Kota

Kota, Rajasthan – Where you will get a perfect blend of medieval & modern era

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Located just 178 kilometers away from Chittorgarh in Kota you will find an amazing combination of majestic medieval age and modern industrialization. The city lies on the eastern bank of the River Chambal. Earlier it was a part of Bundi state, but later it grew to be a bigger state. The place boasts of its past glory that is exhibited by the untouched wealth of impressive forts, opulent palaces and temples dating back over several centuries. The Kota state has some special architectural work that is reflected in the form of a beautiful collection of Stone Idols (murties) in the Raj Mahal, embellished with gold stained glass work on the walls, the silver mirror work on ceilings and the marvellous wall paintings. The place is also famous for its Kota saree.

Places to see at Kota: Kota being a quaint tourist destination offers multifarious tourist attractions.

Maharao Madho Singh Museum

The Museum is located in the old magnificent palace. The exquisite sculptures, frescoes and murals present a breathtaking view. The armoury section of the museum is amazing with numerous varieties of arms like swords, knives, bows and arrow, pistols, rifles etc. The museum also exhibits some of the creative things that were used by the erstwhile rulers of Kota. One of the main attractions of Maharao Madho Singh Museum at Kota is the huge collection of Rajput miniature paintings belonging to the Kota school of art. The museum was a palace in the past where the rulers of Kota used to live and rule the kingdom. The museum has derived its name from the son of the ruler of Bundi who was declared as the first ruler of Kota by Jehangir, the Mughal emperor. While viewing the exhibits of Maharao Madho Singh Museum we get a wonderful glance into the splendour and history of the place. The museum is closed for visitors on Fridays and holidays declared by the state.

Kota Government Museum

Kota Government Museum is located in the Brijvilas Palace near the Kishore Sagar in the state of Rajasthan. The museum portrays the rich cultural heritage of the state.

Chambal Garden

Located at the bank of river Chambal, the Chambal Garden is one of the most beautiful picnic spots in the Indian city of Kota. Visitors can enjoy peace in the lap of exquisite greenery while in this city. The major attraction of the ChambalGarden in Kota is the wonderful pond situated just in the middle of the greenery. This pond is full of crocodiles attract a large number of tourists to this place during the winter months. This muddy pond can be crossed by shaky bridge suspended at a very low height.

There are also many gharials found in this murky pond. They are the thin and the snouted crocodiles living on fishes. These creatures attract many adventures picnickers to the Chambal Garden located in Kota.  The peace loving people can enjoy this place as equally. Strolling down the vast green vistas overlooking the lively river is truly a wonderful experience.

Haveli of Devtaji

The Haveli of Devtaji is not merely a splendid palace, the place is also interesting for its major historical significance. Like most of the other enigmatic palatial buildings in the Indian state of Rajasthan, the Haveli of Devtaji in Kota stand as a witness to the rich Rajput past of the region. The beauty of this palace lies mainly in the fantastic murals. These frescoes display the remnants of the splendid tradition of which the palace was an important part. One of the major characteristic features of the Rajput palaces is the presence of a large number of rooms. The Haveli of Devtaji is no exception to this. The walls of all the rooms of this Haveli of Kota are decorated with splendid paintings. These paintings in the Haveli of Devtaji make the visitors get a glimpse of the ancient glory of the land of the brave Rajput rulers.

Kishore Sagar and Jag Mandir

Rajasthan, the land of the brave Rajputs is famous among the tourists for the exquisite palatial structures that are spread all over the state. The palaces and the forts here stand as the remnants of the rich past of this enigmatic place. Kishore Sagar and Jag Mandir is also one such place in Kota. Kishore Sagar is a beautiful tank that was artificially constructed by the royal family of this historic place. It is located between the CityPalace and the Hotel Chambal of the RTDC. Just in the middle of this picturesque tank on a small island there is the palace of Jagmandir located.

This palace is a majestic structure made of red sand stone. It is said that the Jagmandir of Kota was built by a Maharani of this place in the year of 1740. This elegant palace is best to see in the morning light. The red stone structure appears elegant with its beauty enhanced amidst the cerulean water of the Kishore Sagar. During the other parts of the day the beauty of this Rajput palace in Kota is can be enjoyed as well. One can also go for boating in the clear blue water of the Kishore Sagar on their trip.

The majestic beauty of the structure of the Jagmandir in Kota is appreciated by tourists from all over the world. The palace is also admired for its rich and fascinating architectural beauty. Kishore Sagar and Jag Mandir are among the most popular tourist attractions in Kota.

Nearby attractions from Kota: Just 87 km from Kota is the princely State of the Jhalawar. It was created in 1838 AD, after being separated from Kota by the British. It is best explored by foot within the city and also by a horse safari in the outskirts, as Jhalawar boasts of rich natural wealth, with vibrant flora and fauna. Jhalawar is known for its exquisite pre-historic cave paintings, massive forts, thick woody forests, exotic wild life and a lush country side which has red poppy fields and orange-laden orchards. Small wonder then the city looks fascinating and colourful during winters.

Things to do at Kota: Besides sightseeing shopping is the best activity you can do in Kota. The place is famous for its Kota Doria sarees which is one of the favourites of the saree lovers. You can also shop some beautiful potteries and stone crafts in Kota. Specifically the stone crafts serve as the perfect souvenirs and gift items to take back home with you. Apart from these, another well-known handicraft of Kota consists of the miniature paintings. They can serve as gifts for others as well as decoration items for your home.

Best time to visit Kota: The best season to visit Kota is from October to February.

How to go ?

By Air

The airport at Kota is well maintained and is well connected with all the major cities of India. Most of the major airlines have flights to and fro from Kota. From the airport, you can hire a cab or taxi to take you to your lodgings. Traveling by air saves you a lot of time and is very comfortable. Kota by Flight – Get flight timings and schedule for how to reach Kota by air. Read reviews & details on how to reach Kota by flight.

By Rail

Kota is well connected on the main Mumbai-Delhi rail route via Sawai Madhopur. Plenty of express trains, some superfast and Rajdhani regularly reach Kota from Delhi and Mumbai. It is also connected by a super fast train leaving daily from Jaipur to Mumbai Central. 

By Road

There are express and deluxe buses to Kota at regular interval from Jaipur via Tonk, Devli and Bundi, journey time about 5 hrs. There are also regular bus connections to Chittorgarh and Udaipur and other places in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh bordering Rajasthan. Local auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are the alternatives for local transport.

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Where to stay ?

A number of hotels and lodges are available in Kota suitable to budgets.

Hotel Chambal (RTDC): +91-0744- 2326527
Hotel Brij Raj Bhawan Palace: +91-0744-2450529
Hotel Maheshwari: +91-0744-2371384, 9829035925,9414189949  Website: www.maheshwariresort.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Sariska_National_Park

Sariska National Park, Rajasthan – An abode of wild animals

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Located in north-west of Rajasthan, Sariska is 107 km from Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. The park spans over an area of 800 sq km. The core area is however of 500 sq km. Sariska being one of the major travel destinations of India, it is also a tiger reserve. It is a scenic tourist destination with Aravalli hills at its background. Sariska is a treasure trove for the wild life lovers. It offers an excellent wild life experience. The landscape is dominated by sharp cliffs of hills and narrow valleys of Aravalli. The Sariska National Park in Rajasthan, India is especially known for its population of Tigers. This park is also a home to numerous carnivores including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Civets Hyena, Jackal. These feed on species such as Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur. Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys, which are found around Talvriksh.

Places to see in Sariska National Park: Within the Sariska wildlife sanctuary, there are a number of tourist attractions.

The Kankwari Fort

The Kankwari Fort is a historic landmark located within the Sariska national park. It is here where the Emperor Aurangzeb once imprisoned his brother, Dara Shikoh.

The Ancient Shiva Temples

Within the area of the Sariska tiger sanctuary, Neelkanth temples, that dates back to the 6th-13th century AD, now in ruins, afford a wonderful sight to the visitors.

The Palace 

Sariska was known as the royal reserve of the rulers of Alwar. This palace built by the Maharajas of Alwar, has now been converted into a hotel.

Nearby attractions around Sariska National Park: Sariska is also adorned by a number of popular nearby locations.

Alwar

Just 116 km from Bharatpur,,this city is considered as the gateway to the royal state of Rajasthan. There are many tourist attractions here reflecting the glorious Rajput history of the place. The main attractions of Alwar are the Bala Quila and the CityPalace complex. There is a lake beside the CityPalace, a government museum and the tomb of Tarang Sultan.

Deeg

Situated 32 kms north-west of Bharatpur, Deeg was once the preferred summer resort of and the second capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Bharatpur. It was built to serve as a holiday resort for the Jat rulers of Bharatpur but also has a fort with twelve bastions. The largest of these, Lakha Burj, is mounted with cannon, even today. The buildings of Deeg form a large rectangle, enclosing a garden and two large tanks, one at each end. The largest structure is the impressive Gopal Bhawan where, even on a summer day, the air is cool and refreshing. The most striking part of the complex is the summer pavilion, Keshav Bhawan. In the days of glory, the 500 fountains around the pavilion spouted coloured water on special occasions, while fireworks lit up the night sky.

Siliserh  Lake

Sited near the Sariska tiger reserve, is the fascinatingly charming Siliserh Lake, overlooking a marvellous palace which was built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1845 A. D. for his queen, Shila. The lake makes for a good picnic spot and offers options for boating and sailing. The palace here has now been converted into a tourist resort for visitors. Crocodiles are the major inhabitants of this lake.

Things to do in Sariska: Enjoy the safari trip within the lush green forest to catch the glimpse of the various wildlife species.  You can also make excursion trip to various destinations mentioned above.

Best time to visit Sariska: The best time to visit the SariskaNational Park is throughout the year. If you want to avoid the scorching heat, it is advised to visit it during the months of October to March. The park is open to public from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM but stays closed on most national holidays.

How to go ?

By Air

The Jaipur Sanganer Airport is the nearest airport from Sariska and is located in Sanganer, approximately 107 kilometers from the National Park. All major destinations are well-connected to the JaipurAirport.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is located at Alwar, 37 kilometers away from the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary.

By Road

Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is located off the Delhi-Alwar-Jaipur Road. Jaipur is located 107 kilometers away from the wildlife sanctuary and 200 kilometers from the country’s capital, New Delhi. Sariska is well-connected with Alwar, which is directly connected to NH-8.

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Where to stay ?

In Sariska you may not get abundant of accommodation facilities. However some options are:

The FortView Camp: +91-  01465- 224343  Website: www.sariskacamp.com
Sariska Tiger Camp: +91-93140 17210, 99581 26253, 93140 17110

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Shekhawati

Shekhawati, Rajasthan – The land adorned by exceptionally beautiful havelis

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A small semi desert region in north Rajasthan Shekhawati is situated entirely within the triangle formed by Delhi-Bikaner-Jaipur. Shekhawati represents an entire region and is not just a town or fort. The region derives its name from its ruler Rao Shekha. Shekhawati means the garden of Shekha.

The towns of Shekhawati region are well known for their amazing painted havelis. So varied and architecturally rich are the havelis that this region is also named as the “open art gallery of Rajasthan” by the art-lovers. Enriched by the painted Havelis in rich artistic tradition really fascinates the visitors. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century. The Shekhawati region is dotted with so many havelis that tracking them is something akin to a treasure hunt. Various forms of fine art decorates the walls and the ceilings of these structures as a contrast to the otherwise flat and barren land. The havelis are noted for their frescoes depicting mythological themes and huge animals. Some later day frescoes reflect British influence in the form of steam locomotives and trains depicted on them. Thus the place is named as open air art gallery by the art lovers.

Places to see at Shekhawati: The exceptionally beautiful painted havelis are the major tourist attractions in the Shekhawati region.

Mandawa

The 18th century town of Mandawa is famous for its enchanting havelis. It is located in the Jhunjhunu district.  A painted archway decorated with Lord Krishna and his cowherds leads to the bazaar. The terrace of castle Mandawa offers a panoramic view of the town. It also has a magnificent fort, now a hotel, with excellent paintings and a small museum. The most attractive havelis in Mandawa include Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka, Ladia and Gulab Rai havelis, all of them displaying some of the finest murals in Shekhawati on both the exterior and interior walls.

Dundlod

Located in the centre of the Shekhawati region, Dundlod is famous for its 18th century fort and havelis. The Fort’s Diwan-e-Khana is furnished with stained glass windows and good paintings. The Jagathia and Goenka havelis with beautiful frescoes courtyards are the major tourist attractions in Dundlod.

Nawalgarh

Nawalgarh is famous for some of the finest frescoes in the Shekhawati region. This town was founded in 1737 by Thakur Nawal Singh, The town has a fort and a number of beautiful havelis including the Aath Haveli, Anaadilal Poddar Haveli, Jodhraj Patodia Haveli, Bansidhar Bhagat Haveli, and Chokhani Haveli.

Mukungarh

Built around a temple square, a few kilometres from Nawalgarh, Mukungarh has a magnificent fort, which is now converted, into a resort hotel with all modern amenities. There are a few prominent properties here in the form of havelis of Kanoria and Ganriwal, which carry fine examples of fresco paintings.

Jhunjhunu

Jhunjhunu is a serene location in the Shekhawati, famous for its beautifully painted havelis. The 18th century Khetri Mahal, BiharijiTemple and Mertani Baori (step-well) with beautiful paintings are the major tourist attractions in Jhunjhunu. Among havelis the Modi Haveli has some of the best paintings in the Shekhawati area. The 19th century Tibrewala Haveli in the main bazaar has many murals on it and colored glass windows.

Khetri-mahal

Bhopal Singh, the founder of Khetri is believed to have built it in 1770 AD.Located behind a series of lanes Khetri Mahal is one of the finest examples of Shekhawati art and architecture. Though now desolate the beauty and symmetry of its elegant arches can still be appreciated.

Pilani

Once a small village, it is now famous for being the hometown of the premier business and industrial family, the Birlas. The town is also known for The Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS, Pilani), an all-India Institute for higher education. Its engineering college is reputed to be among the top ten colleges in India. Late Mr G.D. Birla – an eminent industrialist and an associate of Mahatma Gandhi founded the Institute. Other places of interest are The BITS Museum, Shiva Ganga, Saraswati temple and the Pachwati. Pilani is connected by road from Delhi and Jaipur. Its nearest railhead is Chirawa. Pilani also has good hotels.

Churu

Churu is also famous for its excellent havelis. Here the major tourist attractions in Churu  the Kanhaiya Lal Bagla Haveli (1870), the Kothari Haveli (1915) and the Surana Haveli with more then 1,100 doors and windows. Churu Fort is another not to be missed attraction here.

Fatehpur

Once ruled by the Muslim Nawabs, Fatehpur is a historic town in Shekhawati, famous for its beautiful frescoes. The frescoes on the Devra and Singhania havelis are an outstanding combination of Indian and Western styles. Goenka Haveli has excellent paintings on its walls, including several depicting Krishna’s pastimes.

Salasar Balaji

Salasar Balaji refers to famous temple of Shankatmochan Hanuman, which is located in a small town called Salasar. The holy temple requires no introduction to Hindus any where in the world. The history of this temple dates back to 1811 AD. In a village called Asota a farmer while ploughing his field struck a rock under the earth and recovered it. When it was cleaned by his wife, it emerged as an idol of Lord Hanuman. The Thakur of that village dreamt of being asked to shift the idol to Salasar. At the same time, a devotee of Lord Hanuman called Mean Das also had an identical dream. The idol was thus sent to Salasar with all care and devotion for installation. The village came to known as the Salasar Dham. There is now a well developed concrete temple with a large complex. Lakhs of followers from all over the world visit this holy place all the year around.

Khatu Shyam

The legend of this immensely popular Krishna temple can be traced back to the epic, Mahabharat ,where Barbareek, the son of great Pandav brother, Bhim and Nag Kanya (snake princess) displayed his great martial skills. This pleased Lord Shiva who gave his blessings in the form of three infallible arrows (‘Teen Ban’) and Agni Dev (fire god) gave him a bow to enable him to conquer all the three worlds.  In order to watch the famous war of Mahabharat he rode towards the battle field and in between his tryst with Lord Krishna in disguise became a vital part of history and thus the incarnation of Khatu Shamji.

Bissau

Is another small town of fluctuating fortunes. Keshri Singh founded the town. It fell into anarchy when his grandson Shyam Singh extorted huge sums of money from the local merchants. The merchants packed up and fled the town and the local Thakurs indulged in looting and theft. However, after the death of Shyam Singh, his heir restored normalcy and the merchants were encouraged to return.

Shakambhari Shri

The famous temple of Maa Bhagwati Shakambhari, also known as Sakarai Mata, is situated in Sikar district of Shekhawati region. The temple is 56 kms east of Sikar located amidst the green valley of the Aravalis.

Nearby attractions from Shekhawati: From Shekhawati you can make a visit to places like

Jaipur

The pink city of India is just 8km from Shekhawati. This is one of the most favoured tourist destinations in India. The city is filled with forts, monuments, palaces, gardens, temples and museums.

Bikaner

Bikaner is another popular tourist spot that is just 5hrs from Bikaner. The place is famous for its sweets namely the Bikaneri Bhujia. The city has several important tourist spots such as Junagarh Fort and Lalgarh Palace. There are other prominent tourist spots such as Laxmi Niwas Palace, Shivbari Temple, Karni Mata Temple, and Gajner Palace.

Things to do in Shekhawati: While visiting  Shekhawati, you can enjoy a range of leisure activities like taking a leisure walk trip of havelis, Horse and Camel Safaris and shopping for imitations of art pieces from the havelis on cloth, decorative items or carved furniture such as chests, chairs, cradles, low tables, stools and wooden doors. The colorful Shekhawati Festival held every year in the month of February is another must see attraction in Shekhawati.

Best time to visit Shekhawati: The prime time to visit Shekhawati is from October until March, when the weather is the coolest and driest. If you go in early February, you’ll be able to catch the annual Shekhawati Festival that takes place in Nawalgarh.

How to go ?

By Air

Sanganer Airport Jaipur (150 Km approx.) is the nearest one after Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi (250 Km approx). Direct flights from all the major cities of the world touches DelhiAirport. Hence it is easy for one to reach Shekhawati from any corner of the world by first arriving at Delhi and then taking either Rail or Road route to reach Shekhawati.

By Train

The nearest Railway Station is Jhunjhunu Railway Station which is connected to the all major cities of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Sariska, Delhi, Indore and Pune through Rewari-Sikar Passenger, Shekhawati Express and Sadulpur Passenger.

By Road

Just 8 Kms from Jaipur,  Shekhawati is very well connected to various major cities by road.

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Where to stay ?

Not many accommodation facilities are available in Shekhawati. Some options are:

Tourist Bungalow ( RTDC): +91-1592-238266
Hotel Apani Dhani Tourist Lodge: + 91-1594-222239  Website: www.apanidhani.com
Hotel Shekhawati: +91- 01592-223036  Website: www.hotelshekhawati.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Ranthambore

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan – A paradise for the nature lovers

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

Stretched over an area of 400 sq. kilometer, the park has two other the Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary. It is located in the mid of Aravalli and Vidhya range. The scenery changes dramatically from gentle and steep slopes of the Vindhyas to the sharp and conical hills of the Aravali. Inside the jungle stands the dilapidated old fort of Ranthambore. This tenth century fort also blends accurately with the background.  The tigers are the main attraction of the national park thus making it a tiger reserve also.

Places to see at Ranthambore National Park: Ranthambore is counted as the famous heritage site because of the pictorial ruins that dot the wildlife park. Apart from the animals and birds, the natural beauty of the park will cast a magic spell. Certainly, a visit to Ranthambore National Park is a treat for every wildlife and nature lover. The park has some interesting sight seeing locations.

Bakuala 

The National Park is covered with thick forest over a large part of its area. One of the thickly forested regions is called the Bakaula region. Bakaula consists of dense forest, with many small pools and water holes in clearings in the vegetation. Because of the excellent forest cover and availability of water, the Bakaula region in National Park Ranthambore has an abundance of wildlife. Tigresses with young cubs are often seen near the water holes in Bakaula, since the dense forest provides cool hides for a tigress and her young. Bakaula is one of the coolest regions of National Park Ranthambore, where many birds can be seen in the trees and small animals like squirrels and monkeys rush through the forest.

Kachida Valley 

This valley, consisting of many rocky outcrops and low hills, is located close to the outskirts of the park. A jeep would be the ideal mode of transport when trying to visit this area. This area contains a majority of the Panther population of the park. The panthers avoid venturing into the main jungle to avoid conflicts with tigers, who are known to kill them. This area also has a good population of beers.

Lakarda Anantpura 

These areas located in the North-Western and Northern regions of the park are ideal locations to visit if you are looking for Sloth Bears. These areas have a lot of ant hills, which are a favourite of the bears. Although very rarely seen themselves, the pugmarks of the Indian striped Hyenas are often seen here. Their numbers are not very large in the park.

Raj Bagh Ruins 

These ruins are located between the Padam Talao (lake) and the Raj Bagh Talao. These ancient stone structures like arches, palace outhouses, domes and steps give the area an aura that is not possible to find anywhere else in the world. Especially if you include the jungle surroundings and are one of the lucky few who come across one of the resident tigers. These ruins are what give the RanthamboreNational Park such a unique mixture of a wildlife reserve and a reminder of the past, which together make it one of the most picturesque parks in the entire world.

Padam Talao 

This is the largest of the lakes present in the park. The famous and beautiful Jogi Mahal is located at the very edge of this lake. When in season, the water lilies that give the lake it’s name, can be seen in plenty. In the early hours of the morning and just before sunset, animals can be seen in large numbers on the lake side. It is in the shallow waters of this lake that the famous “lake hunters” of Ranthambore operate, the most legendary of which was the tiger, Genghis. It is also along this lake’s edges that the rare sighting of the chinkara is most probable.

Ranthambore Fort 

 Standing majestically atop a hill this fort overlooks the entire park. The walk up, one of the only places this mode of transport is possible, is a very refreshing and exciting one as even the big cats have been spotted up there! The view of the surrounding keeps getting better and better as you go up but the view from the fort itself can only be described as breathtaking. It is advisable to take along a good pair of binoculars and if possible a camera with a very powerful lens when visiting the fort.

You can easily catch a glimpse of the soaring Serpent eagles, vultures and other birds. Many animals can also be seen along the edges of all the water bodies, which are all visible from here. The fort itself also offers many interesting architectural and historical sights worth viewing and photographing. A trip to the fort is a must if you are a first time visitor to the park. If you take a guide with a good knowledge of the fort’s history it is really beneficial for you.

Nearby attractions from Ranthambore National Park: There are some renowned destinations across the Ranthambore National Park that can lead you to the most investing exploration.

Agra

Agra has long been renowned as the city of the Taj Mahal. This has often overshadowed the fact that this royal Mughal has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many magnificent monuments that epitomise the high point of the Mughal architectural achievement. Not even Delhi the seat of kings and emperors for over a thousand years, can boast such a heritage of architectural and cultural splendour from the golden age of the Great Mughals.

Bharatpur

The 28.73 sq. km. lake and wetland was artificially created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the 19th century. In 1956 as a bird sanctuary, 1981 as a national park. A princely state in the past Bharatpur is also often called the “Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan. Keolodeo Ghana National Park is an important international bio-sphere known for its large and varied avid fauna, both local and migratory. By building small dykes and dams and diverting water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low lying area into a fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water-birds. Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers.

Jaipur 

Founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II , Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. It is a major attraction for the first-time visitor. Jaipur is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills, crowned with forts & enclosed by embattled walls.

The Old City (Known as the Pink City) is a great place to wander around and savour the superb architectural constructions. The whole city was painted in Pink colour by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876 AD. Today, every home within the city is obliged by law to maintain its facade. It is a very well planned city laid out in a grid pattern and was designed by a young Bengali engineer and scholar by the name “Vidyadhar Bhattacharya”.

Things to do at Ranthambore National Park: It is an ideal place of visit for the wild life and nature lovers. Staying amidst the lush green vegetation and catching the glimpse of a number of wild species is in itself a wonderful thing.

Best time to visit Ranthambore National Park: The best time to visit Ranthambore National park is from December and April when the weather is pleasant.

How to go ?

By Air

Jaipur is the nearest airport for RanthamboreNational Park. The Park is located just 180 km away from Jaipur city. One can hire cabs or avail bus services to reach the park.

By Rail

The nearest major railway station is Sawai Madhopur which is well connected to other major cities across India. One can hire a cab or avail the frequent private/public bus services from Sawai Madhopur to reach RanthamboreNational Park.

By Road

Ranthambore National Park is located just 11 km away from Sawai Madhopur and plenty of buses ply between Sawai Madhopur and the park. You can also hire cabs or taxis from Sawai Madhopur to reach your destination.

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Where to stay ?

There are adequate lodgings facilities available in Ranthambore. Some options are:

Hotel Vinayak (RTDC): +91-07462- 221333
Hotel Jhumar Bawri: +91-07462-220495
Hotel Ranthambore Bagh: +91-07462-221728  Website: www.ranthambhore.com
Hotel Anurag Resort: +91-07462-220751

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Jaipur

Jaipur, Rajasthan – The pink city

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Known as the pink city, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. The city is named after its founder, the warrior and astronomer sovereign, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (ruled 1700 to 1743). Designed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya some pink buildings and constructions are still found in the older Jaipur. The pink city can easily catch anyone’s admiration. Jaipur being a busy metropolis still holds an age old charm that really creating a sense of wonder upon the visitors. It is a major tourist destination in India.

Places to see in Jaipur: Jaipur has a number of tourist attractions that includes palaces, museum, fort and many other things. Being a city with rich architectural splendour, Jaipur is a historical wonderland.

Hawa Mahal

The poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is the icon of Jaipur. It is located in the City Palace complex, and is best viewed from the road outside. This five-storey building that faces the busy bazaar street is a fascinating example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its delicately honeycombed 953 pink sandstone windows known as ‘jharokhas’. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort. Most people come here to get a view of the facade but they can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum there.

Amber Fort

Just 11 km from Jaipur is the Fort of Amber. It was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachwahas of Amber, before the capital was shifted to the plains, the present day Jaipur. The architecture of the fort is the fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. The fort consists of sprawling gardens, grand, chambers and large rooms. A rich decoration and excellent planning mark the construction of the Amber Palace.

City Palace

Situated at the core of the pink city, this magnificent palace complex with its numerous edifices, vast courtyards and attractive gardens is the prominent example of the royal history. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh its architecture is a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture.  The Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal are some of the significant structures in the complex. To preserve the valuable items of the bygone era, many compartments of the palace have been converted into museums and art galleries. To witness the beauty of the palace, thousands of visitors from across the world visit the City Palace every year.

Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh fort stands at the edge of the Aravalli hills. The word Nahargarh means “abode of tigers”. The Fort gives a mesmerizing view of the pink city of Jaipur. The fort has been part of important historical events: treaties of the Marathas were signed here, and it was the refuge of British women during the Sepoy Mutiny. The fort served as a hunting residence for the kings.

Jantar Mantar

Built by Maharaja Jai Singh, this observatory, officially declared as the national monument, has a huge collection of astronomical instruments. Beautifully crafted in marble and local stone, it is one of the largest buildings in the country that is dedicated to the exploration of celestial bodies. It consists of around 14 fixed and focused devices that measure time, predict eclipses, track stars, and locate earth orbits around the sun.

Jaigarh Fort 

Most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts, Jaigarh fort overlooks Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of the weapons being on display in the fort’s museum. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon on wheels in the world. Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory. The display includes a collection of canons, many of which are exquisitely decorated and were used in the Mughal campaigns led by the Rajput King, Raja Man Singh.

Albert Hall

It is one of the oldest museums in Jaipur as well as in India, and was built by Sir Samuel Jacob in the 19th Century. It is known as the state’s museum for Rajasthan and is also well known as the Government Central Museum. The beautiful building is located in the Ram Niwas garden, and stands as the epitome of the conglomeration of the Indo Saracen architecture. Here one can find a rich collection of numerous artefacts like carpets, paintings, stones, ivory, sculptures made up of metal, crystal works decorated with colours and every item that depicts the royal culture of Rajasthan.

Moti Dungri and Ganesh Temple

In the middle of Jaipur is a small hill Moti Dungri meaning pearl hill, because it looks like a drop of pearl. An exotic palace is perched atop the hill which is a replica of a Scottish castle once occupied by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh. From there on, it remained a private property of the royal family. In the recent past it served as a home for Rajmata Gaytri Devi’s only son, the late Jagat Singh. The mere view of this castle is exotic enough. The highlight of this place is the famous and auspicious temple of Lord Ganesh, which is situated at the hill. It is frequented by Jaipurites on religious occasions.

Nearby attractions from Jaipur: From here you can visit the places like

Bagru

This place is just 35 kms away from Jaipur on the Ajmer road leading to Ajmer and is well known for hand block printing on cloth known as Bagru prints.

Tonk

Tonk is located 96 kms away from Jaipur. This is a quiet town which was ruled by ‘Pathans’ from Afghanistan. The focal point of Tonk is the Suneri Kothi, the Golden Bungalow. A fairly ordinary looking monument from outside, it has stunningly rich ornamental interiors. There are some interesting buildings that accommodated the British office. Tonk is also famous for its leather and felt industry and one can pick up a good bargain from the markets. The Nawab of Tonk was an avid book lover and built a sizable library of Arabic and Persian manuscripts. The Arabic and Persian Research Institute is also located here.

Sanganer

Sanganer is located 16 Kms from Jaipur. It is also known for exquisite Jain temples. Moreover, it is an important centre for crafts and hand-printed textiles that are internationally famous.

Karauli

Located at 182 km southwest of Jaipur, it was founded in 1348 and is best known for its famous temples Shri Madan Mohan Temple, Shri Mahaveer Temple, Shri Kaila Devi Temple, Shri Balaji Temple etc. The Bhanwar Vilas Palace, which is owned by the descendants of the royal family and resembles a large manor, is a heritage hotel now. The rooms and meals are available. Karauli is best connected by bus or taxi from Jaipur.

Virat Nagar

Situated on the Jaipur -Alwar state highway at a distance of about 75 Kms from Jaipur, Viratnagar is richly populated with unique and historical Venues which have largely escaped tourist attention.  It is in the area of important and recognized tourist destinations such as Sariska (a Project Tiger sanctuary), Siliserh, Ajabgarh- Bhangarh and Alwar. The venues are not only of great historical importance but are also in a reasonably good state. They can be easily opened to the ever- increasing tourist traffic to the colorful state if Rajasthan. Being close to Jaipur, Alwar and Delhi they can also serve as a welcome break for the tourists already traveling on this circuit. A complex of rock shelter and natural cave shelters found in different hills of Viratnagar indicate the presence of prehistorical people from the beginning of early stone age up to late stone age. The city is said to have been founded by King Virat in whose kingdom the five pandavas spent the thirteen-year of their exile in disguise (Agyatwas). The place Viratnagar assumed a special significance during the period of Mahabharata.

Things to do in Jaipur: Besides visiting these wonderful historical place, you can also be a part of the various fairs that is held in Jaipur every year like Elephant festival, Gangaur festival, Jaipur festival, Kite festival, Teej festival.

Best time to visit Jaipur: Jaipur has a warm climate but October to March can be described as the best time to visit the pink city.

How to go ?

By Air

The Jaipur Airport is situated at Sanganer, 7 km (domestic terminal) and 10 km (international terminal) from the main city. It connects the city to all the major parts of India as well as some of the major overseas countries. I

By Train

Jaipur is well connected to almost every part of India through the means of Indian Railways.

By Road

Jaipur, the pink city is linked with the all the major cities of India through the network of National Highways 8, 11 and 12 to name a few. There’s also a very good bus service between Jaipur and Delhi provided by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) with the buses at about every half an hour to and from both sides.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of lodging facility in Jaipur. Some options are:

Hotel Jaipur Palace: + 91-0141-2743161-64 Website: www.jaipurpalace.in
Hotel Umaid Mahal: +91-141-2201952, 2201954 Website: www.umaidmahal.com
Hotel Narain Niwas Palace: +91-141-256 1291, 256 3448 Website: www.hotelnarainniwas.com
Hotel Silver Plaza: +91- 0141- 228 3000 Website: www.hotelsilverplaza.in

Note: Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Pushkar

Pushkar, Rajasthan – The holy land of Lord Brahma

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The renowned hindu pilgrimage Pushkar is just 11km from Ajmer. According to Padma Puran, the Hindu religious text, Lord Brahma was in search of suitable place for a Vedic yagna. While contemplating, a lotus fell down from his hand on the earth and water spurted from three places, one of them being Pushkar and Lord Brahma decided to perform his yagna over here. Hence was the creation of Lake Pushkar. The town derives its name from the lake, which is a sanctified spot and is referred to as the “Tirtha Raj”, that is one of the most admired pilgrimage of the hindus. The town Pushkar is situated around the beautiful lake and surrounded on three sides by hills, while the fourth side is separated by sands which have drifted from the plains of Marwar. On the bank of the Pushkar lake is the Brahma temple. This temple is the only temple in the whole country. So if you are tired of the cacophony of city life and want to rest your soul amidst the serene atmosphere in a spiritual environment then Pushkar is an ideal place to visit.

Places to see at Pushkar: This holy town of Pushkar is dotted with a number of religious spots.

Pushkar Lake

The devout Pushkar Lake is believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. It is said to be as old as the creation itself. As per the Hindu Mythology there are Panch Sarovar (FiveLakes) namely, Man sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar. The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots. The devotees believe that one dip in the waters of the lake on Kartika Poornima is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years. The charming lake amidst the hills has fifty-two bathing ghats, built around the lake. The water around each ghat is supposed to have special healing power.

Brahma Temple

Brahma Temple is the main sight seeing spot of Pushkar. This temple is the only temple of Lord Brahma in the country. Lord Brahma is known as the creator of everything and therefore holds a position of importance among the Hindu deities. One of the most important religious spots Pushkar is revered greatly by the Hindus due to this BrahmaTemple

The beautiful structure of BrahmaTemple with a red spire distinguishes it from the other temples in Pushkar. This spectacular Temple is built with marble and its uniqueness is quite revealing. A Hans or Goose, the symbol of Lord Brahma, is seen at the entrance of the temple. The decorations of the temple of Lord Brahma include silver coins. A silver turtle adorns the black and white floor of BrahmaTemple.

The temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in Pushkar attracts a large number of pilgrims and tourists. The idol of Brahma is a full image with four hands and four faces. The faces of Brahma looking in the four directions symbolize the supervision of the Lord over the whole creation. The grandeur and magnificence of BrahmaTemple separates it from the other temples in Pushkar.

Varah Temple

The Varah temple is an oldest and significant temple of Pushkar. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple has an idol of Lord Vishnu in the incarnation of a wild boar (Varah). The temples of Lord Brahma and Varah are considered equally important. This ancient temple is believed to have been built by Chauhan King Anaji (1123-1150). Destroyed by the Ghazni it was reconstructed by Gokul Chand Parikh, a Scindia minister in 1806. Mythologically, a very important temple, it is believed that Lord Vishnu came on the earth in the incarnation of Varah (Wild boar) to kill the demon Hirnayaksh, who stole the Vedas from the gods. Lord Vishnu decided to liberate the land from his torture.

Savitri Temple

Located at Pushkar, this temple enshrines the deity Savitri. Goddess Savitri is the wife of Lord Brahma. This temple is built in a picturesque location, on the top of a hill. After ascending stairs we come to the door-steps of the temple. From this point, the tourists get to see the beautiful scenery of the surrounding lake and the landscape. The sand dunes that are found around the temple also attract the attention of the tourists.

Gayatri Temple

Gayatri Temple is another important temple among the host of 400 temples in the land of Pushkar. Gayatri was another wife of Lord Brahma. The origin of Gayatri lies in mythology. When Lord Brahma decided to perform a yagna (ceremonial sacrifice) he dropped a lous flower to determine the place. That is how the lake of Pushkar came into existence.

Mahadeva Temple

Mahadeva Temple in Pushkar is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. The god is one of the Hindu Trinity that represents Creation, Sustenance and Destruction. According to the Hindu Puranas, Lord Mahadeva is the god of destruction.

Saraswati Temple

Saraswati temple is another important tourist attraction out of 400 odd temples in Pushkar. Saraswati is another wife of Lord Brahma. Literally ‘Saraswati’ means the flowing one. There are abundant references of Saraswati in the ancient Hindu scriptures and mythology.

Nearby attractions from Pushkar: Pushkar includes a number of nearby attractions.

Kishangarh

Kishangarh is 27 Kms north east of Ajmer and was founded by Kishan Singh, a Rathore Prince. In the 18th century, it attained fame as one of the finest schools of miniature paintings. Though a smaller school with a much shorter duration it had a more refined style. It peaked under the patronage of Savant Singh, an heir to the throne who later became a hermit. It is said that Savant Singh modelled as Krishna while his mistress nicknamed as Bani Thani modelled for Radha. Paintings of Bani Thani are most celebrated. The artists of this school favoured evening lights and grey skies with fine colours. This outstanding school lasted only a few decades. Today the artists still create reproductions of the work. Kishangarh is now an industrial town for marble and textiles. It is connected by train and bus.

Tilonia

Tilonia is a small town 25 kms from Kishangarh near Ajmer and 7 kms off Jaipur-Ajmer highway. A distinctive feature of the town is Barefoot college, which began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. The College, officially known as Social Work and Research Centre, addresses problems of drinking water, girl education, health and sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.

Things to do at Pushkar: The religious locations are worth exploring in Pushkar.

The Pushkar Cattle Fair is one of the largest in India and the only one of its kind in the entire world. During the fair, Lakhs of people from rural India flock to Pushkar, along with camel and cattle for several days of livestock trading, horse dealing, pilgrimage and religious festival.

This small town, becomes a cultural phenomenon when colourfully dressed devotees, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, ‘sadhus’ and tourists reach here during Pushkar fair. According to Hindu chronology, it takes place in the month of Kartika (October or November) beginning on ‘ashtmi’ 8th day of Lunar Calendar and continues till full moon (‘Poornima’). The camel and cattle trading is at its peak during the first half of festival period. During the later half, religious activities dominate the scenario. Devotees take dips in the holy “Sarovar” lake, as the sacred water is known to bestow salvation.

This small town is transformed into a spectacular fair ground, as rows of make shift stalls display an entire range of objects of art to daily utility stuff. Decoration items for cattle, camel and women, everything is sold together. Small handicraft items are the best bargain for buying souvenirs. The camel and horse races have crowds to cheer. Camel judging competitions are quite popular with animal lovers. Each evening brings different folk dances and music of Rajasthan, performers delivering live shows to the roaring and applauding crowds.

Pushkar fair has its own magic and it’s a lifetime experience for travellers. It has featured in numbers of travel shows, films and magazines. According to the Lonely Planet: “It’s truly a feast for the eyes. If you are any where within striking distance at the time, it’s an event not to be missed.”

Shilp Gram

During the fair, arts and crafts exhibition cum sale is organised at ‘Shilpgram’, situated at RTDC Tourist Village Campus. Crafts persons and artisans from all over Rajasthan and nearby states participate to exhibit and demonstrate their art and talent.

Best time to visit Pushkar: The city of Pushkar experiences very hot and sultry climate for most part of the year. The months from October to March is the best time to enjoy holidaying in Pushkar.

How to go ?

By Air

Nearest airport is Jaipur, which is connected with major cities. A newly built air strip at Kishangarh can cater to small charter flights. Helipad at Ghooghra (Ajmer) and Devnagar (Pushkar) can cater to clients travelling by helicopter.

By Rail

Ajmer is well connected by Rail to all important cities. Pushkar is just 13 kms away from Ajmer.

By Road

Ajmer is well connected to important cities of Rajasthan and country. Jaipur-135 Km., Delhi-405 Km., Mumbai-900 Km., Ahmedabad-520 Km., Jodhpur-205 Km., Bikaner-265 Km., Nagaur-16O Km., Jaisalmer-475 Km., Merta-80 Km., Bundi-180 Km., Kota-220 Km.

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Where to stay ?

Pushkar has adequate accommodation facilities. Some options are:

Hotel Sarovar (RTDC): +91-0145-2772040
Hotel Goyal Inn: +91- 0145 -277 2922
Hotel Krish Palace: +91- 0145-2212-7715
Pushkar Villas Resort: +91-0145-2773640, 2772689, 2772093 Website: www.pushkarvillas.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan – The Golden City

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Jaisalmer “the land of the golden fort” lies in the heart of the Thar Desert. The name Jaisalmer evokes utter magic and vibrancy of the desert. It’s straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156 AD. During his rule this very fort was constructed.  Crowning the Trikut Parvat this fort is made up of yellowish sandstone. It consists of Jain Mandirs and Havelis. Even today the localites have their residence inside the fort. The fort has four entrances namely Akshay Pole, Suraj Pole, Ganesh Pole, Hawa Pole. The City Palace is also located inside the Fort. The intricate designs of the palace with unique Jharokhas really cast a magic spell on you.

Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through. Jaisalmer is a paragon of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions; these together leave a lasting impression on the visitors. The old city was completely encircled by a wall but much of it has crumbled sadly for want of building material in recent years. The massive golden fort, which is the essence of Jaisalmer, is entered through First Gate; is a burrow of narrow streets with JainTemples and old palaces. The main market, the Sadar Bazar is right below the hill. The bank, offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.

Places to see in Jaisalmer: The prime attraction of Jaisalmer is the Jaisalmer Fort also known as the Golden Quila. The setting sun in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale appearance. The place is also frequented with numerous other sight seeing locations.

Government Museum

Established by the Department of Archeology and Museum. It is another prime attraction for the visitors to Jaisalmer. The trophy of the state bird Godawan – the great Indian bustard, is the most eye catching spot. Traditional house-hold items, rock-cut crockery and jewellery recreate the atmosphere of a by-gone era. A look at the statues of 7th-9th century AD creates a scenario of rich cultural heritage of the time.

Deewan Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli

Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomizing the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolize the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.
It is a private property.

Deewan Salim Singh Ki Haveli

This haveli is actually worth seeing from outside only. It was built in the first half of the 18th century and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister of Jaisalmer a princely state in 19th century AD. The mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. It is just below the hill near the fort. It is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the Maharaja’s palace, but the Maharaja had the upper storey demolished.

Patwon-Ki-Haveli 

A group of apartments, this is one of the largest and most elaborate of Havelis in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. A part of this beautiful building is owned by the Department of Archaeology and Museum. There are remnants of some paintings on the walls inside as well as some mirror work. This has been the star attraction of Jaisalmer.

Mandir Palace (Badal Mahal)

The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (CloudPalace). Rising in its five-tiered splendour, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia (A float taken in procession Muharram) as symbol of their religion in the town for royal patrons. Half portion of this palace is converted into a heritage hotel named MandirPalace and another portion of the palace as Badal Vilas, the residence of the ex-ruler’s family.

Desert National Park

The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the eco-system of the Thar Desert and its rich fauna. The Sudashri forest post is the most ideal place for observing wildlife in the Desert National Park. Its inhabitants include the blackbuck, chinkara, wolf, Indian fox, desert fox, hare and desert cat. Flights of sand-grouse start coming to waterholes from sunrise onwards. One can also hear the morning call of the grey partridge. Blue tailed and green bee-eaters, common and bush quail and Indian rollers are birds, which are commonly found around waterholes. The park is also home to the great Indian bustard – the state bird of Rajasthan.

To visit the Desert National Park enclosure at Sudhasari, prior permission is required from the Desert National Park office and office of the District Magistrate, Jaisalmer. Contact No. +91-02992-252489.

Akal Wood Fossil Park

Just 17 Km from Jaisalmer on Barmer Road are fossilized wood of 180 millions years old forest.

Gadsisar Lake

This is a rain water conservation lake built by Maharawal Gadsi in 14th century. It was once the main source of drinking water for the entire town of Jaisalmer. Now a tourist spot, there are many small temples and shrines around it. A wide variety of water birds can be seen here especially in winter. This is the most popular point to take photographs of Jaisalmer fort early in the morning when the fort looks golden with the first rays of the Sun.

The beautiful gateway known as Tillon ki prol, which arches across the road down to the lake was built by a royal courtesan named Tillon at the end of 19th century. An idol of Lord Vishnu was installed in the year 1908 AD on the gate by a courtesan and declared Krishna Temple to save it from demolition by the then Maharawal.

Nearby Attractions from Jaisalmer: From Jaisalmir you can make a trip to the places like

Pokran

It is located at the junction of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner Road. It is en route to Jaisalmer and is also a fort town though the fort is not of the same dimensions as those of Jaisalmer or Jodhpur. Pokran came into limelight in the wake of India’s first underground nuclear explosion. Pokran is also renowned for its furniture and crafts for interior decoration. The fort is located about one and a half kilometres from the bus stand and has a miscellaneous collection of weaponry, brocade clothes and various games of dice and dominoes on display. FortPokran also offers accommodation with a rugged heritage appeal.

Barmer

Barmer is a desert town just 153 kms from Jaisalmer and has a fortress to boast off. This place is primarily famous for its woodcarving, furniture, items of interior decoration, carpets, block printing and embroidered items. The centre for embroidery is the Sadar Bazaar and woodcarvings are found along the Station Road. It has a RTDC Hotel and for private hotels too.

Luderwa

16 kms. Northwest from Jaisalmer, Luderwa is the old capital of Jaisalmer. Now a silent city, the only witness to its former splendour are the Jain temple, toran (ornate arch) and artificial divine tree (Kalptaru). Ruins of the deserted capital and the remains of an apartment of Princess Moomal still recall the famous love legend of Moomal-Mahendra.

Sam Sand Dunes and Camel Ride

Some 45 kms towards the west of the Jaisalmer city are located the barren yet beautiful shifting sand dunes adjoining the village Sam. Here one can have a ride on camel – the ship of desert in the desert sea. Beautiful folk dancers enrich the visitor’s experience with traditional flavour of joy. Sam Dhani, a typical accommodation in the shape of fortress provides the visitors with warm welcome, board and lodging. Herds of camel and cows are attractions on the way to Sam. There is regular bus service that runs from Jaisalmer to Sam village.

Khuri Village & Sand Dunes

Khuri is a village 45 km south west of Jaisalmer. It is a delightfully peaceful place with mud and straw decorated houses. One kilometre away from the village, patches of sand dunes are additional attractions for the tourists. There is regular bus service that runs from Jaisalmer to Khuri village. Villagers in their rural world can be seen on the way to Khuri.

Things to do at Jaisalmer: Explore the immense desert area of Jaisalmir. Apart from sightseeing if you visit Jaisalmer during the month of February you will enjoy the flavour of the real Rajasthan by being a part of the Desert festival of Jaisalmer. Once a year in winter and in the middle of the continually rising and falling stark yellow sands of the great Thar Desert, the empty sands around Jaisalmer come alive with the brilliant colour, music and laughter of the Desert Festival.

Best time to visit Jaisalmer: The ideal time to visit Jaisalmer is from October to the month of March, although the city remains bustling with tourists through out the year. If you are here not for mere fun but to try for adventures then Jaisalmer is worth visiting round the year.

How to go ?

By Air

Though Jaisalmer is not directly connected to Airways as such, Jodhpur airport is 300 Km away. Jodhpur is connected to all the major metros of India by government owned as well as private airlines. From Jodhpur you can hire Cabs or take a train journey according to your wish and preference. 

By Rail

Jaisalmer is connected to major cities of India through broad gauge as well as meter gauge railway tracks. Direct trains from Jaisalmer are available to Jodhpur as well as Delhi. Jaisalmer is connected through both ‘Broad gauge’ as well as ‘Meter gauge’ tracks.

By Road

Jaisalmer has good road connectivity with various cities of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Several state transport and private buses ply on the routes between these cities. 

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Where to stay ?

Jaisalmer is loaded with hotels suitable to all budgets. Some options are:

Hotel Moomol (RTDC) : +91- 02992- 252 392
Hotel Golden City: +91- 02992- 251664, 254565 Website: www.hotelgoldencity.com
Hotel Samdhani (RTDC): +91-02992-2212 8993
Hotel Priya: +91-
02992 – 252755, 250577 Website: www.priyahotels.com 
Payal Safari Camp:
+91.9982634632, 9928263649 Website: www.payalsafaricamp.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Barmer

Barmer, Rajasthan – The land of rich architectural grandeur

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Barmer is a centre of folk architecture and handicrafts. Located at a distance of 153 km from Jaisalmer, Barmer was previously known as Mallinath. The name of Barmer became famous after 18th century with the frequent use by the British. The place is famous for the wood carving, carpet making, embroidery and block printing. Barmer is beautiful and livelihood place and an attractive tourist destination.

Places to see in Barmer: Being the seat of architecture and handicrafts the place has some exclusive tourist spots.

Barmer Fort

The tourist attractions in Barmer are the Barmer Fort. Actually the Barmer town sits atop a rocky hill, where one can find the ruins of the old Barmer Fort scattered all over.

Balark Temple

The Balark Temple, dedicated to Balark (the Sun God) and the ancient ruins of Juna Barmer are other interesting tourist attractions in Barmer.There are three Jain temples, an inscription of 1295 AD and a massive pillar in the hall of the largest temple of Maharaja Kula Sri Samanta Sinha Deva, a ruler of Barmer, which are worth visiting.

Kiradu

Just 35 km from Barmer is a group of five temples in Solanki architectural style at village Kiradu.Once the capital of Punwars, Kiradu was previously named as Kiratkoop, that is revealed by the inscription of the 1161 AD. The ruins of five ancient temples-one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and other four dedicated to Lord Shiva are of major interest to archaeologists and art lovers, alike. The SomeshwaraTemple with a multi-tier spire is the most impressive.

Nearby attractions from Barmer: From Barmer you can make excursions to places like:

Khed

A historical town has an old Vishnu Temple of Ranchhriji, bounded by a crumbling wall, and an image of Garuda (the eagle) at the gate attends the complex. Other temple attractions of Khed include Brahma, Bhairav, Mahadev and a Jain temple.

Jasol

Once a principal state of Mallani, the ancient ancient village of Jasol has a Jain temple and a Hindu temple, both of which are worth visiting. Meva Nagar on the slope of a hill called Nagar-Ki-Bhakarian has three Jain temples, the biggest of these is the one dedicated to Nakoda Parsvanath.

Things to do at Barmer: Barmer is the shopper’s paradise. This place is famous for the vibrantly coloured embroideries with excellent mirror work. Also famous are beautifully embroidered fabrics and pouches often patterned with tiny mirrors. Traditional rugs, blankets, shawls, carpets, “Pattius” Dari in typical Barmer colours and weave are speciality of the district. The shopping spots include the tiny shops along the narrow lanes of the colourful and lively Sadar Bazar. Don’t forget to bag this antique items as these products are worth a keeping. Various fairs like Tilwara Cattle Fair (March – April), Nakoda Parasvanath (December – January), Veeratara Mela, Khed Fair (August – September), Mallinath Fair taking place in Barmer also a tourist attraction.

Best time to visit Barmer: The best season to visit Barmer is the winter season. The temperature remains comfortable and is apt for visiting the monuments and other places of interest in Barmer.

How to go ?

By Air:

The nearest Domestic Airport is Jodhpur Airport, roughly three and half hour drive from Barmer. The nearest International Airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad, roughly 375 Kms from Barmer. The Airport is well connected with major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Pune and Ahmedabad and is also connected with Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madras and Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune.

By Road

Barmer is 68 Kms from Sindari, 87 Kms from Tilwara, 159 Kms from Jaisalmer, 207 Kms from Jodhpur, 239 Kms from Palanpur, 355 Kms from Udaipur, and is connected through Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and some private travel services.

By Train

Barmer has its own Railway Station named as Barmer Railway Station which is connected by numerator conjecture rail to the major city of the state and other cities like Jalore, Jaipur, Agra, Munawa in Pakistan, Delhi, Kalka, Haridwar and Guwahati through Ghy Bme Bkn Express, Dli Jsm Express, Hw Bme Link Express and Klk Bme Express.

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Where to stay ?

At Barmer there are various accommodation options suitable to budget. Some are:

Hotel Khartal (RTDC): +91-02982-6450-7178
Hotel Krishna: +91-09783305054 Website: www.hotelkrishnabarmer.com
Hotel New KK & Restaurant: +91-02982-221087/221088 Website: www.newkkhotel.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Bikaner

Bikaner, Rajasthan – Dotted with scores of sand dunes, this place still reflects the glorious culture of the Middle ages

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Lying on the heart of Thar Desert, the town of Bikaner was constructed in the year 1486 by Marwar king Raja Rao Bikhaji. The city is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that is reflected in the city’s lifestyle. Bikaner was the most important commercial city among the west and central Asia. At that time the whole city was fortified with walls. There were five doors made for the entrance of the city. This city also called the camel country, is distinguished for the best riding camels in the world and hence boasts of having one of the largest Camel Research and Breeding farms in the world. The ship of the desert is an integral part of life here.

Places to see in Bikaner: There are many sight scene spot at Bikaner. Some of them are as follows ..

Junagarh Fort

This fortress built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, remains unconquered and is one of the most distinguished generals in the army of Emperor Akbar, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat. The main entrance to the fort is Karan Pol [gate] that is facing east. Next to it is the Suraj Pol meaning the sun gate. In the fort complex are some magnificent palaces like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal or palace of pleasure. The Har Mandir is the majestic chapel for the royal family for worshipping their gods and goddesses. These palaces, constructed in red sandstone and marble, make a picturesque ensemble of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows dotted all over the structure. The premises also house a museum, which has an array of rich collection.

Lallgarh Palace

This grand palace is an architectural masterpiece in red sandstone, and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh in 1902. Sir Swinton Jacob designed this oriental fantasy. This architecture is a fusion of  Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. The exterior contrasts dramatically with the oriental interiors and amenities. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work, which are the hallmarks of great craftsmanship. The Palace has an amazing collection of well maintained paintings and hunting trophies. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillaea and dancing peacocks make for a visual extravaganza.

Bhandeswar Jain Temple

It is a fifteenth century temple and is the oldest monument of Bikaner. The temple is decorated with rich mirror work, frescoes and gold leaf paintings. Havelis are ancient mansions of the noble and wealthy. They are known for their opulent lifestyle and intricate carvings and craftsmanship along with sprawling courtyards. Bikaner is full of such havelis and the notable amongst them belong to Kotharis, Rampurias, Vaids and Dagas. To view these havelis, the suggested route is Gogagate, Daddhon Ka Chowk, Rangari Chowk, Assanion Ka Chowk, Mohta Chowk, Binnanion Ka Chowk, Daga Chowk, BK School and Jassuar Gate.

Ganga Government Museum

Popularly described as the best museum in the State, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period. Separate sections put on view paintings, arts and craft, terracotta, pottery, carpets, coins and ancient Rajput weaponry.

Devi Kund

The royal crematorium has several exquisite cenotaphs (Chhatris). Each Chhatri is dedicated to the memory of a ruler of Bikhaji dynasty and issituated on the exact place where each of them was cremated. The Chhatri of Maharaj Surat Singh is a fine example of architecture. The ceilings of the Chhatris display some delicate Rajput paintings.

Nearby attractions from Bikaner: Just 10 km from Bikaner is the camel research centre. Spend a day with the indispensable ship of the desert at the camel research and breeding centres which is only one of its kinds in Asia. The farm extends over 2000 acres of semi arid land and is managed by the Government of India.

Deshnok

Deshnok is a small village situated 32 km south of Bikaner city along the Jodhpur Road. It is connected by national highway and rail. It is a pilgrim centre of Karni Mata –said to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga-who lived here in the fourteenth century and performed many miracles. Originally, the village was called ‘dus-nok’ meaning ten corners as it was formed by taking ten corners of ten villages. In front of the temple is a beautiful marble facade, which has solid silver doors built by Maharaja Ganga Singh. Across the doorway are more silver doors with panels depicting the various legends of the Goddess. The image of the Goddess is enshrined in the inner sanctum.

Things to do in Bikaner: Don’t miss the camel ride in midst of vast desert in Bikaner.

Best time to visit Bikaner: The best season to visit Bikaner is from October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Bikaner is Jodhpur, which is nearly 250 km away. This is a domestic airport, connecting to metros in India and some few other cities in North.

By Rail

The city has two railway stations, namely, Bikaner Junction and Lalgarh Railway Station. This railway station is well connected to all major cities of India.

By Road

Plenty of bus services are available from Bikaner to Delhi, Jodhpur, Agra, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Udaipur and Kota.

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Where to stay ?

There are plenty of private hotels and lodges available in Bikaner. Some options are:

Hotel Dholamaru: +91-0151-2529621 Website: www.hoteldholamaru.com
Hotel Marudhar: +91-9828142686, 9351828900 Website: www.hotelmarudhar.com
Hotel Sriram Heritage: +91-0151-2212-8993
Bharat Palace: +91-9831125446 Website: www.hotelbharat.com
Hotel Heeralal: +91-0151- 2205551, 52, 53, 54 Website: www.hotelheeralal.com

Note: Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Jodhpur

Jodhpur, Rajasthan – The city that still boasts of its royal charm

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If you wish to turn back the pages of history and experience the charm of the royal era, then don’t delay to plan your trip to Jodhpur. The site is the gateway to the desert of Rajasthan. This bustling desert city is the second largest in Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city was founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, in 1459 AD. It was the capital of the Rathores. The huge fortress of (Meherangarh) has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of fortress. The new city is outside the structure.

Places to see in Jodhpur: Though a historical city of Jodhpur consists not only the historical structures but also other exquisite locations.

Mehrangarh Fort

Perched on a 150 m high hill it is the most magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha founded it in 1459 but subsequent rulers of Jodhpur have also added to it over the centuries. A meandering road leads to the city 5 km below. Battle scars of canon ball hit by attacking armies of Jaipur can still be seen on the second gate. To the left is chhatri of Kirat Singh Soda, a soldier who fell on the spot while defending the fort against the armies of Amber. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol meaning victory built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies.

Fatehpol also meaning victory gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of Mughals. The palm imprints still attract devotional attention and are covered by vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil.

Jaswant Thada

On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble monument built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singh built this monument known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singh II of Jodhpur. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh ( 1929 – 1942 ) and named after him, this exquisite Palace is also known as ChittarPalace because of the local chittar sandstone used in it. It is a splendid example of Indo-colonial and art deco architecture of the 30s. A unique feature of this palace is the fact that the manually chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking. There is no mortar binding. A portion of the palace has been converted into a hotel, the other remains on view to visitors in the form of an excellent museum which houses model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks, bob watches, priceless crockery and hunting trophies. Both sections retain the ambience of royal splendour.

Guda: A Bishnoi Village

It is the nearest point from Jodhpur to experience exotic wildlife and nature. During the season thousands of birds can be seen here. The demoiselle Crane is a great attraction. There is pond with water for the antelopes and black bucks of nearby area. One can also visit to the villages of potters, weavers, shoe makers, shepherds, Bishnois, etc. in the area around.

Kailana Lake

Situated on Jaisalmer road, this small artificial lake is an ideal picnic spot. It is like a canvas with a splash of romantic colours. The beauty here will linger on your mind for a long time.

Somnath Temple 

This temple of Lord Shiva is famous for its historical background and sculptures. It is situated in the middle of the PaliCity. It was constructed by the King of Gujarat, Kumarpal Solanki, in the Vikram Samvat 1209. In the premises, there are many small temples of other gods and goddesses.

Ranakpur Jain Temples

It is situated about 100 km. south east of Pali and about 9 km. south of Sadri town. The Jain Community, like several others, had always enjoyed the patronage of the ruling family of Mewar and quite a few important positions were held by the Jains. The rulers were also particularly supportive of their temple building activities. In the 15th century, Rana Kumbha of Mewar gave large stretch of land in a quiet and picturesque valley, deep in the Aravalis, to the Jains. This area came to be known as Ranakpur. Located 96 km from Udaipur, this is one of the five main holy places of the Jains. Although over 500 years old, these temples are well preserved and are almost in perfect condition. The central temple is the ChomukhaTemple. Dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar (saint), this three-storey temple is the most complex and exquisite in design. It has 29 halls, 80 domes and 1,444 pillars. What is interesting here is the fact that no two pillars are alike. Each one of these pillars is covered with the most intricate carvings.

Mandore Garden

Mandore was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar and is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur but was later abandoned for the security of Mehrangarh fort. Here you will find the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers.
Unlike the usual chhatri-shaped cenotaphs typical of Rajasthan, they were built along the lines of a Hindu temple, four storeys  high, with fine columns and an elegant spire, all in red sandstone. The most impressive is the dewal of Maharaja Ajit Singh (reigned 1678-1724). These cenotaphs are set in beautiful landscaped gardens. Nearby is the hall of heroes, dedicated to various deities and fabled Rajput folk heroes, whose statues are carved out of rock and painted in bright colours. Next door is a larger hall called “The Shrine of the three hundred million, filled with brightly coloured images of the various Hindu Gods. As you climb up the hill, you come to the ruined city of Mandore, with its old palace. The beautiful Maharani’s cenotaphs set apart on a rocky outcrop is a ten-minute walk over the hill. Today its extensive gardens with high rock terrace make it a popular local attraction.

Nearby attractions from Jodhpur: You can visit number of places from Jodhpur.

Osian

The ancient town of the Thar Desert was a great trading center between 8th to 12th centuries AD. Today it is a desert oasis with 16 Brahamanical and Jain temples. These are beautifully sculpted and designed, and most of them have stood the ravages of time. The highlight of this place is its camel ride at the time of the sunset. The tourists have the liberty to watch the architectural forms during camel ride and return to the camps or the resorts. This is followed by drinks. The evening is marked by performing arts and choice of oriental cuisines arranged in the ethnic style of that region. The stay at the camps is highly refreshing.

Nagaur

The Ahhichatragarh Fort is a medium size fort, built by Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan. A well planned MughalGarden retains its old pleasant appearance even today. The city and buildings show distinct Muslim influence. A five domed mosque built by Emperor Akbar dominates the landscape. The city is best visited during the Ramdeoji Ka mela and Tejaji ka mela (fair) in February and August respectively. Nagaur is approachable by express buses of Rajasthan Roadways and by taxi.

Machiya Safari Park

This park lies on the way to Jaisalmer, about 1km from Kailana Lake. The key fauna of the safari park includes, deer, desert fox, monitor lizard, blue bulls, rabbits, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys etc. There is also large number of birds, which can be seen from an exclusive bird watching point. One can also see the sunset from the fort of the park.

Sojat

The Sojat town is situated on the left bank of the SukriRiver near Pali town, known as Tamravati in ancient times. The fort has a big reservoir and several temples like Sejal Mata, Chaturbhuj and others. The old temple of Chamunda Mata is located on the top of one of the hillocks. Dargah of Pir Mastan is the main attraction at the time of Urs. One of the major attractions of this city is the plantation of ‘mehandi’ trees, a herbal plant where the leaves are squashed into a thin paste and applied on the hands and the feet in various attractive designs. This traditional art form is now known all over the world and has been internationally adopted in the fashion circuit.

Other prominent place to be visited are the temple of Ramdeoji near village Biratiya, the fort of Desuris and Kurki, the birth place of Mirabai.

Nadol

It is situated on the Rani – Desuri road in the north-west of Desuri. Nadol is now a small village but once it was the capital of the Chauhans of  Shakambhari. The ancient ruins still speak of the past glory, which this place enjoyed.

Things to do in JodhpurJodhpuris famous all over the world for its handicrafts in wood, iron and camel bone. There are a lot of fabric shops, selling ‘bandhini’ (very fine tie & dye), hand block prints, silver shops selling jewellery by weight, and antique shops. Beside this, exploring the historical city of Jodhpur is in itself a wonderful experience. Dotted with numerous historical spot this location has a rich historical background. You can also organize picnics in a beautiful location across the Kailana Lake.If you visit Jodhpur in the month of October you can be a part of the colourful festivals in Jodhpur. The Dusshera and Diwalis are best celebrated here.

Best time to visit Jodhpur: The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March.

How to go ?

By Air

Jodhpur airport is connected to Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur and Mumbai by daily regular flights. The Airport is nearly 5 km away from the city center. Taxi charges about Rs 150 and three wheeled rickshaw cost about Rs 50 from airport to city. Delhi is the nearest international airport, which is well connected to all major cities in India and abroad. Delhi is nearly 600 km away from Jodhpur.

By Train

Jodhpur railhead is an important junction in the North Western railway zone in India. Jodhpur is well connected to all major cities in India including Delhi (Rajsthn S Krant), Kolkata (Hwh Ju Express), Chennai (Ms Jodhpur Exp), Mumbai, (Suryanagari Exp), Jaipur (Hwh Ju Express), Jaisalmer (Jsm Dli Express) and Bangalore (Ypr Jodhpur Exp).

 By Bus

Rajasthan Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to all cities in Rajasthan from Jodhpur. Private deluxe buses are available from Jaipur (330km), Delhi (569 km), Jaisalmer (290 km), Bikaner (240 km) and Agra (580 km). The deluxe bus charges varies between Rs 3 to Rs 4 per kilometer.

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Where to stay ?

Jodhpur has all sorts of accommodation facilities for the tourists both Government and non Government. Some options are:

Hotel Ghoomar (RTDC): +91- 0291- 2544010, 2548020, 2548010
Chandra Inn: +91- 0291- 2671610, 2670765, 2670583 Website: www.chandrainn.com
Jasole Heritage: +91-0291-2212-7301
Hotel Beniwal Palace: +91-0291-2511130, 2510036 Website: www.hotelbeniwalpalace.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Khuri _Village

Khuri Village, Rajasthan – Experience the romance of traditional Rajasthani village life

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Resting on the bosom of the desert the little village of Khuri is located at a distance of 40 km from Jaisalmer. Khuri Village of Rajasthan came into picture about 5 years ago. It is surrounded by Desert Hills. It is becoming a popular destination to those who are in search of traditional village life and wish to spend a night in thatched Huts.

Places to see at Khuri Village: Experience an unique charm in Khuri village that makes it distinct from the other tourist destinations in Rajasthan. There really is nothing else for you to do in Khuri. Days are spent idling in the sun, enjoying the authentic Rajasthani meals, witnessing sunrises and sunsets from the sand dunes. On the way to the village you can make a visit to destinations like WoodFossil  Park, Temrirai Mandir and Barna desert village.

Things to do at Khuri Village: Exploring the mesmerizing sunset while taking a trip to the desert on the back of the camel and spending a night  that offers an ideal setting to star gaze is a fabulous experience.

Best time to visit Khuri Village: October to March is an ideal season to visit Khuri gram.

How to go ?

By Air 

Jaisalmer has an airport, which is located 5 km from the city centre and is well linked by air with New Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur. However it is managed by the Indian Air Force and is operational only from September to March. So Jodhpur airport at a distance of about 285 km is the better option.

By Rail 

Jaisalmer is well connected by rail with Jodhpur as well as other major cities of India including Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi and Mumbai and Kolkata. Khuri village is located just 40 km in the south west of Jaisalmer.

By Road

Jaisalmer has a good network of roads and is well connected to other cities of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner and major cities of India.

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Where to stay ?

At Khuri Village there are few accommodation options.

Moonlight Village Resort: +91-9831125446
Badal House: +91-03014-274120, 096605355389
Mama Guest House: +91-09414205970, 03014- 274042 Website: www.themamasjaisalmer.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Bundi

Bundi, Rajasthan – A magnificient historical city bordered by Aravalli Hills

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Fortified by the Aravalli hills from all sides Bundi is a magnificent historical city of Rajasthan. It is just 36 km from Kota. Isolated and independent, this picturesque location has much to offer.  The paintings of Bundi School are famous for their festivals, animals and bird scenes portrayed beautifully.Termed as ‘Queen of Hadoti’, the city gets its name from king Bundi Meena of the Meena tribe, a prominent local tribe. The city was named as ‘Bundi ka nal’; the word ‘nal’ means narrow ways. Later in 1342 AD  the city was renamed as Bundi.

Places to see at Bundi: At Bundi you can visit historical forts, palaces, stepwells.

The Hadoti Palace

Built by the Hada Chauhans once the ruler of Bundi, this palace is really well maintained and still retains its magnificence.

Taragarh Fort

It was built in 1345 and is ideal to enjoy a leisure walk. The fort is almost in its collapsing state with its overgrown vegetation. The view over the town and surrounding countryside from the top are magical, especially at sun set. Inside the ramparts are huge reservoirs carved out of solid rock, and the Bhim Burj, the largest of the battle-fields, on which there is a famous cannon. Taragarh is reached by steep road leading up the hillside to its enormous gateway.

Phool Sagar

The Phool Sagar is an excellent and well-planned structure as also the decoration of this Rajput construction. The same beauty and its excellence lies in the massive  Taragarh fort.

Sukh Mahal

Sukh Mahals brings back the memories of Rudyard Kipling who not only stayed here but found inspiration for his famous work ‘Kim’.

Nearby attractions from Bundi: You can make a trip to places like,

Kota

Just 50 km from Bundi is the beautiful town of Kota. Earlier it was a part of BundiState, but later it grew into an independent and bigger State. What retains the past glory are the untouched wealth of impressive forts, wonderful palaces and temples dating back to over several centuries.

Jhalawar

The princely State of the Jhalawar was created in 1838 AD, after being separated from Kota by the British. It is best explored by foot within the city and a horse safari in the outskirts. Jhalawar boasts of rich natural wealth, with vibrant flora and fauna. Since it is situated at the edge of the Malwa Plateau, it has a rocky but water-laden verdant landscape unlike much of Rajasthan. Jhalawar is known for its exquisite pre-historic cave paintings, massive forts, thick woody forests, exotic wild life and a lush country side which has red poppy fields and orange-laden orchards.

Things to do at Bundi: Enjoy your trip to this small town of Bundi. Not very different from other areas of Rajasthan this place of Bundi is also dotted with a number architectural splendour.

Best time to visit Bundi: Bundi is accessible to tourists for most time of the year. However, the best time to spend a fulfilling holiday in Bundi is during the winter time. At this time of the year, the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and enjoying the various activities Bundi has to offer.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Bundi is the SanganerAirport located at Jaipur, which is about 215 km from Bundi. Airport to Bundi city in taxi costs about Rs 2500. Jaipur airport is connected to metro cities Mumbai and Delhi. Foreign travelers can take connection flights from Delhi and Mumbai.

By Train

Nearest rail head is at Kota, which is 35 km away from Bundi. Taxi cost about Rs 500 from Kota to Bundi. Kota is well connected by rail to other major cities.

By Bus

Bundi is connected with Kota (35 km). Jaipur (215 km), and many other cities through state owned transport services. Private luxury buses are also plying between major cities and Bundi.

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Where to stay ?

Bundi has  good accommodation facilities. Both government and non government  lodges are available. Some options are:

Hotel Brindabati (RTDC) : +91-0747-2442473
Haveli Braj Bhushanjee: +91-0747-2442322, 2442509, 9783355866, 9783355865
The Hadoti Palace: +91-0747- 2443333
Royal Retreat: +91-0747 244 4426

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Ajmer

Ajmer, Rajasthan – Enjoy the ultimate ecstasy amidst spiritual environment

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Located in the southwest of of Jaipur, Ajmer is a haven wrapped in the green hills. In the 7th century Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan founded the city of Ajmer. Till 1193 A.D the Chauhans dominated the region. Then Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghori, after which Ajmer became home to many dynasties. Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Muslims as well as Hindus. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered both by the Hindus and the Muslims.

Places to see in Ajmer: Ajmer is a religious place dotted with a number of religious places.

Taragarh Fort

The giant fort stands guarding the city. It has six gates. The fort also has Miran Saheb ki Dargah, who was the governor of the fort and laid down his life in an encounter. It gives a panoramic view of the city – situated in Nagpahari of Aravalli ranges. This fort has immense archaeological and historical importance.

Adhai – Din Ka- Jhonpra

This is a masterpiece of Indo – Islamic architecture. As legend goes, it was constructed in two and a-half days (Adhai-Din). It is a relic of an old mosque consisting of a quadrangle with a front screen wall of seven pointed arches. The distinct pillars and arched screen with its ruined minarets make it a splendid architectural masterpiece. 

Raniji Ki Baori

Raniji-Ki-Baori or the step well was built in 1699 by Rani Nathavati and is asplendid work of Rajput architecture. One of the largest of its kinds, this step well is 46 m deep and is decorated with intricately crafted stone brackets. Enter through a high arced gate supported  by ornately carved pillars and experience beautiful murals on pillars and gates.

Eighty-four-pillared Cenotape

As the name  suggests, this is a pavilion supported by 84 (chaurasi) pillars. The pavilion was built by Rao Anirudh Singh in memory of his foster brother Deva. Remarkably constructed, this magnificent memorial serves as a cenotaph as well as a temple. A shiva linga (symbolic phallus) in the temple is still worshipped with great fervor.

Jait Sagar Lake

Surrounded by hills lies a beautiful lake built by Jaita Meena. The fleeting fountain in the lake looks amazing at night. Smarti Kunj and TerraceGardens are the other attractions of this lake.

Nawal Sagar Lake

This is a square shaped artificial lake, broken by islets and has atemple of Varuna (Aryan God of Wind) submerged in a corner. It is the main attraction of Bundi as a reflection of the entire city and its palaces can be seen in the lake, making it a fascinating sight at sunset.

Ana Sagar

It is an artificial lake named after Anaji Chauhan. The catchments were built with the help of local populace. The ‘Baradari’ pavilions were built by Shah Jahan to facilitate his long stay in Ajmer. The Baradari and the adjoining parks are the lungs of city and favourite outing spots.

Pushkar Lake

The pious Pushkar Lake is believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. It is said to be as old as the creation itself. As per the Hindu Mythology there are Panch Sarovar (FiveLakes) namely, Man sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar. The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots. The devotees believe that one dip in the waters of the lake on Kartika Poornima is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years. The charming lake amidst the hills has fifty-two bathing ghats, built around the lake. The water around each ghat is supposed to have special healing power.

Savitri Temple

The temple is located on the hill behind the Brahma temple and one has to climb a long series of steps to reach the shrine. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful lake and the picturesque surrounding villages.

Brahma Temple

This is the only existing temple dedicated to lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century, standing on a high plinth with marble steps leading up to it. A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the sanctum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver turtle is embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors’ name engraved on them.

Nearby attractions from Ajmer: From Ajmer you can make excursion to places like:

Kishangarh 

Kishangarh is 27 Kms north east of Ajmer and was founded by Kishan Singh, a Rathore Prince. In the 18th century, it attained fame as one of the finest schools of miniature paintings. Though a smaller school with a much shorter duration it had a more refined style. It peaked under the patronage of Savant Singh, an heir to the throne who later became a hermit. It is said that Savant Singh modelled as Krishna while his mistress nicknamed as Bani Thani modelled for Radha. Paintings of Bani Thani are most celebrated. The artists of this school favoured evening lights and grey skies with fine colours. This outstanding school lasted only a few decades. Today the artists still create reproductions of the work. Kishangarh is now an industrial town for marble and textiles. It is connected by train and bus.

Tilonia

Tilonia is a small town 25 kms from Kishangarh near Ajmer and 7 kms off Jaipur-Ajmer highway. A distinctive feature of the town is Barefoot college, which began in 1972 with the conviction that solutions to rural problems lie within the community. The College, officially known as Social Work and Research Centre, addresses problems of drinking water, girl education, health and sanitation, rural unemployment, income generation, electricity and power, social awareness and the conservation of ecological systems in rural communities.

Things to do at Ajmer: Ajmer is an esteemed pilgrimage town. Feel the charm of the place that generates a feeling of ecstasy. At Ajmer you can be a part of the famous URS fair.

The lakeside city of Ajmer is located in central Rajasthan, and is held in great reverence by devotees of all communities who call it ‘Ajmer Sharif’ (Holy Ajmer). It is here that the mortal remains of the highly respected Sufi saint Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti lie buried. The pilgrims who come to seek the blessings of the Khwaja make rich offerings called ‘nazrana’ at the holy spot where the saint has been entombed. The offerings of rose and jasmine flowers, sandalwood paste, perfumes and incense contribute to the fragrance that floats in the air inside the shrine. Also offered by devotees are the ‘chadar’, ‘ghilaph’ and ‘neema’, which are votive offerings for the tomb. These are brought by devotees on their heads and handed over to the ‘khadims’ inside the sanctum sanctorum.

Best time to visit Ajmer: The best time to visit Ajmer is from the months of October to March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport to Ajmer is the SanganerAirport located at Jaipur, which is about 132 km from Ajmer.

By Train

Ajmer junction railway station lies on the Delhi-Mumbai railway line and is well connected to several cities in India like Delhi (Chetak Exp), Kolkata (Aii Sdah Exp), Mumbai (Aravalli Exp), Allahabad (Aii Sdah Expres) and Lucknow (Bsb Exp).

By Bus

Ajmer has a good network of roads connecting all the main cities of Rajasthan, including Delhi (394 km, Rs 200), Jaipur (134 km, Rs 150), Udaipur (300 km, Rs 200), Jodhpur (200 km, Rs 220), Jaisalmer (490 km, Rs 300) and Bharatpur (312 km, Rs 220). Ajmer is connected to Delhi also by road.

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Where to stay ?

There are abundant lodging facilities in Ajmer. Some options are:

Hotel Khadim (RTDC): +91-0145 262 7490
Hotel Sahil: +91 – 0145 – 2632511 Website:  www.hotelsahilajmer.com
Hotel Shankar Palace: +91-0145-5100850, 875 Website: www.hotelshankarpalace.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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chittorgarh_fort

Chittorgarh, Rajasthan – A witness to the glorious past of Rajasthan

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Chittorgarh is the witness to the glorious history of Rajasthan. The city derives its name from this famous fortress of Chittorgarh. The city of Chittaurgarh is located on the banks of river Gambhiri and Berach. Chittorgarh bears the true characteristics of Chattari Rajput (a Hindu Kshatriya (Warrior) caste) in pride, romance and spirit, for people of Chittor always chose death before surrendering against anyone. It recalls its history of heroism and sacrifice that is evident from the tales still sung by the bards of Rajasthan. Though it can now be called a ruined citadel there is much more to this huge fort. It is a symbol of all that was brave, true and noble in the glorious Rajput tradition.

Places to see at Chittorgarh: There is plenty to see  around Chittorgarh.

Chittorgarh Fort

According to the legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim, a Pandav hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort mostly is in ruins, it stands as an overwhelming reminder of its past history of triumph and tragedy and its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extraordinary men and women and their equally astounding deeds.

The fort’s construction is also attributed to 7 AD by the Maurya ruler Chitrangada Mori. It then came to the Sisodiya Rulers of Rajasthan. There are many temples within the fort. There is one devoted to Mira Bai as well. Mira Bai story bears a legend in history.

The other famous spot was the Rani Padmini’s palace and the story of Aladuddin Khilji. The legend goes that Khilji was strongly attracted by the queen’s beauty and he wanted to see her. They show you the mirror in which Khilji was able to see the queen’s image.

Tower of Victory – Vijay Stambh

Built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji, this nine-storey tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities all around. There is a 9 story structure within the fort called the Vijay Stambh (victory pillar) and you can climb it till 8th floor. There are around 157 narrow and dark stairs leading to the terrace. From here the balconies give a beautiful view of the whole town. When illuminated in the evening, the tower presents a breathtaking view. This tower is the piece-de-resistance of Chittaurgarh.

Tower of Fame –  Kirthi Stambh

This monument is dedicated to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Tirthankar and it is adorned by the figures of the Digambars. A narrow stairway goes through seven storeys of the tower to the top. The 22 metres high tower was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in 12th century AD.

Gaumukh Reservoir

A deep tank filled by a spring coming from gaumukh or ‘cow’s mouth’, situated at the edge of the cliff. It is considered to be sacred and you can feed fishes. 

Ratan Singh Palace

The winter palace, it over looks a small lake and although run down, is an interesting place to explore. 

Rana Kumbha Palace

The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar. Every day in the evening a light and sound show about the history of Chittaurgarh is organized in English and Hindi within this palace complex. 

Kumbha Shyam Temple

Built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo-Aryan style, the temple is associated with the mystic poetess Meerabai – an ardent Krishna devotee. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.

Padmini  Palace

It is built beside the lotus pool with a pavilion that changed the history of Chittaur. Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, saw the reflection of Queen Padmini from here and got so mesmerized by her beauty, that his quest of possessing her led to a bloody battle which saw Maharana Ratan Singh (husband of Maharani Padmini) fighting the last battle of his life and Padmini committing Johar. The epitome of beauty, the Cleopatra of Rajasthan, became an eternal legend in the history of Chittaur as also of Mewar state.

Kalika Mata Temple

Originally built as a Sun Temple in the 8th century AD, the temple was later converted into Kalika Mata Temple in the 14th century AD. It is dedicated to the mother Goddess Kali- the symbol of power and valour.

Meerabai Temple

The temple where Meerabai worshipped Lord Krishna is built in north Indian style on a raised plinth with a conical roof and beautiful inner sanctum. An open colonnade around the sanctum has four small pavilions in each corner.

Nearby attractions from Chittorgarh: You can make excursions to some spots located nearby Chittor.

Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary

A sanctuary near Bassi, covering an area of 50 Sq km with panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds. The Sanctuary is situated 5 km from the Fort on the western fringes of Vindhyachal Ranges with series of tableland, gentle slopes and vast stretches of large lakes, water channels of which penetrate into the forest. Prior permission has to be obtained from the District Forest Officer, Chittorgarh before visiting the sanctuary.

Haldighati

The historical site of Haldighati, situated towards the south west of Nathdwara, witnessed the great legendary battle fought between Maharana Pratap and  the mighty Mughal army in 1576 AD. Here stands a cenotaph with delicate white marble columns, which is dedicated to the indomitable Maharana Pratap’s loyal horse, Chetak.

Things to do at Chittorgarh: There is nothing much to do in Chittorgarh except exploring the crumbling yet glorious Chittorgarh fortress and other tourist destination.

Best time to visit Chittorgarh: Chittorgarh is accessible to tourists for most time of the year. However, the best time to spend a fulfilling holiday in Chittorgarh is during the winter time. At this time of the year, the weather is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing and enjoying the various activities Chittorgarh has to offer.

How to go ?

By Road

Chittorgarh is well connected to all parts of India by roads. The Golden Quardilateral Road Project and North-South-East-West corridor expressways passes through ChittorgarhCity.

By Rail

Chittorgarh railway station is a busy junction of western Indian railways. It has direct rail links with all major north Indian cities including Mumabi, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaipur and Kota.

By Air

The nearest airport is Udaipur (Dabok Airport). The airport is located 70 km from Chittorgarh and linked by daily Air Service from New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

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Where to stay ?

There are both government and non government hotels in Chittorgarh.

Hotel Panna: +91-01472- 241 238
Hotel Nandan Palace: +91-01472-243 314
Hotel Meera: +91-01472-240 266  Website: www.hotelmeera.com
Hotel Padmini: +91-01472-241 712  Website: www.hotelpadmini.in
Hotel Amber Plaza: +91-01472-248862

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Mount Abu

Mount Abu, Rajasthan – The sole hill station amidst the lush vegetation

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Located at an altitude of 1,219 metres, Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan. During the period of the Maharaja’s, it was used as a place of leisure by the royalties and semi-royalties. The place presents an interesting contrast of British style bungalows and holiday lodges of the royals (Thikhana) with various tribal communities residing amidst the thick lush forest on the hills surrounding the region. Covered by the profuse flora and fauna MountAbu is an ideal place to spend sometime in the lap of nature. The place is named after Arbuda Mountains and is said to be the original base of the famous Gurjars. The highest point of the Aravali is the ‘Guru Shikhar’ with a vast sanctuary that shelters a number of species like langur, wild boars, Sambar, leopards and many more along with a number of flowering plants and trees, which enhance the beauty of the whole scenery.

Places to see at Mount Abu:
Mount Abu is dotted with a number of sightseeing destinations.

Dilwara Temples

Mount Abu was an important Vaishnava and Shaivite pilgrim centre up to the 11th century AD. Today, it is recognized the world over for its magnificent Jain temples. No visit to Abu can be complete without a trip to the famed Delwara temples. These temples are the greatest draw of Abu, apart from its pleasant climate. Half hidden by mango groves, their sober exterior belies the wealth of their interior ornamentation. Wonderfully carved in marble, the Delwara temples contain the shrines of various Jain tirthankaras (saints). Built between the 11th and 13th century AD, they are famous for their superb carvings in marble.

Vimal Vasahi, the oldest temple, built by Vimal Shah, Minister of a Solanki ruler of Gujarat in 1031 A.D., is dedicated to Adinath, the first of the Jain tirthankaras. Constructed out of white marble from Arasoori Hill, near Ambaji, 23 km from Abu Road, it is an outstanding example of Jain temple architecture. The central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and a large courtyard with 52 small shrines, each housing a beautiful statue of a tirthankara with 48 elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to the courtyard.

The Luna Vasahi Temple, dedicated to the 22nd tirthankara, Neminath, was built in 1231 AD by two brothers – Vastupal and Tejpal, Minister of Raja Virdhavala, a ruler of Gujrat. The door casings, friezes, architraves, pillars and the sculptures of various porticos are simply astonishing. This structure which is unique would not have been possible without massive effort, inspired commitment and exceptional workmanship. Rewards in the form of silver and gold were offered to the workers. The most striking feature of this Jain temple is the marble pendant in the dome of the porch. It drops from the ceiling like an enchanting cluster of half-open lotuses with cups, so finely carved that they appear to be transparent.

Gurushikhar

The highest peak of the Aravali ranges (1722 mts above the sea level) allows a panoramic view of the pastoral surroundings of Mount Abu. A small shrine and a temple of Dattatreya standing on the shikhar(peak) are worth a visit.

Toad Rock

Force fully hanging over the NakkiLake, it seems as if this gigantic toad is about to leap into the lake.

Sunset Point

This point is south-west of Nakki lake, where the sun gradually sinks itself in the azure sky between the two mountain peaks. The steps lead up to a high terrace which offers an awe-inspiring view of the setting sun.

Nakki Lake

The lake is picturesquely set amidst hills and is believed to have been carved out by the gods with their nails. It is a popular spot for boating. The artificial lake here which is 1200 mts. above sea level is the highest in western India. The surrounding hills have several areas of interest.

GaumukhTemple (Vashistha Ashram)

Many sages and seers had their retreats on Mt.Abu, the most famous being sage Vashistha. Legend has it that, he performed a yagya (sacrificial fire) from which emerged the Agnikula clan of the Rajputs comprising Chauhans, Solankis, Parmars and Pratihars. A natural spring that flows through a sculpted cow’s head gives the shrine its name. Nearby is the marble image of Nandi who is said to have been  rescued by the mighty serpent ‘Arbuda’. It is accessible by car or jeep up to 3 km. Thereafter a descent of 750 steps has to be covered on foot.

Nearby attractions from Mount Abu: Just 8km from Mount Abu is the Achalgarh fort. This medieval monument was constructed by Rana Kumbha, who was responsible for building dozens of gigantic fortresses in southern Rajasthan. The walls are massive and battlemented. Its location on a mountain peak makes it more imposing. A steeply winding path leads up to the 15th century AD fortress and the temples that are located within the fortified walls.

The carved Jain temples are a ten minute climb known for their sculptures. Nearly is the Achleshwar Mahadev temple. It has a Nandi(bull) said to be made of Panchadhatu i.e. five metals – gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc. The Nandi weighs more than four tons. The temple is believed to have been built in the 9th century AD around a toe print of lord Shiva. A natural Shivalinga with idols of crystal-like stone looks opaque. However when a burning candle is placed behind it, it sparkles like crystal. The pleasant looking Mandakini Kund, with images of buffaloes is enclosed by rocky hills.

Things to do at Mount Abu: Boating in the Nakki Lake in a pleasant climate is really worth enjoying. Close to it is the sunset point, from where watching the vermillion red glows of the setting sun is splendid. If doing nothing then spending sometime idle in this serene location amidst the lush beauty of nature will itself create a charm on you.

Best time to visit Mount Abu: The climate of Mount Abu is quite cool and can be visited all through the year.

How to go ?

By Rail

Abu Road is the nearest railway station just 28 KM from the main city, which is very well connected by rail routes to New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mumbai. From Abu Road you can opt for state transport service (usually every hour) or Taxis on both sharing and private basis.

By Air

The nearest airport is Udaipur at a distance of 185 km, But Ahmedabad is having better connectivity and daily flights with other parts of the country and is just 221 KM from Mount Abu, from Ahmedabad or Udaipur

By Road

Mount Abu is well connected by road with major cities of the country, nearest national highway no. 14 is just 24 KM’s.

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Where to stay ?

A number of hotels, lodges and guesthouses are found in MountAbu suitable to all budgets. Few options are:

Hotel Shikhar: +91-02974-238944
Hotel Surya Darshan: +91-02974-6450-7178
Hotel Saraswati: +91-02974-92222 72222  Website: www.hotelsaraswati.co.in
Hotel Sheraton:+91-02974-2212-9788

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Udaipur-Lake_Palace

Udaipur, Rajasthan – The City of Lakes

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Often called the ‘Venice of the East’ Udaipur is the city of lakes and palaces. The city is covered by Aravalli Parvat from all sides. Named after its founder Maharaja Udai Singh, it came into existence in the mid of the 16th century.

The Lake Palace (Jag Niwas) located in the middle of Pichola Lake is the finest example of architectural and cultural marvel. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above enhances the beauty of this magnificent city. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, crafts and its famed miniature paintings. The Shilpgram festival is a great crowd-puller on every new  year.

Places to see in Udaipur: Udaipur is a mixed bag which multiple tourist spots.

City Palace

City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Udai Singh initiated the construction of the palace but successive Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complex but retained remarkable uniformity in the design. The entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol, the Elephant Gate. The Bari Pol or the Big Gate brings you to the Tripolia, the Triple gate. It was a custom to weigh the Maharaja under this gate in gold and silver, which was distributed to the populace. It is also now the main ticket office. Balconies, cupolas and towers of the palace give a wonderful view of the lake. Suraj Gokhada (or the balcony of the sun) is where the Maharana would grant public audiences mainly to boost the morale of the people in trying times. The Mor Chowk is the Hindi name of peacock square and is named after a vivid blue decorative glass peacock on the wall.

The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artifacts. As we go down the steps from the entrance is the armoury museum exhibiting a huge collection of protective gears and various kinds of weapons including the lethal two-pronged sword. The CityPalace museum is then entered through the Ganesh Deori. This leads to the Rajya Angan or the royal courtyard. This is the spot where Maharana Udai Singh is said to have met the sage who advised him to found a city here. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings. Manak Mahal or the RubyPalace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas displays a rich collection of miniature paintings. Moti Mahal  (the pearl palace) has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The Surya Chopar (the sun square) depicts a huge ornamental sun symbolising the sun dynasty to which the Maharajas and their ancestors belonged. The Bari Mahal is a central garden giving a view of the city. Some more beautiful paintings can be seen in the ‘Zenana Mahal’  (the ladies chamber). Then, there is the Lakshmi Chowk which is a beautiful white pavilion.

The Lake Palace 

The Lake Palace is located on Jag Niwas Island and covers the whole area (1.5 hectares) of the island in the middle of the Pichola Lake. Built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1743, it was meant as a royal summer palace but now has been converted into a five  border star palace hotel. Its superb beauty and enduring charm and its reflection in the middle of the lake is like a leaf straight out of a fairy tale book. With intricate craftsmanship and ethnic themes using textiles and handicrafts all over, its beauty is beyond description. The surrounding lake murmurs pleasantly, with her rippling and lapping waves.

Jag  Mandir

This is the other island palace on Lake Pichola, which was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singh I in the year 1620AD. It also served as a hideout for Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan), during his revolt against his father, Emperor Jehangir. The prince being the son of a Rajput mother received the royal favour. It is also said that Shah Jahan [Prince Khurram] derived some of the ideas for building the Taj Mahal from architectural beauty of this palace when he stayed here during 1623-24. The island has some striking carvings including a row of elephants that look like guarding the island. The exquisitely carved chhatri in grey and blue stone also attracts the visitors. It is also the place where European families were sheltered by Maharana Sarup Singh during the uprising of 1857 AD.

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola has two islands, Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. This lake is 4 km long and 3 km wide, originally built by Maharana Udai Singh II. There are many ghats, like the bathing and washing ghats, which can be approached through boats from the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat). In the heart of the lake the Lake Palace stands, which is now converted into a heritage palace hotel. The lake remains fairly shallow even during heavy rains, and gets dry easily in times of severe drought.

Maharana Pratap Memorial (Moti Magari)

An impressive bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on his favourite horse Chetak, stands atop the Moti Magri (Pearl Mount) overlooking Fateh Sagar. Local people climb up the hill to pay homage to Rana Pratap and his faithful charger ‘Chetak’ who was fiercely protective about its master and stood by him till its last breath. This loyal steed sacrificed its life while carrying his master to safety from the battlefield of Haldighati. The sound and light show held here every evening is worth viewing.

Nearby attractions from Udaipur: Udaipur is adorned by a number of nearby attractions.

Chittaurgarh

Chittaurgarh epitomizes Rajput spirit, valour, pride and romance. It reverberates with heroism and sacrifice the tales of which are still sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The imposing and awe inspiring fort stands on a 240-hectares site, on 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains.

It has one kilometre zigzag ascent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (meaning Gate of Ram). On the ascent between the second and the third gate, you see two ‘Chattris’ (cenotaphs) built to honour Jaimal and Kalla heroes of 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (meaning Sun Gate).

According to the legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim, a Pandav hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort mostly is in ruins, it stands as an overwhelming reminder of its past history of triumph and tragedy and its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extraordinary men and women and their equally astounding deeds. Chittaurgarh is connected by both bus and rail. The bus stand and the railway station are located in the new township.

Haldighati

The historical site of Haldighati, situated towards the south west of Nathdwara, witnessed the great legendary battle fought between Maharana Pratap and  the mighty Mughal army in 1576 AD. Here stands a cenotaph with delicate white marble columns, which is dedicated to the indomitable Maharana Pratap’s loyal horse, Chetak.

Ranakpur

Beautifully sculptured Jain temples mark the glory of this renowned place. Considered as one of the five holy places for the Jain community, these were created in the 15th century during the reign of Rana Kumbha. These are enclosed within a wall. The central Chaumukha [four faced temple] is dedicated to Adinathji. The temple is an astounding creation of architectural splendor with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars all distinctly carved, no two pillars being alike. Every hall of temple has  inconceivable surface carved with equal delicacy. Facing the main temple are the  temples -Parasvanath – Neminath with exquisite figure carving which look similar to that of Khajuraho sculptures. Another temple worth visiting is the nearby ‘SunTemple’ dedicated to the ‘Sun God’. The temple has a polygonal wall, richly embellished with carvings of warriors, horses and celestial (Nakshatras, grahs) bodies.The Sun God has been shown riding its vehicle, the chariot. There is a stream of devotees eager for blessings. Ranakpur is known as ‘the tranquil pilgrimage town’. The faultless architecture, intricate carvings, delicate designs neatly chiselled idols, diverse and multiple hues and above all, the ambience of Ranakpur palace is at par with another equally famous group of Jain temples at Mt.Abu- the Dilwara temples. For the tourism buffs a ride to the outskirts like ‘ Sadari’ – ‘Desuri’- ‘Ghanerao’- ‘Narlai’, will be found to be exciting.

Things to do in Udaipur: The erstwhile historical city will greet you with a royal welcome. For the lovers of history, art and culture Udaipur will really seem to be an ideal place.

Best time to visit Udaipur: The best time to visit Udaipur is between the months of September and March.

How to go ?

By Air

The nearest airport in Udaipur is called the Maharana Pratap Airport which is situated about 20 kilometres away from the city center. It is well-connected by air to all major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jaipur.

By Rail

Udaipur lies on a vast network of rail that connects it to major cities in India such as Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Mumbai and Kota.

By Road

There is a very well-established bus service network to Udaipur, linking it to several cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Kota and Ahmedabad, among others.

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Where to stay ?

There are numerous hotels in Udaipur. Some options are:

Hotel Kajori:+91-0294-2410501
Hotel Welcome: +91-9831070828
Hotel Tulsi Palace: +91-0294-6450-7178
Magan Palace: +91-0294-2212-7715

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

 

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Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, Rajasthan – Over 250 species of birds visiting every winter

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Tourist flock to Bharatpur in winter when the exotic birds across the globe migrates to  Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary has over 250 species of birds visiting every winter. It is  one of the famous sanctuary for birds in the world and therefore marked as World Heritage Site. Beside Birds there are various species of Snakes, Jackles , Fox, Amphibian, Jungle Cat, Deer, Nilgai, Blackbuck, Cheetal and many more animals. It is a heaven for bird lovers and photographers. Once this place was the hunting ground for Maharaja of Bharatpur.

keoladeo-bird-sanctuary-in-rajasthanTo get the essence of the park  divide your trip into  three parts, early in the morning, afternoon and in the dusk. Enjoy the songs of the lurk, and the  sightings of  various types of kingfisher, bee eater, warbler early in the morning, while in the afternoon  get spectacular sightings of ducks.  Ducks from china to flamingoes, pelican, golden goose to beautiful Himalayan goose  all  right in front of your eyes.  With nilgai and deer roaming around, it will be an extra toppings  to your day out. Lets not get exhausted right now, wait for the dusk to  catch some  night herons, bittern and various species of owl. Justice can be only done if you hire  rickshaw or cycle. Rickshaw  charge around 70 INR per hour for a whole day trip. If you want to take it for half the day the charge is little more, but don’t forget to  flaunt your bargaining skills. These rickshaw pullers have excellent knowledge about birds  and they will guide you in your hunt. Binocular is must in your trip. Renting is available but if your rickshaw puller carry one, you will get an added  advantage. Don’t forget to thank him for his amazing binocular with an extra tip. Their binoculars are  specialized with night vision too, spotting birds with it will be an amazing experience.

It is said that Dr. Salim Ali did his research in this  sanctuary for days, to keep track of every bird which migrated here. If you want to gain some more knowledge about birds help your self with  Bird of Indian subcontinent by Dr Salim Ali from the Souvenir shop just around the corner of the sanctuary. Entering the sanctuary cost around 50 per person. It is up to you if you want to walk enter  time or take ride. It is important that you chalk your  route before you set for your journey.

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Entry to the Park – 6am – 6Pm

Expenses

Entry fee -50INR

Video Camera -200INR

Rickshaw -70INR/Hr

Boat ride -100INR/person

When to Visit– October – April  for migratory  birds ( Though birds migrate in winter, but sometime visibility inside the sanctuary become less because of the fog). Temperature  drops to 5 degree Celsius.

Aug – Oct –  Resident birds.

RTDC : Tourist Reception Center, Agra  Road, Bharatpur
Tel: 05644 222542

How to reach – Rail :  Golden temple  Mail ( Dep: Hazrat Nizamuddin 7.45 am  and reach Bharatpur at 10.30 am)

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