A week in Rajasthan

MEHRANGARH FORT:

Increasing perpendicular and fortified from a hill which is 125 metres above Jodhpur’s skyline is the Mehrangarh Fort. This famous fort is one of the most famous in India and is packed with history and fables. Mehrangarh Fort still carries the signatures of cannonball attacks courtesy the commands of Jaipur on its second gate. Chiselled and sturdy, the fort is known for its admirable latticed windows, carved panels; difficultly illuminate windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.

UMAID BHAWAN PALACE:

Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time. It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill. The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years. Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles. It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world and also one of the more spectacular buildings. It is the only palace built in the 20th century.

CHAMUNDA MATAJI TEMPLE:

Chamunda Mataji Temple is placed at the southern end of the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The idol of Devi Chamunda Mataji was taking to the fort in the year 1460 by Rao Jodha as the goddess was his favourite. The idol was prior based at Mandore. Soon after the idol was equipped in the acclaimed temple in Mehrangarh Fort, that was enthusiastic to Devi Chamunda Mataji. Even in the current times the royal families of Rajas and the Maharajas examines Devi Chamunda Mataji as the ‘Isht Devi” or the embraced goddess of their families. Devi Chamunda Mataji is a idol who is popularly devotion even by the common people of Jodhpur. The moment of Dussehra sees a huge mass of devotees who holiday this fort and the temple contribution prayers and devotion to the Indian goddess who is also treated one of the many forms of Mata Shakti or more popularly Durga.

SARDAR SAMAND LAKE AND PALACE:

Built on the banks of the Sardar Samand Lake by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1933, the Sardar Samand Lake Palace is a dramatic shooting lodge. It remnants the royal family's favored evacuation and houses a vast selection of African trophies and original watercolour paintings.  The lake attracts several migratory and local birds such as the yellow-legged green pigeon, Himalayan griffon and Dalmatian pelican, making it a bird watcher's paradise. The lake as well as the route to the lake, provides a virtual treat to photographers. It has now been transformed into the Sardar Samand Lake Resort. The resort attempts some of the most amazing views of the excellent lake.

Balsamand Lake and Garden:

Balsamand Lake is one of the prominent picnic spots, located about 8 km away from the main city of Jodhpur. Surrounded by hills, this kilometre-long artificial lake was constructed in 1159 as a reservoir to supply water in the Mandore region. There is a picturesque garden alongside the lake that adds to its overall beauty. In this garden, you can see lovely rose beds and groves of pomegranate, mango and guava. Making the entire region all the more attractive is the cascading waterfall built to water the garden. You can also see animals and birds like peacock, jackal and blue bull roaming in the area. Right next to the lake is the Balsamand Palace that was built by Maharaja Sur Singh in the 1936. Boasting of a grand architecture, this 8-pillared castle has 3 gates for the entrance purpose. Tourists will thoroughly enjoy the cool wind blowing through the verdant garden making the environment romantic and serene. Visit this lake and spend some quality time with your friends and family for an unforgettable experience. It is ringed by abundant green gardens that house groves of trees such as mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava and plum. Animals and birds like the jackal and peacock also call this place home. This lake is now a famous picnic spot with visitors and locals.

Nagaur Fair:

Get ready to be a part of India’s second biggest fair- the Cattle fair of Nagaur. Every year, during January-February, an 8-day festival is organised for animal trading. Approximately 70,000 decorated cows, bullocks, camels and horses are traded in the Nagaur fair every year. Owners of the cattle aren’t behind either as they too dress-up for the occasion. Other attractions that you can look forward to during this fair are tug-of-war, camel and bullock race, cock fight and puppet show.

Mandore Garden:

Mandore Garden is a heritage spot, placed in its namesake city, towards the peripheries of Jodhpur. This garden has a high rock terrace, which is its most prominent attraction. Cenotaphs (dewals) of Jodhpur's erstwhile rulers are dotted across this landscaped garden, which are different from those found in other regions of Rajasthan. These red sandstone cenotaphs resemble Hindu temples and have four storeys, elaborately designed columns and tall spires. Notable amongst these dewals include the memorial dedicated to Maharaja Ajit Singh and other built for the Maharani atop a hill. The hall of heroes, dedicated to brave Rajput fighters and Hindu deities, lies close to these cenotaphs. Colourful rock statues and images of these heroes and Gods adorn this hall. 'The Shrine of the Three Hundred Million Gods' is an unmissable thing of interest in Mandore Garden. Vibrant illustrations of Hindu Gods are present here, which depict the brilliance of artists of those times. On climbing the nearby hill, visitors get to see the old palace and ruins of Mandore.

Clock Tower:

Clock Tower, also known as Ghanta Ghar , is an important landmark in the Old City of Jodhpur. The mighty ruler Maharaja Sardar Singh built this colossal clock tower, in proximity to the popular Sadar Bazar. This few-storey tower is beautifully lit in the evening, which adds to its overall appeal. The market or bazar is home to more than a thousand small shops that sell a variety of products at quite a reasonable price. This flitting market is famous for selling spices, handicrafts, tea, sweets, jewellery and much more.

Shri Ganesh Temple:

Nestled in Ratnada Hills in Jodhpur, Shri Ganesh Temple is visited by countless devotees every year. Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, this temple is believed to have existed since 1459. According to a popular legend, the human-size idol of Lord Ganesha (son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati) emerged naturally at this site. The statue, which is 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide, has idols of Riddhi and Siddhi (symbolic of prosperity and accomplishment, respectively) on either side. During festivals or auspicious occasions, the statue of Lord Ganesha is offered the vermillion wash called chola and His idol is decorated with beautiful ornaments and a crown.

Amber Fort:

Amber Fort is the epochal appeal of Jaipur and a must on your journey. Suraj Pole, the sun facing royal entrance to the fort, is one of the classic blends of Hindu and Mughal architecture. In 16th century, a fort was made by a established general of Akbar, Maan Singh. Later, Maan started to rule the area surrounding the fort which was called as the Amer state. An elephant ride up to Amber Fort is an absolute must. It’s an exciting reality to ride up along the completed path to the elegant Fort astride an equally majestic elephant. Watching the Light and Sound Show at the Amber Fort is also a great way to spend an evening in Jaipur.

Jal Mahal:

Actually meaning as ‘Water Palace’, Jal Mahal is placed amidst the Man Sagar Lake and was designed by Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. The beauty of the palace lies in its place as the palace cum hotel is standing in the centre of the lake. The palace building boasts of a typical Rajput and Mughal style which is actually related to that of Amer Fort. Made in red sandstone, the palace is actually five-storeyed where only the top story is visible (rest are submerged under water). At the top, there is a garden which has semi-octagonal towers in every corner. Although any time is a good time to visit Jal Mahal but it is during the monsoon season (when the water level rises up) when the views from this palatial hotel are more captivating.

Monkey Temple:

Monkey Temple is a part of a group of temples known as Galtaji. Galtaji is a cluster of temples and kunds (water tanks) located in the town of Khaniya-Balaji, near Jaipur. It is called the Monkey Temple because large tribes of monkeys have made it their home. One should carry water bottles and sealed food packets when visiting the temple. Unsealed food might attract monkeys which can be very tormenting. The temple has also been shown on National Geographic Channel’s Rebel Monkeys. It is believed that the monkey’s here are very intelligent. One can offer fruits which the monkeys accept very gently.

Chandra Mahal:

Situated inside the leviathan City Palace, the Chandra Mahal was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The magnificent palace is a seven storied citadel that is home to verdant gardens, marvelous paintings and ornately decorated ceilings. Luxury, beauty and architectural brilliance, Chnadra Mahal is a must visit place for anyone in Jaipur. The ground and the first floor of the palace form the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II museum. Chandra Mahal, at present, is the residence of the current Maharaja of Jaipur.

Govind Devji Temple:

Govind Devji Temple is one of the oldest and one of the most sacred temples in Jaipur. Located in the City Palace complex, the temple is dedicated to Govind Devji who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna. The idol inside the temple is believed to look exactly like Lord Krishna during his incarnation on earth. The idol, originally kept in the temple of Vrindavan, was brought to Jaipur by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh who was a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna. The tranquility and the spirituality of the temple is enhance through the aartis and prasads or bhogs that are offered at the temple at seven different times every day.

Mayo College Museum:

Mayo College Musuem is a part of the renowned Mayo College of Ajmer. The illustrious museum may be one of a kind museum in India. The museum is in possession of a priceless collection of antiques and armory. The museum also has a vast collection of artifact, old paintings, sculptures, photographs, coins pertaining to various areas of learning and knowledge. The Mayo College Museum is housed at the Jhalawar house and spreads over 18 rooms making it one of the best museums that any school can have in the world.

Surya Mandir:

There are quite a few significant temples in Jaipur; Surya Mandir (Sun Temple) is one of them. Located somewhat far away from the main city, the temple is dedicated to the Sun God. Devotees, from far and wide, come to this temple to offer their prayers and revel in the peace and serenity of the temple. The temple’s architecture is magnificent, to say the least, and the carvings on the temple are most delicate and beautiful. From the temple, you can enjoy panoramic views of Jaipur.

Elefun:

Elefun is a place created to keep animals safe, while ensuring they are made to live in their natural environment. If you really wish to make a difference to the lives of elephants, then this is just the right place to begin with. Dedicated to conserving elephants, it’s a one-of-its-kind sanctuary in the world where you can actually get hands-on experience at feeding and bathing this biggest yet the gentlest of animals or make food for them. It’s great fun to make big chapatis to feed this animal. You may also choose to go for an elephant safari. Travelling with kids? If yes, then it’s a must-visit. The little ones will love the bond created with elephants.

Jaipur Zoo:

If you love animals, you must visit the Jaipur Zoo when in the city. With over 50 species of animals and birds, from the spotted and Sambar deer to reptiles and migratory birds, the zoo offers a great experience both for kids and adults alike. One of the best in the country, the zoo also has a crocodile breeding farm, quite unique in nature. The lush green environs of the zoological park are a visual treat. If you’re travelling with kids, you must visit it for sure since they are going to love it.

The Ajmer Sharif Dargah:

This is a beautiful Sufi shrine that holds the ‘maqbara’ or grave of Sufi saint Garib Nawaz Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.It was built in the 13th century. The shrine is the prayer spot for people of all faiths , they flock here to have their prayers answered. The dargah has three gates: the Nizam gate(Main Gate), the Shah Jahan gate (built by the Mughal Emperor)and the Buland Darwaza. Another big reason this holy shrine is so well known is the sacred and delicious food that is served to all devotees. It is said that Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti is a direct descendant of prophet Muhammad.While travelling the world,it is said that he was urged by the prophet, in a dream, to visit India. He reached Ajmer, via Lahore, and then it became his home from 1192 till the year of his death ,1236 AD.Completely made out of marble and gold plating, the actual tomb is secured by a silver railing and a screen of marble.Visitors of the shrine are blessed with peace and joy, along with the scent of flowers, sweets and beautiful incense 

Soniji Ki Nasiyan:

Soniji ki Nasiyan or the  Ajmer Jain Temple is a wonderful example of intricate architecture. It is dedicated to the God Risabh or Adinath.The entrance is made of beautiful red stones .The marble staircase inside is embossed with images of the holy Tirthankars (omniscient teachers of Jain faith who preached righteousness). It was constructed in the late 19th century. The Ajmer Jain temple is ranked amidst the richest temples in India.The main chamber, Swarna Nagari (City of Gold), is absolutely fitting because of the several gold-plated wooden figurines it holds within its walls.A famous architectural marvel, the temple finds itself mentioned in Kurt Titze's book, ‘Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-Violence.’

Anasagar Lake:

Anasagar Lake is a beautiful scenic man-made lake. The lake was constructed by Arnoraj Chauhan, who is the son of Ajaypal Chauhan ; in the years 1135 and 1150 AD. Arnoraj was also called Anaji, which was used in the lakes name. Quite a few years later, Emperor Jahangir further beautified this lake by building the Daulat Bagh Gardens near it. Emperor Shah Jahan too,further beautifed it through expansion by building five pavilions. This is known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.Be sure to come and catch a glimpse of this beautiful lake and enjoy the serenity of the gardens beside it.

Pushkar Lake:

Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’ ( King of Pilgrimages) in the Hindu Scriptures. Without a dip in Pushkar Lake, all pilgrimages are considered incomplete. It is Semi-circular in shape and is about 8-10 metres deep. The Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and more than 400 temples. Legend says that a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma ( The Creator God) and Pushkar Lake was born. Hindu mythology mentions the Panch Sarovars or (Five Lakes) of which, Pushkar Lake is considered to be the most venerated. Believers regard that bathing in its waters, on Kartika Poornima (this is during the Pushkar fair) nullifies all sins and cures all kinds of skin diseases. The 52 bathing ghats and the water around each ghat is believed to have special medicinal powers.Buses from every hour come to Pushkar Lake from the Ajmer station.

Brahma Temple:

Embedded in the beautiful Pushkar valley after the Nangaparvat and the Anasagar Lake, the Brahma temple sits gracefully. This temple has a special importance for Indians. It’s the only temple in the whole wide world dedicated to Lord Brahma. The temple is made of marble and adorned with silver coins. It’s most distinctive for its red spire and the image of a swan.(Swans are considered sacred as they are related to Lord Brahma). The inner sanctum (graba griha) is the abode of The Chaturmukhi (four faced) idol of Lord Brahma. A marble statue of the sun god stands majestically in the temple.Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is dedicated to the Hindu God of Creation, Lord Brahma. It is very close to the Pushkar Lake. The temple is about 2000 years old. Pushkar has more than 500 temples, however the Brahma temple is the most favoured among them.

Rangji Temple:

The Rangji Temple is one of the famous temples in Pushkar, this is one spot that attracts a huge number of devotees and tourists. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rangji, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is beautiful and gracefully built, under the influence of South Indian,Rajput and Mughal architecture style.The highrise ‘Gopuram’, usually seen in the temples in South India is the main feature of the temple, that attracts visitors.

Mayo College:

Mayo College , an old and reputed boarding school is actually one of India’s oldest independent boarding schools. It was founded in the year 1875, and named after Sir Richard Bourke, the 6th Earl of Mayo. The College was built to provide the scions of India’s princely states with education similar to what was provided by the Eton College in Britain. John Lockwood Kipling, father of the Nobel Laureate, Rudyard Kipling,was principal of Mayo College. He furnished the design of the Coat of Arms , which shows a Bhil and a Rajput warrior. The college is one of the finest examples of Indo-Saracenic style architecture.

Man Mahal:

One of the most beautiful and well known palaces of Pushkar, the Man Mahal was built as a guest house ; for The Raja Man Singh I.It is one among the most famous places to visit in Pushkar.It’s Rajasthani architecture; back from the old royal era,makes it an amazingly rewarding visual treat. Now, the palace has been converted into a vintage hotel, called the RTDC Hotel Sarovar.It not only allows tourists to enjoy the beauty of the palace, but also pampers them with the breathtaking view of the lakes and temples surrounding it.

Sai Baba Temple:

The Sai Baba Temple in Ajmer was Built by Suresh K Lal. He was a resident of the Garib Nawaz City in the year 1999. It spawns over an area of over two acres, at Ajay Nagar. It’s one of the most popular temples among all Sai Baba devotees. The temple has been constructed with the purest version of marble that possesses the unique quality of a translucent stone, allowing light to pass through it. Every Sai Baba disciple should definitely visit this shrine once in their lifetime.

Pap Mochini Temple:

Pap Mochini Temple is the abode of the Goddess Ekadashi Mata. This temple is said to provide believers deliverance from their cardinal sin. The temple sits in the northern sector of Pushkar. Pap Mochini temple is likened to a precious pearl in the crown of Pushkar. Its wondrous architecture and immense spiritual value makes it one of the most important temples in Pushkar that you must not miss.

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Destinations

Udaipur

Udaipur is a attractive city, set in the midst of the Aravalli Ranges of Rajasthan. Prominent for its picturesque lakes, Udaipur also called 'the city of lakes'. The elevated hills and the beautiful lakes make a picture-perfect backdrop to the Udaipur city. Udaipur is regarded as one of the most romantic cities of the World and then, also known as the 'Venice of East'. In context of Rajasthan, Udaipur is the second most-sought after tourist destination of the state, the first being Jaipur. Udaipur had been the capital of Mewar for centuries.

City Is Famous For:
Udaipur is a very popular tourist destination. Known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces, Udaipur was also voted as the best city in the World in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine.
Environmental Conditions:
The best time to stay Udaipur is between the months of September and March.
Nearest Airport:
Maharana Pratap Airport.
Local Language:
Hindi & Rajasthani.
Place of Interest:
City Palace,Fateh Prakash Palace, The Lake Palace,Bangore Ki Haveli,Maharana Pratap Memoria,city palace Museum,Shilpgram Museum,Ahar Museum, Vintage Collection of Classic car Museum, Lake Pichola,Fateh sagar Lake,Jaisamand Lake,Rajsamand Lake.
Prominent Hotels:
Trident Udaipur,Taj Lake Palace Udaipur,Radisson Blue Udaipur,Rajputana, Udaipur,Boheda Palace, TheOberai Udaivillas, Ramada Udaipur, The Lalit Laxmi Villas & The Leela Palace.

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