Fair, a major tourist attraction draws people from all over the globe to the ancient and secluded environment of Pushkar town. Pushkar Fair is perhaps the largest cattle fair in the world. Rajasthan which is enriched by cattle wealth is the home to many recognized breeds of cattle
The world-famous Fair is held in the sacred and peaceful town of Pushkar, 11 kms. north-west of Ajmer. It transforms into a spectacular fair ground for twelve days during the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov). Rajasthan's most famous fair, it brings together camel traders, pilgrims visitors, and those who're here simply to participate in one of the season's most colorful social events, Besides tented camps, there are hundreds of shops selling everything from handicrafts to spices, foodstuff and jewellery, for visitors a number of activities are also arranged but most simply with to stay within fair grounds to watch the fascinating Rajasthani village metamorphose before their eyes.Culture
Located just 11 kms from Ajmer, the holy lake of Pushkar is believed to have been created by Lord Brahma himself. It is as important as Banaras or Puri. Devout Hindus believe that it is essential to visit Pushkar at least once in their lifetime. No pilgrimage is considered complete without a dip in the holy Pushkar lake. Pushkar has as many as 400 temples and 52 ghats and the only temple in the country that is dedicated to Brahma is to be found here. While Pushkar is a heaven for the religiously inclined, it is also the venue of one of the country's most colorful cattle fairs - the Pushkar Fair.Pushkar History
Historically, Pushkar always had great strategic importance and was sacked by Mahumud of Ghazni on one of his periodic forays from Afghanistan. Later it became a favorite residence of the great Moghula. One of the first contacts between the Moghula and the British occurred in Pushkar when Sir Thomas Roe met with Jahangir here in 1616. The city was subsequently taken by the Scindias and, in 1818, it was handed over to the British, becoming one of the few places in Rajasthan controlled directly by British rather than being part of a princely state.
Getting Around Pushkar is a relatively small town and easy enough to get around on foot There are no auto-rickshaws in the town center. A bicycle is best to get around.
Things you can do Each year, up to 200,000 people flock to Pushkar for the Camel Fair, bringing with them some 50,000 camels and cattle for several days of pilgrimage, horse dealing, camel racing and colourful festivities. The Rajasthan tourist office has promoted the fair as an international attraction by adding Rajasthan dance programmes and other cultural events and by putting up a huge ten city for the Indian and foreign visitor.Temples
Pushkar boasts temples, through few are as ancient pilgrimage site many were destroyed by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is what is said to be the only temple in India dedicated to Brahma. It's marked by a red spire and over the entrance gateway is the Hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site. The Rangji Temple chosen is also important.
The one - hour trek up to the hilltop temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning; the view is magnificent. Ghats Numerous ghats run down to the lake, and pilgrims are constantly bathing in the lake's holy waters. If you wish to join them, do it with respect - remove your shoes, don't smoke and don't take photographs. This is not Varanasi and the pilgrims here can be very touchy about insensitive instruction by non - Hindus.
The Ranthambore National Park encompasses nearly 400 sq. kms. of dry deciduous forest in south western Rajasthan. The Park derives its name form the fortress of Ranthambore which sits on a rocky outcrop in the forest. Vast in size , it encompasses an area of nearly 7 kms. in circumference. Its history dates back to the 11th century when Rana Hamir ruled from its ramparts. Its massive battlements enclose one of India's most ancient forts. The was a vital citadel for the control of central India and over the centuries many wars were fought for its possession.
Nature overflows here with her bounty and variety. The area has preponderance of dhok trees but there is an abundance of ancient banyan and peepal trees with their spreading roots adding to the general luxuriance of the area. Very now and again one stumbles upon massive rock formation, steep scarps, perennial lakes and streams. Ranthambore has a remarkable rich and diverse flora and fauna. The species lists for the area include nearly 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants and more than 100 species of herbs, grasses, climbers and seasonal plants. The bird list for the National Park contains 272 species and the mammal list has 30. There are at least a dozen species of reptiles and amphibians, perhaps a dozen fishes and profusion of insect life that has still to be catalogued. No wonder that the U.S. president Bill Clinton visited this place in early 2000, and was fortunate to see two wild tigers on the same day.
The Ranthambore park is open only during the day time and accommodations are available only outside the park. There are many site seeing spots adjoining the park. The Mansarover lake lies just on the outskirts of the National Park approx. 20 kms from from the park and is known for its scenic beauty and various kinds of migratory bird. Surwal lake which is just 8 kms is another heaven for bird lovers, since it attracts many kinds of migratory birds also a beautiful site for camping. Devpura which is 15 kms is a unique place where black bucks and antelopes are found. Pali ghat on the banks of river chambal is an excellent spot for boating and camping. Indergarh a 15th century fort which is located in the middle of a forested valley infested with wildlife is again a place to camp.
Today man is sowing the seeds of his own destruction. Numerous forms of life are slowly disappearing from this planet of which they are an integral part. Man and every living organism that makes up this world are interlocked in a complex and delicate matrix of life. If one strand breaks, the matrix is weakened and man draws closer to the disintegration of his habitat and therefore himself. Man must therefore find his own balance with nature so that wilderness areas like Ranthambore can survive into the future.
The forests are very colorful, with the passage of each season the forest changes color. During the monsoons everything turns a vibrant and lush green and the prevailing sound is that of gurgling streams and waterfalls. AT the onset of the summer the contrast is sharp and the forest seems to shrivel under the scorching sun. The wide grasslands burn with the heat, the rocks reflect back t you and you feel the forest is melting. Two river systems, the Chambal and the Banas, cut around the forest on the border of Madhya Pradesh, nature has showered its treasures on this tiny paradise. In the dry and semi dry areas wildlife is invariably concentrated near water which is why sighting animals is so easy in Ranthambore.
Every evening a large population of sambar, chital and wild boar frequent rajbagh and often tigers walk through the grass at the edge of this lake in anticipation of a kill. The best and the only way to see the natures exuberance is through a two hundred kilometers of jeep able, fair weather road which provide excellent access to remote areas. Several sanctums have been left untouched and isolated with no roads and thus no human intrusion. This allows the animals the peace and privacy so necessary to their well being, for if they were constantly disturbed they would find it difficult to to procreate and rear their young.
In the last 10 years the tiger population has increases here considerably, there has been no human encroachments since 1979. The mother was no longer teaching them to avoid man, hence tiger sighting is easy. Today Ranthambore is not only the finest paradise for the tiger, but also the sambhar and it is only place in India where sambhar are seen so easily and in such large numbers.
Leopards, the Indian sloth bear and the innumerable crocodiles make it a vital pulsating ecological system. Dotted with lakes and streams it is a bird watchers dream. Save Tiger Like oil lamps flickering in the wind, the world's tiger population is unhurriedly being snuffed out. Several books and literature have been produced to describe the most intriguing, the most powerful and the most majestic of all animals. The Hindu tradition and culture have a place of honor and worship for tiger. In India people had added Singh, Sher and Nahar on their names to upgrade their class. Yet people have been incredibly scant to the cause of the tiger. This web site aims in graphics, pictures and prose to advance the level of wakefulness and concern for this mythical and secretive striped beauty that placidly roams the jungles.Tiger Moments
There is enormous pressure on the habitat of the tigers, the Ranthambhore Foundations hopes to strike an ecological balance and complete harmony between man and the beastThe Fort
Steep crags embrace a network of lakes and rivers, and atop one of these hills, is the impressive Ranthambhore Fort. Built in the 10th century, the fort is considered to be one of the oldest forts in the state. Strategically built on the border of Rajasthan and Malwa, the fort houses some splendid monuments, within its precincts. The terrain fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with Dhok, being the most prominent tree.The Jogi Mahal
The entry point to the park, goes straight to the foot of the fort and the forest rest house, Jogi Mahal. The latter boasts of the second-largest Banyan tree in India.The Badal Mahal
The “palace of the clouds”, situated in the fort has a very interesting location and seems as if hanging out in space. The famous 84-column 'chhatri' of King Hammir stands out magnificently where he used to hold an audience. The Padam Talab, the Raj Bagh Talab and the Milak Talab are some of the lakes in the area worth seeing
Udaipur is known as the Venice of the east. It is also called the city of lakes. The Lake Palace on Jag Niwas Island in the middle of Pichola Lakes is the finest example of its architectural and cultural explosion. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake compliments the palace along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, craft and its famed miniature paintings.The Shilp Gram festival is a center of attraction during the season. Udaipur is situated around the shimmering clear blue water lakes, which whisper the mood of a bygone era.
The city was founded in 1567 AD by Maharana Udai Singh on the advice of a sage. Udaipur was last of the numerous Mewar capitals. It was in Udaipur that legendary Maharana Pratap was born. He was obsessed with Chittaur and the past glories of the Sisodia clan possessed his mind. Maharana Pratap left Udaipur to win back Chittaur from the Mughals. But he failed in his attempts and Udaipur remained the capital of Mewar till India got her independence.The memory of the failure of noble Pratap gives Udaipur its pervading mood of nostalgic wistfulness.
The Lake Palace One of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur is also known as the city of lakes. The marble palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and the lakes make Udaipur seem almost like a mirage in the desert. The founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh, was overcome by the misfortunes that his old capital of Chittaurgarh had to face due to repeated attacks by the Mughal armies. On the advice of a holy man, Udai Singh shifted his capital to the banks of Lake Pichola- the city was named Udaipur after him.
This marble palace that seems to be floating on the Lake Pichola is undoubtedly the main attraction of Udaipur. Now a luxury hotel, this palace can be accessed by boat from the city palace which overlooks it. Other attractions in Udaipur include Krishna Vilas, Lake Fateh Sagar,Sajjan Niwas and Gulab Bagh, Machchalaya Magra, Doodh Talai, Jag Mandir, and the Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum.
The City Palace Overlooking the lake Pichola is the City Palace, a marvel of marble and granite. The largest palace in Rajasthan, its exquisite worksmanship makes it a must on every visitor's itinerary. The three mahals - Baari, Dilkush and Moti, the Suraj Gokhada of the Sun Balcony, the Mor Chowk Known for its beautiful peacock Mosaics ; the shrine of Dhuni Mata and the Museum of Rana Pratap are the highlights of this complex.
Jagdeesh Temple Close to the City Palace is the Jagdish Temple which houses some imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. At a short distance is the Sahelion-ki-Bari or the Garden of Maidens which has four pools and delicately carved kiosks and elephants in marble. Built in the early 18th century, this is now a popular tourist spot.
Ahar Archaeological ruins that date back to 4000 B.C. are found here. A museum stands next to the excavation site. Also of interest are the beautiful cenotaphs of kings near the Gangabhairu tank
Sahelion-Ki-Bari On the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake was built a garden for the 48 young girls waiting to be sent to the royal house as part of dowry. This garden is laid with extensive lawns, fountains and shady walking lanes. There are four pools with dainty kiosks and fountains with elephant trunks for spouts. These gardens appear discrete and impeccable in taste.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal This is a museum of folk arts, which has rich collection of folk dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments and paintings. World famous puppeteers put shows here, on request in advance.
Jaisamand lakeJaisamand lake 48 kms from the city, this artificial lake was built in 17th century by Maharana Jai Singh. The marble 'Chhatris' along the embankment add grace to this second largest lake in Asia. On either sides of the lake were built the palaces for the favourite queens of the King. People of the Bhil tribe still inhabit the islands in Jaisamand lake.