Places To Visit In Rajasthan...

The Golden land of India Rajasthan with the golden glow of desert landscape, the shimmering emerald water surrounding the medieval lakes, grand palaces, bustling bazaars, endless desert sands, teeming wild & bird life are as much a part of Rajasthan. Rajasthan, the land of Prince and Princess the most amazing legends of devotion, romance and heroism come alive. One has to visit this land of culture heritage with a treasure of history, picturesque architecture and bewitching landscape is unparalleled destination of India. Rajasthan offers the visitors both quiet moments of relaxation and adventure. Here are the most exotic places to visit in Rajasthan.

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Jaipur

Popularly known as Pink city, was built in 1727 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by the brilliant young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Designed in accordance with Shilp Shastra an ancient Hindu concept on architecture - Jaipur follows a grid system. The wide straight bazaars, roads, galis, mohallas and uniform rows of shops on either side of main bazaars are arranged in nine rectangular city sectors called chaukris. Encircled by a formidable wall, Jaipur was the only planned city of its time and is the first planned city of India, located in the desert lands of Rajasthan. The city that once had been the capital of the royalty, now serves as the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal family. Presently, Jaipur is the major business centre for the natives of Rajasthan with all requisites of a metropolitan city. The city of Jaipur, painted in pink, grasp the appreciation of every visitor. One can see that past charm is still alive in the avenues of Jaipur. The active streets of Jaipur get plenty of visitors, every year at their footsteps. The ancient testimonials in the form of mind-blowing monuments remind one of the past ages. The city comprises the famous structures like Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Amber Fort, the best architectural examples of India. Artistic temples and gardens of Jaipur, marks the atmosphere of serenity and aestheticism to the lands of Rajasthan. The lively city observes its ethnicity by celebrating various festivals of Indian origin like Kite festival, Elephant festival and many others, All these features make Jaipur, one of the most sought after tourist destinations of Rajasthan, India. The glorious city boasts of its cultural heritage from every nook and corner. Jaipur is the reservoir of Indian customs, traditions, civilization and legacy.

Jodhpur

Popularly known as Surya Nagari, it was the capital of the former princely State of Marwar. Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. Rao Jodha got the Mehrangarh fort built and around this fort grew the city of Jodhpur. Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459. It is named Jodhpur after him. Rajasthan was previously known as Marwar. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. It is divided into two parts the old city and the new city. The old city is separated by a 10 km long wall surrounding it. Also it has eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Jodhpur is a very popular tourist destination. The landscape is scenic and mesmerizing. Jodhpur city has many beautiful palaces and forts such as Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhavan, Palace and Rai ka Bag Palace. Other charms of Jodhpur include Government museum and its beautiful Umed garden. The city is known as the "Sun City" because of its bright and sunny weather throughout the year.

Ajmer

Ajmer was founded by great Raja Prithviraj Chauhan in 7th century. It is 120 km west of Jaipur, Ajmer is known for Dargah of Khwaja Mu'in-ud-din Chisti and Ana Sagar Lake. Also known for the famous boarding schools Sophia College and Mayo College. The Greatest Sufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti Dargah Ajmer Sharief - Islam, Sufism and the Sufi Tradition of Chishti, all of them teaching the real message which is peace, submission, surrender and obedience to Almighty God "Love Is the Real Message of Mankind. All Love seekers come to Ajmer & feel the essence of Love of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti". Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti occupies a prominent place among the spiritual healers of the world. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti popularly known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz was born in 1142 A.D. in Sanjar, Iran. His paternal genealogy is related to Hazrat lmam Hussain and to Hazrat Imam Hassan. And thus he is a direct descendant of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad.

Alwar

Alwar is a beautiful city one 143 km from Jaipur and 164 km from Delhi. Alwar, also known as the Tiger Gate of Rajasthan, nestles between several small hills, maneuvering a picturesque postcard setting and looks with a dramatically forbidding fort at the backdrop, as if carved magnificently out of the rugged rocks of Aravallis. Once a part of the ancient Matsya Desh kingdom, this tiny pack of surprises is now a part of Rajasthan, the north-western state of India.. The beauty of the delicate forts and palaces dotting the region, stately hunting lodges at Sariska, sites of archeological importance on lapidarian hills, lush green deciduous forests where several birds and animals cohabit in an equally diverse socio-cultural domain, have made this region a traveler's delight and the true attraction of Alwar.

Banswara

Famous for its Baneshwar Festival it is a small town 527 km from Jaipur & 160 kms from Udaipur. It can be best described as the native place of the Bhils who form 39% of the tribal population of India. Banswara either got its name from bans or bamboo trees which once grew in abundance here, or from a Bhil chieftain named Bansna. This Bhil chief was killed by Maharawal Jagmal Singh in the battle over the possession of the region. But Jagmal was quite impressed by Bansna's bravery, and true to his generous nature he named the place after his rival. Banswara is presently known as the city of Hundred Islands due to the river Mahi, which borders the district and surrounds a number of islands. The Mahi River, revered by the locals, separates the Banswara and Dungarpur districts into two distinct regions. Banswara lies on the southeast of Rajasthan and is bounded by Udaipur in the west, Chittaurgarh in the north and the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the east and the south respectively.

Bharatpur Palace

This palace is a fusion of the Mughal and Rajput art and was built in different phases by different kings who ruled this city. This Palace has now become a museum displaying collections dating back to the second century A.D. The apartments in the Palace have beautiful carvings and furnishings and the floor tiles have interesting patterns. The palace is located very close to the museum and can be easily visited by tourists to the city. Bharatpur is a mere 55 km from Agra and just about an hour in travel time.

Bikaner

Forms the third important destination in the desert triangle, along with Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. It is Rajasthan's fourth largest city, situated in the Thar desert. Popularly addressed as the camel country, it is a city surrounded by sand dunes. In route on your way from Jaipur 330 km to Jaisalmer 320 km, Bikaner was founded in 15th century by Rao Bika. Known for durries, carpets, hand painted lamp shades, and mojari slippers. It is surrounded by sand dunes. Founded in 1488, the city of the imposing Junagarh fort and many palaces within it, contribute to its timeless beauty.

Junagarh Fort

The one fort said to have never been captured. It houses red sandstone and marble palaces like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal, a royal temple called Har Mandir, This fort was erected in 1593 A.D by Raja Rai Singh, the illustrious general of the army of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The fortress is bounded by a moat and consists of 37 palaces and pavilions including Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal and Karan Mahal. The museum within the fort encloses priceless miniature paintings and extraordinary antiques that are of great interest for art lovers. Bikaner abounds in beautiful havelis, the ancient luxurious mansions with sprawling courtyards where the nobles or the affluent people of Rajasthan lived. These havelies belonged to the Kotharis, Rampurias, Vaids and Dagas and were located in the regions like Gogagate, Daddhon Ka Chowk and so on.

Bundi

Bundi and Kota were once a single principality ruled by the Hada Chauhans, an offshoot of the famous clan of Chauhans who ruled Delhi and Ajmer. After the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan by Sultan Mohammed Ghori in 1193, the Chauhan nobles sought sanctuary in Mewar. They were welcomed and proved allies to the Rana. Yet some young warriors ventured on their own overpowered the Meena and Bhil Tribals of Chambal valley and established the kingdom of Hadavati or Hadoti. Later two branches of the Hadas formed two separate states on either sides of the Chambal. These were Kota and Bundi. Bundi town nestles in a narrow valley, enclosed by huge walls and fortified by four gateways. In the centre of the township lies a lake. A medieval fortress stands sentinel to this city  a mute witness to history and time.

Bundi is famous for its intricate paintings and murals. Bundi lies embraced by hills, the capital of the Hada Rajputs who established their stronghold in these forested hills, but fate and the forces of power created Kotah, a breakaway part of Bundi that went on to become larger and more powerful than its parent state. Surrounded by the Aravalli hills on the three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways, it is 206 km from Jaipur and 40 km from Kota, In the middle of beautifully wooded revives is a gorge of the Menal river and the ruins of what used to be the mountain retreat of the great Raja Prithviraj Chauhan.

Jaisalmer

The golden city of Jaisalmer, which lies courageously as the western sentinel of India, is a place worth visiting. The golden ray of the setting sun draws a heavenly picture on the sands of Jaisalmer. The magnificent wood and stone carved mansions and buildings display the love of the Rajputs towards the fine arts. Jaisalmer is situated in the westernmost part of the state of Rajasthan, the heart of the great Thar Desert. It has neighbouring Pakistan on its western side. On its south, there is the beautiful city of Bikaner. The eastern part of the place is bordered by Jodhpur, another city of colour and tradition. The climate of this city is of typical desert character. Population. The best time to visit this desert city is the winter season (November to February) when the heat becomes comparatively low. The city Jaisalmer was founded by Bhatti Rajput Rawal Jaisal in 1156. The history of Jaisalmer also reveals the courage and determination of the Rajputs. The city used to be a major trade center as it was the trade route of the western countries to India.

Lalgarh Palace

This majestic palace built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in 1902 is a magnum opus in red sandstone. This architectural wonder was created by the fusion of Rajput, Mughal and european architecture and exhibits superb craftsmanship in the form of striking latticework and filigree work.

Chittaurgarh

Founded by Bappa Rawal in 8th century it is 110 km from Udaipur and 300 km from Jaipur. It was known for the massive fort 3 mile long and 495 feet high. Mirabai, 16th century poet and saint was from this place. Also known for Vijaystambha, Kirtistambha and Rani Padmini. The story of Chittorgarh is a saga of valor, tenacity and sacrifice. Chittorgarh was sacked three times and its defenders had to make the supreme sacrifice. The Fort of Chittorgarh is a treasure trove of history and offers to the traveler an insight into the life of the Great Rajput rulers, who laid down their lives fighting a superior enemy instead of leading a life of submission under them.

The origin of Chittorgarh can be traced to the seventh century. Earlier it was known as Chitrakut, after a local Rajput chieftain named Chitrang. It remained the capital of the local Sisodia clan of Rajputs from the 8th to the 16th century. The history of this town is written in blood and sacrifice. Muslim rulers sacked it three times in the medieval period. The first was by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi in 1303. Khilji laid siege of this hill fort to capture the beautiful Padmini, the queen of Chittorgarh. When the situation worsened, Bhim Singh, the ruler of Chittorgarh, led his men donned with saffron robes of sacrifice, and rode out of the fort to certain death. Inside the fort, women, including Padmini and the children, committed mass suicide or jauhar by immolating themselves on a huge pyre, rather than losing their honor at the hands of the enemy. Chittorgarh was sacked again in 1535 by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. The jauhar that followed the siege saw the death of 13,000 women and 32,000 Rajput soldiers. The third and final siege took place in 1568 at the hands of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Jaimal and Kalla, two Rajput generals, valiantly defended the fort but with their death and deteriorating situation, jauhar was performed. However, Maharana Udai Singh II, the ruler of Chittorgarh, fled to Udaipur and re-established his rule. The Mughal emperor Jahangir returned Chittorgarh to its rulers in 1616.

Kota

Kota is located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan, in the north-western part of India. It is located on the eastern bank of Chambal river and is drained by its tributaries. Kota is on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest axis of the town. It is 36 km from Bundi. Summers April to June are quite hot while winters October to February are cool It experiences scant rainfall between June and August. Famous for its Dussehra Mela, it is 240 km from Jaipur and 131 km from Ajmer, There are a number of interesting places to be visit in Kota. The city fort and palace, one of its main attractions, is located on the eastern banks of the Chambal River, near the Kota Barrage. This type of fort-palace complex is one of the largest to be found in the state of Rajasthan. The museum within the city palace is worth visiting, as it houses a good collection of artifacts. Kishore Sagar tank, built in 1346, located near the palace is an important tourist attraction. The little Jagmandir palace, built on a small island at the center of this tank by one of the local rulers in 1740, is another place to visit. Adjacent to the Kishore Sagar is the Brij Vilas Palace Museum, a small government museum. Other tourist spots in Kota include a number of gardens. The Chambal gardens and the Chhattar Bilas gardens are the main ones to be visited. Chhattar Bilas gardens have a number of royal cenotaphs.

Mount Abu

Mount Abu situated at a average height of 1,219 M above sea level is the oasis in the deserted land of Rajasthan and posses the honor of being the only hill-station in Rajasthan as well as north-west India, The world famous tourist destination is known for its Delwara Jain temples and natural beauty world over, situated amidst lush green forested hills on the highest peak in the Aravali range is also the summer capital for the Indian state of Rajasthan, home to lakes, waterfalls and green forests, the hill retreat, has a very cool and soothing climate thanks to its rich flora covering the entire hillside that includes coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. Mount Abu with its world-class tourist facilities with hotels ranging from budget class to three star and heritage provides a great holiday escape and honeymoon attraction. Every year more than three million national and international tourists visit mount Abu enjoying its scenic beauty, rich flora & fauna as well as the marble art of delwara Jain temples.

Nathdwara

The township of Nathdwara or the gateway of lord is approximately 48 km from Udaipur. The main attraction of this town is the great Lord Krishna shrine, built in the 17th century. There is a legend attached to this holy town. It is believed that the Lord himself defined the place where now the shrine stands. The statue of Lord Krishna was being transferred from Vrindaban to shield it from the devastating and harmful anger of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The image was being carried in a bullock cart. It is said that when the vehicle reached the spot of the shrine, its wheel got stuck in the mud. The priest traveling with the statue comprehended that Lord Krishna had chosen the spot for his shrine. Thereafter, a temple of Lord Krishna was constructed at that particular spot. The temple of Nathdwara in Rajasthan, India houses a black stone statue of Lord Krishna. Just like a living deity, the idol of the Lord follows a daily routine like taking a bath, dressing up, having a meal, resting, etc. The arties and shringar (dressing up) of the deity are some of the main attraction points of the temple. The idol is dressed up in delicately woven shaneels and silk cloth, adorned with real beautiful zari and shredded work. Loads of dazzling jewelry ornamenting the Lord further enhances his divinity.

Pushkar

Pushkar is one of the most famous Hindu pilgrimage sites and it is said that a dip in the sacred lake of Pushkar is equivalent to the visits to the four main Hindu shrines known as 'Chaar Dhaam'. The charming lake of Pushkar is surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth and presents an ideal site for the religious and cattle fair, which is held every year in the month of October or November. Pushkar alone has more than 400 temples and is said to be the only place with a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, one of the most important member of the Holy Trinity of Hindus who is known as 'The Creator'.

According to Hindu mythology, all the gods visit Pushkar for five days in a year to bless the devout and cleanse them of their sins. There are many legends associated to the origin of Pushkar and Pushkar Fair but they have one thing in common. They are all associated with Lord Brahma. A visit to Pushkar fair is an experience of a lifetime and is certainly not worth a miss.

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