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Hawa Mahal : Jaipur histocial monument - Jaipur Hotels List

About Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of vibrant colour is endowed with rich cultural and natural heritage. A legendary land that lives up to the romance and history spelt by its name. An uncompromising land where impregnable fortresses and magnificent palaces rise steep hills, and beautiful temples lie in peaceful glades. It has an unusual diversity in all its forms-people, customs, culture, costumes, music manners, dialects, cuisine and physiography. The state is a permanent bastion of Indian Culture and spirituality, where relics of its golden heritage are carefully preserved. Rajasthan, the treasure house of history, is also known for its spell binding scenic beauty, ranging from the golden glow of desert landscape, to the lofty hills of aravalli's. The exotic land is also a treasure trove of handicrafts and a shapes paradise. Today, the enchanting dances, music, fairs and festivals of the state have become popular in all corners of the globe.

 

MAJOR TOURIST CENTRES

AJMER- The holy city of Rajasthan is located 131 km west of Jaipur. The city is set in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Aravalli's. It was founded by Raja Ajaipal Chauhan in the 7th centuary A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammad Gauri. Since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties. From 1818 onwards it came under the domain of the British, who left behind a legacy of excellent educational institutions. Today Ajmer has become a great centre of pilgrimage of both Hindus and Muslims, and is a shining example of communal harmony and brotherhood. The Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, built in 13th century is the major attraction of the city. Millions of pilgrims from all sects and religions visit the shrine during the annual celebration of the Urs. Other places of interest are Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra, Ana Sagar, Taragarh Fort, Mayo College, Anted ki Mata etc.

BHARATPUR- ' The eastern Gateway to Rajasthan', it is well connected with three most important destinations of  India, namely Delhi (176 Km), Agra (55Km) and Jaipur (176Km). Bharatpur is well known for the Keoladeo National Park, a unique bird place recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The national park has more than 375 species of beautiful birds which include Kingfishers, Pelicans, Siberian Cranes, Painted Stroks, Egrets etc. There are also plenty of duck species and predatory birds at the park. Bharatpur is also known for its rich historical past, which can be witnessed at the Loha Garh Fort, the Palace and Govt. Museum.

BIKANER- It was a flourishing trade centre in the medieval period, as it lay on the ancient cross-desert caravan routes which linked West/ Central Asia and North India with the seaports of  Gujarat. Founded in 1488 A.D. by the Rathore prince Bika, the town still retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle. The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Undulating lanes, colourful bazars and bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting experience. Places of interest in town are Junagarh Fort, Lal Garh Palace, Rajasthan state Archives, Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, Jain Temples, Devi Kund etc.

AROUND BIKANER- Deshnok karni Mata Temple (30 km)- The sacred shrine is dedicated to Karni Mata the titular deity of Bikaner dynasty. The temple is unique as rats are venerated here and called kabas. It is believed that these kabas carry souls of charans-bards who inhabit the region. The Temple has richly carved etrance and super silver doors, with images of Gods embossed on it.

BUNDI- 36 km from Kota, the beautiful town nestles along a narrow gorge in the hills and is enclosed by walled fortifications. The town has an immense wealth of historical monuments including impressive forts, palaces, havelis, temples with beautiful stone idols and cenotaphs with carved pillars, along with a picturesque lake in the heart of the town. However Bundi is well known for its high quality wall paintings and intricate carvings. The places of interest are Taragarh Fort, The Palace, Chhattar Mahal, Chitrashala and Sukh Mahal etc.

CHITTAURGARH- The pride and glory of Rajasthan. The town is known for its glorious fprt, which can be singled out for its glorious past and valour. The fort is perched on 180 meter high hill, covering an area of 700 acres, and can be reached through several gates . The fort is studded with several historical monuments and memorials, the important one's are Vijay Stanbh, Kirti Stambh, Rana Kumbha's Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera & Kumbha Shyam Temple etc. The imposing fort has witnessed some bloodiest battles in the Indian history, three great seiges and some of the most heroic deeds of valor, which are still sung by the local musicians.

JAIPUR- The 'Pink City', capital of Rajasthan, was founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727 A.D. He was not only a great ruler, but also a renowned mathematician and astrologer. His various talents are clearly exhibited in the city. Jaipur can also be called the first planned city of the country. It was designed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya as per the Hindu treatise, Shilp Shastra. The entire city was divided in rectangular blocks and surrounded by peripheral wall with huge gates guarding it. The market places were named after the commodity which was predominantly sold or manufactured there. Major monuments of the city are located in the Chokri Sarhad or the palace sector, the area in and around City Palace. The important places to see are the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Rambagh Palace, Jantar Mantar, Central Museum, Dolls Museum, New Vidhan Sabha and Laxmi Narayan Temple etc. Jaipur is a shoppers paradise, with its rich treasure of bewitching jewellry, beautiful gems, semi precious stones, Kundan and Minakari work (enamel on gold). It also has a range beautiful cotton fabrics including Sanganeri prints, tie-and-dye and fine Kota doria saris. The exotic blue pottery, enamel ware and brass ware, make excellent souvenirs and gift items. The embroidered leather footwear known as jutis, woollen carpets and cotton rugs are also very popular among visitors.
Jaipur is also known for its fairs and festival. The important festivals of the city are Gangaur (Mar.-Apr.), Elephant Festival (Mar.) and Teej (Jul.-Aug.)

AROUND JAIPUR

JAISALMER- The 'Golden City' was founded in 1156 A.D. by Rao Jaisal. Located in the heart of the Thar desert, few cities in the world can match its magnificence. It was the domain of Bhati Rajputs, who were known for their valour and chivalry. They levied taxes on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi or Sindh. Traces of this former opulence are seen in the majestic buildings built here in luminous sandstone. The Golden Fort or Sonar Killa grows out of a rock in an undulating sea of sand. Built in yellow sandstone the imposing fort stands in awesome splendor, dominating the amber- hued city. The entire living area is well protected inside the ramparts of the fort. It houses excellent palaces and old Jain temples dating back to 12th-15th century. Jaisalmer is renowned for its intricately carved and chiseled haveli's (mansions), which illustrate superb craftsmanship. The most important among them are Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmaiji ki Haveli. The Sam Sand Dune (45 km), Lodurva (16 kms), Aakal(17kms) and Desert National Park (45km) are important tourist sites around Jaisalmer.

JODHPUR- The fortified city of Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodhaji-chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs. The imperial city set at the edge of the Thar desert, is replete with amazing legends of romance and heroism. A major trade centre of 16th century, Jodhpur has grown to become the second largest city of the State. Magnificent Mehrangarh fort stands atop a 125 meter high hill dominating the city's skyline. It is one of the most impressive and formidable fort of the country. The palace inside is adorned by intricately carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. The beautiful apartments within house a rich and varied collection of palanquins, howdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings, folk music instruments, costumes, furniture and an impressive armory. The display of cannons on the  ramparts near Chamunda temple is among the rarest in India. Jaswant Thada, the memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, built in 1899 in white marble near the fort is  noteworthy for its superb architecture. The Umaid Bhawan Palace, is the only palace built in 20th century, and is a splendid example of Indo-colonial style of 30s. A portion of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel. Other places of interest are the Girdikot and Sardar Market, Mandore Gardens, Kailana Lake etc.

AROUND JODHPUR - Osian (65 km)

The ancient town of the Thar desert is an archaeological delight. It has sixteen Brahamanical and Jain temples, beautifully sculpted and designed. Sacchiya Mata and Mahavir Jain temples are the largest among surviving shrines. Phalodi Khichan (135km)- Phalodi is the city of richly carved havelis and temples. Nearby, is the village Khichan, which is visited annually during the winters by migratory Demoiselle, Cranes, locally called as Kudan.

KOTA- The historical town is located along the eastern bank of river Chambal. It is an amazing blend of medieval age and modern industrial station. The town is dotted with age old monuments and temples retaining the glory of bygone era, as well as present day edifices and heavy industries, the history of the city dates back to the 12th century A.D., when Hada Chieftain  Rao Deva conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti. The commanding Garh (Palace Fort) stands like a sentinel over the present day Chambal valley project. This large complex, also called as City Palace, dates back to a time when Kota was a part of Huda Rajput Kingdom. The Darbar Hall decorated with marvelous mirrorwork, ebont and ivory inlaid doors, houses an impressive collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school. Other places of interest are Chambal Garden, Govt. Museum and Jag Mandir etc.

AROUND KOTA - Bardoli (48 km)

- Rajasthan's oldest and most beautiful temple complex dating back to 9th century A.D. is located here. KUMBHALGARH- The massive mountain fortress of Kumbhalgarh was built by Maharana Kumbha in 15th century. It perches atop a cluster of thirteen mountain peeks of Aravalli. The awe inspiring fortress is the second most important of Rajasthan after Chittaurgarh.It is encompassed by a 36 km long wall, has seven majestic gates and seven ramparts, one within the other. Also found here are ancient Jain and Hindu temples with exquisite carvings and few cenotaphs or chattris. Notable sites around Kumbhalgsrh are- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife century, Haldighati- the scene of famous battle of1576 fought between Rana Pratap and Mughal Emperor Akbar. The beautiful Jain temples of Ranakpur are located 50 km from Kumbhalgarh. These temples are fine examples of temple architecture.

MOUNT ABU- The only hill resort of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is not only rated among the best hill stations of the country but is also an important Rajput and Jain pilgrim centre. The town forms an amphitheatre around Nakki Lake, which is believed to be dug out by gods with their nail (nakh). The Dilwara Jain temples, built between11th and 13th centuries are the major attraction of Mount Abu. These marvels in white Marble are known for the intricate carvings and sculptures. The Vashista Temple at Gau Mukh is a holy site, where it is believed that Agnikula Rajputs were created. Other important temple is the Adhar Devi or Arbuda Devi Temple, which is chiseled out of a huge rock.Other places of interest are Honeymoon Point or Anadra Point, Guru Shikhar (Highest peak of Aravali) and Brahma Kumari's World Spiritual University called as Om Shanti Bhawan or Universal Peace Hall.

PUSHKAR- The important Hindu pilgrim centre is located 11 km from Ajmer. The flourishing temple town built around the sacred Pushkar Lake, is full of religious myths and faith. The holy lake has 52 ghats (bathing places), where pilgrims take ritual dip in the lake. The biggest attraction of the holy city is the temple of Brahma-The Lord of Creation. The annual Pushkar Fair held on Kartik Poornima (Full moon in Oct.- Nov.), is one of the largest cattle fair in the country. Pilgrims and tradesman come here in thousands from far and near. The fair today has become one of the major tourist attraction of state. Camel-cart races and various cultural events are organised during the fair.

RANTHAMBHOR- It is a small village near Sawai Madhopur (10km), and is named after the two hills, Ran and Thambhor which are in close proximity. The ancient fort is built on the Thambhor hill, and is believed to be the oldest fort of the state. The massive gates and mighty ramparts of the fort have faced many attacks valiantly. The chivalry of King Hammir is still remembered, who faced Alaudin Khilji gallantly against all odds. THe fort houses many places, but most of them in ruins. The most interesting and famous site in the fort, is the temple of Lord Ganesha. Thousands of pilgrims gather here to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi. The sacred Shrine receives a large mail, mainly consisting of wedding invitations for Lord Ganesha from all parts of the country. The Ranthambhor fort forms the backdrop of the famous Ranthambhor National Park, which is nestled in the lap of Aravalli and Vindhya ranges. It is a success Story of "Project Tiger", and can almost guarantee tiger sightings. The best time to visit the park is November and April.

SHEKHAWATI- The semi-desert region of Shekhawati is popularly known as The open-air art gallery of Rajasthan. The region lies in the triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner and includes Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu districts of Rajasthan. Shekhawati, is unique as no where else in the world there is such a profusion of exquisite wall paintings, executed with utmost care and perfection in Hundreds of haveli's, temples, cenotaphs, wells and forts. Some of the best towns for fresco-seeing are Jhunjhunu, Mandawa, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Churu, Mahansar, Mukundgarh, Dundlod, Nawalgarh, Lakshmangarh and Sikar, which are easily accessible.

UDAIPUR- The 'City of Lakes' is perhaps the most romantic and beautiful city of India. In contrast to its desert neighbourhood it stands out with an enchanting image of white marble palaces, placid blue lakes, gardens and temples surrounded by hills and mountains. It was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 A.D. on the shores of lake Pichhola. The most striking landmark of the city are the City Palace and Lake Palace. The City Palace is the largest palace complex of Rajasthan. The enormous whit structure is 30.4 metres high and 244 metres in length, which stands majestically overlooking the Pichhola lake and surrounded by crenellated walls. The Lake Palace or Jag Niwas, standing in the turquoise waters of Lake Pichhola is considered to be one of the most beautiful palaces of the world. The palace has been converted into a luxury hotel. Other island palace at lake- Pichhola is the Jag Mandir. Other places of interest in the city are Jagdish Temple, Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, Saheliyon-ki-Bari, Pratap Memorial, Fateh Sagar and Sajjan Garh etc.

AROUND UDAIPUR-

(i) Eklingi Temple (22 Km)-The beautifully sculpted temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva was built in 734 A.D. The walled complex encloses 108 temples.

(ii) Jaisamand (50km)- It is the second largest artificial lake in Asia and was built by Maharaja jai Singh in the 17th century A.D. The lake is about 9 miles long and 6 miles wide covering an approx. area of 21 sq. miles. Graceful marble chhatris flank the beautiful embankment and beautiful summer palaces are built on either side of the lake.

(iii) Nageda (23 km)- It was the first capital of Bappa Rawal. The tenth century Sas Bahu Temples dedicated to Sas (mother-in-law) and Bahu (daughter-in-law) is rated among the best temples in India. Nathdwara (48km)- It is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centre. The sacred 17th century shrine houses a black marble statue of Shri Nathji or Lord Krishna. The statue is more than 600 years old and was brought in1669 from Mathura to protect it from the destructive hands of Mughals. Thousands of pilgrims: visit the shrine especially during the festival of Diwali, Holi and Janamashtmi.

 

Rajasthan General Information

Area         
Capital      
Population
Languages 
:342,239sq.kms.
: Jaipur
: 4,40,05,990
: Hindi, Rajasthani
Per Capita Rs.
Roads
Railways
Airports    
:13,066 (03-04)
:83,469 Km
:6,228 Km
: 4
 

 


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