Rajasthan The Land of Kings is about the story of Warriors & their chivalry, romance, glory, and tragedy in fairy tale proportions................
Rajasthan welcomes you to enjoy a ride on the ship of the desert (camel) over the soft sand dunes of the Thar Desert in India. The tour of Rajasthan presents a kaleidoscope of brightly turbaned men and women with twinkling anklets in colorful swirling ghagras that characterize the vivacious presence of this state. The Rajasthan Tour is dotted with island palaces shimmering on cerulean blue lakes; temples and fortresses situated on the hilltops of the rugged and rocky Aravalli ranges. A tour to Rajasthan India familiarizes you with the exquisite palaces built during the reign of the royal Rajput dynasties; and well laid out gardens, which add up to the charisma of the state.
The vibrant state is famous for the festivals of Holi, Gangaur, Pushkar camel festival, Kite festival, Dussehara. The forts and palaces along with the museums are there to keep you quite engrossed within the state at places like Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Ranthambore and other places.
The History of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the homeland of the Great Harappan Civilization. The Aryans from Central Asia settled here in about 2000 BC followed by the Mauryan dynasty in about 400 AD. The settlement of the Scythians in Rajasthan gave birth to the warrior clans of Rajput who dominated this region for over 1000 years.
The lack of unity amongst the Rajput clans permitted the Mughals to conquer Rajasthan. With the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Rajputs again recovered their lost territories and status. The British Raj entered in Indian and this state to mark the decline of these powerful Rajput dynasties of this state.
Tourist Places in Rajasthan:
Bharatpur, Jaipur, Pushkar, Ajmer, Bikaner, Mandawa, Abhaneri, Samod , Jodhour, Jaiselmer, Ranakpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh,
Rajasthan Tour covers every place in the state from the pink city Jaipur, city of lakes Udaipur, city of palaces Jodhpur to the historic places like Chittorgarh, Pushkar, Ajmer and the wildlife sanctuaries like Ranthambore and Sariska.
The city of Ajmer, as a pilgrimage, is famous for its renowned Dargah or tomb of the popular 13th-century, Sufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti. Millions of pilgrims from all over the world throng Ajmer to attend the death anniversary of the great saint every year. The city also has a number of monuments belonging to the Mughal era. The city is known for its traditional handicrafts too.
Founded in AD 1727 by Sawai Jaisingh II, Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the Pink City with broad avenues and spacious gardens. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificent 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 an epoch of royalty and tradition.
Jaipur has been laid according to the conventional nine-grid pattern that astrologers believe to be lucky, and which has been recommended in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Each grid consists of a square, and these have been planned so that, at the heart of the city is the City Palace. Spread around it, in rows, are public buildings, the residences of noblemen, the living and trading quarters of merchants and artisans. Straight, wide roads run through the city, while a high, crenellated wall that forms its defense is pierced with seven gateways that serve as entry points. Today, these walls may be more difficult to spot since the city has grown far beyond its original plan, but they are still there, proof that though Jaipur saw no great siege, it was more than adequately prepared for it.
Jaipur’s architectural planning may have been ancient, but its execution was definitely modern. Best represented by the City Palace complex, it brought together all that was excellent in Rajput and Mughal architecture, creating a new tradition that found wide currency over much of north India. As in the Mughal tradition, the durbar or court areas became much more open, characterised by a series of arched pavilions held on delicately crafted pillars. Ornamentation had always been a part of the state’s architectural heritage, now it became much more opulent. The private wings of the family also extended their entertainment areas. Since defence was no longer a primary concern, larger, more ornamental windows were built to over look the streets or courtyards outside these wings. Gardens were no longer planned within the internal courtyards only, but were added to the external vistas, and water, a basic feature of Mughal palaces and gardens, was utilised in a similar fashion, in canals and fountains.
Jaipur has much to offer visitors — everything from pageants and festivals to extraordinarily clad people, a wealth of handicrafts, a royal legacy of palaces, and sightseeing — that will occupy their time. However, should the visitors simply choose to walk around the streets of the old city instead, they will not regret it. All of Jaipur is an architectural gem, and no scheduled sight seeing can even hope to do justice to this rare city.
Jodhpur, once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar, is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort, and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan; the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur.
Founded in 1459 AD by the Suryavanshi Rao Jodha, Jodhpur gradually grew around the towering Mehrangarh Fort, built as a stronghold on the advice of a sage. Alongwith Bikaner and Jaisalmer, Jodhpur too is situated on the ancient silk route that linked Central Asia and Northern India with the seaports of Gujarat. As a result it became a major trading centre in the 16th century. Reminiscent of the bygone years is the fact that Jodhpur is still the leading centre for cattle, camels, wood, salt and agricultural crops. The beauty and imagination that has gone into the making of this monumental city proclaim the life-springs of creative genius that appear incongurent with the harshness of this land and its climate.
Mehrangarh Fort- In the turbulent political times of 1459 AD. Rao Jodha was adviced by a saint to establish an impregnable head-quarter and so, the Mehrangarh Fort was built on a steep hill. This formidable hill top fort is among the best in India with exquisitively latticed windows in residential apartments within. Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana, seem to make the medieval splendour come alive. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort's ramparts are preserved.
What To See
Mehrangarh : One of the most stunning hill forts of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh appears to rise from the bluff-coloured sandstone hill itself, so well built into the base that it is difficult to tell where the hill ends and the walls begin.
Umaid Bhawan Palace : Umaid Bhawan Palace can qualify for several firsts: the largest private residence in the world, the finest extant example of art-deco, the only palace to have painting from the Ramayana painted by a Polish artist, the first to use air-conditioning, electricity and elevators, and the most impressive for its size and dimensions.
Jaswant 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.
Government Museum : Located in the Umaid gardens on High Court Road, it has a large and fairly interesting collection.
Mehrangarh Fort Museum : This is an excellent museum with rare and interesting artifacts, textiles, paintings, transport items etc. laid out with utmost care and thought. The Palanquin Gallery and Howdah Gallery display a superb collection of old and costly specimens of great historical value.
Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum :
Recently the ruling family of Jodhpur has converted a part of the gigantic Umaid Bhawan Palace as a Palace Museum.
Government Museum, Mandore: About 8 kms form Jodhpur; Mandore was the capital of Marwar. This enchanting place having beautifully carved cenotaphs, halls of heroes, palaces and old fort, is of immense historical importance.
Balsamand Lake and Garden (5 km), Mandore (8 Km), Sadar Samand Lake (55 Km),
Guda Bishnoi (25 Km), Mahamandir Temple (9 km), Kailana Lake (11 Km), Jhalamand Garh (10 Km), Luni Fort (35 Km)
How To Get There
Air : Indian Airlines connect Jodhpur with Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur and Bombay.
Rail: Jodhpur is connected by rail with Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Abu Road, Bombay via Ahmedabad Barmer and Udaipur via Marwar.
Road : By road Jodhpur to Agra 577 kms, Ajmer 198 kms, Barmer 220 kms, Bikaner 240 kms, Bombay 1073 kms, Delhi 592 kms, Jaipur 343 kms, Jaisalmer 290 kms, Mount Abu 264 kms, Udaipur 275 kms, Ranakpur 175 kms.
Bus : Regular bus services available from Jodhpur to Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ranakpur and Nathdwara.
The golden city of Jaisalmer, which lies as the western sentinel of India, is a must visit for the tourists. The golden rays of the setting sun draw a heavenly mirage and views on the sand of Jaisalmer. The magnificent wood- and stone-carved mansions and buildings display the appreciation, the Rajputs possessed for the fine arts.
Jaisalmer - the golden beauty, etched in yellow sandstone. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. Epitomising the desolate, awesome charm of the desert.
Jaisalmer, the city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. The city was founded in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput King.
Legend has it, that Lord Krishna – the head of Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled, when in 1156 AD Rawal Jaisal, a descendant of Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, founded the city of Jaisalmer.
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!
Jaisalmer is famous for cobbled streets, strewn with palaces, forts, temples and havelis. Every house, here, is exquisitely carved, having filigreed work all over. These houses date back to 12th – 15th century. And hence Jaisalmer is called 'the Museum city'.
Filled with colour, festivity and smiles, Jaisalmer is truly a memorable experience across the shimmering sands.
What to see
Jaisalmer Fort : Renew yourself amid the past galore, as you visit the commanding Jaisalmer Fort. The fort stands guard over the desertscape from its 250 feet high perch on the hill with its wall following the contours of the hills.
Gadsisar Lake : A rain water lake, adorned with an arched gateway. Many small shrines and temples are festooned a11 around the lake. Today, it is an ideal picnic spot, famous for boating.
Salim Singh-ki-Haveli : Witness the legendary architectural wealth of Jaisalmer at Salim Singh's haveli, truly unsurpassed in splendor. Of particular note are the blue roof and rows of peacocks below the arched balconies. The haveli was once the residence of the Mohta family, ministers of Jaisalmer rulers.
Patwon-ki-Haveli : It is the grandest mansion in Jaisalmer, not to be missed at all. This five haveli wonder has its ceiling supported by exquisitely carved pillars and its delicately chiselled balconies surely leave you mesmerized.
Nathmalji-ki-Haveli : This haveli was carved by two brothers. One worked on right side and the other on left, but the harmony in design exists still. Screened windows, projected balconies and intricate carvings illustrate superb craftsmanship.
Jain Temples : Within the citadel are the splendorous Jain temples, dedicated to Rishabdevji, Sambhavnathji and Parshvanathji.
Devikot (40 kms), Ramdeora (150 kms), Sam Sand Duna (42 kms), Lodhruva (17 kms), Bada Bagh (6 kms), Wood Fossil Park (17 kms), Desert National Park (40 kms), Barmer (153 kms).
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 descendant 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 transformed 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 circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in redish-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.
What to see
Junagarh Fort : Revel in the architectural splendour, as you take an intimate look at this imposing fort, 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. The palaces, exquisitely 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 mesmerised. 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 : (5 km) Beautiful 16th century Jain temples, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar Parshvanathji.
Bhand Sagar Temple 5 km, Camel Breeding Farm 10 km, Devi Kund 8 km, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary 32 kms, Deshnok's Karniji Temple 33 kms.
Ranthambore reserve near the town of Sawai Madhopur, surrounded by the Vindhya and Aravali hill ranges is quite near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. This area with unending desert and semi-desert vegetation was formerly a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, which was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1980, it became a national park and a tiger reserve. The Kaila Devi Sanctuary, also famous for its tigers, and Mansingh Sanctuary adjoin the Ranthambore Reserve.
Sariska National Park (near Alwar) is situated in the vivid backdrop of the Aravali Hills. It was declared a sanctuary in 1955, a tiger reserve in 1979 and a national park in 1982. The park boasts of quite a few tigers and other interesting flora and fauna for the wildlife and nature lovers. There are also historical ruins and monuments within Sariska's precincts that glorify its rich past.
How To Get There
Air: The four airports of the state are, Sanganer in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Kota. Rajasthan is well connected by air to almost all the major cities of India. A number of airlines have regular flights connecting the state with rest of the country.
Rail: Rajasthan is well connected by a good network of rail too. The best option is obviously,
the Palace on Wheels, one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Palace on Wheels connects Delhi with Bharatpur, Jaipur, Kota, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Sirohi, Kishangarh, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalwar, and Dholpur, apart from Agra.