Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Royal Rajasthan

The land of Royals, located in North Western India, bordering with Pakistan. Most of Rajasthan's land mass falls in the Thar desert. Also, know as the Great Indian Desert. This inhospitable terrain forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan.

Rajasthan known for it's Royalty, has plenty of Fortresses, Palaces and rich history that goes with it. Kings feared and dreaded for their warfare, courage and valor. 

Thar Desert

The Great Indian Desert
Ship Of The Desert
Mount Abu

Rajasthan comprises of one the oldest mountain ranges in the world, Aravalli Range. The only hill station of the state, Mount Abu. The 11th Century Dilwara jain temple attracts thousands of pilgrims all round the year. It is one of the most beautiful Jain temples in the world., famous for exquisite and beautiful marble carvings. 

Sunset Over Nakki Lake
Udaipur, City Of Lakes 

Jag Mandir Island Palace
One of the most beautiful and scenic city in India. Famous lakes are Picola and Fateh sagar lakes. Picola houses the Taj Lake palace and Jag mandir Island palace. Both palaces are now converted into luxury hotels. 

Taj Lake Palace
One of the most romantic cities. Udaipur is referred to as 'Venice Of The East.' The City Palace Complex has multiple palaces and places of worship built in granite and marble. It also houses the crystal gallery, that consists of a complete range of household items in crystal that have never been used. A few to mention king size crystal bed, jewel studded carpet, sofa, crockery etc.

A Small Section Of City Palace
Jodhpur, Blue City

Old City Painted In Blue
Like any other royal city Jodhpur houses forts, palaces, havelis and magnificent places of worship. Jodhpur is termed as Gateway to the Thar. It is placed in the edge of the great desert. 

Massive Mehrangarh Fort
Drive from Jodhpur to Jaiselmer is unique and amazing. Jodhpur city grew around the magnificent Mehrangarh fort. The vivid blue painted houses around the fort are eye candy. Hence the name 'Blue City.'

Umaid Bhawan Palace, the Maharaja of Jodhpur lives here even today. Half of the palace is converted to luxury hotel.

Umaid Bhawan Palace
Jaipur, Pink City

Jaipur Palace Complex
Jaipur, also known as Pink city of India, is one of the first planned cities. It attracts tons of tourist, it is a part of tourist golden triangle - Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Jaipur has several attractions like Jal mahal, Hawa mahal, city palace etc. 

Jal Mahal
Hawa Mahal
Jaisalmer, Golden City

Jaisalmer lies in the heart of Thar desert. A camel safari in the dunes of the desert is an unforgettable experience. The yellow sand stone used in constructions earns the name Golden City Of India. Unlike other forts in India, Jaisalmer fort aka 'Sonar Quila' is a living fort. 

The Golden Fort
Visiting the havelis and dune safaris is a must. 

Desert Safari At Sam Dunes
Manganiyar Playing Kamaycha
Bikaner, City Of Chaat

Needless to say Binaker is most famous for its sweets and namkeen. The market road is teeming with chat outlets and is a paradise for food lovers. Bhujia from this part of India is exported to all parts of the world. Digging into sankhla kulfi is a must.

Laxmi Niwas Palace
Another great attraction is Laxmi Nivas Palace, part of which is converted to luxury hotel. It has an in-house museum worth a visit. 

Desert safaris are also available. Considered second only to Jaisalmer. 

Ajmer, And Pushkar 

Encircled by the breathtaking Aravalli range, Ajmer and Pushkar are famous for pilgrimage sites, Sufi Dargah and Bhrama Temple respectively. 

Dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is located in the foot hills of Taragarh. Adhai din ka Joompra a hindu temple converted into a mosque by Qutbuddin Aybak is worth a visit. It was converted in two and a half days, hence the name. 

Pushkar is only 11 kms away from Ajmer. Pushkar houses a 14th century temple for Lord Bhrama. According to Hindu Purana Pushkar is the only place where Bhrama could be worshiped


Kumbhalgarh Fort
The massive fort on a hill top was built thru 15 to 19th century by Rana Kumbha. Its the birthplace of the great king Maharana Pratap known for his valor. The outer walls of this massive fort extend to 38 kms. Claimed to be the second longest continuous wall after the Great wall of China. The outer wall could be see from any part of the city. 

Small Section Of the 36 km Long Fort Wall
Other attraction is the Kumbhalgarh wildlife park. One of the most difficult terrains, you can either trek or hire a 4 by 4 jeep safari. The park is home for endangered leopards, four horned antelope. You can also spot wild species of birds. 

Crested Hawk-Eagle

Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh is home for the largest fort in India. The fort is famous for Jauhar (act of immolating by jumping into fire) of Rani Padmini. It is believed that women of the royal family performed Jauhar in the thousands. The Merwars have exhibited courage and bravery, they embraced death instead of surrendering to enemy forces.  

Meera Mandir
Meera mandir dedicated to Lord Krishna. Fort also houses Vijay/Kriti Stambha, Rana Kumbha/Padmini Palace. 

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