Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a colossal open-air museum, visited each year by millions of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world because of its richness in culture and art, magnificent monuments, exquisite views, historic cities which have preserved their charming character through the centuries. Rajasthan’s history can be read in every monument; in fact each and every stone bears witness to the period of splendour, decay, wars and numerous architectural styles.

Think of Rajasthan and what comes to mind? - Rajputs, forts, palaces, colour & celebration? Think again.... History & culture, camels & Desert, forest & mountains... Rajasthan is a unique destination. There is a certain magic about travelling through Rajasthan which is incomparable by any other place in the world it is a land of superlative.

For those looking for packed holidays there are several options available, trekking, camping, horse, elephant and camel safaris through desert sands and long the Aravallis. Travel on the Palace on Wheels or Heritage on Wheels and like a Maharaja or do something different and travel to any one of the countless off-beat destination in historic towns.

State is well connected with other parts of the country and there are enough good flights, trains and buses in and out of Rajasthan.

CLIMATE

The second highest mountain, Karakoram Range (K2) forms the northern border of Ladakh. Majestic snow capped Hsummer season extends from April to June, is the hottest season, with temperatures ranging from 32 C to 45 C. The monsoon starts in southern & eastern Rajasthan by late Jun & by late July in western desert region. During the monsoon average temperature is about 29 C to 32 C. Winter starts by October & night temperature dips down drastically. There is a marked variation in maximum and minimum temperature and regional variations across the state. Generally January is the coolest month of the year.

October to February is the best time to Travel to Rajasthan. Summer season is better avoidable.

TURBANS OF RAJASTHAN

The turbans of Rajasthan are the most colourful and impressive in whole of the India. The use of turban was basically started by the Rajput community. They used to wear distinct turbans. Once you experience the royal culture of Rajasthan, you will be amazed with the variations of colourful turbans. It is said that the style of the turban changes with every 15 km you travel within the geographical boundaries of Rajasthan. In some parts of the region, the size of turban indicates the position of the person in the society they live..


EAST OF RAJASTHAN

JAIPUR
Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city in the state. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. At present, Jaipur is a major business center with all requisites of a metropolitan city.

Major sightseeing places:

Seashell Museum - Over 3,000 of colourful & unique shaped sea shells can be seen at this musJaipureum located near the airport. It has added a unique dimension for foreign and Indian tourists. It has seashells from all over the world and also displays exquisite shell craft. It is the first and only exclusive seashell museum in India. Aside from aesthetics, it is an ideal place to begin learning malacology and conchology, the science of mollusks and shells. Knowledgeable guidance, posters, charts, films, videos and a library are also here for the inquisitive visitors. It is destined to become a Marine (mollusks) Science Museum in not so distant a future.

The Jaigarh Fort - It is a majestic stronghold built by Sawan Jai Singh II. This almost- intact fort is surrounded by huge battlements and is connected to the Amer Fort, with subterranean passages. Originally built to protect the Amer Fort and the palace within the complex, the Jaigarh Fort is architecturally similar to the Amer Fort and offers a panoramic view of the city of Jaipur. The fort houses the world's largest cannon on wheels, a majestic palace complex and the assembly hall of the warriors known as 'Shubhat Niwas' along with a museum and an armoury. Apart from the intricate architecture of the fort, the fort was also renowned for a huge treasure that was believed to be buried under the fort. The Jaigarh Fort was built to secure Jaipur City and the Amer fort from warlords and rivals.

Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) - This was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. Now it is a major landmark of Jaipur. The splendid Rajputana architecture, still speaks the glory of the royal family. However, one can also find a glimpse of Mughal architecture, which is blended perfectly to make it different from others.

City Palace – Located next to Hawa Mahal. The beautiful palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during his reign. Among the various forts and palaces of Jaipur, City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. City Palace complex covers a huge area, which is divided into a series of gardens, courtyards and buildings.

Jantar Mantar – Located next to entrance of City Palace. This is the largest stone observatory in the World and this feature makes it, a special destination for a traveller. Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Amber Fort ( Amer Fort ) - Amber Fort is located in Amber, about 11 kms away from Jaipur, on Delhi Highway. Amber used to be the capital, till Jaipur was made the official capital in 1727. The Amber Fort looks stunning, all-built in white marble and red sandstone. To add to its charm, Maotha Lake makes its foreground. The crystal mirror image of the Fort, on the still waters of the lake, seems to be a beautiful illusion. In 1592, construction of the Fort was started by Raja Man Singh I. However, the Amber Fort took its present form during the reign of Raja Jai Singh I.

Jal Mahal ( water palace ) - Built to be a pleasure palace for the royal family in 1799, Jal Mahal Palace of Jaipur is an extremely romantic place with its red sandstone intricate architecture casting beautiful reflections in the calm waters of the Man Sagar Lake, full of hyacinths. Surrounded by Nahargarh Hills, Jal Mahal is known for its majestic architecture and sophisticated design. It was once used for the royal duck shooting parties. Though abandoned, it is very well-preserved and provides a picturesque view from Nahargarh Fort. Set opposite the cenotaphs of the royal family, the first four floors of Jal Mahal is under water and only the top floor is above the water level. The lake eco system is a favorite home of a number of migratory and resident birds. The Mansagar Dam is situated on the eastern side of the lake and provides a good vantage point for viewing the lake and the valley.

Shopping: Jaipur is the perfect place to shop for Handicrafts, antiques, jewelry, gems, pottery, carpets, textiles, metalwork and leather ware.


AJMER & PUSHKAR

Ajmer the city where the Dargah of the Great Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti stands, is a sacred centre of pilgrimage. Hallowed by the memories of the great seer, Ajmer has earned the epithet of “ Madina of India”. Devotees of all sects and faiths come here as the saint’s blessings are infallible for all. Each year, the followers of the master congregate here from all parts of the world on the occasion of the annual festival of Urs to pay their obeisance to seek the Saint’s blessings for fulfilment of wishes.

Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms to the North-West of Ajmer. The charm of this sleepy, lakeside settlement so captivated the great Indian poet, Kalidas, that it found a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha. Evidence points to its having existed during the Fourth century B.C. Lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle.

Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. It stands on a high plinth with the Marble steps leading up to it. A silver turtle is set on the floor facing the Sanctum-Sanctorum or Girbha - griha. Around the turtle the Marble floor is inset with hundreds of silver coins. Coins engraved with donors names are also embedded in the walls. Peacocks adorn the temple walls as they are supposed to be the vehicle of lord Brahma's consort Saraswati. A small image of the milkmaid Gayatri, flanks the four-faced image of lord Brahma and is called Chaumurti The sanctuary has silver doors inside a carved marble gateway.


MANDAWA

Mandawa is a town in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in India. Mandawa is known for its fort and havelis. The fort town of Mandawa is well connected with the other places in region through a good network of roads.The biggest tourist attractions in Mandawa are the old havelis. Historically speaking it was once an important halt on the fabled Silk Route to China. Trading was an important activity along this route. The rich merchants constructed their lavish havelis here and embellished them with beautiful paintings on religious, historical, folk and social theme.

Later when the British came European influence blended perfectly with their traditional style of painting giving rise to a unique synthesis. This actually led to the famous eulogy of "Open Air Art Gallery". Castle Mandawa is one of the most important tourist attractions in Mandawa. The palace has now been converted to a hotel. The sprawling architecture houses a different theme in different wings. The painted archway is painted with interesting forms of paintings of Lord Krishna and his cowherds.

Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli and Jhunjhunwala Haveli feature among notable tourist attractions in Mandawa. The frescos range from the depiction of the God Indra on an elephant and Lord Shiva on His pet bull Nandi to a train with a crowded level crossing. The beauty of the paintings is hard to believe unless you see them.


RANATHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK

Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national park in Northern India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, which is about 130 km from Jaipur. Being considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the Ranthambore National Park terrain is major wildlife tourist attraction spot that has pulled the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers in this destination.

Ranthambore National park contains a variety of animals, birds and reptiles within it. Primarlily the population consists of... Tigers, Leopards, Striped Hyenas, Sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, Hanuman langurs, Macaques, Jackals, Jungle cats, Caracals, Sloth bears, Black bucks, Indian Wild Boar, Chinkara, Toddy cat, Coomon Yellow Bats, Desert Cats, Indian False Vampires, Indian Flying Foxes, Indian Foxes, Indian Mole Rats, Indian Porcupines, Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civets etc ..

Safari Timings are between 6 am to 1030 am & 2 pm to 630 pm, depending the on the climatic season. 6 seater open jeeps & 20 seater canters will be used for the safaris.

Main sanctuary is closed for safari from 01 July to 30 Sep due to monsoon season.


CHITTORGARH

Chittorgarh is the essence of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It reverberates with history of great courage and sacrifice. The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which is a depiction of Rajput culture and values.

Major sightseeing places:
Chittorgarh Fort - The fort of Chittor is regarded as one of the most outstanding forts of the country and is indeed the "Pride of Rajasthan State". The formidable fort is perched atop a 180 meter high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres and is a standing sentinel to the courage of Chittorgarh. It is belived that the fort was build by the Mauryans in 7th century and further structures were added to it by the successive Mewar rulers.

Rana Kumbha's Palace - The ruined structure of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittor. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar

Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory) - Built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji this 9-storyed tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around.

Kirti Stambh ( Tower of Fame ) - Dedicated to Adinathji the 1st Jain Teerthankar adorned by the naked figures of the Digambars [Adherents of the Digambar sect who does not believe in covering the natural body.

Rani Padmini's Palace - The palace, once the scene of an incident directly responsible for the battle between Allauddin Khiliji and Rana Ratan Singh, is a distinctly feminine structure that overlooks a pleasant pool.

 

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