Rajasthan is the land of Rajputana of Old time. It is the land of brave people with a royal touch in their lifestyle. It is a land of superlatives where everything is breathtakingly beautiful...!
Rajasthan is the Land of Royalty. Its imposing forts and grand palaces remind one of the sophisticated lifestyles of the Maharajas.
History abounds in Rajasthan, a history replete with tragedy, romance and valour- of men for whom bravery was the code of conduct, and women whose beauty often led to battles being fought over them.
Bearing testimony to this are some of the most magnificent and imposing forts and palaces, which even today reflect the richness of living, and conjure up visions of long-lost prosperity and splendour.
Places to Visit
Explore the Cities and Palaces of Rajasthan with a cultural touch. Experience Colourful Rajasthan for All Seasons...! The major tourist places are :
- Ajmer/ Pushkar
Ajmer was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan and it is situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills.Ajmer used to be a major center of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. when the Ruler Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri.After Prithwiraj Chauhan Ajmer witnessed 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 one of the most significant pilgrimate destination equally important for Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.
Ajmer is very close to Pushkar (11 K.M.) which is significant for the famous fair held normally in the month of October/November.Pushkar, 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 royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the desert state, the city is dotted with many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle.
More popularly called the camel country , the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts , transporting grains or working on wells, camels are the prime helpers.The wells of Bikaner: an important source of water are other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.
Binaker's history dates back to 1488 A.D. when a Rathore Prince,Rao Bikaji- a dexdendant of the founder of Jodhpur(1459 A.D.), Rao Jodhaji, established his kingdom here. Rao Jodhaji had five sons but Rao Bikaji was the most enterprising of them. Bikaji chose a barren wilderness called ‘Jangladesh' and trandormerd it to an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder' name.
The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient carvan routes that came from West/Central Asia, made it a prime trade centre in the times of the yore. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is cirucmscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in redding-pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Undulating lanes, colorful bazaars and bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner and interesting experience.
Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City. It is also the capital of the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the most visited tourist places of India being one of the consituent destinations of the famous tourist itinerary, The Golden Triangle of India. It is as popular as Delhi and Agra to foreign visitors. The old city of Jaipur is partially encircled with seven gates - the major gates are Chandpol, Sanganeri, and Ajmeri. The 'pink city' label, applies specifically, to the old walled quarter of the Rajasthani capital, while in the northeast of the town, glorious palaces and temples, in an assortment of styles, spanning centuries, are scattered throughout the, predominantly, urban area.
The Capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificient forts and palaces, blushed pink, where once lived the Maharajas. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur, Famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes, possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure trove for the shoppers. This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to epoch of royalty and tradition
The city owes its name, its foundations and its careful planning, to the great warrior - astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II. His predecessors, had enjoyed good relations with the Mughals, and Jai Singh was careful to cultivate this alliance. In 1727, with Mughal power on the wane, Jai Singh decided to move down from his capital hillside fortress at Amber, to a new site on the plains. A Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city, using the principles of town planning, as laid down in the Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. He built the City Palace, and the largest stone observatory in the world, employing the same principles.
When to Visit:
The best time to visit Jaipur is between October and March.
Getting to Jaipur:
Jaipur is 262 kms from Delhi and is well connected by road, rail and air. A big fleet of deluxe and air conditioned buses is operated by the Rajasthan Roadways between Delhi and Jaipur.
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 was 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 jumble of wide winding streets are flanked with pavement stalls.
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.
- Mount Abu
A pleasant retreat set amidst the lush forested hills, Mt. Abu is a green oasis in the barren desertscape thats Rajasthan. Situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range the hill retreat owes its cool climate to its rich flora covering the entire hillside that includes coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. The road leading to Mount Abu is a curved one characterized by arid region dotted with huge rocks in weird shapes and high velocity winds.
The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu is more than just a summer retreat. Its stunning array of exquisite Dilwara Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, make it a popular pilgrimage centre. ‘Abu' according to a legend.stands for the son of Himalayan, deriving its name from Arbuada,the powerful serpent who rescued Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, from a chasm.
Mount Abu has been home to many sages and saints. Most famous of them was Sage Vashishtha who is believed to have created four agnikula Rajput clans from a fire-pit by performing a ‘yagna' or fire sacrifice, to protect the earth from the demons.
The Yagna was performed besides a natural spring situated below Abu, emerging from a rock shaped like a cow's head and hence the site was called Gaumukh.
Jaisalmer is like the golden mirage in the heart of Thar Desert .This amber-hued city, in the heart of the desert, dazzles gloriously in the early morning. The sunset has a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving a few embers, till it becomes black. A breathtaking sight indeed. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands, with all its awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city.
The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna-the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would built his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput,abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital -Jaisalmer,perched on the Trikuta Hill. Bahti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were fedual chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi-or-Sind. These caravans earned the town great wealth.
For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the 'Tales of the Arabian Nights' still enchants. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes stewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival, held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions an contests, especially the turban-tying contest. Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivities. Colorful craft bazaars are set up for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized wit folk artists performing against the splendid backdrop of the famous Sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be missed event.
The city of Dawn,Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lake,hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravallis. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets,painters and writers.
Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces,lakes,temples,gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls,carry the flavor of a heroic past,epitomizing valour and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing sight.
Udiapur is the jewel of Mewar-a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years. The foundation of the city has an interesting legend associated with it. According to it, Maharana Udai Singh, the founder,was hunting one day when he met a holy man meditations on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola.
The hermit blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorable located spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake,an agreeable altitude and an ampitheatre of low mountains. Maharana followed the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands the splendid City Palace-a marvel in granite and marble.
Of the original eleven gates of the Udaipur City,only five remain. The Suraj Pol the original or Sun Gate on the eastern side is the main entrance to the city.
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