Keoladeo National Park

A_view_of_the_Bharatpur_bird_sanctuary

Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India. It is also a declared World Heritage Site owing to its vast collection of Avi-Fauna and wildlife. Keoladeo National Park (KNP), formerly known as the Bharatpur Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Locally, it is still known as ‘Ghana’ which means a dense forest. It acquired its name, ‘Keoladeo’ due to the presence of the Lord Shiva temple at the centre of the Park. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971.

The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals such as the basking python, painted storks, deer, nilgai and more. It is a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India. The reserve protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle, and earlier was primarily used as a waterfowl hunting ground. This ‘Bird Paradise’ was developed in a natural depression wetland that was managed as a duck shooting reserve at the end of the 19th century. 

History:

The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. It was a being a hunting ground in the times of Maharajas used to be host to a number of Duck shoots organised here by the Maharajas for the British dignitaries. And duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. The park was established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850. In 1985, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site under the world Heritage Convention. It is a reserve forest under the Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953 and therefore, is the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union.

Flora And Fauna:

Migratory_birds_at_Keoladeo_National_Park The park is the only area with significant vegetation, hence the term ‘Ghana’ meaning ‘thicket’. The principal vegetation types are tropical dry deciduous forest, intermixed with dry grassland in areas where forest has been degraded. Rich of natural flora and fauna, spread in over 29Km2 of area. Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary contains a wide variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. Its unique mosaic of habitat types ranges from temporary swamps and potholes, which hold water for a few weeks only, to floodplains where water flows over for several months. 

Keoladeo_ghana_national_park_with_blue_bird Darter_sitting_on_a_tree@_Keoladeo_National_Park Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary as the name suggest is a haven for the birdwatchers and avifauna . Over 370 bird species have been recorded in the park. also home to around 50 species of fishes, 13 species of snakes, 7 species of turtles and many more wild animals. The land insects found here in great numbers are good for the breeding of land birds. It is the only wintering ground for the central population of the rare and highly endangered Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in India. A large number of breeding colonies of fish-eating birds occur in the monsoon and autumn months. That is why this park is regarded as the hub of ornithologist for their research works on the various species of birds. During its evolution, it was declared as a protected sanctuary in 1971 and was declared as World Heritage Site in 1985! For ornithologists, the park has 2 important aspects- one important aspect is its location that is a favourite of the migratory waterfowl that comes here in the Indian subcontinent before it goes to the different places. 

Climate:

The summers are too hot in Keoladeo as the temperatures can reach soaring heights making it a really unbearable place for tourism, the temperature ranges from 38 ° C to 45°C. winter the temperatures reach a maximum of 350C and a minimum of 50C The monsoon precipitation is about 69 cm. November to March is the best time, for the migratory birds are there as well as the residents. But the park is a treat all year round.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Agra (55 km), Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: Bharatpur Railway station is 5 km away from the national park, Which is well connected to major city of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Kolkata etc.

By Road: Buses are available for Bharatpur from most cities and towns in Rajasthan and taxi services are available from major cities like Agra, Jaipur and Delhi. Alwar, Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura and Sariska are also in close proximity to Bharatpur.

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Mehrangarh Fort

800px-The_Mehrangarh_fort

Mehrangarh Fort, located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is one of the largest forts in India. It is also the most magnificent fort in Jodhpur, intact, in the whole Rajasthan. The fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 when he transferred his capital from Mandore, the fort is situated 410 feet (125 m) above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls.  Its immense size makes it one of the largest forts in India and it has been designated as “the work of giants” by Rudyard Kipling. The Fort houses a number of palaces inside its premises; these palaces display some of the fine Rajputana art works and carvings on their walls.  

Jodhpur_mehrangarh_fort The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol meaning victory, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. The fort has seven gates of which the noted ones are the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806; Fatehpol or the Victory Gate built by Maharaja Ajit Singh; and the Lohapol or the Iron Gate. Other attractions of Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730. The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms.

History:

Mehrangarh_Fort,_Jodhpur,_India Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan, is credited with the origin of Jodhpur in India. He founded Jodhpur in 1459  which is previously know as marwar. Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort History is related to Rao Jodha. He became the fifteenth Rathore ruler in 1459.  One year after his accession to the throne, Jodha decided to move his capital to the safer location of Jodhpur, as the one thousand years old Mandore fort was no longer considered to provide sufficient security. The one thousand years old Mandore fort was slowly and gradually deteriorating. This led to the foundation of Mehrangarh Fort. Mehrangarh – a word for ‘fort of the sun’ – was chosen as the name of this massive structure that is 500 yards long and features 120-feet high and 70-feet thick walls. The eventful history, well-preserved heritage and impressive architecture of this fort make it the face of Jodhpur on national as well as global platform. 

Architecture:

Carved_balcony,_Mehrangarh_Fort Decorated_room,_Mehrangarh_Fort,_Jodhpur,_Rajasthan,_India Mehrangarh Fort is the crowning glory of Jodhpur, a majestic fortress perched proudly on a rocky hillock. It’s a historic monument blessed with jaw-dropping architecture, fine art and exquisite ornamentation. The fort has 68-ft wide and 117-ft elevated walls which overlook the surrounding plain.  the first of the fort’s seven defensive gates. The sixth of the seven gates, Loha Pol, has a sharp right-angle turn and sharper iron spikes to hinder the ascent of charging enemy elephants. the most famous among them is the Jayapol (meaning victory). This gate was constructed by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his triumph over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. The second one, Fattepol, was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to commemorate the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints on these gates are the centre of attraction of tourists even today. 

Within the fort are several brilliantly crafted and decorated palaces. These include, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana. The museum houses a collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, miniatures, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of the fort house preserved old cannon (including the famous Kilkila), and provided a breath-taking view of the city. A large part of the Mehrangarh Fort has been converted into a heritage museum, which is one of the finest museums across the country.

Ticket is not need to enter the fort. A ticket is needed only to enter the museum section and the Chokelao Bagh. And every year on May 12, the foundation day of the fort, entry remains free. Fees for Indian are 60 rupees and for Foreigners 300 rupees.

How To Reach:

By Air: Jodhpur has domestic airport which is around 5km away from the city. Flights to Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, and Mumbai can be taken from here.  The nearest International airport is Jaipur. 

By Rail: Jodhpur railway station is well connected to all major city of India. 

By Road: Jodhpur is well-connected with national and state highways that connect cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Jaipur.

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Dilwara Temples

Dilwara_Prashvantha_Temple

The Dilwara temples of India are located about 2½ kilometers from Mount Abu, Rajasthan’s only hill station, Its rank among the popular tourist attractions in Rajasthan. The five temples of Dilwara – Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pithalhar, Khartar Vasahi, and Mahavir Swami – have their own uniqueness to speak of. These Jain temples were built by Vastapul Tejpal, Jain laymen between the 11th and 13th centuries AD and are world-famous for their stunning use of marble. some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. 

The marble temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high wall shrouds the temple complex.  The door opens on to a blend of irresistible beauty and elegance. The temples are surrounded with mango trees and wooded hills and a high wall that shrouds the entire temple complex.The door opens on to a blend of irresistible beauty and elegance. The temples are surrounded with mango trees and wooded hills and a high wall that shrouds the entire temple complex. Dilwara Temple forms a famous pilgrimage of the followers of Jainism. The striking use of marble, in the construction of this temple, is truly worth-admiring. 

History :

DILWADA_TEMPLE Mount Abu located in the southwest part of Rajasthan is a part of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges and is separated from the Aravalli by a narrow valley and Guru Shikhar is the highest point at the northern end. These Jain temples were built by Vastapul Tejpal, a Jain layman between the 11th and 13th centuries AD. The five legendary marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world. The five shrines that are dedicated to Lord Adinath, Lord Rishabhdeo, Lord Neminath, Lord Mahavir Swami and Lord Parshvanath respectively. All of its ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels has minutely carved ornamental details which show its architectural uniqueness. The Dilwara temples are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras and served as storehouses of illustrated manuscripts and treatises. The temples at Mount Abu were constructed between 800 AD and 1200 AD. Vimala Shah, Vastu Pala and Teja Pala contributed a lot toward the development of Jain art and architecture.

Five Unique Temples of Dilwara:

There are five temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located. 

 1. Vimal Vasahi Temple:

Jain_temple_Mt.Abu The oldest among the five temples of Dilwara, this exquisite piece of architecture was constructed by Vimal Shah, completed in AD 1032. This temple is the oldest of all and dedicated to Shri Adinath Ji – The first jain trithankar, the temple has an open courtyard surrounded by corridors all beautifully decorated with marble carved stones. The plan of the temple resembles that of Kashmiri Sun temple at Martand.Elaborately columned porticoes surround the main shrine and front the cells lining the courtyard. The ceilings of this temple are festooned with patterns of petals, flowers, lotus-buds and murals depicting scenes from the mythology. The central dome and the 12 pillars of Rang Mandap hall are stunning to look at. 

2. Luna Vasahi Temple:

LDDilwaraCeiling The Luna Vashi temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath. This temple was built in 1230 A.D. by two brothers known as Tejpal and Vastupal, they dedicated this temple to the 22nd saint of Jainism – Shri Nemi Nathji. Its the second most important temple amongst the temples of Dilwara. The architecture and sculpture of this temple closely follow the Vimal Vasahi temple. The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome from which hangs a big ornamental pendant featuring elaborate carving, Which has three hundred and sixty (360) tiny idols of Jain trithankar. Made on the same structural pattern, Luna Vasahi Temple also has a Hathishala with 10 marble elephants. Again, Navchowki holds nine delicately carved ceilings with intricate marble work.

3. Pittalhar Temple:

Kalpavruksha_page Pittalhar Temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara Lord. This temple was built by Bhima Shah, a minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabad. This temple is known as Peethalhar temple because in this temple most of the statues are built using ‘Pittal’ (Brass Metal). The Shrine consists of a main Garbhagriha, Gudh mandap and Navchowki. It seems that the construction of Rangmandap and the corridor was left unfinished. 

4. Parshvanatha Temple: 

Interior_of_the_Neminath_Temple,_Dilwara,_Mount_Abu_by_William_Carpenter This temple, dedicated to Lord Parshvanath, was built by Mandlik and his family in 1458-59. It consists of a three storied building, the temple has the tallest shrine along with four big Mandapa’s amongst all dilwara temples. This three-storied building is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar Lord. The outer walls of the sanctum comprise beautiful sculptures in gray sandstone, depicting Dikpals, Vidhyadevis, Yakshinis, Shalabhanjikas and other decorative sculptures comparable to the ones in Khajuraho and Konark. 

5. Mahavir Swami Temple:

Dilwara_Temple_(c._1900) This is a small structure constructed in 1582 and dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord. Though small, the carvings on the temple walls make this a marvelous conception in marble. On the upper walls of the porch there are pictures painted in 1764 by the artists of Sirohi. 

The Dilwara Jain Temples are open from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. for tourist’s for free and No photography is allowed inside the temple complex.

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest Airport Dabok Airport (185 km) Udaipur, Which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest Railway station is Mount Abu railway station (25 km), Which is well-connected to different cities in India like New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

By Road: Daily bus services are available from cities like Baroda and Ahmedabad. From Abu Road, you can hire a cab or take private/state transport buses to Mount Abu.

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Sri Ganganagar

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The northern-most city of Rajasthan, Sri Ganganagar is located near the border of the state of Punjab and also the international border of the nation of Pakistan. It is often referred to as “the food basket of Rajasthan” due to its fertile plains similar to those one would find in Punjab. The area was once barren and dry but was converted to a green town thanks to Maharaja Ganga Singh who constructed the Gang Canal to carry excess water from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the town.

Today, Sri Ganganagar is famed for its produce of wheat, mustard, cotton, bajra, sugarcane and grams. Kinnow, a hybrid citrus fruit is a popular horticultural product that is grown here. Majority of the industries in the area are based on agriculture and it provides a livelihood to a majority of the residents of Sri Ganganagar.

In ancient times, two mighty rivers i.e. the Saraswati and the Drishadvati flowed through the area making it home to tribes similar to those belonging to Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. However, in due course the rivers started to dry up causing a natural calamity that wiped out the tribes and caused Sri Ganganagar to turn into a barren wasteland. During the 15th century, Rao Bika established Bikaner and the territory of Sri Ganganagar was part of the princely State of Bikaner. Finally in 1927, the overhaul of Sri Ganganagar was complete thanks to the Gang Canal constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh as the city was restored to its former glory.


Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Sriganganagar

Bror Village

Located on the Anoopgarh-Ramsinghpur road, Bror village is famed for the remnants of the Indus Valley Civilisation being unearthed here. Several artefacts, skeletal remains and buildings have been found in the vicinity of the village and they point to a period of time when the area was thriving with life.

Laila Majnu Ka Mazar

The mazar or tomb of Laila-Majnu is situated at Binjaur village around 11kms away from Anupgarh city. Legend has it that the tomb belongs to fabled lovers Laila and Majnu. The story goes that Laila and Majnu belonged to the Sindh and settled here after escaping the clutches of Laila’s parents and her brother who were against their courtship. Eventually when Laila and Majnu died, they are believed to have been buried here together. The tomb has today become a symbol of eternal love and people come here from far and wide to seek the blessings of the pair. A fair is held here every year to commemorate the love of Laila and Majnu and it is attended primarily by newlyweds and couples.

Anupgarh Fort

Located in the town of Anupgarh close to the border of Pakistan, the Anupgarh fort is currently in ruins. However, in its heyday the fort was an imposing structure that helped keep the Bhati Rajputs at bay. The fort was built in the year 1689 by a Mughal governor who wished to keep Anupgarh under Mughal tutelage.

Hindumalkot Border

The Hindumalkot border situated in the town of Sri Ganganagar separates India and Pakistan. Named in honour of Hindumal, the Diwan of Bikaner, the border is one of the foremost tourist attractions of the city. The border is located at a distance of 25 kms from Sri Ganganagar and is open to the public between 10.00 am and 5.30 am every day.

Buddha Johad Gurudwara

This historical Gurudwara was built to commemorate an important event when Massa Ranghar, guilty of sacrilege at Amritsar’s Golden Temple was brought to justice by Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh back in 1740. Located by the Dabla village in Ganganagar, this place of worship also houses historical paintings and monuments.

Padampur

Padampur, a city in Ganganagar was named after Rajkumar Padam Singh of the Bikaner State royal family. It functions as an agricultural hub following the construction of the Ganges Canal. The main crops grown here are wheat bajra, sugar cane, grams, and in the recent years, Padampur has gained recognition for the kinnow (a hybrid of an orange).

How to Reach Here

By air: The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International airport in Amritsar is closest to Sri Ganganagar at 271 kms. One can also get to the city via flights to Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur.

By road: National Highway no. 15 runs through Sri Ganganagar and one can opt for buses from most major North Indian cities to get here.

By rail: The Sri Ganganagar – Hanumangarh line has been converted to broad gauge making it easily accessible from most major cities including Delhi, Bathinda, Rewari, Haridwar and Nanded among others.

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Jaipur

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Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Renowned globally for its coloured gems, the capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Moti Doongri.

Jaipur traces back its origins to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Jaipur

Amber Palace

125 Amber, located about 11 kilometres from Jaipur, sits amidst picturesque and rugged hills. It incorporates both Rajput and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in the late 16th century and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh, the fort is made of red sandstone and white marble.

Jaipur City Palace

103 The City Palace is a splendid example of the foresight that Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had. As the founder of Jaipur, he took pains to create a magnificent walled city that encloses marvels such as the City Palace. The palace is a beautiful blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The previous royal family continues to reside in one section of the palace. Located within the walls of the City Palace, Chandra Mahal is a seven-storeyed tower. However, the ground and first floors have now been given over for the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum.

Jantar Mantar

106 The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. It contains fourteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun.

Hawa Mahal

107 The Palace of Winds was constructed in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh. The five-storied structure is made of pink sandstone and has 356 intricately carved jharokhas (windows). It was designed for the women of the royal family to sit in privacy while observing life on the street.

Albert Hall Museum

110 The building gets its name from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the inspiration for its design. The exquisitely built Albert Hall is housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden. Sir Swinton Jacob (who is also the mastermind behind many other palaces in Rajasthan) conceptualised and designed it using styles from the Indo-Sarcenic architecture and the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the building in 1876. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods. It also houses a large collection of miniatures from Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur and Jaipur schools of art.

Nahargarh Fort

101 The northern frontier of Jaipur is fortified by Nahargarh Fort. Situated on a rough crest of the Aravalli range, the fort, which literally means ‘abode of the tigers’, was built in 1734 by Jai Singh to further defend Amber. Later, in 1868, the fort was extended to its present size.

Jaigarh Fort

124 Of the three hilltop forts that overlook the city of Jaipur, Jaigarh is perhaps the most magnificent of them all. About 15 kilometres from Jaipur, it was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills. Despite its ancient construction, it still retains most of its imposing citadel appearance. Visitors can see the world’s largest canon – Jaiban, at the fort.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

117 The Lakshmi-Narayan Temple, also known as the Birla Temple, is a comparatively newer temple built by the Birlas (a noted industrialist family). The temple, constructed entirely of white marble, is home to the deities of Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi.

Jal Mahal

105 One of the most wonderful sights in Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal or Lake Palace. The light, sand coloured stone walls and the deep blue of the water make for a wonderful contrast. The palace appears to float in the centre of Man Sagar Lake, where its magnificent exteriors can be enjoyed by tourists.

Gaitore

Just off the Jaipur-Amber road is Gaitore, where the former Maharajas of Jaipur are entombed. The chhatris (cenotaphs), made of white marble display the distinctive Rajput style of architecture. The open pavilions with ornate domes are supported by delicately sculpted pillars. The crematorium is located in the middle of yellow sandstone hills. The décor and extravagance of a particular chattri is meant to reflect the stature and prowess of the ruler it contains. The most graceful and beautiful chattri at Gaitor is that of Maharaja Jai Singh with 20 carved pillars. Tourists are especially drawn towards it because of its intricate carvings.

Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden

Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden is located 8 kilometres from Jaipur on the Agra road. Laid out in Mughal style, it is painted with the legends of Radha and Krishna. The garden is multi-tiered and has fountains, water courses and painted pavilions. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built it for his Sisodia queen.

Vidyadhar Garden

113 Located near Sisodia Garden, this is yet another beautiful garden which is a must-see for visitors. It is named after Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the Chief Architect of Jaipur.

Central Park

Central Park is a large green zone right in the centre of Jaipur that offers city dwellers a spot for a moment of respite. Conceptualised and built by the Jaipur Development Authority, it is Jaipur’s largest park. It houses a lush garden, the Polo Ground and a golf club. However, the highlight of the park is India’s first all-day-and-all-night monumental National Flag which also happens to be the country’s tallest flagpole.

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

115 At a mere ten-minute walk through the cobbled streets of Amber lies the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. Located in a magnificently restored haveli (mansion), the museum displays a varied selection of block-printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition.

Govind Devji Temple

116 The Krishna temple is a rare spire-less temple and houses the idol of Govind Devji that Sawai Jai Singh brought from Vrindavan. The deity, worshipped by the erstwhile royal family, is also revered by the Hindus in Jaipur and nearby areas.

Moti Doongri

118 Rising from the middle of Jaipur is a small pearl-shaped hill called Moti Doongri. At the top of the hill sits an exotic palace – a replica of a Scottish castle – which is the private property of the royal family. The highlight of Moti Doongri is a famous and auspicious temple of Lord Ganesh located at the foothill.

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple at Vaishali Nagar is among the most popular attractions for tourists visiting Jaipur. The temple, dedicated to the god Narayan, is well-known because of the beautiful architecture that includes magnificent idols, lifelike sculptures and intricate carvings.

Digamber Jain Mandir

120 The ancient Digamber Jain temple at Jaipur is in Sanganer, 14 km from the city. The principal idol in the Sanghiji Temple is of Lord Adinath in the Padmasan (lotus position) posture. The temple is made of red stone and has attractive carvings. The seven-storied temple has sky-high ‘shikharas’ (spires) and its inner sanctum is a stone shrine with eight sky-high shikharas.

Galtaji

121 Galtaji is an ancient pilgrimage centre in Jaipur. Set amidst low hills and packed with locals and tourists alike, the attractive spot has temples, pavilions and holy kunds (natural springs and water tanks). Visitors to Galtaji will come across the complex of Ramgopalji temple, locally called the Monkey temple (Galwar Bagh). It gets this moniker because of a large group of resident monkeys. The green landscape and chattering monkeys add to the delight of the area. On top of the hill is a small temple dedicated to the sun god, called the Surya Mandir. Constructed by Diwan Kriparam, the temple can be seen from anywhere in the city.

Statue Circle

A life-size white marble statue of Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, stands tall in the middle of a circle in the C-Scheme area. Erected in his honour, the statue pays homage to the founder of Jaipur.

Ram Niwas Garden

This historical garden was built by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh in 1868. Located in the heart of the city, the garden houses the Albert Hall Museum (now known as Central Museum), a bird park, a zoo, the Ravindra Rang Manch theatre, an art gallery and an exhibition ground.

Zoological Garden

The Zoological Garden or Jaipur Zoo was founded by Sawai Raja Pratap Singh in the year 1868. It is located in Ram Niwas Bagh, within walking distance of the famous Albert Hall.

Kanak Vrindavan

126 Located at the foothills of Nahargarh hills on the way to Amber, Kanak Vrindavan is popular among the locals for picnics. The beautifully landscaped garden houses an intricately carved temple, several terrace sites, marble columns and lattices, making it a dream location for film shoots as well.

Ishwar Lat

Ishwar Lat, also known as Swarg Suli is a 60 feet high grand minaret in Jaipur. Also called ‘Swarg Suli’ or ‘heaven piercing minaret’, this tower near Tripolia Gate was built by Raja Ishwari Singh in 1749 A.D to commemorate a grand victory against his brother Madho Singh in the Bagru war. Ishwar Lat offers a breath-taking view of Jaipur. Another popular story about Ishwar Lat goes that Maharaja Ishwari Singh built it to secretly view and admire the beautiful daughter of Prime Minister Argobind Natani. She lived in the haveli opposite Swarg Suli and the Maharaja was said to be in love with her.

Amar Jawan Jyoti

The Amar Jawan Jyoti, or the ‘flame of the immortal soldiers’, is a memorial dedicated to the martyrs of Rajasthan. This memorial is situated near Jaipur’s Vidhan Sabha Bhawan (Legislative Assembly).The key attraction of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is that the torches at the four corners of the structure are always burning. In evenings, this formidable structure is attractively lit up in vivid colours. The brilliant lighting effects make this a picturesque spot a favourite with tourists.

Maharani Ki Chhatri

Maharani Ki Chhatri was a special funeral area for women belonging to Jaipur’s royal family and is located on the way to Amber fort. This crematorium has several exquisitely carved cenotaphs built to commemorate them. The cenotaphs are either built with marble or the local stones. As a popular belief, a cenotaph was finished with a roof structure only if the queen died before her king. In case she died after the king, it would remain unfinished. One of the significant features of these cenotaphs is the use of chhatri (umbrella), a quintessential architectural style of the Rajputs. The magnificent beauty and the historical significance of Maharani ki Chhatri makes it one of the most visited tourist attractions in Jaipur.

Nahargarh Biological Park

421 Nahargarh Biological Park, a part of the Nahargarh sanctuary is located about 12 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Delhi highway. It encompasses a large area of 720 hectares and is situated under the Aravalli range. The Park is famous for its vast flora and fauna, and its main aim is to conserve it. It also doubles up as a great place to educate people and conduct research on existing flora and fauna.

How to Reach Here

By air: The Jaipur International Airport is called Sanganer Airport. There are domestic flight connections to and from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Udaipur and several other places. There are also international flights from Jaipur to Dubai and Muscat as well.

By road: A convenient way to travel to Jaipur is by road. Regular service of AC and Deluxe buses is available from all major cities in Rajasthan.

By rail: Jaipur is connected via rail from Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, etc.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Bhilwara

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Famous as the ‘city of textiles and looms’, Bhilwara is home to the world renowned Ramdwara of Ramsnehi Sampraday. The founder Guru of the Sampraday, Swami Ramcharanji Maharaj, preached to his followers here and later decided to move to Shahpura. The present day headquarters of the Ram Snehi Sampraday, known as Ram Niwas Dham are located in Shahpura.

Some people say that Bhilwara got its name from the Bhils (tribal people) who lived there during the days of yore. As per a story, the city of Bhilwara had a mint that minted coins known as ‘bhiladi’. This is supposedly the origin of the district’s name. Bhilwara’s cultural history can also be traced back to the Nagar Brahmins mentioned in the Skanda Purana.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Bhilwara

Badnore Fort

Towering over a small hill, this seven-storied fort in Bhilwara is an excellent example of medieval Indian architecture. Located 70 kilometres from Bhilwara on the Bhilwara Asind Road, it offers breath-taking views. One can also visit the many small monuments and temples within the walls of Badnore Fort.

Pur Udan Chatri

481 Pur Udan Chatri is about 10 kilometres from Bhilwara city. It is renowned for Udan Chatri and Adhar Sheela Mahadev, where the geographical wonder of a huge rock resting on a small one attracts tourists.

Kyara Ke Balaji

The Kyara ke Balaji has an image of Lord Hanuman which the locals believe appeared naturally on the rock. When visiting Kyara ke Balaji, you can also visit other locations such as Patola Mahadev Temple, Ghata Rani Temple, Beeda ke Mataji Temple and Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

The Madhav Gou Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra

Cows are the livelihood for most of the locals in Bhilwara. Thus, the Madhav Cow Science Research Centre in the village Gaadarmala is very popular as it offers them knowledge and the know-how on how to better care for their animals.

Mandal

484 Located around 16 kilometres from Bhilwara city, is Mandal, where you can find the find the cenotaph of Jagganath Kachhawaha, better known as Battis Khambon ki Chhatri. As the name implies, this is a handsome chhatri (cenotaph) comprising 32-pillars made with sandstone. Some of them have beautiful carving at the base and on the upper portion. The chhatri also encloses a huge Shivaling.

Harni Mahadev

Founded by the ancestors of the Darak family and named after the nearby village, the Harni Mahadev is a Shiva temple, located around 8 kilometers from the city. Surrounded by picturesque hills, this is a beautiful destination for tourists.

Gayatri Shakti Peeth

The Shakti Peetha is a place of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Sati, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. In Bhilwara, the Gayatri Shakti Peeth is located near the main city bus stand.

Dhanop Mataji

3 kilometres away from Sangariya is Dhanop, a little village where you can visit the Sheetla Mata Temple. This colourful temple has bright red walls and pillars, a chequered marble floor and an idol of the goddess Sheetla (an incarnation of Goddess Durga) in black stone.

Shri Beed Ke Balaji

Across India, Balaji is a name fondly bestowed upon the monkey god, Hanuman. The Shri Beed ke Balaji is temple is situated 3 kilometres away from Kanechhan village in Shahpura tehsil. Isolated and surrounded by nature, it is a wonderful spot to visit if you wish to experience tranquillity and peace

Shri Charbhujanath Temple

Many visitors in Bhilwara head to Rajsamand, where the revered Charbhuja Mandir is located. The temple, located at a convenient distance from Bhilwara, is consecrated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated in the Kotri tehsil.

Bagore Sahib

490 Bagore Sahib is a historical gurudwara where Shri Guru Govind Singh Ji stayed on his journey to Punjab. This gurudwara is situated about 20 kilometres from the town of Mandal in the village Bagore of Tehsil Mandal. It has been blessed by the visit of the Tenth Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Chamunda Mata Mandir

The Chamunda Mata Mandir is situated on the hills of Harni Mahadev. Once on top, one can get a spectacular view of the whole city. The location, just 5 kilometres from Bhilwara, is a place to visit if you seek the peace.

Menal Waterfall

80 kilometrs from Bhilwara, on the Bhilwara-Kota road is a beautiful waterfall where the water falls to a depth of 150 metres into a V-shaped valley with great force, making for a beautiful sight. People from all corners of the State flock to take it in. The best time to visit the Menal Waterfall is from July to October.

Jataun Ka Mandir Temple

Dating back to the middle of the 11th century, the Jataun ka Mandir is a Shiva temple that is said to have been built by a Bhil tribal who was considered to be among the first settlers here.

Ganesha Temple

The Ganesha Temple is a highly revered shrine dedicated to the elephant god, Ganesha. Vinayak Chaturthi is celebrated with great fanfare and draws people across Rajasthan. The festive Ganesh Mela is also held at that time.

Triveni

Triveni Chauraha is located 40 kilometres from the city of Bhilwara and is the meeting point of Menali River with Badachh and Banas Rivers. Along the coast is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that remains submerged under water during monsoon.

Meja Dam

The Meja Dam located 20 kilometres from Bhilwara is one of the biggest dams in Bhilwara and is famous for its lush green park. It is a famous tourist attraction and favoured picnic spot.

Bijolia

497 Bijolia is a census town in Bhilwara, and is famous for the Shree Digambar Jain Parshwanath Atishaya Teerthkhshetra, the Bijolia Fort and the Mandakini Temple. Located on the Bundi – Chittorgarh road, the Fort also houses a Shiva temple known as the Hajaresvara Mahadeva Temple. Renowned for its art and architecture, it is a popular tourist attraction. Dedicated to Teerthankar Parshvanath, the Shree Digambar Jain Parshwanath Atishaya Teerthkhshetra is supposed to be over 2700 years

Tilasvan Mahadev

498 Located 15 km from Bijolia, are four temples, the principal of which is dedicated to Sarweshwar (Shiva), which reportedly belongs to 10th or 11th century. The temple complex also houses a monastery, a kund or reservoir and a toran or triumphal arch.

Shahpura

55 km from Bhilwara is the town of Shahpura. Surrounded by a wall with four gates, it’s a place of pilgrimage for the followers of Ram Sanehi sect founded amongst the Hindu in 1804. The sect has a holy shrine known as Ram Dwara, The chief priest of Rama Dwara is the head of the sect. Pilgrims from all over the country visit this shrine throughout the year. An annual fair known as Phool Dol ka Mela is held here in Phalgun Shukla (March-April) for five days. There is a large palace complex in the northern part of Shahpura, which is surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas. It offers beautiful views of the lake and the town from its upper terraces. Kesari Singh, Jorawar Singh and Pratap Singh Barahat were famous freedom fighters who belonged to Shahpura. Trimurti Smarak, Barahat Ji Ki Haveli and Pivaniya Talab are other important attractions here. Shahpura is also famous for the traditional art form of Phad painting.

Jahazpur

90 km from Bhilwara lies Jahazpur. Travel to the south of this town and perched atop a hill, you will find a large fort consisting of two ramparts, one within the other, each having a deep ditch and numerous bastion. It is alleged that this is one of the many forts erected by Rana Kumbha to protect the frontiers of Mewar. The village has a group of temples dedicated to Shiva called the Barah Deora. The fort also houses a few temples among which the one dedicated to Sarweshwar Nathji is said to be quite old. Jahazpur is well-known for an important Jain temple that is dedicated to Munisvuratnath. It also houses a a mosque, situated between the village and the fort, known as the Gaibi Pir, named after a Muhammadan Saint Gaibi who is said to have resided here during the reign of Emperor Akbar.

Asind

The town, known for its temples, is situated on the left bank of the river Khari, built by Sawai Bhoj, the eldest son of Bagh Rao. During the princely rule, the town was an estate comprising seventy two villages, held by one of the first class nobles of the Mewar state, who held the title of Rawat and belonged to the Chundawat sect of the Sisodia Rajput.

Mandalgarh

Located 54 km from Bhilwara, this place possesses historical importance as it was the scene of many battles during the medieval times. It is also famous in history as being the campsite of the great Mughal emperor Akbar during the Haldi Ghati battle. A half-mile long fort stands guard with low rampart wall and bastions encircling the crest of the hill on which it stands. The fort is said to have been constructed by a chief of the Balnote clan of Rajputs. The fort houses two temples, one dedicated to Lord Shiva called Jaleshwar and the other dedicated to Krishna called Bada Mandir.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Udaipur Airport- 148 kms

By road: National Highway No. 79 and National Highway No. 76 pass through Bhilwara.

By rail: Bhilwara is well connected to Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Kota, Indore Junction, Ujjain and Delhi by rail.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Pali

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Eponymously known as the Industrial City, Pali has been an important part of Rajasthan from centuries and a hub for merchant activities. Carved out of erstwhile state of Jodhpur, Pali flaunts its rich heritage and culture in the form of beautiful Jain temples and other elaborate monuments. Resembling an irregular triangle, this district shares a common border with eight districts in Rajasthan namely, Nagaur and Jodhpur in the north, Barmer in the west, Rajmasand and Udaipur to the south-east, Ajmer to the north-east and Sirohi and Jalore in the south and south-west respectively.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Pali

Ranakpur Jain Temples

428 Built in the 15th century after a Jain businessman was believed to have had a divine vision, the Ranakpur Jain Temple is dedicated to Adinath, a very important figure in Jain cosmology. Named after the provincial monarch Rana Kumbha who supported and encouraged the construction of these temples, the Ranakpur Jain Temples stand in a valley of the Aravalli mountains. It’s a temple complex – not just one temple.

Jawai Dam

Built across a tributary of the river Luni, Jawai dam was constructed by Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. It is believed to be the biggest dam in western Rajasthan. Besides being a primary source of water for nearby villages and Jodhpur city, Jawai dam is also famously a winter paradise for migratory birds and leopards and houses crocodiles.

Parshuram Mahadev Temple

A cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ParshuramMahadev Temple has a fascinating story. It is said that Parshuram, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, made the cave with his axe and worshipped Lord Shiva here. Situated over 3990 feet above sea level, this temple houses naturally-made figures of Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva.

Nimbo Ka Nath Temple

The NimbokaNath Temple is situated on the Falna-Sanderav route and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva and spent most of her time during their exile worshipping Mahadev here. It is also said that Pandavas had built a Navdurga in this area. Hence, this serene temple attracts many tourists all-round the year. The temple is also known to organize various fairs that witness large footfall of devotees.

Jain Temple

Pali is renowned for its elaborately decorated Jain Temples. Magnificent idol of Mahavira, intricate architecture and tranquillity in the surroundings; just like a beautiful shrine should be. It is believed the worshipping idol here is around 2600 years old and is 120 cm in height. This marvel of a structure with a unique construction style is a must visit.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport to Pali is the Jodhpur Airport, which is nearly 77 km from Pali.

By road: Pali is well connected to other Rajasthan districts by road (NH14)

By rail: There are regular trains from Beawar & Jodhpur to Pali

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Kota

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Kota is the third largest city in the state of Rajasthan and is one of the popular tourist destinations. Situated on the banks of the Chambal River, the city of Kota is famous for its distinctive style of paintings, palaces, museums, and places of worship. The city is known for gold jewellery, Doria sarees, silk sarees and the famous Kota stone.

The history of Kota dates back to the 12th century when Rao Deva conquered the territory and founded Hadoti. The independent Rajput state of Kota was carved out of Bundi in 1631. The kingdom of Kota had a turbulent history as it was raided by various Mughal rulers, Maharajas of Jaipur and even the Maratha warlords. The city of Kota is well known all over the world for its architectural splendour comprising beautiful palaces, temples and museums which exhibit the grandeur of the foregone era.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Kota

Garh Palace

The foremost tourist attraction in Kota is the ‘Garh’. This large complex, also known as the City Palace, is built in a predominantly Rajput style of architecture. The palace is a sprawling complex of suites and apartments built by different rulers of the Rajput dynasty at different times in history.

Maharao Madho Singh Museum

Situated within the walls of the Garh palace, Maharao Madho Singh Museum houses a splendid collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school. Visitors can spend hours taking in the fascinating sculptures, arms and other valuable antiques.

Abheda Mahal and Karani Mata Temple

Located 8 kilometres away from Kota, on the banks of a tank, this medieval palace was the recreation spot of the rulers of Kota. It is where they went to enjoy the wildlife and natural beauty of the region. Close to Abheda Mahal is the temple of Karni Mata, the reigning deity of Kota.

Dad Devi Temple

Situated about 18 kilometres from Kota, the temple of the deity of the royal household of Kota is surrounded by thick forests and is an ideal place to spend some time in quiet contemplation. This temple is dedicated to Shri Dad Devi Mata Ji, an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

Charan Chauki

On the way to Dad Devi, 15 kilometres from Kota City, is Charan Chauki. It marks the legendary spot where Lord Krishna is said to have rested for a brief moment while travelling to Dwarka from Mathura. His footprints are said to have been preserved here.

Jagmandir Palace

188 The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota between 1743 and 1745, and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Lake. Built in red sandstone, it is a monument of exquisite beauty. The palace is open to tourists who can enjoy boat rides in the Kishore Sagar Lake and the panoramic view of the palace from the lake. The Keshar Bagh, situated near the Jagmandir Palace is well known for its royal cenotaphs.

Kota Barrage

189 Kota Barrage is one of the most important water reservoirs in the Rajasthan state constructed over Chambal River. The Kota Barrage spreads over an area of 27,332 square kilometres, which makes it as large as Haiti! The mesmerizing view of water flowing through the gates with a great force makes it a popular tourist attraction. The Kansua temple of Lord Shiva, housing a rare four-faced Shiva lingam is a place of interest near the barrage.

Chambal Garden

Located on the bank of river Chambal, this place is one of the most beautiful picnic spots in the city of Kota. At Chambal Garden, visitors can enjoy peace in the lap of exquisite greenery. The major attraction here is the wonderful boat ride that you can take on the Chambal river. Considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the river itself is a part of the National Chambal Ghariyal (Gavial) Sanctuary. The sanctuary was established in 1983 with the express purpose of conserving the fast depleting population of marsh crocodiles and ghariyals, which are a type of thin-snouted crocodile. It is also famous for its diverse bird population and scenic natural beauty.

Seven Wonder Park

191 The Seven Wonder Park is a Rs. 20 crores worth project developed along the Kishore Sagar Lake at Vallabh Bari in Kota. A single visit to this park allows visitors to get a glimpse of the replicas of all the Seven Wonders of the World.

Khade Ganesh Ji Temple

The Ganesh temple is situated in the southern part of the city. What makes this temple unique is that this is the only temple in India that has a standing idol of Ganesh. One can also visit Rangbadi Balaji temple on the way there.

Karneshwar Temple

Karneshwar temple is a Shiva Temple located on the Jhalawar Road (NH 12). Besides the temple, the place itself is beautiful, especially during the monsoon. The temple is thronged by devotees and picnickers.

Godawari Dham

Godawari Dham is a Hanuman temple situated at walking distance from Chambal Garden. This temple is located beside the Chambal River. It is a beautiful shrine, made entirely of white marble. The towers of the temple are quite high and impressive. It has a huge marble swan built at the top of the entrance gate.

Alnia Dam

The Alnia Dam is one of the must-see attractions of Kota. It is renowned for the beautiful rock paintings that date back to the Upper Paleolithic age. Still in good condition, they adorn the bank of the river, making this place definitely worth a visit.

Mukundara Tiger Reserve

196 The Mukundara Tiger Reserve is 50 kilometres from Kota. Tigers are often relocated here from Ranthambore Reserve. It has a core area of 417 square kilometres and a buffer zone covering 342.82 square kilometres. Other wildlife includes panther, deer, wild boar and bear. This thickly wooded area is home to a large variety of birds as well.

Garadia Mahadev Temple

197 One can get a grand view of River Chambal from the Garadia Mahadev Temple. Situated on Dabi Road (NH 76), this temple provides an incredible view of the surrounding wilderness. It is a must visit, especially during monsoon.

Kansua Temple

This is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Kota and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has a small pond within its premises. There is a stone inscription here dating back to 738 AD that says that it was built by Raja Shivgana Maurya but local legend has it that the temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile.

Mathuradheesh Mandir

The Mathuradheesh Temple in Kota belongs to Pushti Marg, a Vaishnava sect founded by Shri Vallabhacharyaji. The idol of Krishna housed here was brought from the Karnaval village (near Mathura) and placed in the haveli of Dewan Dwarka Das. It now forms a major attraction for devotees of Lord Krishna. The festivals of Janmashtami, Nand Mahotsav, Annakoota and Holi are celebrated with great enthusiasm here.

Gaiparnath Temple

Gaipar Nath is a lovely big chasm with an old Shiva temple set in a deep gorge with a spectacular view of the ruggedly beautiful forests and cliffs of the Chambal valley. The pleasant sound of gushing water from the Gaiparnath waterfall near the temple, set against a picturesque canvas of a green landscape make it an idyllic and beautiful spot to visit.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airports are Sanganer airport in Jaipur which is 244 kms away

By road: Regular buses are available to Kota from all cities and towns in Rajasthan.

By rail: Kota is a major junction in the Western Railway sector, on the Delhi-Mumbai line. Most trains pass through Kota.

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Bharatpur

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The history of Bharatpur dates back to 5th century BC, when the Matsya kingdom flourished here. The Matsyas were allies of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. Legends say that the origin of the name Bharatpur is traced to Bharat, younger brother of Lord Ram. Laxman, the other brother, was given the most prestigious position as that of the family deity of the ruling family of Bharatpur. His name also appears in the state seals and coat-of-arms.

In the early 18th century, Maharaja Suraj Mal captured the fort of Bharatpur by vanquishing Khemkaran, the rival chieftain and laid the foundation for Bharatpur. The valiant Maharaja was very keen to expand the cities and is credited with building the numerous forts and palaces that dot the kingdom, including the Pleasure Palace Complex at Deeg.

Bharatpur is also home to one of the world’s best-known bird watching destinations, Keoladeo Ghana National Park (KNP). 250 years ago, the then ruler built embankments that allowed flooding of this land, turning it into a marsh. Named after the dense jungle that surrounded an old Shiva Temple, this 29 square kilometre man-made wetland is renowned for migratory birds – ducks, geese, waders, raptors, flycatchers and more. In winter, avid birders and ornithologists flock to the park to observe and study the feathered beauties. With more than 370 recorded species, KNP used to also host the Siberian crane. It is a World Heritage Site.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Bharatpur

Bharatpur Palace and Museum

244 Located within the premises of the Bharatpur Palace is Kamra Khas, a museum that contains a vast number of antiques, over 581 stone sculptures, 861 local art and craft wares and ancient scriptures that depict the art and culture typical of Bharatpur. The palace itself was built in stages by various Maharajas and is a fine fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The various apartments in the palace have a variety of richly patterned floor tiles decorated with exquisite designs.

Ganga Mandir

245 The Ganga Mandir, which resides in the heart of the city of Bharatpur is one of the most beautiful temples in Rajasthan. In it lies the magnificent deity of Ganga Maharaj made of pristine white marble. Maharaja Balwant Singh started constructing this temple in the mid-19th century. However, he had a very unique request that required all the affluent inhabitants of the city to donate one month’s pay to help towards the temple’s creation.

Laxman Mandir

This temple is dedicated to Laxman, brother of Lord Rama, and is famous for its typical Rajasthani style of architecture and beautiful pink stonework. Visitors will enjoy the intricate carvings of flowers and birds on doorways, ceilings, pillars, walls and arches.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

247 Every year, thousands of migratory waterfowl birds such as green sandpiper and cranes visit the park during winter. It was created in mid 18th century as a small reservoir located 5 kilometres to the southeast of Bharatpur. The construction of the Ajan Bund (dam) and the subsequent flooding of this natural depression led to one of the world’s most fascinating and spectacular bird reserves. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is considered to be one of the richest bird areas in the world today.

Lohagarh Fort

248 True to its name, Lohagarh Fort has withstood many attacks by the British, but was ultimately captured by Arthur Wellesley. Where Lohagarh Fort differs from others is that it is not flamboyant, but radiates an aura of rugged strength. The fort is surrounded by a moat which used to be filled with water to keep enemies out. Interesting monuments inside the fort are Kothi Khas, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kishori Mahal. Raja Suraj Mal built Jawahar Bhurj and Fateh Bhurj to commemorate victories over the Mughals and the British.

Deeg

250 Deeg is a beautiful garden town situated north of Bharatpur. It has many embellished palaces that add to the beauty of the place. Known for its forts, palaces, gardens and fountains, the highlight of Deeg is an impressive fort surrounded by moats and gateways. It was built by Raja Suraj Mal and stands over a slightly elevated point. Although the interiors are almost in ruins, the watch tower containing a gun still maintains watch over the city.

Band Baretha

251 Band Baretha is an old wildlife reserve of the rulers of Bharatpur, currently under the administration of the Forest Department. The construction of the dam on Kakund River was started by Maharaj Jaswant Singh in 1866 AD and completed by Maharaj Ram Singh in 1897 AD. The palace inside the reserve was built by Maharaj Kishan Singh and is the private property of the Bharatpur royal family. Band Baretha is a bird watcher’s paradise because of over 200 species of birds, including the elusive Black Bittern.

Kaman

252 The locals also know Kaman as Kamaban. This old town is located at the north of Bharatpur and is a part of the Brij area where Lord Krishna spent his early years. It is a place of pilgrimage and is annually visited by a large number of Vaishnavs in the month of Bhadhva as a part of the Banyatara. The ruins of a temple / mosque consisting of 84 pillars named Chaurasi Khamba are the main attraction.

Dholpur Palace

The Dholpur Palace, renowned across the country for its locally quarried sandstone, originally belonged to the Rajputana kingdom. This famous red stone was widely used in construction of spectacular forts and palaces as a mark of protection around the widely spread dominion. The palace’s classic exteriors and rich heritage is alluring to the onlookers and invites them for a journey of its vibrant history.

How to Reach Here

By air: The closest airport is Agra and is about 56 kms away.

By road: A network of buses links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State.

By rail: Bharatpur is on the Delhi-Mumbai broad gauge line. It is well-connected to Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Agra.

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Shekhawati

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The realm of lovely havelis, harking back to the yester years, epitomizes the beauty of Shekhawati – a region that comprises of Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu. It is a major landmark tourist destination of colourful Rajasthan. Once the bastion of Rao Shekha, this magnificent land, located on the North of Rajasthan, derives its nomenclature from the former.

Shekhawati is a tourist’s paradise. The land is laced with innumerable beautiful havelis or grand mansions that are guaranteed to capture one’s imagination. It is a haven for a true connoisseur of art and architecture. A riot of colours encapsulates the spirit of this vibrant landscape. Exquisitely embellished havelis mushroomed during the eighteenth century and former half of the twentieth. Mythology and fauna lies at the very core of this wonderful art. Tales narrating the valour of Lord Rama and the miracles of Lord Krishna unfold on a journey of these marvellous mansions. The region also houses towering forts, baoris, and shrines, besides the ubiquitous havelis.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Shekhawati

Sethani Ka Johara

450 Sethani Ka Johara lies on the north side of the road perhaps 5 km west of Churu along the Ratangarh road. It is perhaps the finest johara (reservoir) in the area in that it is not only attractive but also efficient, holding a store of water, often from one monsoon to the next. It was built in 1899 by the widow of Bhagwan Das Bagla as part of the famine relief projects that the merchants financed in those terrible years of the close of the century. A peaceful place, it attracts various birds and animals, including Nilgais, in winter.

Kanhaiyalal Bagla Haveli

Kanhaiyalal Bagla Haveli is a beautiful structure, which stands on the south of the main bazaar. Constructed in around 1880, the haveli represents the finest lattice work and architectural styles in the entire Shekhawati region. The murals and wall paintings of the haveli depict Dhola and Maru, the romantic couple from folk tales, on a camel. The walls of the haveli are also adorned with the episodes of Dhola- Maru, the lovers fleeing on their camel.

Aath Kambh Chhatri

Aath Kambh Chhatri, one of the buildings possessing great historical significance, is an eight pillared dome that stands on the northern side of the town. Lying between the premises adjoining the western side of the vegetable market, the chhatri is believed to be constructed in 1776. Over the years, the windblown sand has virtually buried the base of the structure, while the interiors are still adorned with beautiful murals and stone carved paintings.

Ratangarh Fort

Located on the Agra-Bikaner Highway, the Ratangarh Fort was built in the early 18th century by Surat Singh, who named it after his son Ratan Singh, and boasts imposing gateways, several monuments (which are mostly in ruins today) and a clock tower, which is also known as Ghantaghar. The Ratangarh Fort makes for a lovely tourist destination, surrounded by several ethnic villages.

Laxminarayan Temple

Soothing to the eye, this temple is simple from the outside but has a grand architectural splendour from within. The entrance has a projected foliated arch adorned with beautiful mural paintings. It is easily accessible from all parts of Churu, and the serenity of this temple makes it a must-visit in your itinerary.

Digambar Jain Temple

The Jain Temple is a 150-year-old structure and can be described as piece of art in itself. Its interiors resemble a lavish royal court than a temple courtyard. This temple has some of the best paintings painted in gold, centred mostly on moral living suggestions. The walls and the interior are adorned with glass works characteristic of the magnificence of the Rajput era.

Tal Chhapar Sanctuary

456 Renowned for being a safe haven black bucks and a variety of birds, this sanctuary is named after the Chhapar village. Located in the Sujangarh Tehsil of Churu, it is 210 km from Jaipur. Its open grasslands scattered with trees give it the appearance of a savannah. The sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise as it is home to birds such as eastern imperial eagle, black ibis, demoiselle cranes, skylarks, ring doves and more. One can also spot the desert fox and desert cat here.

Laxmangarh Fort

458 Laxmangarh stands tall as the most impressive building in Laxmangarh town, looming majestically over the well laid township on its western side. An exceptional specimen of fort architecture in the entire world, Laxmangarh Fort is built upon scattered pieces of colossal rocks. The top of the ramp offers a fascinating bird’s eye view of the Laxmangarh town modeled to resemble the city lay out of Jaipur – Rajasthan’s bustling capital city.

Mansa Devi Temple

Mansa Devi Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Mansa Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Northern India.

Raghunathji Mandir

460 Raghunathji Mandir, also known as Bara Mandir, is located in the vicinity of the Ratangarh town. Dedicated to Lord Raghunath or Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the temple is believed to be constructed in early 19th century. It is a single storied temple with an elevated entrance. The top of the temple has a series of cupolas. The temple is believed to liberate one from the pains of life.

Fatehpur

461 The city of Fatehpur was established by Kayamkhani Nawab Fateh Mohd in 1508 AD. He also constructed the Fort of Fatehpur in 1516. The city once served as the capital of Sikar. Today, Fatehpur is popularly known as the culture capital of Shekhawati. It is full of stunning sights to visit, of which, the Dwarkadheesh Mandir, Singhania Haveli, Nadine Le Prince Cultural Centre and Fatehchandka Haveli are the more notable ones.

Ramgarh

462 Ramgarh was founded in 1791 by the Poddar family, and back then, was considered one of the richest towns in 19th century India. Ramgarh is famous for its paintings, old temples, cenotaphs and havelis. While Ramgarh has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, the Ramgopal Chhatri (cenotaph) and Poddar’s Haveli are especially popular among tourists.

Khetri Mahal

Khetri Mahal in Khetri, Jhunjhunu is one of the most excellent instances of fine art and structural design of Shekhawati region. It is also known as the Wind Palace of Jhunjhunu. Khetri Mahal was built in the year 1770. A surprising factor is that Khetri Mahal has no windows or doors even though it is named as the Wind Palace. The inimitability of Khetri Mahal lies in the uninterrupted stream of wind which perpetually makes this construction unique from countless buildings. Almost all rooms of the Mahal are linked with each other through an ingenious chain of pillars and arches that offer a gorgeous proportioned vision to the fortress.

Sunset Point Moda Pahar

Moda Pahar is popular spot for watching the sunset. With the beautiful Ajit Sagar Lake by its foot, this spot attracts many migratory birds and Barasinghas. The raw beauty of this spot makes it a favourite with the tourists.

Rani Sati Mandir

465 Rani Sati Mandir is a well-known temple situated in Jhunjhunu district in the Rajasthan. This temple has a history of more than 400 years and is an indication to feminine bravery and spirit. It is also famous for its magnificence, and extraordinary paintings. It is also part of one of the oldest presented Indian pilgrimages.

Hazrat Qamruddin Shah’s Dargah

West of the Khetri Mahal, at the foot of the Nehara Pahar, lies the Dargah of Kamaruddin Shah. It is an atmospheric complex comprising a mosque and madrasa arranged around a pretty courtyard (still retaining some of its original murals), with the ornate dargah (tomb) of the Sufi saint Kamaruddin Shah in the centre.

Panchdev Mandir

Shree Panchdev Temple is situated at the core of the well-known Shekhawati province. Every core of this province narrates its own history of bravery and valour. The excellent fresco paintings of havelis attracts a steady flow of tourists throughout the year. Shekhawati region offers many resorts of beauty, besides its religious and pilgrimage centres to the tourist. The architecture and design of the temple, along with the verdant garden around it makes it an aesthetically pleasing spot to visit.

Bande Ka Balaji Temple

It is a modern, single-storeyed temple with a surrounding shikhara and pinnacle. It is one of the most popular Hanuman temples in India. The idol of Balaji here is different from all other idols of Hanuman. Unlike other projections and idols of Hanuman, Balaji possess round face with moustache and beard making it the most unique idol among the other idols of Hanuman all over the world.

Mandawa

469 Mandawa once functioned as a trading outpost for ancient caravan routes in Shekhawati for goods from China and the Middle East. Thakur Nawal Singh, then ruler of Nawalgarh and Mandawa built a fort in to protect this outpost. Over time, a township grew around the fort and soon attracted a large community of traders, who then settled down at Mandawa. The Mandawa fort, with its painted arched gateway is adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows. Built in accordance with a medieval theme, beautiful frescoes, exquisite carvings and mirror work add to its beauty. Situated in the middle of the town, the Mandawa Fort has now been converted into a heritage hotel. Mandawa is also famous for its beautiful havelis.

Dundlod

470 Dundlod, a town in Jhunjhunu is famous for its fort and havelis. This fort was built in 1750 by Keshari Singh, son of Rajput ruler, Sardul Singh. Dundlod is easily accessible by road from Delhi, Jaipur, and Bikaner. The Dundlod fort is a blend of the Rajput and Mughal art and architecture. The Chhatri (cenotaph) of Ram Dutt Goenka, located near the fort is also a popular tourist attraction. Built in 1888, the dome of the cenotaph is decorated with floral motifs with banners extending from the centre. The Marwari breed of horses, that are now finding their own identity across the world, are bred in Dundlod.

Alsisar

471 Alsisar, a small town in Jhunjhunu is surrounded by arid dessert. Alsisar was awarded to Thakur Samarth Singh by his father, Thakur Pahad Singh of Heerwa, who made it his capital in 1783 AD. The famous Alsisar Mahal, a fine example of Rajput architecture with its fresco carvings and depiction of historical events on its walls, was built by Shekhawat Thikanedars. Alsisar is renowned for its Rajasthani hospitality, and tourists flock here to get a taste of that along with its famous castles, havelis and cenotaphs. Make sure you pay a visit to the Kejriwal Haveli, Laxmi Narayan temple, Thakur Chaatu Singh’s cenotaph, Ram Jas Jhunjhunwala Ki Haveli among others.

Bissau

Bissau, a village in Jhunjhunu, was originally called Vishala Jat Ki Dhani. It was awarded to Thakur Keshri Singh by his Father MahaRao Shardul Singh Ji. Keshari Singh constructed a war fort and a defensive boundary wall for defence. He named it Bissau in 1746 AD. The rulers of Bissau belong to the Bhojraj clan of Shekhawats, and were the descendants of the famous ruler Maharao Shekha.

Nawalgarh

Located midway between Jhunjhunu and Sikar, Nawalgarh is well-known for its stunning havelis. It is also a favoured spot for film makers and many Indian and International movies have been shot here. A famous attraction here is the Nawalgarh Fort, which was built by Thakur Nawal Singh. The Roop Niwas Palace, located one km from Nawalgarh fort is a charming palace with beautiful gardens and fountains. It is now a heritage hotel.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest Airport is Jaipur- 113 Kms

By road: There are direct buses from Delhi and other major cities of Rajasthan to Shekhawati.

By rail: Regular trains are available from Delhi and Jaipur.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Bundi

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It is popularly believed that Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling penned part of his famous novel ‘Kim’ in Bundi. In fact, so impressed was he by the place, that this is what he wrote about the Bundi palace:

‘Jaipur Palace may be called the Versailles of India … Jodhpur’s House of strife, gray towers on red rock, is the work of giants, but the Palace of Bundi, even in broad daylight, is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams – the work of goblins rather than of men.’

Bundi is a magnificent town located around 36 kilometres from Kota. Dotted with palaces and forts, the place has a fairy tale quality about it. Bundi’s charm lies in its location –surrounded by orchards of orange, guava, pomegranate and mango trees, flanked by the Aravalli range and rivers and lined by fields of cotton, barley and wheat. Situated far from the crowds, it is the simple rural folk that lend Bundi its allure.

Bundi was once ruled by the Hada Chauhans. Many historians claim that it was once the capital of the great Hadoti Kingdom, which was renowned for its art and sculpture. However, in 1624, Kota separated and became an independent state and this marked the beginning of the downfall of Bundi. Whether that may be, Bundi still retains its charismatic medieval grandeur. And just like Jodhpur and Rajput, the architecture of Bundi also possesses a noticeable bluish hue, designed to keep houses cool during hot summer, in the intricately carved brackets and pillars.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Bundi

Sukh Mahal

57 Sukh Mahal, a small, two-storied palace was a summer retreat of past rulers. Today, it is quite famous for being the place where Kipling wrote ‘Kim’. Many credit the palace as a having played muse to the renowned novel. In fact, part of a movie based on the novel was even shot here.

Kshar Bag

Located near the Chhatra Vilas Garden, Kshar Bag, sometimes known as Saar Bagh, houses the memorial cenotaphs of the royal family of the Bundi state. It is located on the Shikar Burgh Jait Sagar Road.

Raniji Ki Baori

Raniji ki Baori, also known as ‘Queen’s Stepwell’, is a famous stepwell built in 1699 by Rani Nathavati Ji, the younger queen of the ruling king Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundi. This multi-storied stepwell displays excellent carvings of Gajraj with his trunk turned inwards, giving the impression of having drunk from the baori on its pillars. Its high arched gate gives it an inviting appearance.

Dabhai Kund

Shaped like an inverted pyramid, the Dabhai Kund, also known as Jail Kund, is the largest of its kind in Bundi. The fantastic carvings on the steps that lead to the water alone are reason enough to warrant a visit.

Nagar Sagar Kund

Located outside the Chauhan Gate, the Nagar Sagar Kund, a set of twin step wells, was constructed to provide water during times of famine.

Taragarh Fort

62 Built in 1345, Taragarh is one of the most impressive structures in Bundi. While it may be a bit ramshackle and strewn with overgrown vegetation, the palace grounds are a great place for a leisurely stroll. With its curved roofs topping pavilions, excess of temple columns and elephant and lotus motifs, the palace is a tribute to Rajput style.

84 Pillared Cenotaph

63 As the name suggests, the 84 Pillared Cenotaph is a structure supported by 84 columns. Commissioned by Rao Anirudh, the Maharaja of Bundi, this cenotaph is a tribute to his beloved wet nurse, Deva, who he loved dearly. A popular tourist attraction, this impressive structure is decorated with carvings of deer, elephants and apsaras.

Lake Jait Sagar

64 Located close to the Taragarh Fort, this picturesque lake is surrounded by hills and covered with pretty lotus flowers that bloom during winter and monsoon.

Lake Nawal Sagar

65 Nawal Sagar Lake is an artificial lake that is a major tourist attraction and can even be seen from the Taragarh Fort. There is a half-submerged temple dedicated to Lord Varun Dev in its centre. What makes the lake unique is that one can see the reflection of nearby palaces and forts in its waters.

Lake Kanak Sagar

About 67 kilometres from the town of Bundi lies this wonderful flat lake. There is also a town named after the lake. One can spot several migratory birds here such as bar headed goose and Demoille cranes all through the year.

Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary

67 Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary is located 45 kilometres from Bundi on the Bundi-Nainwa road. Covering an area of 252 sq. km., this sanctuary is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Established in 1982, it forms a buffer for Ranthambore National Park. The best time to visit is between September and May.

Phool Sagar

A personal property of the descendants of the royal family, this artificial lake gets its name from the palace on its banks. This palace houses an exclusive collection of paintings created by Italian prisoners. Beautiful gardens surround it and the lake. Make sure you obtain special permissions required to explore the palace and its grounds.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Sanganer Airport in Jaipur which is about 206 kms away.

By road: Buses to Bundi are available at regular intervals from Ajmer, Bijolia, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Sawai Madhopur and Udaipur.

By rail: The railway station is located about 4 kilometres south of the old city. There are railway connections between Bundi and Chittorgarh.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Jalore

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Famed for its numerous quarries, Jalore has risen to prominence for producing some of the finest granite in the world. Originally a small town, industrial growth has helped Jalore grow by leaps and bounds in recent times.

The ‘tope khana’ or cannon foundry at Jalore Fort is the foremost tourist attraction of Jalore and it provides stunning views of the city. The city is also famed for the Sundha Mata Temple which was built around 900 years ago and is sacred to the devotees of goddess Chamunda Devi.

Believed to be founded in the 8th century AD, Jalore was originally called Jabalipur in honour of the saint Maharishi Jabali. The town was also known as Swarngiri, after the hill at the foot of which it is situated. Over the centuries a number of clans ruled over Jalore including the Gurjara Pratiharas, the Parmars and the Chauhans until the city was captured and destroyed by the Sultan of Delhi, Ala-Ud-Din-Khilji. After 4 centuries the city was finally restored back to the rulers of Marwar in 1704.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Jalore

Jalore Fort

423 The main attraction of the city is the Jalore fort. It is an impressive piece of architecture and is believed to have been constructed between the 8th and 10th centuries, the fort is perched atop a steep hill at a height of about 336 metres and offers exquisite views of the city below. The highlights of the fort are its high fortified walls and bastions with cannons mounted upon them. The fort has four massive gates but is only accessible from one side, after a two-mile long serpentine ascent.

Topekhana

424 Located in the midst of Jalore city, Topekhana was once a grand Sanskrit school built by King Bhoj sometime between the 7th and 8th centuries. A scholar of Sanskrit, King Bhoj is known to have built several similar schools in Ajmer and Dhar to impart education. The school was renamed Topekhana during the pre-independence period after officers used the building to store artillery and ammunition. Today, the structure of the building is in disrepair but it is still extremely impressive and is adorned with stone carvings. Two temples flank the Topekhana on either side but they no longer house idols. The most impressive sight of the Topekhana is a room built about 10 feet above the floor of the building with an imposing staircase leading up to it, the room is believed to have been the abode of the headmaster of the school.

Malik Shah’s Mosque

Commissioned by Ala-Ud-Din-Khilji during his reign over Jalore, the mosque was built to honour Malik Shah, the Seljuk Sultan of Baghdad. The mosque is located in the centre of the Jalore Fort and is particularly distinct for its style of architecture, which is believed to have been inspired by buildings found in Gujarat.

Sirey Mandir

Located at a height of 646 metres on the Kalashachal hill, the temple is believed to have been built by Rawal Ratan Singh in honour of Maharishi Jabali. Legend has it that the Pandavas once took refuge in the temple. The path to the temple passes through Jalore city and one has to make a 3 km trip by foot to get to the temple.

Sundha Mata Temple

427 Atop the Sundha Mountain in the Aravalli Range lies the Sundha Mata Temple. This temple is built at a height of 1220 m above sea level and is regarded very sacred by devotees from all over India. The temple houses an idol of Goddess Chamunda Devi and is made of white marble. The design of the pillars is reminiscent of those of the Dilwara Temple in Mount Abu. This temple also features some inscriptions of historical value.

How to Reach Here

By air: At 140 kilometres, Jodhpur is the nearest airport with daily flights from Mumbai, Delhi and other major metros around the country.

By road: Jalore is well connected to all major cities in Rajasthan. One can also opt for a private bus from Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Surat and Mumbai.

By rail: Jalore is connected to the Jodhpur division network and a number of trains from Gujarat and Mumbai halt at Jalore railway station throughout the week.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Barmer

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Occupying an area of 28,387 sq. km, Barmer is among the larger districts in Rajasthan. Being in the western part of the state, it includes a part of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is to the north of this district while Jalore is in its south. Pali and Jodhpur form its eastern border and it shares a border with Pakistan in the west. Partially being a desert, this district has a large variation in temperature. The temperature in summer can rise up to 51 °C and falls to 0 °C in winter. Luni is the longest river in Barmer district. After travelling a length of almost 500 km, it passes through Jalore and merges in the marshy land of Runn of Kutch.

In 12th century this region was known as Mallani. It’s present name was give by its founder Bahada Rao, popularly known as Bar Rao, Parmar Ruler (Juna Barmer). He build a small town which is presently known as “Juna” which is 25 kms from present city of Barmer. After Parmer’s, Rawat Luka -Grand Son of Rawal Mallinath, establish their kingdom in Juna Barmer with help of his brother Rawal Mandalak. They defeated Parmers of Juna & made it their capital. Thereafter, his descendant, Rawat Bhima, who was a great warrior, established the present city of Barmer in 1552 AD and shifted his capital to Barmer from Juna. He build a small fort on top of the city which is also known as Barmer Garh. Hill of Barmer fort is 1383 feet but Rawat Bhima build fort at height of 676 feet which is safer place than top of hill. The estate of Barmer was hereditary bhumia Jagir (independent principality), being an alloidal vassal state of Marwar (Jodhpur) in Rajputana Agency and as against the other Nobles, Jagirdars and Chiefs of Jodhpur State who hold land on condition of regular services being rendered, the Rawat owes nominal allegiance and offers service only during emergencies.

Once a camel trade route, This area is rich in craft that include wood carving, pottery, embroidery work and ajrak prints. Several festivals are held in Barmer, Most important being the Mallinath Cattle festival which is held at Tilwara village in remembrance of Rawal Mallinath who was founder of Mallani Pargana.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Barmer

Kiradu Temples

35 km from Barmer, in a town located near the Thar Desert, are 5 temples known as the Kiradu Temples. Known for their Solanki style of architecture, these temples have remarkable and magnificent sculptures. These temples are dedicated to lord Shiva and of the five temples, Someshvara temple is the most remarkable.

Barmer Fort & Garh Temple

Rawat Bhima build a Barmer fort in 1552 AD at hillock in present city of Barmer when he shifted old Barmer (Presently JUNA village in Barmer Dist) to present city. He build a fort on top of the city which is also known as Barmer Garh. Hill of Barmer fort is 1383 feet but Rawat Bhima build fort at height of 676 feet which is safer place than top of hill. Main entrance of Fort (Prole) is on North direction, Safety Burg are made on east & west direction. Boundary wall of fort was ordinary due to natural wall protection of hill. This fort is surrounded by temple on all sides. This Hill of Barmer Fort has two important religious places; Top of the hill is temple of JOGMAYA devi (Garh Mandir) which is situated at height of 1383 & at Height of 500 feet there is Nagnechi Mata temple, Both temples are very famous and have fair during Navratra festivals. Rest area is residence of former royal family of Barmer.

Shri Nakoda Jain Temple

Built in the 3rd century, this temple has been renovated multiple times. Alamshah invaded and looted this temple in the 13th century and failed to steal the idol as it was hidden in a village a few miles away. The idol was brought back and the temple renovated in the 15th century.

Devka-sun Temple

This temple was built in the 12th or 13th century. Located in Devka, a small hamlet situated about 62 Km from Barmer along the Barmer-Jaisalmer Road, the temple is known for its incredible architecture. The village also holds the ruins of two other temples that house stone sculptures of Lord Ganesha.

Vishnu Temple

Located in Khed, the Vishnu temple is one of the most important tourist locations in Barmer. Even though the temple is falling apart, it is still a marvel of architecture and has a grand aura surrounding it. The markets around this temple are known shopping destinations throughout Barmer.

Rani Bhatiyani Temple

Rani Bhatiyani Temple is located in Jasol. She is especially worshipped by the Manganiar bard community as she is said to have given a divine vision to a Manganiar. Many also refer to this goddess as Majisa or mother and sing songs in her honour. Legend says that the goddess was a Rajput princess called Swarup before she became a goddess.

Juna Fort & Temple

Juna is old Barmer it was main city build by Bar Rao but during Rawat Bhima rule they shifted Barmer to new place where present city stands and Juna remains as ruins of past glory and old heritage. It is 25 Kms from Barmer and is known for its Jain temple and old fort. According to inscriptions on a stone pillar near the temple, it was built in the 12th or 13th century. Juna is surrounded by hills and also a small lake.

Chintamani Parasnath Jain Temple

This temple is known for magnificent sculptures and spectacular ornamental paintings. The interior part of the temple also features rich inlay work made with glass. The temple was constructed by Shri Nemaji Jivaji Bohra in the 16th century and lies on top of a hillock in the western part of Barmer city.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is at Jodhpur around 220 km from Barmer.

By road: State-run buses connect the town with most of the cities in the state including Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur.

By rail: The Barmer railway station is well connected to Jodhpur, which in turn is well-connected to other major cities of India.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Nagaur

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Nagaur is located in the north western Marwar region of Rajasthan. It is an area with a forest belt of thorn scrubs that circles the Thar Desert. It’s surrounded by Churu District in the north, Bikaner District from the northwest andSikar District in the northeast. Pali lies in the south and Jodhpur District to the southwest and west. Jaipur is located on its east, while Ajmer is in the southeast. In the south eastern stretch of this district lies the magnificent Aravalli Range while India’s largest salt lake, ‘Sambhar Lake’ lies at the southwestern corner of the district.

This city was known as Jangladesh in Mahabharata era. Its fort stands testament to the great battles and rulers who fought them. This town was granted to Raja Amar Singh Rathore by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Nagas, Chauhans, Rathores, Mughals and even the British laid claim on this city. The dargah of Sufi saint Hamiduddin Chisti Faruqui Nagauri, one of the chief disciples of Khwaja Moinuddin, is also located here. Nagaur is also the birthplace of Saint Poetess Meera Bai and Abul Fazal.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Nagaur

Nagaur Fort

401 It is said that Nagaur fort was initially built by ruler of Nag dynasty in 2nd century and was then rebuilt in the early 12th century. This fort has witnessed several battles and has also been altered multiple times. Being one of the first Mughal strongholds in North-India it is an outstanding example of Rajput-Mughal architecture. In 2007, the fort underwent major renovations and is now replete with fountains and gardens. It also serves at the stage for a Sufi music festival.

Ladnun

402 Ladnun is an important centre of Jainism and is considered to be the spiritual hub of Ahimsa or compassion. Its temples were built in the 10th century and have a rich history. It also houses Jain Vishva Bharti University – a well-known centre of Jainism, spirituality and purification. It is said that the world famous rastra saint, Acharya Shri Tulsi belonged to Ladnun.

Khimsar Fort

403 It is said that the Nagaur fort was initially built by the ruler of the Nag dynasty in 2nd century, and this 500 year old fort, located on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert was built in about 1523. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb used to stay at this fort. Black deer roam in herds around this fort. The fort has now been furnished with modern facilities and turned into a heritage hotel.

Kuchaman City

Kuchaman city has many sights to offer. The most important is Kuchaman Fort, one of the oldest and most inaccessible fort of Rajasthan situated on top of a straight hill. It possess unique water harvesting system, a beautiful palace and stunning wall paintings. The rulers of Jodhpur used to mint their gold and silver currency here. It offers a beautiful view of the town and the salt lake. One can also see the old temple, stepwells and beautiful havelis in the town from here too.

Khatu

Khatu consists of two villages called Bari Khatu and Chhoti Khatu. Chhoti Khatu has a small fort on its hillock that was built by Prithviraj Chauhan. It also houses an old step-well called Phool Bawadi which is believed to have been built during the Gujara Pratihara period. It is a marvel of artistic architecture.

Jhorda

Jhorda is situated about 30 km north of Nagaur. It is known for being the birthplace of the the poet Kandan Kalpit and the Great Saint Baba Hariram. An annual fair is held in the month of Bhadrapad Chaturthy & Panchmi where about 3 lakh people come from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi to participate.

How to Reach Here

By air: The closest airport is Jodhpur Airport which is 137 kms away.

By road: Buses are available from Jodhpur, Jaipur and Bikaner to Nagaur.

By rail: Nagaur is connected via rail from Indore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Surat, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur, etc.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Baran

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A separate area carved out of the beautiful region of Kota, Baran is located further in the Hadoti province of Rajasthan. A traveller’s dream, Baran is the land of picturesque wooded hills and valleys, where one can stumble upon old ruins that tell stories of an era long gone. The city is known for its Ram- Sita temples, serene picnic spots and vibrant tribal fairs and festivals.

The history of Baran dates back to the 14th century when Solanki Rajputs ruled over the region. In 1949, Baran became the head-divisional quarter of Kota when Rajasthan was reconstituted. It became an established district of Rajasthan in 1991.Baran is popular for attracting tourists who prefer exploring the non-commercial aspects of the State. Its architectural marvels, a beautiful collection of temples dedicated to Ram and Sita and mighty fortresses add to Baran’s natural beauty.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Baran

Ramgarh Bhand Devra Temple

433 Situated about 40 km away from Baran city, the Ramgarh Bhand Devra temple devoted to Lord Shiva is said to date back to as long as the 10th century. Built in the Khajuraho style of architecture, it is also known as the mini Khajuraho of Rajasthan. Situated on the banks of a small pond, this temple is very unique in terms of its offering of prasad— one of the deities here is worshipped with sweets and dry fruits, while another is offered meat and alcohol.

Shahabad Fort

One of the strongest forts in Hadoti, the Shahabad fort is situated about 80 km from Baran. Constructed by Mukatmani Dev, a Chauhan Rajput, this fort dates back to the 16th century. Standing tall in a densely forested area, the fort is surrounded by the intimidating Kunda Koh valley and has some noteworthy structures located within its walls. History tells us that the fort was home to 18 powerful cannons, one of them being as long as 19 feet! Interestingly, Mughal Emperor Aurengzeb also lived here for sometime.

Shahi Jama Masjid of Shahabad

Constructed during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the Shahi Jama Masjid of Shahabad is situated around 80 km from Baran. An architectural marvel that attracts a large number of tourists every year, the Shahi Jama Masjid was built on the pattern of Jama Masjid of Delhi and is famous for its impressive pillars and intricate ‘mehrab’.

Shergarh Fort

436 Located around 65 km from Baran district, the Shergarh fort is one of Baran’s most popular tourist attractions. Standing on the banks of the river Parvan, it was considered a monument of strategic importance to rulers. Ruled by different dynasties over the years, Shergarh is supposed to have earned its name after its capture by Shershah of the Sur dynasty bit – its original name was Koshavardhan. An inscription from 790 AD reflects the rich history of Shergarh fort and it is among the popular forts of Rajasthan.

Shergarh Sanctuary

437 The perfect destination for nature lovers, Shergarh sanctuary is located in Shergarh village, about 65 km from Baran district. Rich in flora and fauna, Shergarh sanctuary is home to several endangered species of plants, as well as tigers, sloth bears, leopards and wild boards, among other animals. A photographer’s delight, Shergarh sanctuary is easily accessible by road.

Sitabari

438 Located 45 km from Baran, Sitabari is a famous place of worship and also doubles up as a popular picnic spot. Dotted with temples dedicate to Sita and Laxman, many believe this is the birth place of Lord Ram and Sita’s twin sons, Luv and Kush. It also comprises several kunds such as Valmiki kund, Sita kund, Laxman kund, Surya kund, etc. Sitabari is also the venue of the famous Sitabari fair.

Tapasviyo Ki Bagechi

439 A beautiful picnic spot in Shahabad near Baran, Tapasviyo ki Bagechi is often frequented by tourists and locals who are looking for peace and serenity. Now a picture-perfect location with stunning mountains acting as a backdrop, Tapasviyo ki Bagechi was once a hub for betel farming, traces of which can still be found. A major attraction here is the large statue of a Shivling.

Kakuni Temple Complex

440 Located 85 km from Baran, Kakuni, situated on the banks for the Parvan River is best known for temples. The Kakuni Temple Complex houses temples dedicated to Jain and Vaishnava gods and Lord Shiva, and some of them date back to the 8th century. Many idols from Kakuni temples have been preserved in museums at Kota and Jhalawar. You can also visit the remains of the Bhimgarh Fort, built by King Bhim Deo here.

Suraj Kund

Named after the sun god, Suraj Kund is surrounded by verandas on all sides. A place of great religious importance, Suraj Kund is visited by tourists for a variety of reasons— from offering their respects to religious deities to immersing the ashes of late relatives in the water that flows out of the Kund, and more. In one corner of the Kund, a Shivling has been placed and devotees flock to pay their respects.

Sorsan Wildlife Sanctuary

Located 50 km from Kota is the Sorsan Wildlife Sanctuary. Popularly known as the Sorsan Grasslands, it is a 41 sq.km bird sanctuary which is home to scrubby vegetation, numerous water bodies and a vast variety of birds and animals. Visitors here can hope to catch a glimpse of orioles, quails, partridges, robins, weavers, greylag geese, common pochards, teals and pintails. Come winter and flocks of migrant birds such as warblers, flycatchers, larks, starlings and rosy pastors fly here. You can also spot animals such as black buck and gazelles.

Sorsan Mataji Temple

Sorsan Mataji temple, also known as Brahmani Mata Mandir is located at a distance of 20 km from Baran in Sorsan village. The temple houses a special oil lamp, ‘Akhand Jyot’ which, if stories are to be believed, has been burning uninterrupted for 400 years! Every year, on Shiv Ratri, a fair is organised in the temple premises.

Nahargarh Fort

The fort, located at a distance of about 73 km. from Baran is quite an impressive site. A magnificent structure constructed from red stone, it is also an excellent exemplar of Mughal architecture. The beauty attracts tourists from all over.

Kanya Dah- Bilas Garh

Bilasgarh, situated 45 km away from Baran city is in Kishanganj Tehsil. Once upon a time, it was famous for being a well-developed city, but was destroyed on the orders of Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. Legends say that Aurangzeb was attracted towards the princess of Khechi kingdom, the rulers of Bilasgarh, and ordered his troops to bring her to him. The princess preferred death over being his queen, and hence, committed suicide. The place where she chose to end her life is now known as ‘Kanya Dah’. In retaliation to this act, Aurangzeb’s troops destroyed the entire city of Bilasgarh. It now lies in a desolate place inside a forest.

Kapil Dhara

Renowned for its natural beauty, Kapil Dhara, famous among tourists, is located 50 km from Baran. The famous waterfall and a ‘Gamukh’ housed near the falls are also a big draw among tourists.

Gugor Fort

449 A grand fort located near Chhabra, located 65 km from Baran is a must-visit tourist spot.

How to Reach Here

By air: Nearest airport is Sanganeer Airport is 213 km away

By road: The city is connected with neighbouring districts and with major cities outside the state via National Highway No.76 (27)

By rail: There are regular trains to Baran from all states in India

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Sawai Madhopur

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Cuddled up in the eastern zone of Rajasthan, Sawai Madhopur is one of the prominent conurbations of Rajasthan. Popularly known as the ‘Gateway to Ranthambore’, the town has seen many historic episodes and reigns. Sawai Madhopur has partly plain and partly undulating hilly terrain. The South and south east part of the district has hills and broken ground which form a part of a vast track of rugged region enclosing the narrow valley of the Chambal river. Surrounded by Vindhyas & Aravalis, this place is a treat for adventure enthusiasts as well as the ones with a fascination for history, with the Ranthambore National park- the most renowned national park in northern India and the Ranthambore Fort which was recently included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, being the main attractions.

Passed on from the Chauhan Rajput king, Govinda to Vagabhatta, from RanaKumbha to Akbar and Aurangzeb, the city has been patronized by almost all the rulers. Beautification and renovation of the city has been regularly undertaken in almost all the regimes. Under the rule of Rao Hammir, the last Chauhan ruler the Ranthambore region prospered magnificently. In ancient India the region was more popularly known as Ranthambore. It was much later that it received the name, Sawai Madhopurfrom Maharaja SawaiMadhoSinghji I who is believed to have given the city its current plan in 1765 AD. During the British Rule Sawai Man Singh built a railway line between Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur. As a result it became accessible from a central spot in the state of Rajasthan. Today it has grown as one of the popular tourist destination in India.

Former state of Karauli, Ranthambore was amongst the strongest forts of medieval India and is linked to Prithviraj, the ruler of Shakambhari who has golden cupolas put on the Jain temple of Ranthambore. To check the increasing incurious of the Marathas, Madho Singh, the ruler of Jaipur State requested for the grant of the fort of Ranthambore but did not succeed.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Sawaimadhopur

Ranthambore Fort

382 The noteworthy Ranthambore Fort was built by the Chauhan rulers in the 10th century. Due to its strategic location, it was ideal to keep the enemy at bay. The fort is also related to the historical legend of the royal women performing ‘jauhar’ (self-immolation) when the Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji laid siege on this fort in 1303. The fort is characterised by temples, tanks, massive gates and huge walls.

Ghushmeshwar Temple

383 Enshrined in the Puranas, the Ghushmeshwar Temple is believed to be 12th or the last of the Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Situated at the Siwar village in Sawai Madhopur, this temple has many mythological stories weaved around it. The most prominent, and popular story tells of the greatness of Lord Shiva, who resurrected his devotee Ghusma’s son, and even promised to abide in Devagiri hills as Ghushmeshwar after her name, Ghushma.

Tonk

Lying 96 kms from Jaipur on the route to Ranthmabore, Tonkwas once the stronghold of the Pathan tribesmen of Afghanistan. By and by this quiet township passed through the hands of several rulers. Modern Tonk was founded by the Nawab Ameer Khan as a result of a treaty with the British in 1818. Tonk has several colonial buildings, painted mosques, quasi-hindu architecture and a repository of ancient manuscripts and books. Tonk has several other names by which it is known, like- Rajasthan ka Lucknow, Adab ka Gulshan, Hindu Muslim Ekta ka Masaan and many more.

Sunheri Kothi

Constructed in 1824 by Nawab Ameer Khan, the Sunheri Kothiwas later renovated by Nawaab Ibrahim Ali Khan. The exterior of the Mansion of Gold completely belies the grandeur within. In-lay work with mirrors, gilded stucco, coloured glass, mosaic and lapez lazuli, painted and polished floors reflecting in the stained glass window leaves visitors completely impressed. This is a beautiful specimen of Hindu Muslim cohesion of architecture.

Jama Masjid

Located in the heart of the bustling city is the JamaMasjid, Rajasthan’s finest mosque. Delicately frescoed inside and out with intricate patterns, mosque still contains some of the ancient lamps. This fine piece of architecture began construction under the first Nawab of Tonk, Nawab Ameer Khan and completely by his son in 1298.

Hathi Bhata

Situated just 10kms from Kakod on the route to Sawai Madhopur is Hathi Bhata,carved out as a single stone in the shape of a huge life size stone elephant. To top it up, inscription on the rock tells us the story of Raja Nal and Damyanti. This monument was constructed in the year 1200 by Ram Nath Slat, during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh.

Amreshwar Mahadev

Nestled amidst the high hills on the way to Ranthambore National Park is the sacred Amreshwar Mahadev temple. The representation of 12 Jyotir Lingas and a 11ft high Shivling attracts a lot of devotees to come and seek blessing of Lord Mahadev.

Khandhar Fort

Kangure The imposing Khandar Fort is a place worth visiting and is situated just 45 kms from Sawai Madhopur. This magnificent fortification was long ruled by the Sisodia Kings of Mewar after which it was taken over by the Mughals. It is believed that the king of this fort never lost a war.

Kailadevi

About 23kms from Karauli stands the Kaila Devi temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess. In the months of March-April and September-October, devotees celebrate the colourful Kaila Devi fair and worship the Goddess for the fulfilment of their wishes.

Shri Mahavirji Temple

Located on the banks of Gambhiri River, stands the pilgrimage site dedicated to Sri Mahavirji, the 24th Jain Tirthankara.This temple has a long story of existence and is known to be one of the miraculous pilgrimages of Jains.

Ranthambore

397 Situated 14 km from Sawai Madhopur, the Ranthambore Park gets its name from the Ranthambore Fort situated within its boundaries. The National Park, situated amidst the Aravalis and Vindhya ranges is spreads over an area of 392 sq.km of thick forest punctuated with pleasant waterfalls. It is home to the elusive tiger, other animals found here include chinkara, sambhar, cheetal and over 300 species of birds.

How to Reach Here

By air: The Jaipur Airport is the closest and is located 150-170 kilometres away.

By road: Sawai Madhopur is well connected with all the major cities and town through state bus service as well as private buses and taxis.

By rail: You can easily get regular trains to Sawai Madhopur from other major cities of the country.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in, commons.wikimedia.org and Sudhir Shukla

Banswara

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Banswara gets its name from the ‘bans’ or bamboo trees that once grew here in abundance. It is dominated by Bhil tribals (popularly known as the bow men of Rajasthan) who make up more than half the total population of the region. History states that Banswara was ruled by a Bhil ruler named Bansia or Wasna and the place derived its name from him. Bansai was defeated by Jagmal Singh who crowned himself Banswara’s first Maharaval.

The district is a mix of different geographies with fertile plains of maize, wheat, rice, cotton soya bean and gram covering the entire central and western regions, while the Aravallis range make up the eastern side. The rich teak forests and mango, khajur (date) and mahua trees are home to diverse wildlife. Archaeological significance of Arthuna has made it one of the prime attractions of Banswara.

It was about 72 kilometres in length from north to south and 53 kilometres in breadth from east to west. The district was formerly a princely state ruled by the Maharavals.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Banswara

Anand Sagar Lake

21 This artificial lake, also known as Bai Talab was constructed by Lanchi Bai, the Rani of Maharaval Jagmal Singh. Located in the eastern part of Banswara, it is surrounded by holy trees known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’, famous for fulfilling the wishes of visitors. The ‘chattris’ or cenotaphs of the rulers of the state are also scattered nearby.

Abdulla Pir

22 It is a popular shrine of a Bohra Muslim saint.This is the Dargah of Abdul Rasul, known as Abdullah Pir, situated in the southern part of the city. Every year a large number of people, specially of the Bohra Community, take part in the ‘URS’ at the Dargah.

Andeshwar Parshwanathji

Andeshwar Parshwanathji is a famous Jain temple located on a small hill in Kushalgarh tehsil. The temple is home to rare Shilalekhs from the 10th century. The place also houses two Digamabara Jain Parshwanatha temples.

Ram Kund

25 It is also known as ‘Phati Khan’ because there is a deep cave under a hill. There is a Pool of very cold water found through out the year. It is said that Lord Ram, during his exile came & stayed here. It is a beautiful place surrounded by hills.

Vithala Deo Temple

26 Barely a few kilometres from Banswara lies the Vithala Deo Temple. A beautiful red structure, this temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna.

Diablab Lake

27 On the banks of this beautiful lake stands the summer residence of the former rulers. A major part of the lake itself is covered with lotus flowers.

Kagadi Pikup Weir

20 Located on Ratlam Road, 3 kilometres from the main city, is Kagadi Pikup Weir. It is worth visiting for its enchanting fountains, gardens and water bodies. It overlooks the Kagdi Lake and is a part of the Mahi Bajaj Sagar project.

Mahi Dam

29 The Mahi River, which flows through the region, has several islands at various distances. In fact, in some ancient writings, Banswara finds mention as ‘the city of hundred islands’. Various dams and canals have been built over the Mahi River under the Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project.

Paraheda

30 Paraheda, a famous Shiva temple, is located in Garhi Tehsil. It was constructed by King Mandlik in the 12th century and is approximately 22 kilometres from Banswara.

Raj Mandir

Raj Mandir, also known as the City Palace, is a 16th century structure that sits atop a hill as if keeping an eye on the town below. It is built in the style typical of old Rajput architecture. this palace still belongs to the royal family.

Talwara Temple

32 This town is famous for the ancient temple of the Sun, Laxmi Narayan Temple, Jain Temple of Sambharnath, Lord Amaliya Ganesh, Maha Laxmi Temple and Dwarkadhish Temple. A number of Sompura Sculpture artists can be seen carving stones on the roadside in Talwara.

Tripura Sundari

33 There is a temple of Goddess Tripura Sundari known as Tartai Mata here, which has beautiful idol of black stone having 18 hands each carrying a symbol, while the Goddess is seen riding a tiger. The exact date of construction of this temple is not known, it is said to have been built before Samrat Kanishka, who ruled here. It is one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’ of the Hindus.

Madareshwar Temple

294 This is a famous temple of Lord Shiva built inside a natural cave on top of a hill towards the eastern part of the city .It provides a sensational view.

Kalpa Vriksha

Standing elegantly near Bai Talab Lake are the rare species of large Kalpa Virksha trees in a pair (Raja – Rani) which are said to fulfill the wishes of people.

Samai Mata Bhandariya

About 400 steps take you the temple of Samai Mata, perched on top of a hill. It is a beautiful picnic spot about 4kms from the city.

Mangarh Dham

Govind Guru, was a popular saint of the Bhils who made the Mangarh hill a centre of faith. He awakened the Bhil community and filled them with a sense of patriotism. The Bhils were so inspired that they sacrificed their lives for freedom. Later, 1500 Gurubhakt Bhils sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British army. It is therefore also known as Jallianwala Bagh of Rajasthan.

Cheech

This village is known for its famous 12th century old temple of ‘Lord Brahma’. which houses a statue of Lord Brahma of an average man’s height.

How to Reach Here

By air: The closest airport is Udaipur Airport which is 185 kms away.

By road: Buses are available from Delhi, Jaipur and Bharatpur to Banswara.

By rail: The nearest station is Ratlam which is 80 kms away.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Alwar

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Alwar is a where the journey of the Fairy Queen ends! The oldest working engine in the world and one of India’s national treasure, Fairy Queen leads a train from Delhi encampment to Alwar in Rajasthan. The engine was built in 1855 and acquired by the Eastern Indian Railways from a British firm. The train that harnesses this engine is now used for tourism.

The journey of the city of Alwar and its origins can be traced back to 1500 BC. Nestled in the lap of the green hills of the Aravalli range, it is home to beautiful palaces and forts from an era long gone. The deep valleys and thick forest cover of the hills are a haven for many species of birds such as grey partridge and white-throated kingfisher and animals, most notably, the Bengal tiger and golden jackal. It is this splendour and exquisite architecture, along with the calm lakes, royal hunting chalets, dense jungles and a socio-cultural environment unlike any other that makes Alwar a traveller’s delight.

Alwar is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan. Paradoxically, the city is also the most recent of the Rajput kingdoms. Its traditions can be traced back to the realms of Viratnagar that flourished here around 1500 BC. Also known as Matasya Desh, this is where the Pandavas, the mighty heroes of the Mahabharata, spent the last years of their 13-year exile.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Alwar

Bala Qila

123123 The Bala Qila (young fort) was built on the foundations of a 10th century mud fort and is a towering structure set atop a hill. Strong fortifications, graceful marble columns and delicate latticed balconies make up the fort. Bala Qila can be entered through six gates, namely Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Chand Pol, Krishan Pol and Andheri Gate.

Alwar City Palace

13 Built in 1793 AD by Raja Bakhtawar Singh, the City Palace is an amazing mélange of the Rajputana and Islamic styles of architecture. The highlight of this palace are graceful marble pavilions set on lotus flower bases in the central courtyard. The palace that once belonged to the Maharaja has been converted into the District Collectorate. Its grand halls and chambers now house government offices.

The Palace Museum

The Palace Museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in the opulent life and lifestyle led by the Maharajas of Alwar. Rare manuscripts, including one depicting Emperor Babur’s life, Ragamala paintings and miniatures and even historic swords that once belonged to Muhammad Ghori, Emperor Akbar and Aurangzeb can be found here.

Moosi Maharani Chhatri

15 This cenotaph, built in the memory of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Rani Moosi, reflects the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The upper portion comprising columned pavilions and domed arches is made of marble while the lower section consists of pillars in red sandstone. The memorial is rated as one of the finest of its type.

Fateh Jung Gumbad

This spectacular tomb, which is a combination of domes and minarets is an artistic marvel. Constructed from high quality sandstone, its massive dome can be seen from afar and is a blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. It is dedicated to Fateh Jung who was a kind-hearted minister of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.

Purjan Vihar

One has Maharaja Sheodan Singh to thank for this attractive garden that was conceptualised and constructed in 1868. A picturesque place, locally known as Simla (the Summer House) was added to this garden to provide respite from the blazing sun.

Bhangarh

19191 Fifty kilometres from Sariska Sanctuary is the splendid town of Bhangarh which was built in the 17th century by Raja Madho Singh. The most popular legend states that the town was cursed by an evil magician and was subsequently abandoned. The evil effect of the curse is believed to be working even to this day. In fact, Bhangarh holds the distinction of being one of the most haunted places in India.

Garbhaji Water Falls

Garbhaji Falls is a popular destination for foreign and local tourists. The breathtaking sight of the water cascading off the rocks is the best feature of the place. Ideal for photographers and nature lovers, it is also popular with people who love to explore a city beyond its man-made structures.

Hill Fort Kesroli

This 14th century fort is best known for its turrets, ramparts and arched verandas. It was built by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who are said to be descendants of Lord Krishna. Today, the fort has been converted into a heritage hotel.

Pandu Pol

299 A trail through the Sariska Sanctuary gate leads to this temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. At the Pandu Pol or Pandu gate, gushes a spring that appears to magically cascade down from the hard and compact rocks. Legend has it that the Pandava brothers took refuge here during their exile.

Neemrana Fort

300 History says that Neemrana Fort was built by the Yaduvanshis, believed to be the descendants of Lord Krishna. Its story is rife with conquests and defeats and it has passed from the Rajputs to the Mughals and the Jats, before finally coming back to the Rajputs in 1775. Today, it is being run as a famous heritage hotel.

Silliserh Lake

301 Located 15 kilometres to the southwest of Alwar, this tranquil lake is nestled amidst forested hills and boasts of magnificent cenotaphs on its bank. In 1845, Maharaja Vinay Singh constructed a hunting chalet here for his Queen, Shila. Today it is a tourist bungalow.

Sariska Tiger Reserve

303 Sariska Tiger Reserve, the first tiger reserve in the world to have successfully relocated tigers, is just 200 kilometres from Delhi and 107 kilometres from Jaipur. It was declared a sanctuary in 1955 and became a National Park in 1979.

Tijara Jain Temple

About 60 kilometres from the Alwar-Delhi route lies this important centre of Jain pilgrimage. The exquisitely decorated ancient temple was built to commemorate the eighth Tirthankar, Shri Chandra Prabha Bhagwan. The son of King Mahasen and Queen Sulakshana, he ruled his kingdom for several years before receiving Diksha and being initiated. After serving mankind for several years, he meditated for a month and attained Nirvana.

Moti Doongri

Moti Doongri was originally built in the year 1882. Till the year 1928, it was the main residence of the royal family of Alwar. After 1928, Maharaja Jai Singh decided to demolish the old palace and later built a more magnificent one in its place.

Talvrakash

The Sariska-Alwar road leads to this enchanting site where pilgrims bathe in hot sulphur springs. Tinkling scattered temple bells and strolling langurs lend it a unique ambience. It is famous as the place where Mandav Rishi sought penance.

Bhartrihari Temple

Bhartrihari Temple is a vibrant pilgrimage centre attracting people from across the country. It revolves around the legend of King Bhartrihari who is said to have spent the last years of his life in this ancient place amidst the hills.

Naraini Mata

Located 80 kilometres southwest of Alwar, this picturesque spot houses hot springs and is also known for a temple dedicated to Naraini Mata. The yearly fair held here on the occasion of Baisakh Sudi is attended by people of all castes with the congregation of ‘nais’ (barbers) being the largest.

Neelkanth

A few miles west of Rajgarh, in the hills above Tehla village, lies the Neelkanth temple. Tehla used to be a town adorned with temples and statues making it an interesting place from an archaeological point of view.

Naldeshwar Shrine

Located 24 kilometres south of Alwar, this shrine is situated amidst rocky hills. The old Shiva temple has two natural ponds which receive water from the surrounding hills. Picturesque and peaceful, this place is especially worth visiting during monsoon.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Aiport, Delhi which is 141 kms away followed by Jaipur International Airport, about 166 kms away.

By road: Buses to Alwar are available at regular intervals from Delhi, Jaipur and Bharatpur.

By rail: One can take the Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Jaipur which halts at Alwar.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Dungarpur

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Dungarpur is as exotic as the green marble found here and shipped globally and liessnug in the foothills of the Aravalli range. Harsh and wild in the northeast and teeming with life in the fertile plains of the southwest, it is irrigated by two rivers, Mahi and Som.

Dungarpur’s rise to tourist fame is thanks to the exceptional architecture of its palaces and royal residences. These stone structures are adorned with ‘jharokhas’ (windows)and built in a style that was born during the times of Maharawal Shiv Singh (1730-1785 AD). Dungarpur’s goldsmiths and silversmiths are skilled artisans Famous for Their lacquer-painted toys and picture frames.

Dungarpur was founded in 1258 AD by Rawal Veer Singh, the eldest son of Karan Singh, the ruler of Mewar, after he drove out the local Bhil chieftain named Dungariya. Later rulers of Dungarpur added to the town’s architectural heritage.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Dungarpur

Udai Bilas Palace

85 The Udai Bilas Palace has been named after MaharawalUdai Singh II. Its striking design follows classic Rajput architectural style and boasts of detailed designs in its balconies, arches and windows. A beautiful wing built of the local bluish grey stone called Pareva overlooks the lake. The palace is segregated into Raniwas, Udai Bilas and Krishna Prakash, also known as EkThambiyaMahal. The EkThambiyaMahal is a veritable marvel of Rajput architecture featuring intricate sculptured pillars and panels, ornate balconies, balustrades, bracketed windows, arches and frieze of marble carvings. Today, Udai Bilas Palace functions as a heritage hotel.

Juna Mahal

15 Juna Mahal (Old Palace) is a 13th century, seven-storeyed edifice. It is built on a high platform constructed from Pareva stone and its rugged exterior gives it a resemblance of a citadel. It has been elaborately planned with fortified walls, watchtowers, narrow doorways and corridors to delay the enemy for as long as possible. What lies inside is a complete contrast to the exterior. Visitors will be spellbound by the beautiful murals, miniature paintings and delicate glass and mirror work that adorn the interiors.

Gaib Sagar Lake

87 The lake is famous for the shrine of Shrinathji that rests on its banks. The shrine complex contains numerous exquisitely carved temples and one core temple, the Vijay Rajrajeshwar Temple. This temple of Lord Shiva displays the skilled craftsmanship of the famed sculptors or ‘shilpkars’ of Dungarpur.

Government Archaeological Museum

88 This museum was established with the objective of displaying sculptures collected by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Rajasthan, mainly from the Vagad region. The Dungarpur Royal family helped set up the museum by gifting land and its own personal collection of charming sculptures and historically important inscriptions. The collection housed here includes statutes of various deities, stone inscriptions, coins and paintings dating back to the 6th century.

Badal Mahal

89 The Badal Mahal, built using Pareva stone, is another splendid palace of Dungarpur. Located on the banks of GaibSagar Lake, it is renowned for its elaborate design and a fusion of the architectural styles of the Rajputs and the Mughals. The monument comprises two stages, three domes and a veranda. Each dome sports a carved half ripe lotus while the largest dome sports three.

Baneshwar Temple

90 The Beneshwar temple, containing the most revered Shiva Linga of the region, is situated on a delta. formed at the confluence of Som and Mahi rivers. The Linga is believed to be Swayambhu or self created .It stands five feet high and is spilt broken at the top in five parts. Just near the Beneshwar temple is the Vishu temple constructed in 1793 A.D. by Jankunwari, daughter – in law of Mavji, a highly revered saint and believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is said to be constructed at the place where Mavji spent his time praying to God. Two disciples of Mavji called Aje and Vaje built the Laxmi Narayan temple. Though these are other Gods and Goddesses, People identify them as Mavji, his wife, his son, his daughter-in law and disciple Jiwandas. Besides these temple, there is also a temple of Lord Brahma.

Bhuvaneshwar

91 Located barely 9 kilometres from Dungarpur is Bhuvaneshwar, famous for a Shiva temple which is perched on a mountain top. The temple is built around a naturally formed Shivaling. Tourists can also visit an ancient monastery located atop the mountain.

Surpur Temple

92 (1) This ancient shrine is located on the banks of the Gangdi River about 3 kilometres from Dungarpur. The area around the temple also houses other attractions such as Bhulbhulaiya, Madhavrai Temple, Hathiyon Ki Agad and several inscriptions.

Vijay Raj Rajeshwer Temple

93 The Vijay Rajrajeshwer Temple is located along the banks of the GaibSagar Lake. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati, displays the fine architecture of its times. The construction of the temple was ordered by Maharawal Vijay Singh and was completed in 1923, during the reign of Maharawal Lakshman Singh.

Shrinathji Temple

94 MaharawalPunjraj built this temple in the year 1623. The idols of Shri Radhikaji and GoverdhanNathji are the main attractions. The complex also houses several shrines dedicated to Shri BankeBihariji and Shri Ramchandraji.

Goodh Mandap

Goodh Mandap is a three-storied hall meant for the common use of three temples located in its vicinity. Supported by 64 legs and 12 pillars, this hall is a marvel to behold.

Nagfanji

96 Nagfanji is renowned for its Jain shrines and not only does it attract devotees from Dungarpur but also tourists who travel from far to see the temple. The temple houses statues of Devi Padmawati, NagfanjiParshwanatha and Dharnendra.The Nagfanji Shivalaya,which is located close to this temple, is also a tourist attraction.

Galiakot

At a distance of 58 kilometres from Dungarpur, located on the banks of River Mahi, is a hamlet called Galiakot. The place is known for Syed Fakhruddin’s shrine. He was a renowned saint who was buried in the hamlet after his death. The shrine is made from white marble and has his teachings engraved on it walls. The inner portion of the dome is decorated by beautiful foliage while teachings of the Quaran are engraved in golden letters on the tomb.

Deo Somnath

376 On the banks of Som river, there is an old and beautiful Shiva temple called Deo Somnath built in the 12th century. Built of white stone, the temple has imposing turrets. One can see the sky from within the temple. Though there is a perfect adaptation of parts in the masonry, yet it gives the impression that individual stones are crumbling. The temple has 3 exits, one each in the east, the north and the south. The entrance gates are two storied The Garbha Garah has a high dome. In front of it is the Sabha Mandap – built on 8 majestic pillars. There are Twenty Torans of which four still exist. Others were destroyed by the flood waters of the Som. The idol of the deity is in a chamber, eight steps below and the entrance is from the Sabha Mandap. There are several inscription by pilgrims and the oldest belongs to 1493 A.D. Several warriors were cremated near the temple and memorials have been raised in their honour.

Boreshwar

The temple Boreshwar Mahadeo was built during the reign of Maharawal Samant Singh sometime in 1179 A.D. It is situated on the banks of the Som river.

Kshetrapal Temple

Situated in Khadagada, historical background of the temple is 200 years past. the temple has its known popularity from the name of goddess Bhairav the manuscript of the temple. Besides the temple is surrounded by other small temples of goddess Ganapati, Lordshiva Goddess Laxmi and Lord Hanuman.

How to Reach Here

By air: At 120 kilometres, Udaipur is the nearest airport followed by Ahmedabad at 175 kilometres.

By road: National Highway No. 8, which runs between Delhi and Mumbai and the State Highway (Sirohi – Ratlam highway) passes through the district.

By rail: The railway station is 3 kilometres from the city. An important train connection is Himatnagar-Dungarpur-Udaipur.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Udaipur

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Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the lake city of Udaipur is known as the centre for performing arts and crafts. The famous Lake Palace, located bang in the middle of Lake Pichola is easily one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. Udaipur is also home to Jaisamand Lake, the largest artificial lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city. The city is also known for its profusion of zinc and copper mines. The solar observatory in Udaipur is known as one of the best in Asia and has been modelled after the Solar Observatory at Big Bear Lake in Southern California. Udaipur is also renowned for is miniature paintings. The Shilpgram festival, held sometime around the New Year manages to pull in great crowds of people interested in arts and crafts.

Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II as a new capital of the Mewar kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar. Until Udaipur was built, the capital of Mewar was Ahar, a flourishing trade town.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Udaipur

Udaipur City Palace

WE109225 The City Palace stands tall over Pichola Lake, having served as an abode for the ruling royalty. Construction was begun by Maharana Udai Singh and was continued by successive Maharanas who incorporated several palaces and structures to the complex. Interestingly, each addition preserved the original style of the design. Visitors enter the palace through Bari Pol (the Big Gate) which leads one to Tripolia (the Triple Gate) where it was once a custom to distribute the Maharaja’s weight in gold and silver to his subjects. It now serves as the main ticket office. The palace has numerous balconies, cupolas and towers that overlook Pichola Lake. The structure is just as beautiful inside as it is spectacular from the outside. Each palace is designed in a unique way, and decorations like mirrored tiles, paintings, glass work and ornamental tiles bring to life the opulence of the era. Today, the main section of the palace has been converted into a museum that houses a large collection of artefacts.

Lake Palace

222 (1) Now a hotel, The Lake Palace was originally called Jag Niwas Palace and served as a summer palace. Built between 1743 and 1746 on the island near Jagmandir Palace in Lake Pichola, the palace, which faces east, is a wondrous sight to behold. The walls made of black and white marbles are adorned by semi-precious stones and ornamented niches. Gardens, fountains, pillared terraces and columns line its courtyards.

Jag Mandir

223 Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island on the Lake Pichola. Also called the ‘Lake Garden Palace’, the construction for this began in 1551 and was completed around 1652. The royal family used the palace as its summer resort and for hosting parties. Interestingly, Prince Khurram – later Emperor Shah Jahan – was given shelter here when he rebelled against his father Emperor Jahangir. The palace had such an impact on Emperor Shah Jahan that it went on to become the inspiration for one of the most magnificent Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.

Monsoon Palace

10 Located just outside Udaipur, this 18th century palace was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty and is also named after him. Situated on top of Bansdara Mountain of the Aravalli range at a height of 3100 feet, the Maharana had initially commissioned it as a five-storey astronomical centre. However, his premature death brought the plans to a halt. It was then turned into a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. The elevation of its site means the majestic palace towers over the countryside while offering panoramic vistas to visitors. The palace belonged to the Mewar royal family for a long time and has only recently been handed over to the Forest Department of the Government of Rajasthan. It is now open to the public, who throng to the palace to soak in the beauty of the white marble structure with its high turrets, massive central court and exquisitely carved pillars. Beautifully illuminated at night, the Rajasthani architecture of this magnificent palace inspires awe.

Ahar Museum

225 Ahar Museum is in close proximity to an impressive cluster of cenotaphs of the Maharanas of Mewar. The museum has a small, but rare collection of earthen pottery. You can also browse through sculptures and archaeological finds, a few dating back to 1700 BC. A 10th century metal figure of Buddha is a special attraction here.

Jagdish Temple

226 An example of the Indo-Aryan style of architecture, Jagdish Temple was built in 1651 and continues to be one of the most famous temples in Udaipur. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the structure is an architectural marvel with carved pillars, graceful ceilings and painted walls. This three-storied temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park

227 For an evening out, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park is a great destination. This beautiful garden is built around Doodh Talai and provides a spectacular view of Jag Mandir, Lake Palace, Lake Pichola and City Palace. Musical fountains, a ropeway to the Karni Mata Temple and a sunset spot complete the outing.

Fateh Sagar Lake

228 Fateh Sagar Lake is a charming lake surrounded by hills and woods. This artificial lake was constructed by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678 AD and it lies north of Lake Pichola. It was later reconstructed during the reign of Maharana Fateh Singh (1884-1930 AD) after the earthen bund (dam) was washed away in floods. The Maharana built Connaught Dam to commemorate the visit of the Duke of Connaught and the lake was renamed Fateh Sagar Lake. Fateh Sagar Lake is one of the four lakes in Udaipur and it houses three small islands. The largest among them, the beautiful Nehru Island, is popular with tourists; the second island has a public park and a spectacular water-jet fountain; the third island is home to the Udaipur Solar Observatory. All the islands can be visited by motorboats. The calm, blue surface of the lake set against the green mountains make Udaipur India’s ‘second Kashmir’.

Lake Pichola

229 Lake Pichola gets its name from Picholi village that got submerged when Maharana Udai Singh founded the city of Udaipur and enlarged the original lake. This artificial freshwater lake was created in 1362 AD and was intended to meet the drinking and irrigation requirements of the city of Udaipur and its neighbouring towns. Over the centuries, the area inside and around the lake has been carefully developed and has several palaces, temples, family manors, and bathing ghats (raised platforms usually found within a courtyard). This picturesque lake houses the Jag Niwas Island and the Jag Mandir within its waters. The famous City Palace (now a heritage hotel) is spread along the lake’s eastern bank, while the Pichola Palace is in the middle of the lake. From Bansi Ghat one can take boats to all the other parts of the lake, including Arsi Vilas Island which is a bird sanctuary as well as the Sitamata Game Sanctuary.

Saheliyon Ki Bari

230 Built by Rana Sangram Singh as a garden for women, Saheliyo-ki-Bari or the Courtyard of the Maidens is a popular tourist destination. Along with a small museum, it has several attractions such as marble elephants, fountains, kiosks and a lotus pool.

Gulab Bagh and Zoo

231 Gulab Bagh (Sajjan Niwas Garden) is the largest garden in Udaipur. Spread over 100 acres, the garden proudly displays innumerable species of roses, from which it also gets its name.

Sukhadia Circle

Sukhadia Circle lies to the north of Udaipur. It comprises a small pond that also houses a 21 foot tall, three-tiered marble fountain. Decorated with beautifully carved motifs, the fountain looks spectacular at night when it is lit up. The fountain is surrounded by gardens, creating a perfect oasis in a city bustling with tourists.

Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal

233 Dedicated to the study of folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan, Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal is a cultural institution in Udaipur. Besides propagating folk culture, it also houses a museum that exhibits various artefacts of Rajasthani culture.

Bagore Ki Haveli

234 Bagore-ki-Haveli is located by Lake Pichola, at Gangaur Ghat. Amar Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar, built it in the 18th century. The massive palace has over a hundred rooms that display costumes and modern art. The glass and mirrors in the interiors are structured in classical haveli style.

Shilpgram

235 Situated 7 kms west of Udaipur near Lake Fateh Sagar is the Centre’s Shilpgram – the Rural Arts and Crafts Complex. Spread over 70 acres, and surrounded by the Aravallis, the Rural Arts and Crafts Complex has been conceived as a living museum to depict the lifestyles of the folk and tribal people of the west zone.

Udaipur Solar Observatory

The Udaipur Solar Observatory is built on an island in the Fateh Sagar Lake. Being surrounded by water reduces air turbulence caused by ground heat and makes the location perfect for an observatory. It is modelled after the Solar Observatory at Big Bear Lake in Southern California.

Udai Sagar Lake

Udai Sagar Lake is one of the five striking lakes situated in Udaipur. Located about 13 kilometres to the east of Udaipur, the construction of this lake was started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh. The lake is actually a result of a dam being built on the river Berach to supply adequate water to the Maharana’s kingdom. Udai Sagar Lake is 4 kms in length, 2.5 kilometres in width and about 9 meters at its deepest.

Haldighati

337 Haldighati is a famed mountain pass in the hills of the Aravalli Range. The pass, about 40 kilometres from Udaipur, connects the districts of Rajsamand and Pali. The pass gets its name from the yellow-coloured soil of the region (turmeric is called haldi in Hindi). The mountain pass has gone down the annals of history as the site where the Battle of Haldighati was fought in 1576 between Rana Pratap Singh of Mewar and Raja Man Singh of Amber who was the general of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The site of the battle lies at the south-west side of Nathdwara. Maharana Pratap fought a brave war, but his loyal horse, Chetak, gave up his life as the Maharana was leaving the battlefield. In 1997, the Government of India proposed and constructed the Maharana Pratap National Memorial, and it is today dedicated to the spirit and valour of the Rajput King. The memorial, a cenotaph with white marble columns, displays a bronze statue of the Maharana riding Chetak. Besides the battle, Haldighati is known around the world for its charity rose products and mud art of Molela.

Doodh Talai Lake

338 The road that takes visitors to Pichola Lake has another popular destination – the Doodh Talai Lake. The lake is nestled between several small hillocks which themselves are tourist attractions. The Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and the Manikya Lal Verma Garden are part of the Doodh Talai Lake Garden. The Manikya Lal Verma Garden gives an amazing view of Lake Pichola and Doodh Talai Lake. It is among the more recent attractions and was built in 1995 by the Nagar Parhisad (Municipal Council) of Udaipur. One can reach the top by climbing steps or by driving up. Locals often go up the hillock to the Karni Mata Temple that houses a white stone idol of the goddess. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Park is a small garden on the adjacent hillock, developed by the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) of Udaipur. Its highlight is Rajasthan’s first musical fountain, a popular attraction among the locals and visitors as well. The garden overlooks Lake Pichola and offers a spectacular view of sunset to visitors. A ropeway connects the tops of these two hillocks and takes tourists to the Karni Mata temple. This 4-minute ride is Rajasthan’s first ropeway and offers a panoramic view of the city.

Jaisamand Lake

343 Jaisamand Lake is renowned for being the second largest artificial lake in Asia. In fact, it used to be the largest artificial lake in Asia until Aswan Dam in Egypt was not constructed. Located at a distance of 48 kilometres from the city of Udaipur, it is also known as Dhebar. In 1685, Maharana Jai Singh built this lake during the construction of a dam on the Gomti River. Jaisamand Lake covers an area of 36 square kilometres, it stretches to a length of 14 kilometres and width of 9 kilometres. The massive dam was constructed on this lake also houses a centrally located Shiva temple. The summer palace of the queen of Udaipur forms a perfect backdrop to the Lake. There are six, intricately carved marble cenotaphs on its embankment. Jaisamand Lake comprises seven islands, of which, one is still inhabited by the tribe of Bhil Minas. Graceful marble steps lead to the water and you can enjoy a lovely boat ride in the mesmerizing waters. Jaisamand Lake is close to the Jaisamand Sanctuary which serves as habitat to various types of birds, panthers, leopards, deer, wild boars and crocodiles. It is definitely worth a visit.

Jugaad

380 Resembling an aggregation of leftover automobile parts, Jugaad is known for its innovativeness. This modified four-seater bike is an example of sheer intelligence by a retired army officer, Tahir Merchant. Amidst the vast expanse of the Thar Desert, Jugaad is surely something you must have a look at.

How to Reach Here

By air: Dabok Airport, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport is the closest at about 25 km northeast of the city centre. There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai on Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet.

By road: Udaipur is easily accessible by road from every major destination in India, including Chittorgarh, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur / Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai and Khajuraho.

By rail: Udaipur is connected by rail to several major cities in India including Chittorgarh, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai and Khajuraho.

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Pushkar

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Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.

According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Pushkar

Pushkar Lake

213 Legend has it that a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma, the god of creation, and Pushkar Lake was born, making it as old as creation itself. Hindu mythology speaks about Panch Sarovars (Five Lakes) – Man Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar, of which, Pushkar Lake is considered to be the most sacred. Devotees believe that bathing in the waters of the lake on Kartik Poornima (during the Pushkar Fair) will nullify sins and cure all skin diseases. This artificial lake has been created by building a dam and lies nestled in the folds of the Aravalli range, surrounded by a desert and hills on all sides. The lake has 52 bathing ghats (steps leading into the water) and the water around each ghat is believed to possess special medicinal powers. The Pushkar Lake is a popular destination for pilgrims, as evidenced by the over 500 temples that dot the banks of the lake.

Brahma Temple

214 Nestled in the picturesque Pushkar valley beyond the Nangaparvat and Anasagar Lake, the Brahma temple holds a special place in the hearts of Indians. It is the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. Built with marble and decorated with silver coins, this temple can be identified by its red spire and the image of a swan (considered sacred to Lord Brahma). The chaturmukhi (four faced) idol of Lord Brahma is housed in the inner sanctum. A marble statue of the sun god stands sentinel at the temple. Interestingly, while all the gods are shown bare footed, Surya is shown wearing ancient warrior’s boots.

Gurudwara Singh Sabha

215 Gurudwara Singh Sabha, situated in the eastern part of Pushkar, was built in the beginning of the 19th century to commemorate the visits of the first and the tenth gurus- Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Govind Singhji.

Varaha Temple

Varaha temple is the largest and the most ancient temple of Pushkar. Constructed by the 12th century ruler, King Anaji Chauhan, this temple is dedicated to the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a wild boar. Legend has it that Varaha rescued the earth from depth of the primeval water, where it was dragged down by a demon (Hirnayaksh). It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar

Savitri Temple

218 Dedicated to Lord Brahma’s first wife, Goddess Savitri, this temple is situated on a hillock right behind the Brahma temple. While climbing the long series of steps leading to the temple, one can catch a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding temples and sand dunes. The presence of the only Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the outcome of Savitri’s curse to Brahma for marrying another Goddess, Gayatri, while starting his yagna in Pushkar.

Rangji Temple

219 The gracious and conspicuous Rangji Temple is another popular shrine that witnesses thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rangji, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The influence of South Indian style, Rajput style and Mughal style in the temple’s architecture is highly noticeable. The high-rising ‘Gopuram’, prevalent mainly in the temples present in South India is another feature of the temple that attracts visitors.

Pap Mochini Temple

220 Presided by the deity Ekadashi Mata, the Pap Mochini temple is believed to provide respite to followers from their cardinal sins. Located in the northern section of Pushkar, the temple is like a pearl in the crown of Pushkar. Having a great spiritual importance as well as boasting a splendid architecture, the Pap Mochini temple is one of the most popular temples in Rajasthan.

Sri Panchkund Shiva Temple

271 Sri Panchkund Shiva Temple is said to have been built by the five Pandavas. Located on the eastern edge of the town, this temple is around 2-3 kilometres from the lake.

Atmateshwar Temple

274 This beautiful 12th century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an underground component. The intricate Hemadpanti architectural style carvings give this temple a magnificent appearance. Thousands of devotees flock here to pay their respects during the auspicious time of Shivaratri, when Lord Shiva is ritually respected.

Man Mahal

The Man Mahal is one of the greatest palaces of Pushkar. Built as a guest house of Raja Man Singh I, this palace is one of the most attractive spots to visit in Pushkar. It was built to serve as a royal guest house for Raja Man Singh I. The Rajasthani architecture from the royal era that adorns the palace makes it a visual treat. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel, called the RTDC Hotel Sarovar, and allows tourists to not only enjoy the beauty of the palace but also the breathtaking view of the lakes and temples around the lake.

How to Reach Here

By air: Sanganer Airport in Jaipur is the nearest at a distance of 146 kilometres.

By road: Pushkar is well connected to the national highways of Rajasthan. Regular buses ply from Pushkar to the major cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer from the Ajmer bus stand.

By rail: Pushkar Terminus Railway station which is operational since 2012, is connected to Ajmer railway station located at a distance of 11 kilometres.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Chittorgarh

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Chittorgarh resonates with stories of Rajputana bravery, pride and passion. The bards of Rajasthan sing tales of courage and sacrifice recounting stories that are known to every child and adult in the city. Chittorgarh is named after its most imposing structure, the Chittorgarh Fort which stands atop a 180 metre high hill and is spread across 700 acres.

Chittorgarh Fort has had a tumultuous past. This bastion of the Rajputs has faced violent attacks thrice in its entire history. The first was in 1303 when the Sultan of Delhi, Ala-ud-din Khilji, who was enamoured by Queen Padmini, launched an attack to abduct her. More than two centuries later, in 1533, it was Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, who caused immense destruction. Four decades later, in 1568, Mughal Emperor Akbar attacked and seized the fort. It was finally in 1616, under the rule of Mughal Emperor Jahangir that the fort was returned to the Rajputs.

Attractions & Places to Visit and Explore in Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh Fort

71 Chittorgarh Fort is a fitting symbol of the Rajput spirit. Set atop a 180 metre high hill and spread across 240 hectares, this majestic fort features in tales of courage, pride and romance that the bards of Rajasthan have been singing for centuries. Legend has it that the construction of the Chittorgarh Fort was begun by Bhim, one of the heroic Pandava brothers from Mahabharata, India’s eminent mythological epic. The fort houses several magnificent monuments, some unfortunately ravaged by the passage of time. The imposing structure takes one back to the days of conquests and tragedies, and its walls continue to ring with incredible tales of extraordinary men and women. A one-kilometre road weaves its way from the foothills to the summit, taking visitors through seven gates before arriving at Rampol (Gate of Ram). On the road between the second and the third gate, visitors get to see two ‘chattris’ (cenotaphs) built in honour of Jaimal and Kalla, heroes, who laid down their lives in the 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort is Surajpol (Sun Gate).

Rani Padmini’s Palace

16 This palace plays an important role in Rajput history. The structure is built on the banks of a lotus pool and has a pavilion that provides privacy for the women of the royal family. Ala-ud-din Khilji, then Sultan of Delhi, spotted Queen Padmini’s reflection in the pool and was so besotted by her beauty that he led his forces in battle to abduct her.

Vijay Stambh

73 Vijay Stambh (the Tower of Victory) was built by Maharana Kumbha between 1440 AD and 1448 AD to immortalise his triumph of defeating the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat. Built partly from red sandstone and partly white marble, this architectural wonder is nine-storey tower decorated with detailed sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses. Narrow steps lead to the terrace where one can catch a spectacular view of the entire town from the balconies.

Kirti Stambh

74 This Tower of Fame is dedicated to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Tirthankara (great teacher). Adorned by the figures of the Digambars (Jain monks), this seven-storied tower was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in 12th century AD.

Fateh Prakash Palace

75 Constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh, this palace functioned as his residence. It was built in the Rajput style of architecture as a declaration of his taste for art and culture. The palace has a vast collection of wood crafts of Bassi village, post medieval statues of Jain Ambica and Indra from Rashmi village, weapons such as axes, knives and ancient shields, clay replicas of regional tribal people clad in their traditional costumes, paintings, and crystal ware. It has now been converted into a museum.

Jain Temples

76 The fort of Chittor has six Jain temples contained within its walls. The largest among them is the temple of Bhagawan Adinatha which has 52 ‘devkulikas’.

Kalika Mata Temple

77 Built in 8th century AD, this ancient structure was initially constructed to worship the sun god. In the 14th century, the temple was dedicated to Goddess Kali, the symbol of power and valour.

Tulja Bhavani Temple

Tulja Bhavani temple, an architectural wonder, is a Hindu temple of the goddess Durga, built in the 16th century by Banvir. Legend says that it is named after Banvir who donated various ornaments (Tula Dan) equaling his weight for relief funds.

Gaumukh Reservoir

79 Gaumukh Reservoir is a deep tank that is fed by a spring. The spring emerges from a rock formation resembling a Gaumukh or ‘cow’s mouth’. The tank is considered sacred by the locals.

Ratan Singh Palace

80 The winter palace of the royal family, it overlooks a small lake. Although fairly rundown now, it is an interesting place to explore and attracts many tourists.

Rana Kumbha Palace

81 A ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, this is one of the most massive monuments in the Fort of Chittor. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed ‘Jauhar’ (self-immolation).

Kumbha Shyam Temple

82 The temple was constructed during the rule of Rana Kumbha and is built in the Indo-Aryan style popular in those times. It bears a strong connection to the mystic poetess Meerabai, a zealous devotee of Krishna’s. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.

Meerabai Temple

83 Meerabai, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna’s, worshiped him at this temple. The structure is designed in the classic North Indian style of temples. It rises from a raised plinth and its conical roof can be seen from far. The temple houses a beautiful shrine surrounded by an open porch with four small pavilions in four corners.

How to Reach Here

By air: The nearest airport is Dabok Airport in Udaipur city which is about 105 kms away.

By road: Regular buses are available to Chittorgarh from all major cities in Rajasthan.

By rail: Chittorgarh is connected by rail to and from Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur and Delhi.

Image & Information copyright by tourism.rajasthan.gov.in