Formed on the 30th of March 1949, Rajasthan, literally meaning, the "Land of Kings", the name adopted by the British Raj, and merged into the Dominion of India, by them, is a state in northern India. It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population. Located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises of most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert (also known as the "Great Indian Desert") shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest.
Major features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Kalibangan and Balathal, the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range and in eastern Rajasthan, the Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to three national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota.
Rajasthan is a manifestation of history, heritage, art and culture, that would probably be the envy of any other state in India. It is all about the valour of the Kings, Maharajas and the Rajputs who fought for their state and the country from being plundered by the external forces and sacrificed their lives and those of their families, as well, for their land. Finally, submitting to the British for the sake of internal autonomy. Thus, for someone interested in history a visit to this princely state, on a Rajasthan package, would be a matter of great importance to get the feel of history. The state also comprises UNESCO world heritage sites and some historical ruins of past civilizations.
Parts of what is now Rajasthan, were, at some point of time, a part of the Vedic Civilisation and Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan, in the Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. Another archaeological excavation at Balathal site in Udaipur district shows a settlement contemporary with the Harrapan civilization dating back to 3000 – 1500 BC. Stone Age tools dating from 5,000 to 200,000 years were also found in Bundi and Bhilwara districts of the state
The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was openly acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh. Owing to their many dynasties in this part of the country, the region was known as Gurjaratra. Up to the 10th century AD, almost all of North India acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars, with their seat of power at Kannauj.
The Rajputs, time and again, put up resistance to the Islamic invasions with their warfare and chivalry for centuries. The Rana of Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Rana Hammir Singh, defeated the Tughlaq dynasty and recovered a large portion of Rajasthan, the historical evidence of which is there for you to see, for yourself, when on your best Rajasthan tour packages. The indomitable Rana Kumbha defeated the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat and made Mewar the most powerful Rajput Kingdom in India
During Akbar's reign most of the Rajput kings accepted Mughal suzerainty, but the rulers of Mewar (Rana Udai Singh II) and Marwar (Rao Chandrasen Rathore) refused to have any form of alliance with the Mughals. To teach the Rajputs a lesson Akbar attacked Udai Singh and killed Rajput commander Jaimal of Chitor and the citizens of Mewar in large numbers.
In order to avenge the citizens of Chittor, Maharana Pratap took an oath to fight the Mughal empire till his death and liberated most of Mewar apart from Chittoor itself. Maharana Pratap soon became the most celebrated warrior of Rajasthan and became famous all over India for his sporadic warfare and noble actions.
It was finally in the 19th century that the Rajput kingdoms, having exhausted themselves fighting the mughals, and to save their kingdoms from instability, rebellions and banditry the Rajput kings concluded treaties with the British, accepting British suzerainty and control over their external affairs in return for internal autonomy.
Geographically speaking, Rajasthan encompasses a major portion of the Thar Desert and the Aravalli Range, which runs through the state from southwest to northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than 850 kilometers Mount Abu lies at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River, although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana in the direction of Delhi where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths in the east and south direction.
The Aravalli Range and the lands to the east and southeast of the range are generally more fertile and better watered. This region is home to the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion, with tropical dry broadleaf forests that include teak, Acacia, and other trees. The hilly Vagad region, home to the cities of Dungarpur, and Banswara lies in southernmost Rajasthan, on the border with Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. With the exception of Mount Abu, Vagad is the wettest region in Rajasthan, and the most heavily forested.
North of Vagad lies the Mewar region, home to the cities of Udaipur and Chittorgarh, which are a must visit cities while on your Rajasthan holiday tour package. The Hadoti region lies to the southeast, on the border with Madhya Pradesh. North of Hadoti and Mewar lies the Dhundhar region, home to the state capital of Jaipur. Mewat, the easternmost region of Rajasthan, borders Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Eastern and southeastern Rajasthan is drained by the Banas and Chambal rivers, tributaries of the Ganges.
The northwestern portion of Rajasthan is generally sandy and dry. Most of this region is covered by the Thar Desert which extends into adjoining portions of Pakistan. The Thar Desert is thinly populated; the town of Jodhpur is the largest city in the desert and known as the gateway of the Thar desert. The desert has some major districts like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, and Nagaur. This area is also important from the defense point of view.
Another very important aspect of Rajasthan is it’s vibrant culture and rich heritage that draws innumerable tourists from across the globe. Its major attractions include the ruins of Indus Valley Civilization, the oldest mountain range- Aravalli, a Jain pilgrimage site known as Dilwara Temples, Karni Mata Mandir, the only hill station of Rajasthan- Mount Abu, Keoladeo National Park (formerly known as Bharatpur National Park, the Ranthambore National Park and the Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Some of its major architectural wonders include Chittorgarh fort - the largest fort in Asia, Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur while Jaipur, “The Pink City”, houses a number of well known tourists spots which include Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Lake Palace, City Palace, Amber Palace, Jantar Mantar, Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer Fort in Jaisalmer and many more.
Not only this, the princely state of Rajasthan is a host to a variety of colorful fairs and festivals, to be experienced during your Rajasthan trip package or Rajasthan holiday tour packages, some of which are the Pushkar Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival, Jodhpur Flamenco Gypsy Festival, Jaipur Heritage International Festival, Desert Festival, Urs at Ajmer, Teej and many more, known for their uniqueness and attract a large number of tourists from India and overseas, every year, who are on either their
Major Cities Of This Princely State
Jaipur The Pink City
History of the origin of the Jaipur city can be traced back to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city. It also holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India.
Renowned globally for its colored gems, this capital city of Rajasthan combines the fascination of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis,
a visit to this city is an experience to be cherished for life and is an essential inclusion in your tour itinerary when on your budget tour of Rajasthan package.
The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Legend has it that in 1876, when the Prince of Wales visited India, on a tour and since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold, more so as the city rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Garh Ganesh Temple.
Must Visit Places Amber(Amer) Palace
Amber (pronounced Amer) is located at a distance of about 11 kilometers from Jaipur. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today, Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful mélange of Hindu and Mughal styles. Raja Man Singh I began construction in 1592 and the palace, which was built as a strong, safe haven against attacking enemies, was completed by Mirza Raja Jai Singh.
The contrast between the harsh exterior and the inviting interior couldn’t be more surprising. Made entirely of red sandstone and white marble, visitors are left spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that utilises carvings, precious stones and mirrors. The splendour of the palace is enhanced by the breath-taking vista of the Maota Lake in front. The palace is nearly seven centuries old and has a legendary past. Originally a small structure that the Rajputs won from the Meena tribes, it was later transformed into the grand Amber Palace.
Located deep within the walled city, the City Palace Complex was conceived and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. A beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the palace is still home to the last ruling royal family, which lives in a private section of the palace. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II is credited with building most of the structures, but it was expanded upon by later rulers as well.
The City Palace Complex includes the Mubarak Mahal (the palace of reception) and the Maharani’s Palace (the palace of the queen). Mubarak Mahal now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and displays a vast and unique collection of royal costumes, delicate Pashmina (Kashmiri) shawls, Benaras silk sarees, and other dresses with Sanganeri prints and folk embroidery.The Maharani's Palace, surprisingly, has an interesting display of very well-preserved Rajput weaponry, some dating back to the 15th century. Other than the arms, the palace is adorned with beautiful paintings on the ceiling that are well-maintained.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur similarly there are other forts and historical ruins etc. falling in the heritage sites category in this princely state that you will need to club together, to enjoy the wonders of these, when on your Rajasthan heritage tour package. The Jantar Mantar contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. It also houses the Interpretation Centre that helps the tourists to understand about the working principles & chronology of the observatory.
Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer retreat for himself and his family. It also served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen. This unique five-storied structure is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the exterior, with its small latticed windows (called jharokhas), resembles the crown of Lord Krishna. The windows also serve as air-conditioners of sorts, blowing cool air throughout the palace, making it the perfect retreat during summers. Built from pink sandstone, the Hawa Mahal is Jaipur’s iconic landmark and visitors can view its complete magnificence from outside, from across the road. However, it is also possible to climb right up to the top for a wonderful view from the windows.
Nahargarh Fort sits proudly on a ridge of the Aravalli Hills, creating an impressive northern backdrop to the city of Jaipur. It was constructed during the reign of Jai Singh in 1734, and was later expanded in 1868. Nahargarh, which means abode of tigers, was a formidable barrier, defending Jaipur against attacking enemies. Within its walls, the fort houses Madhavendra Bhawan, the summer destination for the members of the royal family. Built by Sawai Madho Singh, the palace has 12 matching boudoirs for the queens, at the head of which is a suite for the king, all connected by corridors decorated with delicate murals. Even today the palace is a favoured spot for local picnickers. The fort looks brilliant when floodlit at night. Overlooking the city, it presents a glittering view of the city lights.
About 15 kilometres from Jaipur, Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills. Despite its ancient construction, it still retains most of its imposing citadel appearance. Visitors can see the world’s largest cannon – Jaiban, at the fort.
Birla Temple (Mandir)
The Lakshmi-Narayan Temple, or the Birla Temple (Mandir), as it is more popularly known as, is located at the base of Moti Dungari. Built on an elevated platform, this comparatively modern temple is built entirely of white marble and dominates the skyline of south Jaipur. The temple was commissioned and built by renowned Indian industrialists, the Birlas, in 1988. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, also called Narayan, and his companion, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and good fortune. The temple is a work of art and has a marvellous display of exquisite carvings and sculptures covering many mythological themes. The eye is drawn to the images of Laxmi and Narayan, carved as they are, from one piece of marble. The top of the temple has three domes, each representing the three religions followed in India.
One of the most wonderful sights in Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal or Lake Palace. The light, sand coloured stone walls and the deep blue of the water make for a wonderful contrast. The palace appears to float in the centre of Man Sagar Lake, where its magnificent exteriors can be enjoyed by tourists
Located near Sisodia Garden, this is yet another beautiful garden which is a must-see for visitors. It is named after Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the Chief Architect of Jaipur.
Anokhi Museum Of Hand Printing
At a mere ten-minute walk through the cobbled streets of Amber lies the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. Located in a magnificently restored haveli (mansion), the museum displays a varied selection of block-printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition.
Moti Doongri Ganesh Temple
Moti Doongri is a small hill around which the city of Jaipur flourishes. Moti Doongri means pearl hill, because the hill indeed resembles a pearl drop. Visitors go there to pay homage at the famous Ganesh temple, the most auspicious and important religious temple in Jaipur. The Ganesh temple was built by Seth Jai Ram Paliwal, sometime in the early 18th century. A legend has it that, when the King of Mewar was heading back to his palace after a long journey and was carrying a massive Ganesh idol on a bullock cart, decided that he would build a temple for the idol of Lord Ganesh wherever the bullock cart stopped. Apparently, the cart stopped at the foot of the Moti Doongri, which is where the temple is situated today. The hill also has an exotic palace perched right on top. A replica of a Scottish castle, it was once the royal home of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh. It continues to belong to the royal family. The mere view of this castle is extremely exotic.
Digamber Jain Mandir
The ancient Digamber Jain temple at Jaipur is in Sanganer, 14 km from the city. The principal idol in the Sanghi Temple is of Lord Adinath in the Padmasana (lotus position) posture. The temple is made of red stone and has attractive carvings. The seven-storied temple has sky-high 'shikharas' (spires) and its inner sanctum is a stone shrine with eight sky-high shikharas.
Amar Jawan Jyoti
The Amar Jawan Jyoti, or the ‘flame of the immortal soldiers’, is a memorial dedicated to the martyrs of Rajasthan. This memorial is situated near Jaipur’s Vidhan Sabha Bhawan (Legislative Assembly).The key attraction of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is that the torches at the four corners of the structure are always burning. In the evenings, this formidable structure is attractively lit up in vivid colours. The brilliant lighting effects make this a picturesque spot a favourite with tourists.
Nahargarh Biological Park
Nahargarh Biological Park, a part of the Nahargarh sanctuary is located about 12 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Delhi highway, encompassing a large area of 720 hectares and situated under the Aravalli range, the Park is famous for its vast flora and fauna, and its main aim is to conserve it. It also doubles up as a great place to educate people and conduct research on existing flora and fauna. At Nahargarh Biological Park, ornithologists can expect to see over 285 species of birds, of which the most popular is the white-naped tit, which can only be found here.
When you visit the Park, make sure you also head to Ram Sagar, which is famous among bird watchers and makes for a great spot to catch different varieties of birds. The Nahargarh Zoological Park is also worth a visit and houses animals such as Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers, hyenas, wolves, deer, crocodiles, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, wild boar, etc. The zoo is open from 15th March – 14th October between 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and from 15th October – 14th March between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, It is closed on Tuesdays.
Samode is located 40kms northwest of Jaipur on Jaipur-Sikar road. The beautiful 475 year old Samode Palace provides a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture while Samode Bagh offers luxurious tent accommodation. Visitors can experience the rural lifestyle by taking a camel safari through the village and visiting local craftsmen.
Sambhar Lake is one of the largest inland salt lakes and lies just 70 kms from Jaipur. It is an incredible landscape, almost resembling the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Apart from producing a large percentage of India's salt supply - it is also an incredible place to spot birds including large flocks of flamingos. The views from the Shakambari Mata Temple are breathtaking at sunset and one can spend hours in solitude. Another unique aspect is Saltwork's own railway system built to transfer salt from the pans to the processing unit. A visit to the salt lake and a walk in the Sambhar town is also a must do activity. Devyani Kund, Sharmishtha Sarovar, Salt Museum, Circuit House, etc are also important places to visit in Sambhar. One can also visit religious sites Naraina & Bhairana on the way to Sambhar.
One of the most-visited temples in the city of Jaipur, the Akshardham Temple depicts real architectural wonders. Surrounded by lush green gardens and charming fountains, the Akshardham Temple has unique architectural features, including the walls which are covered with a number of carvings and sculptures that are beautiful to look at. This helps create an amazing atmosphere of peace and serenity, attracting not just thousands of devotees, but also a number of tourists who are admirers of architectural wonders, of which, Rajasthan has plenty to offer, and are on their Rajasthan holiday trip package or the Rajasthan pilgrimage tour package. The temple is located in Vaishali Nagar in Jaipur, and is devoted to the Hindu God, Narayan, whose beautiful statue is covered in silver and gold ornaments. The temple very religiously reflects the rich culture, unique heritage, and royal history of Rajasthan, enrapturing its visitors with its beautiful architecture, paintings, and mantras. It also offers visitors beautiful views and a chance to discover a lot more about the religion.
Jhalana Safari Park In Jaipur
Jhalana Safari Park is an expansive and beautiful safari park in Jaipur that’s popular for its leopard sightings. The forest block is situated on the southeastern border of Jaipur city. Until 1860, the park was under Feudalistic rule. It was the exclusive property of the erstwhile Jaipur estate and was basically used by the royals to play sports, and to meet the fuel and fodder needs of neighboring villages. In 1862, Dr Brandis was appointed as the Inspector General of the forest to supervise the administration of the forest under a systematic management.
The park is immensely rich in flora and fauna, and the vegetation here is categorized as northern tropical dry deciduous forest type. The safari tour here is raw, wild, and forthcoming, as the park lets the visitors witness wildlife in its natural habitat. Besides leopards, the safari also has around 15-20 panthers reigning in the forest area. Other wildlife viewing opportunities at Jhalana Safari Park entail insightful excursions for discovering and exploring diverse wildlife, including striped hyenas, desert fox, golden jackal, chital, Indian palm civets, blue bulls, jungle cat, and many more.
Besides this, the Jhalana Safari Park is a bird watcher’s paradise too, as it is home to various species of birds, including the Indian Pitta, Dusky Eagle, Owl, Spotted Owlet, Indian roller, sikra, and hawks, among others. With its expansive landscapes and diverse animal life, there are a few popular places of interest in the park as well; namely, a majestic shikar oudhi built in 1835 by Sawai Ram Singh, a big temple of Kali Mata, and a Jain Chulgiri Temple
The nostalgia of the Kiran Café at Ram Niwas Bagh was hard to let go off. But now, the show is back on the road, with a new name – ‘Masala Chowk’, a place where you get to celebrate and indulge in the tastes of the street food of Jaipur.The place has become a rather popular hangout spot among visitors to the city. One can taste the best street foods of Jaipur at Masala Chowk and sit around enjoying the local flavours of the city. Masala Chowk is home to a total of 21 street food stalls, and charges an entry fee of Rs 10 to get in. The best time to visit is in the evening; that is when you also get the chance to mingle with the locals of the place.
How to Reach Jaipur
Jaipur is famously known as ‘Pink City’ and is one of the famous attractions for tourist within India and abroad. It is the capital of the historic state of Rajasthan and is well connected with all the three modes of communication i.e. Air, Rail and Road with almost all the major cities in India.
By Air: Sanganer Airport is 10 Km away from the main city and has both Domestic and International Terminus which is 7 Km and 10 Km far respectively. All the major Airlines like Air India, IndiGo, Spicejet connect Jaipur with the other major cities in India. Direct flight to Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah, Muscat and Dubai is also available from here.
By Train: It has 3 Railways Junctions at Gandhinagar, Durgapura and Jaipur main. Indian Railways has connected this popular tourist place with all the major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Jammu, Kanpur, Bhubaneswar, Agra etc. Major trains like Shatabdi Express, Intercity Express and other Express Trains connect Jaipur very well with other cities on a regular basis. You can enjoy the exotic journey in Palace on Wheels. It originates from Delhi and connects Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur and Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra for a week-long luxury trip.
By Road: Jaipur is connected with NH8, NH11 and NH12. Both AC Volvo and Non-AC Deluxe buses are available which are operated by The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) and private agencies as well, to and fro from Jaipur. You can even take a bus from Narayan Singh Circle and Sindhi Camp while in Jaipur
One of the most popular cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur is quite famous for its lakes and palaces. Known as ‘Jewel of Mewar’, this city was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553, on the banks of Lake Pichola. Claimed as the most romantic city of the royal state of Rajasthan, it is one of the prime destinations of the week-long journey of the Palace on Wheels, particularly for those on their Royal Rajasthan tour package. Udaipur also boasts of picturesque locations and scenic surroundings offering an amazing vacation option for the honeymooners on their Rajasthan honeymoon tour package. Today, it is a perfect mix of old-world charm and contemporary attractions.
The royal city of Udaipur has been the capital of Mewar for several centuries. The city has a legend behind its establishment. Once during his hunting expedition, Maharana Udai Singh met a holy sage in the Aravalli ranges. The sage directed the king to create a kingdom in this fertile valley, which would be protected by the high-rising Aravallis. Consequently, Maharana Udai Sing established Udaipur in 1553 AD.
Every year, a crazy number of tourists visit the ‘City of Lakes’ Udaipur, by getting enchanted from its vibrant culture. It is still inhabited by the people of the Bhil tribe, so you can see people dressed in traditional Ghagra-Choli, laden with huge silver jewellery, even today. People of all religion- Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity reside here. The modern city of Udaipur is a hub of cultural activities, music and folk dance. You will get to see both kinds of people - those following their age-old traditions and those who have adopted a modern style of living. They are extremely friendly and good-natured. The city plays host to a number of fairs and festivals of the country.
The Must-Visit Places On Your Rajasthan Family Tour Package(S)
Lake Palace or Jagat Niwas, the Heritage Hotel, is a white marble summer residence of the princes of Mewar, which was built in 1746 by Jagat Singh. Set on an island, the whole Palace appears to float on the blue water of Lake Pichola. An ideal getaway for those on their Royal Rajasthan tour package The airy stucco complex with dainty balconies, terrace gardens, water fountains and arched windows, reflects the brightness of the sun, sky and lake. The interiors are profusely decorated with paintings, stained glass and crystal.
The lake palace also boasts of a magnificent museum that houses wonders like the Mor Chowk and the Moto Mahal. The former is famous for the spectacular peacock mosaics and the latter has a lovely collection of magical mirror works.
The City Palace
The Udaipur Palace known as City Palace consists of four main and several minor palaces. Part of the complex is a Hawa Mahal. The Palace of Joy, Dilkhusha Mahal, is decorated with frescoes and wall paintings. Moti Mahal, or Palace of Pearls, Sheesh Mahal, or the palace of mirrors and glass, and Krishna Mahal are lavishly decorated with colors and paintings. Mor Chowk is known for its unique peacock motif in mosaic. Bada Mahal, the garden palace, is built on a 90 feet high natural rock formation. The Chini chitrashala houses a rich collection of Chinese porcelain and Laxmi Vilas Chowk is an art gallery, which houses a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings. The Amar Vilas, the highest point with its hanging gardens, towers and terraces, presents a majestic and panoramic view of the town and Lake Pichola.
Bagore Ki Haveli
Bagore ki Haveli, another architectural beauty, was erected by the Prime Minister of Mewar, during the 18th century. Placed on the Gangaur Ghat of the Lake Pichola, this mansion was converted into a museum after a 5 year restoration work. With its beautiful terraces and courtyards, over 100 rooms, fine mirror work and striking frescoes, a visit to this Haveli is a real delight. The museum houses traditional Rajasthani art and crafts, royal paintings and personal items and costumes of Maharajas. There is also a puppet gallery and an impressive turban collection along with the largest turban of the world.
Placed at the base of the Aravalli hills in Udaipur, Shilpgram is a craftsmen’s village. Covering an area of 173 hectares of land, the museum comprises art, crafts and cultural heritage of different states of India along with aborigines. This village is made-up of 26 huts that have been made in traditional architecture, displaying beautiful household decorative items. The huge amphitheater becomes the venue of a number of theatre festivals of various states.
Jagmandir is a palace built on an island on Lake Pichola. Also called the ‘Lake Garden Palace’, the construction for this began in 1620 and was completed around 1652. The royal family used the palace as its summer resort and for hosting parties. Interestingly, Prince Khurram - later Emperor Shah Jahan - was given shelter here when he rebelled against his father Emperor Jahangir. The Palace had such an impact on Emperor Shah Jahan that it went on to become the inspiration for one of the most magnificent Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal.
Situated just outside Udaipur, this 19th-century palace is built on top of Banjara hills. Used as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge, its builder, Maharana Sajjan Singh, originally planned to make it an astronomical center. The plan was cancelled with Maharana Sajjan Singh's premature death. It is still an awe-inspiring sight on the Udaipur skyline and offers spectacular views of the city and the areas around.
Fateh Sagar Lake
This delightful lake, bordered by hills and woodlands, lies to the north of Lake Pichola. This artificial lake is connected to Lake Pichola by a canal. The lake houses the beautiful Nehru Island as well as an islet on which stands the Udaipur Solar Observatory. It was inaugurated by the Duke of Connaught and was initially called Connaught Bundh.
Picholi was the name of a village that lent its name to the lake. The islands of Jag Niwas and Jagmandir are housed in this lake. Along the eastern banks of the lake lies the City Palace. A boat ride in the lake around sunset offers a breathtaking view of the Lake and City Palace.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
Dedicated to the study of folk art, culture, songs and festivals of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal is a cultural institution in Udaipur. Besides propagating folk culture, it also houses a museum that exhibits various artefacts of Rajasthani culture.
Jaisamand Lake is known for being the second largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia. It is popular among the locals as a weekend picnic destination. Locals say that the lake was constructed to halt the waters of Ruparel River. This lake boasts of a large island, which is home to various species of birds, at its center
Udaipur Fish Aquarium
The Under the Sun Fish Aquarium at Fateh Sagar Pal in Udaipur has managed to mark its distinct position on the map as India’s first Hi-Tech virtual fish aquarium. In the first phase, the Under the Sun aquarium is playing host to 156 varieties of sea fish and freshwater fish, which have been procured from 16 countries around the world. In the long run, this number will go up to 1500 varieties! The 125 meter long gallery features specially built tanks that let the visitors feel as if they are deep within the ocean. The fish at this aquarium vary, with the smallest one being hardly a centimeter long, and the largest fish, Aropama, being 9 feet long.The aquarium features a touch pool to let the kids play with the fish, along with an LED screen for every fish tank to know more about the fishes within the aquarium. This is one aquarium that you’d love to visit for true interactive fun!
Udaipur Biological Park
The Udaipur Biological Park, also known as the Sajjangarh Biological Park is located just beneath the Monsoon Palace, and is around 8 km from the city center. The Sajjangarh Biological Park was built with an aim to conserve the threatened flora and fauna within the area. Upon its inauguration, the park received more than 46 thousand visitors in a month, which is a feat in itself. Open all around the year, the best time to visit this park is during the monsoon season, which lasts from July to September. During the monsoons, the area becomes lush green and quite aesthetic. It is home to a number of varieties of animals and birds. At present, it has 60 animals from 21 species, including the Himalayan black bear, panthers, Indian porcupine, chital, gharial, marsh crocodile, white tiger, Asiatic lion etc., making it a haven for those who love to see wildlife up close.
The Crystal Gallery
The Udaipur Collection of crystal is one of the largest and most complete collections of Osler cut glass in existence. In both the diversity of objects and in the quality and grandeur of the included pieces, it holds a unique place in the decorative art world. Most of this collection was commissioned by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1878, with the larger commissions of the furniture pieces being given to Osler in 1881. The exquisite crystal items in the gallery range from dining table, table, sofa set, washing bowl, goblet, tray, decanter, to perfume bottles, candle stands, crockery and even beds. The highlight of the gallery is a jewel studded carpet, embodying peerless class. The gallery even exhibits a Royal punkah (manually operated fan) in crystal and soft red satin material with the Mewar emblem of the Sun embroidered on it. The Crystal Gallery exhibits artifacts primarily created by F. & C. Osler, the foremost manufacturers of monumental cut glass luxury objects in the Victorian era and thereafter.
Badi Lake is an artificial lake that was built by Maharana Raj Singh to help the city counterbalance the devastating effects of drought. He named the lake Jiyan Sagar after his mother Jana Devi. During the drought of 1973, the lake proved to be a blessing for the people of Udaipur. And today, the lake has become a popular attraction in the city, for both locals and tourists, availing their Rajasthan family tour packages, of those availing their Rajasthan honeymoon tour package. Surrounded by three chhatris, the Badi Lake is one of the finest fresh water lakes in the country, and is counted among the major tourist attractions in Udaipur. Located about 12 km from the city, the ambiance of the lake is calm and tranquil, and offers a scenic respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
How To Reach Here
By Air: Dabok Airport, also known as Maharana Pratap Airport is the closest at about 25 km northeast of the city centre. There are daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai on Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet.
By road: Udaipur is easily accessible by road from every major destination in India, including Chittorgarh, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur / Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai and Khajuraho.
By rail: Udaipur is connected by rail to several major cities in India including Chittorgarh, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Mumbai and Khajuraho.
Jodhpur is an historic city whose origin dates back to the year 1459 AD when it was founded by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftain of the Rathores. The Rathore kingdom was also known as Marwar and was the largest in Rajputana.
The city was built as the new capital of the state of Marwar to replace the ancient capital Mandore, the ruins of which can be seen near what is now the Mandore Gardens. The people of Jodhpur and surrounding areas are hence also commonly called as Marwaris.
Jodhpur is also known as the Blue City, an apt name as most houses in the old city are shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the town, known as Brahmpuri for the many Brahmins that live there.
The forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, colour and texture, a booming handicrafts industry, all add up to make this historic city worth a visit. It is also called the “Gateway to Thar”, as it is literally on the edge of the Thar Desert. In Jodhpur, winter is the best time of year to enjoy local sightseeing and indulge in activities like desert safari, making it the most opportune time for encashing of your Rajasthan family tour package or your budgeted Rajasthan tour package or the economy Rajasthan tour package and revel in the festive spirit of Rajasthan as it is during the winter time that most of the popular festivals are held. The world-famous Desert Kite Festival is held here in the month of January.
MUST VISIT PLACES
Sitting atop a 400-feet-high hill, the beautiful Mehrangarh Fort commands the landscape of Jodhpur with its architectural brilliance and grandeur. The foundation stone of this majestic fort was laid by Rao Jodha in the mid-15th century. Built over a period of 500 years, the fort bears testimony to the glorious era of the erstwhile ruling dynasty, and houses possibly the best museum in Rajasthan displaying paintings, arms and armoury, textiles, decorative arts and other prized exhibits. Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal and Moti Mahal are some prominent palaces inside the fort, which would transport you into a different era altogether.
Another brilliant example of India’s architectural wonders, Jaswant Thada sits beside a lake just a little away from the Mehrangarh Fort. This white marble monument, built in the 19th century, commemorates the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II who once ruled the city. You must visit this place in Jodhpur for its enchanting beauty, peaceful surroundings, scenic vistas, and for its extensive collection of paintings and portraits of Jodhpur rulers.
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE
Your trip to Jodhpur would be incomplete without visiting the grand Umaid Bhawan Palace. Built in 1929 by Maharaja Umaid Singh, this palace is one of the largest private residences in the world. It currently houses the royal residence, a luxury hotel and a family museum – the only part of the palace accessible to general public. The extensive collection of memorabilia at the museum will take you through the fascinating 20th century history of Jodhpur kings.
Situated on the Jodhpur-Mandore Road, Balsamand Lake is yet another popular attraction in the city. Built in 1159 AD to serve as a water reservoir, this artificial lake is visited by tourists and locals alike for its lush green surroundings and charming natural beauty, which makes a perfect setting for picnics. If you are lucky, you might even spot a peacock here!
Another great spot to enjoy picnics, Kailana Lake was constructed in 1872 by Pratap Singh to serve as a water source for Jodhpur and its surrounding areas. Owing to its scenic beauty, a number of people come to this artificial lake to seek respite from the hubbub of the city. It is also a popular place for birdwatching, boating, and for viewing the most ethereal sunsets.
MACHIYA SAFARI PARK
Not very far from Kailana Lake is the Machiya Safari Park, a must-visit place for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. You can spot several animals in their natural habitat here including desert fox, wild cat, deer, monitor lizard and blue bull. There is also an assigned point where many exotic birds can be spotted, especially during winters. This is not all! The views of the sunset and sunrise from atop the fort inside the park are not to be missed.
RAO JODHA DESERT ROCK PARK
A walking trail through the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park will give you an insight into the plant life of the rocky trails of Rajasthan. Spread over 170-acre area, this park was built in 2006 in an effort to restore the ecology of the wetland surrounding the iconic Mehrangarh Fort. You can spot some unique forms of cactus here along with several other floral species.
CHAMUNDA MATA TEMPLE
Located on the southern edge of Jodhpur’s landmark fort, Chamunda Mata Temple is one of the most popular places of worship in the city. In its sanctum sanctorum is a black stone idol of Mother Chamunda, which was brought here from Mandore in 1460 by Rao Jodha. People of all castes and creeds visit this temple to offer prayers to their guarding deity and the Isht Devi of Jodhpur royals. Navaratri celebrations at this temple are quite a spectacle.
JODHPUR GOVERNMENT MUSEUM
The Government Museum of Jodhpur is yet another great place to discover the glorious past of Jodhpur city. Situated in the heart of Umaid Garden, the museum showcases an extensive collection of miniature paintings and portraits of rulers, textiles, weapons, and local art and crafts along with the manuscripts and images of the Jain Tirthankaras and other relics. If you’re travelling with children, spend some time at the zoo located close by.
Located in the outskirts of the city, the Mahamandir Temple is a sanctified spot dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in 1812, this ancient shrine is supported by 84 intricately carved pillars that feature detailed designs and figures depicting different Yoga postures. It might be a tedious experience to climb the winding alleys leading up to this temple, but the beauty of the place and its quaint ambience is bound to soothe your nerves.
Mandore served as the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Marwar, until it was abandoned in 1459 CE. However, Mandore Gardens have fought the trials of time and still stand strong to tell the tales of the town’s glorious past. An ideal place to click Instagram-worthy photos, this garden houses an ancient temple, cenotaphs of Maharajas of Jodhpur, a Hall of Heroes and a government museum; all depicting the rich cultural heritage of the princely state.
If you have some time after exploring the best in the city, the Bishnoi Village, close by is an ideal spot to unwind. You can indulge in a variety of cultural activities at this small village, including camel treks, desert excursions, arts and handicrafts and more, ideally suited to the seekers of solitude, art and adventure lovers availing their respective Rajasthan packages. At Guda, you can set out on a safari to discover the exotic wildlife and nature of the region. Antelope, black buck and Demoiselle crane can be spotted here, besides thousands of migratory birds
Best Time to Visit Jodhpur
The blue city of Jodhpur experiences extreme climatic conditions which are categorised by very hot and dry summer and cold and chilly winters. The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March.
Winter (October to February) is pleasant with a mild and cool atmosphere. Temperature levels during winters range between 10°C to 24°C. This is the perfect time to enjoy Jodhpur tourism at its best.
Summer (March to June) are severely hot and humid with temperature levels ranging between 36°C and 42°C making it impossible to enjoy outdoor activities. Sunstroke is also a very common occurrence.
Monsoon (July to September) offer low to medium rainfalls in Jodhpur. Though the temperature settles down to a more comfortable level, excessive humidity makes it difficult to travel outdoors.
HOW TO REACH
Jodhpur is connected to Delhi and Mumbai, the airport is about 5 km from the city centre. Take a taxi (Rs 200) or autorickshaw (Rs 100) from the airport to the hotel. Air India operates daily flights to Jodhpur from Delhi and Mumbai..
Jodhpur is an important division of the North-Western zone of the Indian Rail network . It is well connected by direct trains from all metros and major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Ajmer, Alwar, Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Gaya, Kolkata, Indore, Lucknow, Varanasi, Patiala, Chandigarh, Kalka, Jammu, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Jodhpur can be reached by RSRTC  (Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation) buses and private luxury buses which operate from all major towns and cities in Rajasthan as well as the cities of Ahmedabad and Delhi.
JAISALMER (WHERE THE FORTS ARE STILL ALIVE)
If geology interests you, then Jaisalmer is where you need to journey. The Wood Fossil Park or Aakal is located about 15 kilometres away from the city. Here, one can discover and trace geologic tragedies that occurred in the Thar Desert 180 million years ago, a major attraction for the historians and the heritage lovers on their budgeted Rajasthan tour package. The city of Jaisalmer also acts as the guard to western Rajasthan (and India’s) frontier.
This 'Golden City’ is located close to the Pakistan border and is in close proximity to the Thar Desert. The city’s most prominent landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort, also called Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most other forts in India, Jaisalmer Fort is not just a tourist attraction. It houses shops, hotels and ancient havelis (homes) where generations continue to live.
Jaisalmer traces its inception to the 12th century. History tells us of Rawal Jaisal, the eldest heir of the Rawal of Deoraj, was passed over for the throne of Lodurva and a younger half-brother was crowned king. Rawal Jaisal went looking for a new location to set up his capital when he came across sage Eesul. The sage told him about Krishna’s prophecy which said that a descendant of his Yaduvanshi clan would found a new kingdom at this same spot. It was in 1156 that Rawal Jaisal constructed a mud fort, named it Jaisalmer after himself and declared it his capital.
MUST VISIT PLACES on your Rajasthan Royal tour package
The Jaisalmer Fort also goes by the name Sonar Quila (Golden Fort) as it rises from the desert itself and seems to become one with the golden hues of the sand. The setting sun adds its own magic and shrouds the fort with mystique. The fort is constructed in the classic style of the royals by local craftsmen. This fort is a world heritage site and forms an important plot point in one of Satyajit Ray’s famous Feluda stories and corresponding movie, Sonar Kela (The Golden Fortress).
JAISALMER GOVERNMENT MUSEUM
Established by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, it is a prime attraction for tourists visiting Jaisalmer. The most striking display is the trophy of Rajasthan‘s state bird Godawan (the great Indian bustard). Traditional household items, rock-cut crockery, jewelry, and statues from the 7th and 9th century AD displayed here are remnants of the city’s rich cultural heritage.
NATHMAL JI KI HAVELI
Two architect brothers built Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli in the 19th century. They worked on the haveli from two sides and the outcome is a beautiful blend of the symmetrical construction. Miniature style paintings and mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone are used for decoration.
SALIM SINGH KI HAVELI
This haveli was built in the first half of the 18th century and a part of it is still occupied by descendants of the original residents. The high arched roof is supported by carved brackets designed in the shape of peacocks. Legend has it that there were two additional wooden storeys that made it match the Maharaja's palace in height, but he ordered for the upper level to be demolished.
The five-storeyed majesty of the Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace) is further enhanced by its pagoda-like Tazia Tower. Each floor of the palace has an intricately carved balcony. The Badal Palace owes its beauty to the skills of Muslim craftsmen who moulded the tower in the shape of a Tazia (a float that’s part of the procession of Muharram).
Gadisar Lake was constructed in the 14th century by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to meet the water needs of his arid lands. Considering its importance, many small temples and shrines were constructed around it, transforming it into a pilgrimage centre and a tourist attraction.
About 6 kilometres to the north of Jaisalmer lies Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden). This garden complex houses chhatris or royal cenotaphs of the Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, including that of Jai Singh II. The location of the garden is such that it offers wonderful sunset vistas to tourists.
DESERT NATIONAL PARK
The Desert National Park displays the best of the Thar desert’s ecosystem and its varied wildlife. The Park is formed of undulating sand dunes, jagged rocks, dense salt lake bottoms and inter-medial areas. Various species of animals such as black buck, chinkara and desert fox inhabit the Park. The highly endangered Great Indian Bustard, one of the world's heaviest flying birds, can also be seen here. In winter, the park hosts an incredible variety of migratory raptors such Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon Vultures, Eastern Imperial Eagle, and the Saker Falcon.
The underlying history of Kuldhara has piqued the curiosity of one visitor too many, and makes it one of the most enigmatic destinations to visit in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, on any of the Rajasthan packages. The story has a beautiful daughter, an unscrupulous minister, scared villagers, an exodus in the middle of the night, and no idea where the villagers vanished. This is not the story of a movie, but the unfathomable legend that lies behind the abandoned village of Kuldhara. Located about 18 km from the city of Jaisalmer is this old town that was abandoned by its villagers in the 1800s.
It was like the entire town vanished in the course of a single night. With about 85 villages full of people, it remains a mystery as to how no one saw them leave; in fact, even to this date, no one knows where all of them went either. The village remains uninhabited to the day, in the same state that the villagers had left it, hundreds of years ago. The location has become a major tourist destination as people from all over the world travel here to revel in the mysteries of the past. The desolate outline of Kuldhara etches a story in front of your eyes, if you are keen enough to read it!
TANOT MATA TEMPLE
Some 120 kilometres away from Jaisalmer is the Tanot Mata Temple. Tanot Mata is considered to be a reincarnation of Goddess Hinglaj. There are many stories of how during the 1965 India-Pakistan war, Tanot was under heavy attack and shelling. However, none of the shells or bombs fired at the temple exploded. This reaffirmed people’s faith that Goddess the temple. Post the war, the Border Security Force (BSF) rebuilt the temple and today, the temple is managed by a BSF Trust.
JAISALMER WAR MUSEUM
“If you ate today, thank a farmer, and if you ate in peace, thank a soldier!” Our military and defense forces spend their days facing perils and hardships, so the citizens of India can sleep peacefully. While we all appreciate and hold respect for all they do for us, the Indian Army has commemorated the sacrifices of their soldiers in a beautiful display at this war museum, situated at the Jaisalmer military base. This exhibit is primarily to pay respect to all the soldiers who took part and lost their lives in the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the 1971 Longewala battle.
A visit to this museum lets you see a number of captured tanks and other memorabilia from the battle, instilling a sense of immense pride in your country and its soldiers. The museum also features an audio-visual room where they screen movies about the battle. You can also see an interview with Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri who was a crucial part of the Longewala battle. In the video, he gives a detailed description of how the soldiers fought the Longewala battle.
The museum also has a war memorial replete with many war trophies and vintage equipment, along with tanks, guns, and military vehicles, murals of soldiers who lost their lives in the war, and weapons which were used during the same. Even the Air Force has given a Hunter aircraft, which was used during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War, as a present to the museum. Located on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur Highway, the museum has free entry, and holds a very important part of our country’s history. It is truly one of the places that you cannot afford to miss.
LAUNGEWALA WAR MEMORIAL
One of the first major engagements in the Western sector during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Battle of Laungewala is an inspiring tale of courage in the face of unconquerable odds. A shining example of the courage, bravery, and valor of the Indian soldiers, the Battle of Laungewala created history on 4 December 1971, when about a hundred Indian defenders halted the advancing troops of about 2000 Pakistani soldiers and 60 tanks. To celebrate the grit and steely resolve of the Indian soldiers who stalled Pakistani forces from their aim of cutting deep into the Indian Territory, the Desert Corps at Laungewala have constructed the Laungewala Was Memorial. Both the above memorials are a must visit for any patriotic Indian to pay tributes to the martyrs of the two battles a must be part of your itinerary in your Rajasthan packages, of whichever category they may be. An inspiring destination, this war memorial commemorates the valor and the supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers, instilling in you a sense of pride when you visit this site
AKAL WOOD FOSSIL PARK
Rajasthan is a treasure trove of history and historical artifacts, but one place, in particular, takes you beyond the ‘timeline of the present’, right into the prehistoric Jurassic era. The Akal Wood Fossil Park is a 21-hectare preserved area that lies about 17 km from Jaisalmer, towards Barmer.180 million years ago, a forest used to stand where the park is today. The area was then submersed into the sea and the tree trunks were preserved in the form of fossils. With remnants of fallen and broken logs that date back to pre-historic times, the park is an absolute must-visit attraction. Here, you can see large fossilized trunks from trees of different sizes that have been placed in corrugated iron shelters. There are about 25 numb trees, along with centuries-old fossils, and right at the entrance, you can also stroke a fossil of an ancient redwood tree trunk. In the geological area that had only non-flowering trees, an entire forest comprising of huge trees was fossilized. The presence of these gigantic trees suggests that in the lower Jurassic age, the area had hot and humid climate that was able to support a luxuriant forest, as compared to the stark dry climate of today.
Located in Bada Bagh in Jaisalmer, Vyas Chhatri is one of the most beautiful examples of Rajasthani architecture. This old Brahmin cemetery, full of local versions of cenotaphs, is dedicated to Ved Vyaas, the sage who wrote the epic, Mahabharata. Filled with cenotaphs all throughout, this place is more popularly referred to as the sunset point of Jaisalmer. Every evening, hordes of people visit the Vyas Chhatri to get a glimpse of the beautiful desert sunset. Everywhere around here you can see beautiful golden sandstone chhatris that are covered in intricate and delicate carvings. A popular destination among tourists, Vyas Chhatri offers a bird’s eye view of Jaisalmer, the fort, and even the adjoining areas. Visitors can also witness a number of locals at Vyas Chhatri, playing Rajasthani tunes on the algoza, a double fluted instrument, making it an experience that astounds the senses.
What is the best time to visit Jaisalmer?
October to March is the best time to visit Jaisalmer. The weather during this time is pleasant and breezy and the best time to enjoy the colorful sandy terrain. Situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, the summers are extremely dry and hot and must be avoided. The heat will definitely take a toll on your body and you will not be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest. During winters, the temperatures fall up to 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, especially during the night, so warm clothing is necessary. The monsoon season is also a good time to travel to Jaisalmer. During this time you might get a glimpse of some greenery growing on the arid turf. A wonderful place not to be missed on your Rajasthan package
HOW TO REACH HERE
The closest airport is Jodhpur airport which is 284 kms away.
Jaisalmer is connected to Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur by bus and taxi.
There is a direct train service between Jaisalmer and Delhi, with a few trains connecting the two cities.
Jaisalmer is a colourful and vibrant place with an even more beautiful culture that should be a must visit.
WHERE THE FORTS ARE STILL ALIVE
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city, and a boon for those on their Rajasthan heritage tour package
According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.
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According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
Nestled in the picturesque Pushkar valley beyond the Nangaparvat and Anasagar Lake, the Brahma temple holds a special place in the hearts of Indians. It is the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. Built with marble and decorated with silver coins, this temple can be identified by its red spire and the image of a swan (considered sacred to Lord Brahma). The chaturmukhi (four faced) idol of Lord Brahma is housed in the inner sanctum. A marble statue of the sun god stands sentinel at the temple. Interestingly, while all the gods are shown bare footed, Surya is shown wearing ancient warrior’s boots.
GURUDWARA SINGH SABHA
Gurudwara Singh Sabha, situated in the eastern part of Pushkar, was built in the beginning of the 19th century to commemorate the visits of the first and the tenth gurus- Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Govind Singhji.
Varaha temple is the largest and the most ancient temple of Pushkar. Constructed by the 12th century ruler, King Anaji Chauhan, this temple is dedicated to the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a wild boar. Legend has it that Varaha rescued the earth from depth of the primeval water, where it was dragged down by a demon (Hirnayaksh). It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar.
Dedicated to Lord Brahma's first wife, Goddess Savitri, this temple is situated on a hillock right behind the Brahma temple. While climbing the long series of steps leading to the temple, one can catch a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding temples and sand dunes. The presence of the only Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the outcome of Savitri’s curse to Brahma for marrying another Goddess, Gayatri, while starting his yagna in Pushkar.
PAP MOCHINI TEMPLE
Presided by the deity Ekadashi Mata, the Pap Mochini temple is believed to provide respite to followers from their cardinal sins. Located in the northern section of Pushkar, the temple is like a pearl in the crown of Pushkar. Having a great spiritual importance as well as boasting a splendid architecture, the Pap Mochini temple is one of the most popular temples in Rajasthan.
SRI PANCHKUND SHIVA TEMPLE
Sri Panchkund Shiva Temple is said to have been built by the five Pandavas. Located on the eastern edge of the town, this temple is around 2-3 kilometers from the lake.
This beautiful 12th century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an underground component. The intricate Hemadpanti architectural style carvings give this temple a magnificent appearance. Thousands of devotees flock here to pay their respects during the auspicious time of Shivaratri, when Lord Shiva is ritually respected. Such wonders of this place cannot be missed and essentially need to be in your itinerary on your Rajasthan tour and travel package
Best time to visit
The winter a good 8°C to 22°C makes it pleasant outdoors. November highlights the famous camel fair at Pushkar where trade merges with fun, games, tradition, craft, jewellery, competition, man, animal, people and culture. Two things to be kept in mind are crowds and expensive accommodation. Availability of hotel bookings may be a hindrance so booking in advance would be wise. October, December, January, February would be great time to visit Pushkar peacefully.
Pushkar has hot summers and is an uncomfortable 40°C, very hot and dry at daytime, while nights turn a little cooler. The aridity preserves monuments but parches the throat. A budget visit in summer can happen but you need to remain hydrated, avoid the midday sun and use sunscreen generously to avoid sunburn. A summer evening amidst the humdrum of temple bells and prayerful smell and sight would remain a pleasant experience.
Pushkar monsoons are green, cool and rain fed. It is pleasurable to view the beautiful landscape centred by the vast Pushkar Lake. Plants, grass and saplings sprout up in various shades of green. Splash in puddles, or stand under awnings to cool your soul drinking hot tea or coffee and enjoying spicy Rajasthani snacks. The monsoons can only add to the fun of your journey.
How to reach here
Sanganer Airport in Jaipur is the nearest at a distance of 146 kilometres.
Pushkar is well connected to the national highways of Rajasthan. Regular buses ply from Pushkar to the major cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer from the Ajmer bus stand.
Pushkar Terminus Railway station which is operational since 2012, is connected to Ajmer railway station located at a distance of 14 kilometres.
Ajmer was founded on barren hills in the 7th Century A.D by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan naming it Ajaymeru. The first fort was built at Taragarh here at Ajmer, which made the city a centre of power. The Afghans took over reins from Prithviraj Chauhan the last of the Chauhans. A turbulent set of three centuries followed thereafter. Emperor Akbar declared it a province in 1556 A.D. It became the headquarters for Mughal operations in Rajasthan. After the Mughal decline the Scindias of Gwalior gained power in Ajmer.
Today Ajmer is a favourite travel destination in Rajasthan. The mausoleum of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti is an important place of worship for Hindus and Muslims alike. His Dargah is said to bring peace of mind, restore health, relieve trouble and bring forth happiness to those bereft of happiness. It remains one of the major tourist attractions in Ajmer. Other sightseeing places in Ajmer are the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpara, Taragarh fort, Akbari Fort and Museum, Maqbara Shaikh Husain and Anasagar Lake.
Ajmer is also one of the best places to try the Rajasthani cuisine. Dal bati churma or Bajre ki Khichdi- lentils take on a different avatar. Simple chickpea flour gives Gatte ki sabzi. The creative cuisine having evolved as a consequence of the arid and rain starved climate. Sweets are rich and flavourful so you are bound to delight in these gastronomic treats. Rajasthani miniature paintings and meenakari jewellery that have found admirers globally can be bought at Ajmer. Vacationing in Ajmer would most definitely be a rejuvenating, refreshing and an enriching affair. Long after the actual trip is over, one can be sure to have a treasure trove of memorabilia which can enthrall and engage for eons to come.
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AJMER SHARIF DARGAH
Ajmer Sharif Dargah, also known as Ajmer Dargah, is the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti is one of the holiest places of worship in India not only for the Muslims but followers of every faith. Being the final resting place of the Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, it has had an enormous contribution in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam amongst masses.
Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti was a great Sufi Saint and dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden. The shrine is visited by millions of people every year, as it is considered very sacred by people of all the religions. Ajmer Sharif was built by the Mughal Emperor Humayun, hence justifying the rich Mughal Architecture. The Dargah has various constituents like tombs, courtyards and Daalaans. The major among these structures are- Nizam Gate, Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Aulia Masjid, Dargah Shrine, Mehfilkhana and about a dozen of other prominent establishments.
One can spot two huge cauldrons in the inner courtyard of the shrine. These containers have a capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 kg and are used during special occasions to cook sweet delicacies like Kheer.
ADHAI DIN KA JHOPRA
Adhai Din ka Jhopara is a Masjid built by Qutub-ud-Din-Aibak, first Sultan of Delhi in AD 1199. Rumor has it that this Indo-Islamic architectural site was constructed in two and a half days and that's where it gets its name. Adhai Din ka Jhopra is a relic of an old mosque which was constructed with remains of Hindu and Jain temples. Though most of the ancient temple is in ruins today, the area of the mosque is still used as a place of worship. Complete with arched screens, ruined minarets and distinct beautiful pillars it is an amazing place to visit.
Akbar's palace, constructed in 1570AD is the place where he and his troops stayed in, at Ajmer, whenever he visited the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. The museum therein, which portrays the age-old military weapons and exquisite sculptures, paintings and other artifacts of the Mughal era, stands evidence for this fact.. The museum showcases various aspects of the Rajput and Mughal style of living and fighting. The large black marble statue of Goddess Kali situated in the palace is quite famous
NARELI JAIN TEMPLE
Nareli Jain Temple, located about 7 km away from Ajmer, is a beautiful marble temple with angular and strikingly appealing designs. The temple is situated on the ranges of Aravali Mountains. The location makes the views from the temple more scenic. This Temple is a striking facade mixing traditional and contemporary architectural styles with 24 miniature temples (Choubisi) lined up on the hill above. Nareli Jain temple was built by the members of the RK Marbles family. The religious fervor of this city is to be seen to be believed so plan your Rajasthan holiday trip package accordingly
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Ajmer would be between the months of October and March. Ajmer’s beautiful winter enriches your travelling experiences. Depending upon when you wish to make your visit you will experience a different dimension of Ajmer.
The October to February period is the peak tourist season mainly due to the pleasant wintry weather. The daytime temperatures encourage sightseeing as they are mild and never very chilly. Religious visitors also prefer this time of the year. Average temperatures hover around 15° and 20°C.
The March to May months are the scorching hot summers of Ajmer. Temperatures shoot up to and beyond 40° C. Such weather is not usually conducive to tourism. If you do wish to travel carrying along a sunscreen is essential. Umbrellas, shades and light cotton clothing are also dire necessities to beat the relentless heat.
A less popular but equally beautiful period is the monsoon of Ajmer. The June to September stretch paints the town a lush green owing to intermittent rains. Ajmer not being a rainy city does not hinder daytime travel very much. This is an off season when you can take advantage of less crowded but equally enriching tours.
How to reach
The city does not have an airport of its own but tourists from different parts of the country can land at the nearby Jaipur airport and then travel to Ajmer by road. The Jaipur airport is approximately 130 km away from the heart of Ajmer city
Ajmer railway station is directly connected via rail to all major stations of North, East and West India. Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Jodhpur are connected by direct trains to Ajmer. There are various superfast, express, passenger and mail trains which arrive and depart from the city at regular intervals.
How to reach Ajmer by Road
The city is connected with all major cities of Rajasthan by a vast and well maintained network of roads and hence, it is easily accessible by road. The capital of the state, Jaipur is located at a distance of around 130 km from Ajmer Frequent bus service is available from Delhi (391 Km), Ahmedabad (525 Km), Jaipur (134 Km), Udaipur (163 Km), Jodhpur (205 Km), Bikaner (233 Km) and many others cities to Ajmer. There are good services of Buses and Cabs available. Direct bus from Ajmer to Delhi and nearby cities are easily available.
Bharatpur, in Rajasthan, is 182 kilometers away from Delhi and 57 kilometers away from Agra. It is also known as the ‘Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan’, Bharatpur was established by Maharaja Suraj Mal in the year 1733. It was the erstwhile region of Jat Maharajas and was situated in Mewat region. The royal family of Bharatpur traces its history to the 11th century A.D. Lohagarh is another name given to the town of Bharatpur. Although a territory of Rajasthan, Bharatpur is also considered as a part of New Delhi Capital Region (NCR). Being home to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur is a sheer heaven for ornithologists.
The history of Bharatpur dates back to 5,000 B.C. Pandavas, the heroes of Mahabharata war, are believed to have spent their 13th year of exile at this place. Bharatpur was once the capital of Jat kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas. There are so many heroic stories of Jat clan against Mughal and British attacks associated with the land of Bharatpur. The history of Bharatpur is also affected by the advent of the British. Colonel Lake along with various British troops tried to siege Bharatpur four times but suffered a massive defeat. However, in 1825, Bharatpur was brought under the supremacy of British.
The colorful festivals and friendly people of Bharatpur give indication about the vibrant culture of Bharatpur. The most popular festival of Bharatpur is Braj Festival which is celebrated after few days of Holi. The most important aspect of Bharatpur culture is the presence of joint families which is valued in both cities and villages.
In the markets of Bharatpur, one can choose to get the best kind of handicraft and handmade products such as fabrics and colorful clothes. Other famous markets of Bharatpur are Garjar market, Moti Kunj market and Sree ji Market etc.
MUST VISIT PLACES
The abode of the Royal family of Bharatpur, Bharatpur Palace offers a seamless blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Each ruler of Bharatpur has contributed in the construction of this palace. The palace is exquisitely decorated with patterned floors and convoluted designs. The museum displays the artifacts and weapons dating back to the 2nd century A.D.
Just like its name, Lohagarh Fort had stand firmly against the many onslaughts of Mughal and British who suffered defeat many a times. Unlike the lavishness and flamboyance of other forts, Lohagarh Fort exemplifies strength and magnificence. The fort is encompassed by a moat filled with water to ward off the enemy attacks.
KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK
Also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park was created around 250 years back and is named after a small temple enshrined within the park where Lord Shiva is manifested in the form of god Keoladeo. The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur and duck hunting was organized every year in the honor of British Viceroys. It was declared a protective sanctuary in 1971. It was established as a national park in 1982 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. This park needs, essentially, to be on your must visit places when on your Rajasthan heritage tour package. Spread over 129 square meters, Keoladeo Ghana National Park is home to the population of over 300 bird species especially the migratory Siberian Crane. Other avifauna species found in this park include Dalmatian pelican, spot-billed pelican, greater adjutant, lesser adjutant, marbled teal, Baikal teal, Baer's pochard, red kite, cinereous vulture and lapwing.
Located in the premises of Lohagarh Fort in Gopalgarh, Bharatpur, Government Museum was established in 1944 AD. Among the many antiques and valuable exhibits, the most prominent ones are stone sculptures, wooden carvings, inscriptions, terracotta products etc. The museum has a separate gallery with paintings on peepal leaves, mica and lithopapers.
How to Reach:
The National Highway number 2 connects Delhi to Bharatpur via Mathura. The National Highway number 11 connects Jaipur to Bharatpur.
The Janata Express leaves from New Delhi at 1:45 PM and arrives in Bharatpur at 8:05 PM.
Best Time to Visit: October to March
CHITTORGARH THE LAND OF THE BRAVES
Chittaurgarh (Chittorgarh) is among the most historic fort city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. In every tour itinerary to this part of India, a visit here is generally included. The reason for this is the rich history and cultural heritage of the city that is wrapped around with elements of chivalry, tragedy and Romanticism. The majestic Chittaurgarh Fort in here was the pride of erstwhile Rajput kings who ruled over here and stood mighty and proud even after facing several wars and attacks from enemy battalions. There are numerous minarets, forts, palaces and temples in and around Chittaurgarh which are a must-visit.
The origin of Chittaurgarh 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 eighth 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 Chittaurgarh.
When the situation worsened, Bhim Singh, the ruler of Chittaurgarh, 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.
In the middle of the 15th century, Chittaurgarh gained eminence when the legendary Rajput ruler, Rana Kumbha, ruled it. He built the Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji, the ruler of Malwa, in 1440.
Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, sacked Chittaurgarh again in 1535. 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 Chittaurgarh, fled to Udaipur and re-established his rule. The Mughal emperor Jahangir returned Chittaurgarh to its rulers in 1616.
MUST VISIT PLACES
The magnificent Chittaurgarh Fort is beautifully located at an elevation of 591 ft (180 m) and over an area of 692 acres (280 ha). As the fort is sprawled over a huge area, it encompasses various gates and monuments. Presently, there are 22 water bodies out of 84, which are fed by rainwater or natural catchment. The altogether storage capacity is of about 4 billion liters. The water bodies here are in the form of step wells, wells, and ponds.
There are seven gates (Pol - in local language) namely, Ram Pol (entry gate), Bhairon Pol, Ganesh Pol, Laxman Pol, Hanuman Pol, Padan Pol, and Jodla Pol. All these massive stone structured gates are constructed using secure fortification for the military. The doors also feature pointed arches to avoid entry of elephants and cannon shots in the fort.
There is a circular road in the fort that connects all the seven gates and ensures visit to the attractions within the fort. There are numerous ruined palaces and about 130 temples within the fort. Some of the must-visit attractions in the fort are Vijay Stambha (Victory Tower) or Jay Stamba, Kirti Stambha (Tower of Fame), Rana Kumbha's Palace, Padmini's Palace (Queen's Palace), and Meera Temple
VIJAY STAMBH (VICTORY TOWER)
Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory), is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440. The tower is 122 ft (37 m) high and stands on a 10 ft (3.0 m) high base. There are sculptures and carvings on the exterior walls of the tower. The tower is visible from any section of the town below. And for reaching tower top one have to climb 157 steps, one can take great view of the surroundings. The inside walls of the tower are carved with images of Gods, weapons, etc.
KIRTI STAMBH (TOWER OF FAME)
The Kirti Stambha is a one of the lovely tourist attractions of Chittorgarh. Housed inside the massive Chittorgarh Fort, this 12th century tower stands as a monument to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Teerthankar.
It is decorated with the naked figures of the Digambars, and reflects the cultural beliefs of the Digambars comprehensively. There are seven storeys in the tower, and a narrow and steep staircase leads to the top from where views of the Chittorgarh environs can be taken in.
RANA KUMBHA'S PALACE
The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, bring the most massive monument in the fort of Chittor. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed 'Jauhar'.
Built beside a pool, the palace is a magnificent one. It was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of queen Padmini to Alauddin Khilji. Rani Padmini stood in 'Zanana Mahal' - a pavilion in the centre and her reflection was visible to Alauddin Khilji in a mirror placed in the main hall. After having glimpse of the legendary beauty, Alauddin went to the extent of ravaging Chittor in order to possess her. One can visit this place on their economy Rajasthan tour package.
How to Reach:
Maharana Pratap Airport, also known as the Dabok Airport, in Udaipur is the nearest airport to reach Chittaurgarh. The airport is located at a distance of 90 km. At the airport; there are taxis and cabs available to move in and around the city.
Chittaurgarh Railway Station is well-connected with major cities via an extensive rail network. Local transportation is also available to carry visitors from railway station to in and around attractions of the district.
One can also reach Chittaurgarh via road. There is proper road connectivity available, thus, frequent bus service also plays crucial role in carrying tourists from nearby cities. Private taxis and cabs are also available for hire. Some of the major distances from Chittaurgarh are Ajmer - 185 km, Jaipur - 304 km, and Indore - 349 km.
Best time to Visit: October - March
THINGS TO DO IN RAJASTHAN
Rajasthan is a perfect melange of culture, tradition and heritage. Popular for its opulent havelis, wildlife sanctuaries and delectable cuisine, there are also a number of exciting activities and things to do in Rajasthan that attract a large tourist influx. From zip lining to flying fox, wildlife safaris and hot air balloons, there is no dearth of adventure and fun activities in Rajasthan. Needless to mention, you can always visit the heritage forts and marvel at their brilliant architecture or go boating in the marvelous lakes
• Experience the Surreal Desert Safari in Jaisalmer
• Enjoy a camping and a cultural evening in Jaisalmer
• Experience a thrilling Hot Air Balloon Ride in Jaipur
• Have fun at camel safari’s at Jodhpur
• Experience the thrilling Dune Bashing at Jaisalmer
• Sunset boating at Lake Pichola in Udaipur
• Enjoy an elephant ride in Jaipur
• Enjoy an exotic Tiger safari in Ranthambore tiger reserve
• Witness the Rural Vibe at Chokhi Dhani, Heritage village resort in Jaipur
• Take a tour of the haunted Bhangarh Fort
• Try your hand at quad biking in Jaisalmer
• Shop for traditional Jooti’s and Mojri’s in Udaipur
• Jeep Safari at Desert National Park
• Try out Zip Lining at Neemrana
There is an endless list of things to do in Rajasthan, above mentioned are only a few of them.
FESTIVALS OF RAJASTHAN THAT REFLECT THE IT’S RICH CULTURE AND TRADITIONS
If there is one Indian state which is teeming with heritage and culture in every nook and corner, it has to be Rajasthan. And all of that is best expressed through the festivals of Rajasthan. The fairs and festivals of this place have often made it one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country. After all, these are the best forms of expressions of the colourful cultural heritage that has been passed on through the generations of this state. A budget Rajasthan tour package or an economy Rajasthan tour package gives you an opportunity to time your visit to the state in accordance with the timing of these festivals. The folk music, dance, attire and everything else witnessed in these famous cultural festivals of Rajasthan are something that a traveler can cherish for lifetime. As winter is around the corner, the weather in Rajasthan gets perfect for the peak tourist season, while the state also gets ready to host its many festivals
Pushkar Camel Festival
One of the most popular festivals of Rajasthan, the traditional Pushkar Camel Festival has been known to attract travelers and photographers alike for years. It is essentially the state’s official livestock fair which sees the coming together of at least 30,000 camels that are beautifully decorated and paraded and even made to participate in beauty contests. Additional attraction for travelers at the fair is the International Hot Air Ballooning Festival.
When: October 28 to November 4
Where: Pushkar, 146 km away from Jaipur airport
Also known as the Kapil Muni Fair, the Kolayat Fair has local religious sentiments attached to it and is fair that the local population looks forward to every year. The fair sees congregation of devotees who attend the festival to take a dip in the Kolayat Lake, after which the festival is named. Since all 52 banks of this lake are lit up during the fair along with hundreds of lamps floating in water, it makes for a sight to behold during the night
When: November 2–4
Where: Bikaner, which has its own airport and is well-connected to Delhi and other cities
Having plenty of religious significance for the local population of Jhalawar, a small town in Rajasthan wherein this fair is held, the Chandrabhaga Fair sees both visitors and participators from different parts of the country. The main highlights of this fair are the gathering of devotees at the banks of Chandrabhaga River for taking a holy dip, and a cattle fair by the name of Shobha Yatras.
When: November 3–5
Where: Jhalawar, 85 km from Kota and 240 km from Indore
Named after Bundi, one of the most colourful towns of Rajasthan, this annual festival makes this place smeared in the most beautiful colours and there’s a sense of happiness all around. Some of the biggest highlights of the much-anticipated Bundi Utsav are the arts and crafts fair, the Shobha Yatra, folk dance and music, turban competition, cultural exhibition and traditional Rajasthani sports among other things.
When: November 6–8
Where: Bundi, situated at a distance of 210 km from Jaipur airport
One of the most prominent festivals of Rajasthan, the main purpose of the annual Matsya Festival is to celebrate the traditional values of the state and its many colourful customs, which is expressed in various creative forms. Held in Alwar every year, reasons that make this festival beautiful are its folk music and dance programmes, colourful processions, arts and crafts fair, cultural exhibition and traditional sports that also make for great subjects for travel photographers.
When: November 25–26
Where: Alwar, 162 km from Jaipur airport and 167 km from Delhi by road
Kabir Yatra is one of those festivals that celebrate the folk music of Rajasthan in the best possible manner. Most of all, it is a treat for travelers who would like to enjoy the state’s folk music when they are there. What makes Kabir Yatra unique is the fact that it is a traveling music festival which journeys in and around Bikaner for six days and acts as a stage for local musicians and singers to express their skills in the best possible manner.
When: November 11–16
Where: In and around Bikaner, has an airport and is well-connected to Delhi and other cities
This Rajasthani festival is celebrated in the honor of Goddess Parvati and her home-coming. The term ‘Gan’ means Lord Shiva while ‘Gaur’ refers to Gauri. For the celebration, married women observe fast and pray for the well being of their husbands.
Women dress up in traditional attire, carry earthen pots with lamps inside them, and sing songs of Gangaur. There is also an exchange of gifts as a token of love. A grand procession takes place, which is led by elephants, palanquins, and folk artists.
The Mewar festival welcomes the arrival of spring season with all zest and dedication in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The flavor and the spirit of this festival can be seen throughout the state of Rajasthan, especially in the city of Udaipur. During the days of festival, the whole city of Udaipur gets drenched in colors of festivity. Local markets and shops beautify their frontage with bright lights and decorations. Coinciding with the Gangaur festival, Mewar festival is equally significant for the womenfolk of Rajasthan. To conduct the ceremony, women assemble to dress the images of Isar (Lord Shiva) and Gangaur (Goddess Parvati). After dressing the idols, they carry them in a traditional procession, passing through different parts of the city. In the end, the procession makes its move towards the Gangaur Ghat at Pichola Lake. At this point, the images are transported in special boats and immersed in the deep waters of the lake, on culmination of the idol immersion people indulge in various dances, songs and other cultural events revealing the culture of Rajasthan, a glittering show of fireworks marks the end of the festival.
Celebrated with great zeal at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, this festival takes place between the month of May and June. It commemorates the death anniversary of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the revered Sufi Saint.
Ajmer hosts a 6-day long fair as it’s believed that the saint cooked for 6 days before his bereavement. During these 6 sacred days, huge crowds of followers visit the holy shrine at the Dargah and enjoy singing programs whereby professional qawwals are called upon to sing qawwalis.
World Sufi Spirit Festival
Taking place in Jodhpur, this festival celebrates the spirit of music and shows how Sufism is beyond any religion. This musical saga is organized in a royal setup of the Nagaur Fort for four days followed by a 2-day celebration at the Mehrangarh Fort.
Bringing together artists from across the world, the celebration involves mystical poetry recitation, music, and dance performances. Decorated with thousands of burning candles, the ambience commemorates the spiritual arts and travelers who brought a sense of inspiration to the civilization.
Udaipur World Music Festival
Every year, in the month of February, Udaipur city hosts the World Music Festival which offers great entertainment to the music lovers. In this three-day event, people from various countries take part and come together to create a musical magic which is beyond all kinds of language and cultural barriers.
The latest edition of the fest witnessed a total of 150 music artists from more than 16 countries. Right from Electro Sufi music to Afro Cuban rhythms and from Indian classical music to London’s choir rendition of ‘One Love’; the celebration embraced every element that any music lover could ask for, nothing else but just music. The above two Music festivals will be the rage of many a music fans, who can enjoy them by availing the budgeted or the economy Rajasthan tour packages.
Kite Festival Jodhpur
Although Makar Sankranti is celebrated throughout India with loads of excitement, it has a special place in the hearts of Rajasthanies. In the city of Jodhpur, the kite flying is celebrated at an international level whereby participants hail from all over the world.
Celebrated at the Polo Ground, this three-day festival is marked by the presence of helicopters that release several kites in the sky joined by the balloons released by school children. With so many designer kites filling up the skies, it’s a priceless, breathtaking view.
Kota Dussehra and Adventure Festival
This three days festival is organized in Kota where tourists can enjoy water & water sports. It is organized by Tourism Department & District Administration. Kota is blessed with ample of water resources which make it an obvious choice for water festivals. This festival happens at two places, in Chambal River and Kishore SagarTalab, situated middle of the city. Kishore SagarTalab is the acme of beautiful panorama in the heart of the city. During Chambal Adventure Festival different adventures like hot air balloon, paragliding, parasailing, wind surfing, water sports like balloon water, kayaking, jet skiing and rafting, use to perform by professionals, ideal for adventure seekers/lovers who can make it a part of their economy Rajasthan tour package. Other than these adventure sports gliding, rock climbing, angling, excursion and trekking can be enjoyed during the festival. Some adventure opens for the common people to enjoy these amusements.
Organised by the Rajasthan Tourism Department, a lot of travelers are attracted to this twice a year extravaganza, wherein the romantic town of Udaipur celebrates its lakes with a three-day Lake Festival highlighting the natural and architectural assets of the royal city. Floating markets and stimulating concerts are part of the festivities.
Apart from the water sports like Dragon Boat Race, Canoe Polo, Kayaking, there are some other activities like kite flying, bird watching, cyclothan, marathon, etc. Moreover, people can even get themselves registered for the public cause of saving water reservoirs.
THE SACRED PUSHKAR
This newly introduced Rajasthani festival is aimed at evoking the spirituality of the onlookers through music, yoga, and meditation. The celebration involves various religious and traditional hymns.
The participants are also taken on a Heritage Walk through the streets, ghats, and temples of the city. It includes a visit to shrines like Varah Temple, Atmateshwar Mahadev, Baai Ji ka Mandir, Old Rangjee temple, Zahangir Mahal, whereby musical performances are held alongside the local market fares.
FLAMENCO & GYPSY FESTIVAL
The magnificent ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest such in India and built over five centuries ago, would reverberate to the sounds and movements of hundreds of gypsy feet and flamenco dancers from all over the world as it hosts the second edition of the Jodhpur Flamenco & Gypsy Festival starting here on Friday.
The organisers promise a memorable musical saga at a venue once described by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as the eighth wonder of the world and about whose architectural beauty and splendour people have written odes to, particularly its mesmerising effect at night.
The festival is hosted by the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort during the month of March or April. Carried on for 3 days, this musical extravaganza presents an unusual blend of music and dance of Rajasthan with Spain’s Flamenco style and Gypsy culture, a fusion of two cultures
Such celebrations of togetherness adorned with colors, lights, and music reflect the uniqueness of Rajasthan and it’s amazing hospitality, coupled with its centuries old historical facts and heritage, makes this truly a state worth its weight in gold and an essential on your various Rajasthan tour packages, regardless of the version or type of the package opted for.
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