Rajasthan is India's largest state, situated on its north-western boundary with Pakistan. It is bordered by the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Rajasthan is the very soul of India, with crenelated forts and unconquerable palaces that rise like massive fairy-tale sets above sandy sun-scorched plains and sparkling lakes. Rajasthan is renowned for the gorgeous Thar Desert, glorious forts and intricately completed havelis (houses and palaces of the rich). Rajasthan also houses many places of worship chiefly the Dilwara temples which is the main pilgrim center for the Jains.
Ajmer Sharif is a place where not only Muslims but people from other religions as well come to pay the worship. Rajasthan is also home to many sanctuaries such Ranthambore and Sariska. Ranthambore is part of the Project Tiger. The magic of vivacious Rajasthan - its rich legacy, colourful ethnicity, exhilarating desert safaris, amazing diversity verdant forests and diverse wildlife - makes it a destination nonpareil. Rajasthan is often depicted as one enormous open-air museum, with its vestiges so well conserved that it delights even the most cynical explorer.
|Climate of Rajasthan
Western Rajasthan obtains little or no rainfall all through the year, creating it a dry, desolate desert recognized as the Thar. Southern Rajasthan is much more fortunate in this aspect – it receives around 10 inches of rain each year. The monsoon season is from July to September like in the rest of India. During this monsoon season Rajasthan receives most rain fall than any other time in all year. Though, the quantity of rainfall varies in regions to regions.
The summer season in Rajasthan is quite harsh with high temperatures ranging from 32°C to 45°C and in western Rajasthan temperature raises even up to 48°C. Most suitable time to pay a visit to Rajasthan is the winter season from October to February. During the winter season the temperature is more moderate and pleasant ranging from 13 °C - 30 °C. The disparity between night time and day time temperatures is tremendous in the desert. Churu once broke all records for minimum temperature in the state by registering a high of 0°C in the late 1990s.
|Art and Culture of Rajasthan
The ethnically affluent state of Rajasthan is also renowned for its incredible arts and crafts. Be it stone or wood or leather and innumerable other items, each one of them are worked upon and given fine forms. Rajasthan arts and crafts are in the blood of the people of the state. Alongside with the transient time, more and more contribution was made to the artistic pursuits of the rajasthanis. Rajasthan - the land of vivacious colours is rich of art & culture. Rajasthan displays a sonata of art & culture, rarely found elsewhere. The art and culture of Rajasthan is its very own and exclusive. Each region of Rajasthan has different and diverse form of art and culture to present to its visitors. Rajasthan is convivial you like a king and promises to fulfill your craving of your mind with magnificent forts & palaces, story of gallantry of Rajputs, deciduous forest alive with wildlife, tigers, moon light folk dance in sand dunes, marvelously engraved havelies, exotic cuisines, tribal life style, some really beautiful temples and traditional Rajputana style welcome. For the womenfolk, there was an extensive range, varying from tie and dye fabrics, to enameled jewelry to embroidered jutis.
Meenakari: Raja Man Singh of Amer brought this intricate craft to Jaipur by inviting five skilled enamel workers from Lahore. The art prospered over the years and is today renowned the world over. Jaipur meenakari is famed for its delicacy and its use of colours. Pratapgarh and Nathdwara are two other centres which produce fine quality enamel work.
Jewellery: Rajasthan is rich in jewellery, each area having its own unique style. Some of the traditional designs are rakhri, timaniyan, bala, bajuband, gajra, gokhru, jod, etc. Tribal women wear heavy, simply, crafted jewellery and seem to carry the weight (almost up to 5 kgs) without much discomfort almost all the time. Men too wear their share of ornaments in the form of chockers and earrings.
Ivory: The ivory bangles that most Rajasthani women wear are considered auspicious. Ivory is also inlaid and shaped into intricate items of great beauty. Miniature paintings were also executed on ivory.
Lac and Glass: Lac bangles are made in bright colours and sometimes inlaid with glass. Other decorative and functional items are also available.
Sandalwood and Wood: Carved wood is presented in a wide range of objects and is simple and inexpensive.
Stones: Statues on religious themes are carved all over Rajasthan and in several cities there are still entire lanes where the stone carvers can be seen giving final touches to statues or even pillars.
Other crafts like blue pottery, hand block printing, tie and dye, terracotta sculptures, painting on camel hide, embroidery, cloth painting, carpets, durries, inlay work on brass and wood are to be found all over Rajasthan.
Rajasthan as a State is an exceptional amalgamation of history and modernity. The state has a legacy of valor and gallantry that passes down generations till date. The affluence of its artifacts and the tinted vibrancy of the costumes and conventional apparels are fascinating for the first timers. There are very few communities and States which could conserve its resident ethnicity and folklore against the onslaught of modernity. Rajasthan is possibly the only state that has conserved its ethnicity and even adapted modernity to additionally glorify traditions. Regardless of where you stay all through your trip to the State and where you wander, it is unlikely that you will not encounter Rajasthani traditions and mores. Subsist it in the appearance of folk dances and song recitals at the hotel patio or be it in the form of the conventional work of arts in your hotel room, or be it in the form of the conventional welcome while dining at a restaurant; you cannot neglect how culture has pervaded modernity in the State!
|Cuisine of Rajasthan
Rajasthan’s distinct lifestyle and warfare-oriented Rajput nobility and trading Marwari community influenced a lot in the development very tactful cuisines, intriguingly bespoke to a scorched survival. There is distinctness in the Rajasthani cuisine which comes from a folklore that is old and serene, and from a culture that has whipped the best from its adjacent states of Sindh, Gujrat, Haryana and Punjab. Savor the renowned Rajasthani food in its diverse delectable dishes, served sizzling hot, and you cannot overlook the sublime complexity of flavor that will spin around your tongue for the rest of your life. Due to paucity of water in this desert land, there is constantly a desert flavor merged in its lip smacking delicacies along with a hefty quantity of ghee (clarified butter) and milk.
The people of Rajasthan prefer foods that can be hoarded for several days and can be consumed without heating. The shortage of fresh vegetables and water are reflected in this unique style of cuisine. The meals are usually made with the use of milk, buttermilk and clarified butter or minimum water instead of water in most of the places in Rajasthan. Rajasthani dishes are specially noted for its spicy flavor and liberal use of chilly powder. One can also find the use of Aamchur (dried mango powder) which gives it a tangy sour flavor to these appetizing delicacies of Rajasthan.
Some of the famous food items unique to Rajasthan are Gatte ki sabzi, Kair sangria, Chakki ra saag, Dal bati churma, Lachhedar Paratha, Besan ki Missi Puri, Murgh ko Khaato, Kacher Maas, Ghewar, Raabdi, Mawa etc. One should not miss these delicious delicacies unique to Rajasthan.
|Fairs & Festivals of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is also known as Land of Celebration. The land of fairy-tale forts and palaces summon endless enthralling images of gallant kings, stunning princesses and sumptuous darbars. The mark of royalty is all-pervasive in this sand dunes filled land and is seen not only on the vibrant murals and friezes of the palaces but also in the splendor and pomp of the brightly dressed people. The tint and charisma of Rajasthan and its people can best perceived in their gala of various festival and fairs. The men, women and children dressed in vibrant and new attires, bazaars selling a range of exotic gift items, series of folk dance and music appends vibrancy and appeal to festivals. The men wearing brilliant red turbans and the vividly colored lehangas and odhnis of the women bestow a multihued seem to the festivals and show the joyous spirit and fervor of the people of Rajasthan towards life.
Rajasthan has abundant fairs and festivals, which are celebrated right through the year. Be it the change of season or some religious circumstance there is always a cause to rejoice life in Rajasthan all the way through fairs and festivals. Apart from spiritual and seasonal festivals, the prosperous land of Rajasthan also rejoices plentiful traditional fairs. Pushkar fair, which is celebrated every year on the banks of sacred Pushkar Lake during karthik purnima, is the most famous and widely celebrated of all the festivals of Rajasthan. Other chief local fiestas celebrated in Rajasthan include the Camel Festival Bikaner, Desert Festival Jaisalmer, Elephant Festival Jaipur, Gangaur Festival Jaipur, Mewar Festival Udaipur and the Teej Festival Jaipur etc.
The celebrated Pushkar Fair is one of the great tourist attractions in Rajasthan. People from different places in the globe gather here in this ancient religious town. Then Pushkar will be transferred in to a spectacular fair ground. This festival is taking place in the month Karthik according to the Hindu calendar. It is believed that a dip in the holy water of Pushkar Lake removes all the sins and lead to ultimate salvation. People coming to this fair- bathe, pay respect and take enjoyment in the stunning wares of roadside stalls. One major attraction of Pushkar Fair is the trading of Camels; camels are bought, sold, beautified, raced and paraded.
The fair is chiefly a rural gathering. Villagers gather here from different parts of the state and take their cattle with them for trading and participating in different games. The crowd of people gathered here resembles the tide of colours. Evenings at the Pushkar Fair have its own charisma. The quiet night is sliced by calls of camels. The sweet ballads sung by actors in passionate tones, folk dramas, skits and folk dance offer entertainment of the tourists.
Gangaur is the most significant local festival in Rajasthan. This spring festival is unique to Rajasthan which is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvathi. In this festival married woman evoke the blessings of Goddess Gauri and plead for the long life of their husbands, unmarried girls doll up in their best attire and wish for good ones. Even though it is rejoiced all over Rajasthan with immense keenness and passion, the revels in Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer attains the uppermost arena.
The fair is exceptional in Jaisalmer, here the local Raja leads the parade accompanied by an entourage of camels, and in Mt Abu, where images of Gauri (Parvati) and Isa (Shiva) - the ideal couple - are carried all the way through the roads along with preserved rice and flowers which recall the days when this was chiefly a harvest festival. This festival starts from the next day of Holi and lasts 18days. Unmarried girls worship the deity all through the preceding fortnight. Vivid images of Gauri, marvelously dressed and ornamented, are taken out in pageant with the town band.
One of the most popular festivals in the desert land of Rajasthan, the Desert Festival is celebrated with great fanfare in Jaisalmer. The Desert Festival is organized every year in the months of January-February, to showcase the richness of performing arts and crafts in Rajasthan. This colorful extravaganza is held on the enchanting Sam Sand Dunes, about 25 km from Jaisalmer. During this festive occasion, the atmosphere at the venue becomes lively with melodious tunes and rhythms of the folk musicians and dancers. A number of colorful craft bazaars are also set up for the occasion, adding more charm to already charming festival.
Other attractions of the Desert Festival, Jaisalmer, are the organization of several exciting competitions. Camel races, Mr. Desert contest, the turban-tying contest, and a contest for the longest moustache add more charm to the festival. On its conclusion, the colorfully decorated camels take you on to an exciting and unforgettable camel safari, indeed a wonderful experience for visitors.
|Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a land of marvelous forts and beautiful palaces. Built on high peaks, in the heart of massive deserts, and on islets in lakes, the forts and palaces of Rajasthan showcase the architectural legacy of Rajasthan. Though the exteriors of these forts and palaces displays a rugged and rough look, the interiors offers an architectural extravaganza. Be ready for the stunning sight of amazing palaces and forts along with India Packages.
City Palace –Jaipur
The capital city of Rajasthan was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II an 1727 A.D. Washed in Pink, Jaipur displays a remarkable harmony and architectural grandeur.
Built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh the 'Hawa Mahal', Palace of the Wind, is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. It is an integral part of the City Palace, an extension of the Zenana (women's chambers) standing away from the main complex.
Deep in the heart of the Thar Desert is Jaisalmer, one of the last princely bastions in the region. Founded on what was the cross - road of lucrative trade routes, this remote settlement came to be celebrated for the valour of its rulers, and for the aesthetic sense represented by their palaces and havelis.
The Jantar Mantar was conceived as a quest for discovering the mysteries of the Cosmos. The Jantar Mantar is a corruption of the Sanskrit word yantra mantra meaning instruments and formulae.
Lake Palace Udaipur
Lake Palace, Udaipur (Rajasthan, India) is in fact a white marble palace that seems to float miraculously on the still waters of Lake Pichola. Probably the most romantic hotel in the world, this 250-year old palace offers guests a unique blend of serenity and opulence. Lal Garh
This grand palace is an architectural masterwork in red sandstone, and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in 1902. Sir Swinton Jacob designed this oriental fantasy. This architecture is a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Definitely the most beautiful of all palaces in Jodhpur, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is spread across 26acres of land. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces in Jodhpur and is one of the largest residences in the world. Built between 1929 and 1943, over 3000 artisans toiled to create this magnificent edifice in golden yellow sandstone.
Overlooking the Delhi Jaipur Highway, the image of the Amber Fort is beautifully reflected in the lake below. Within the Fort lies the famous Jai Mandir (Temple) with its world renowned Sheesh Mahal, a hall full of Mirrors.
Located 64 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. Cradled in the Aravali Ranges the fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. Because of its inaccessibility and hostile topography the fort had remained un-conquered.
Places to VisitAjmer- The Holy City
Ajmer in older days called as Ajaimeur or the invincible hill. This city was founded by Ajai Pal Chauhan in the 7th century. Ajmer was a centre of Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. Even during the Muslim conquests, Ajmer did not lose its appeal and significance. It was only when Prithvi Raj Chauhan lost to Muhammed Gohri that Ajmer passed on to multiple hands of feudal lords, Marwar rulers and finally the Mughals. Eventually, Ajmer was conquered by the Marathas, who afterward lost it to the British and it became one of the only parts of Rajasthan controlled straight by the East Indian Co.
Land of cultural harmony where on the one side there is holy cum tourist place like Pushkar which have an auspicious temple of Lord Bhrama who according to Hindu mythology is the architect of the universe and on the other hand Muslims mosque of Khawaja Munuidhen Chistee which is around 1000 year old mosque . Khawaja was worshipped by both hindu & muslim. But the chief grounds to visit Ajmer because of the serene ambiance of Pushkar.
Air: The nearest airport is Jaipur which is 135kms away.
Train:Ajmer is on the Delhi-Jaipur-Marwar-Ahmedabad-Mumbai line and most trains stops at Ajmer.
Road:It is connected with bus from all places like Jaipur, Agra, Aligarh, Abu road, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Barmer, Haridwar, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Nagaur.
Tourist Destinations & Attractions
Ajmer-e- Sharief Dargah
It is the milestone of Ajmer and one of the holiest of Muslim shrines in the nation. It has a secular appeal and respected by people of all cults. Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint from Persia made this place his domicile from 1192 till he died in 1236 AD. Mughal King Humayun finished the edifice of the shrine. The Dargah is approached all the way through a gigantic gate with silver doors built in several steps. Emperor Akbar used to make an annual pilgrimage to Ajmer. Mughal Emperors Akbar and Shah Jahan have built mosques in the complex. The saint's tomb is in the centre of the second courtyard and the actual tomb inside is surrounded by a silver railing and partly by a marble screen. The tomb is of marble and the dome is gold plated. Offerings normally consist of flowers, chiefly roses and sweets. The fragrance of burning incense sticks has a mesmerizing result on the devotees. The spiritual ambiance inside the sacred shrine is suffused with tranquility, holiness and mysticism.
One chief attraction in this dargah is two massive ‘degs’ in which the foods are prepared for all coming to the shrine during the Urs. These ‘degs’ were originally donated by mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir these were replace with new ones later on.
Adhai-din ka Jhonpra
Adhai-Din-Ka-Jhonpra is a extraordinary construction of Indo-Islamic structural design said to have been built in two and a half days flat. This mosque was a Sanskrit college in the 12th century but in 1193 AD Mohammad Ghori shattered the college and built a mosque in its place. It is built on pillars and astoundingly no two pillars are identical. The distinct pillars-and domed "Screen" with its ruined minarets make it a marvelous architectural masterwork. The monument has seven domed walls with Islamic calligraphy, though majority now remains in ruins.
Anted ki Mata Temple
A charming Jain temple which showcases the saints of Digamber cult, Anded ki Mata is legendary not only for its tranquility but also as a place of festivity. The annual fair held on Rakshsbandhan day in the month of August, the shrine premises becomes a hub of activities. Located in a divine serene ambiance, this temple houses the stunning Chabutras and Chhatris. The inscriptions on the chhatris are having immense historical significance, which illustrates the affluent ethnicity and tradition of the Jain Religion. The usual serene and quite ambience of this attractive shrine would be swamped with colourful gathering on Rakshabandhan day.
Ana Sagar Lake
Built by Anaji during 1135-1150 AD, this lake is positioned towards the north of Ajmer city. Afterwards the Mughal Emperors made supplementary constructions to smarten the lake. The 'Baradari', Shah Jahan built a marble pavilion. This attractive lake built by King Anaji, the grandfather of Prithvi Raj Chauhan is at a pictorial location positioned to the north of Ajmer. Alongside the lake are the Daulat Bagh Gardens, set up by emperor Jehangir. This beautiful lake is surrounded with exquisite architectural delights. It was the prudence of the King to offer natural waters to the city by jamming the fast flowing waters of the river Luni. It is a striking picnic spot for the tourists and locals in a similar way and is at its imposing beauty is best from October to March.
Jaipur- The Pink City
Jaipur usually referred as 'Pink City', has been the capital of erstwhile Jaipur state ever since its initiation in 1727 AD. Jaipur city was founded by Sawai Jai Singh II, a great monarch plus prominent mathematician and astrologer. Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya planned Jaipur as stated by the Hindu treatise, Shilp Shastra. In 1876, to welcome Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria the whole Jaipur city fully clad itself in pink, and thus received the epitaph 'Pink City'. Jaipur is renowned for its excellent handicrafts which include exquisite gold jewellery enameled or inlaid with expensive stones and blue pottery. Jaipur also have an excellent collection of carving on wood, stone & ivory, block print & tie & dye textiles, handmade paper etc.
After liberty, Jaipur became the administrative and commercial capital of what was known as Rajputana, an appropriate finish to the dreams of its originator Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a man celebrated for his flairs as a politician, mathematician, and astronomer. At age 13 he ascended the throne of the Kachchwaha Rajputs, a clan that had enjoyed incredible affluence and influence as a result of their astute association, dating back to Humayun's sovereignty, with the Mughal emperors. It was in actuality the emperor Aurangzeb, a zealously devout Muslim, who -- even though Jai Singh was a Hindu prince -- named him Sawai, meaning "one and a quarter," for his impressive intelligence and humor. Having established his competency as a military diplomat for Aurangzeb, mounting the emperor's royal treasury significantly, Jai Singh felt it secure to shift his capital from the claustrophobic hills encircling Amber to a dry lake in the valley beneath.
Air: Jaipur has its own airport, and is well connected to all other tourist and business centres.
Rail: An excellent connection to Delhi by Shatabdi Express and the Pink City Express. Other connections to Jaipur are from Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahemadabad, Secunderabad and Lucknow.
Road: A network of reasonably comfortable tourist buses, run by road corporations of Rajasthan, Haryana and others.
Tourist Destinations & Attractions
Galtaji is a prehistoric Hindu pilgrim center that is celebrated for its ‘kunds’ and natural springs. The Galtaji Complex is a vast region not just a single temple and hosts a surfeit of pavilions with arched roofs. There are several pavilions and shrines that are stopovers by devotees and tourists. Encircled by a stunning gorge in the middle of the charming low lying hills, the Temple of Galtaji is made with pink stones. It is situated inside the City Palace compound and the major temple is devoted to the Sun God. The external of the temple is bedecked with stunning carvings and comprehensive paintings.
The pictorial and creatively built shrine of Akshardham Temple at Vaishali Nagar offers a stunning apparition to the devotees. The temple is devoted to Lord Narayana and is recognized for its dazzling sculpture, exquisite deities and bestows a glance into the cultural legacy of India. This temple commands a magnificent vision of the verdant ambiance.
Built in 1760, Diwan-I-Aam (Hall for a public audience) has now been transformed into an art gallery. The hall is adorned with splendid chandeliers, ornate dyed ceilings studded with semi-precious stones. Archetypal Jaipuri designs and ornamentations embellish the hall's ornate masts whilst its walls are elaborately tinted in shades of deep red and gold. The art gallery exhibits Maharaja’s gathering of Persian and Indian miniatures, full-scale portraits of the royal families and rare texts. These include Jai Singh’s Arabic and Sanskrit translations of the astronomical treatise of ancient scientists such as Euclid and Ptolemy. The Diwan-I-Aam's library has grand Indian epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and works of Abul Fazal and other gifted artists of Emperor Akbar’s court.
One of the most impressive structures in Jaipur, Hawa Mahal is built in the year 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh. This stunning memorial was the structural design of the eminent artist Lalchand Usta. Hawa Mahal, is a huge contraction opus with recurrent arches, small windows, spires and latticed casements in spite of its lofty formations; the Hawa Mahal emerges like a light, generous construction which might puff away by a tender breeze.
A perfect amalgamation of both Rajputana and Mughal architecture, Hawa Mahal is a five-storied pyramid-shaped fascia with 953 small windows. These pink sandstone windows known as 'Jharokhas' are ornamented with miniature grille work and bear a semblance to a gargantuan honeycomb. The air circulating through these windows maintains the Palace persistently cool. The Hawa Mahal Palace overlooks one of Jaipur's major streets. It was initially erected for the purdah-clad women from the Royal Family; it permitted them a knothole from at the rear stone-carved panels to watch any pageants or activities taking place in the bazaar and the adjacent streets.
Ram Niwas Bagh
Ram Niwas Bagh is a verdant spacious garden which includes a zoo, an aviary, a beautiful greenhouse, a herbarium, a stunning museum and popular sports ground. It was built by Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868 AD as a famine relief mission. The Albert hall represents fine example of Indo Sarcenic style of construction designed by Sir Swinton Jecob. This houses an exquisite assortment of sculptures, paintings, ornamental wares, natural history specimens. One can also find famous Egyptian mummy & renowned Persian carpet. In recent times, the Rabindra Manch with an auditorium, a modern art gallery and an open air theater, has been included to endorse cultural events.
Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh is a trademark of Sawai Jai Singh’s adore for his queen from Udaipur. The garden constructed in the year 1728 was a souvenir that the erstwhile creator of the Pink City gave to his darling queen. The expansive landscaped garden is a superb merge of traditional Indian and Mughal architecture and is located at about 8 km from the capital city of Jaipur. The striking sprawling lawns affluent in verdant foliage and bright vibrancies of the seasonal blooms is sated with attractive fountains with elaborate figurines, galleries, pavilions, sparkling pools lustrous like a fantasy of quicksilver, beautifully trimmed flowerbeds and murals vividly narrating the legends surrounding Lord Krishna. The murals are truly appropriate to the garden’s central theme since they mainly portray the love that blossomed between Lord Krishna and his true love, Radha. Way back in the 17th and 18th century, the elegantly laid multi-tiered garden was a popular summer retreat for the young maidens and royalty of Jaipur. Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh, located in southeast Jaipur is an idyllic green paradise, an oasis of quietness and a symbol of true love and thereby happens to be one of Jaipur’s much coveted tourist spots.
Mount Abu- The Paradise of Rajasthan
Mount Abu is a stunning hill station in Rajasthan. The tourists and the natives equally come here to capture a break from the summer ablaze. This veritable Eden doled out as the Chauhan Rajputs' summer resort. Later it served as the center of operations of the British Rajputana Residency. Mount Abu is perhaps one of the few places in the state gifted with verdant foliage and a range of flora and fauna. In addition being a summer getaway, Mount Abu is a sacrosanct pilgrim spot. Respected holy by the Hindus and the Jains, Mount Abu is allied with numerous shrines and the spiritual myths attached to this city. The perplexing and gorgeous city is branded by numerous names such as ‘Hill Of Wisdom’, ‘Saint's Pinnacle’ and ‘Olympus of Rajasthan’.
Air: Udaipur is the nearest airport. Daily flight form Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur are available to Udaipur.
Rail: Abu Road is the nearest railway station and is about 22 kms from Mount Abu. And well connected by Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mumbai and Jodhpur.
Road: Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur and Abu Road to Mount Abu. It is also connected by road to Delhi, Udaipur, Ajmer, Bundi and Udaipur.
Tourist Destinations & Attractions
Delwara Jain Temples
The Temple complex comprises two temples with superb marble statuettes. The older of the temples is the Vimal Vasahi, which was built by a Gujrati minister named Vimal in 1031AD. It is devoted to the first tirthankar (Jain Teacher), Adinath. The central shrine encloses an image of Adinath, while around the quad are 57 indistinguishable cells, apiece with a Buddha like cross-legged image. One can see forty eight gracefully carved pillars from the entry to the quad. Facing the temple stands the House of Elephants, with statures of elephants marching in parade to the temple.
The later Tejpal Shrine is devoted to Neminath, the 22nd tirthankar, and was built in 1231AD by the brothers Tejpal and Vastupal. Akin to Vimal, they were ministers in the government of the ruler of Gujarat. Although the Tejpal temple is significant as an exceptionally old and absolute example of Jain temple, its most distinguished trait is the complexity and fragility of the marble carving. It is so excellent that, in spaces, the marble turn out to be almost transparent. Especially the lotus flower that hangs from the center of the dome is an implausible piece of work. It is hard to believe that the enormous lace like filigree started as a solid block of marble. The temple occupies numerous full-time stone carvers to preserve and refurbish the work.
Doodh Baori is a well situated at the foot step of the Adhar Devi temple. Doodh Baori is believed as a sacred well with milk colored water. This well is considered to be the main source of milk for Heaven. People here also believe that the water inside the well has got numerous extraordinary curative powers. Many people offer prayers at this well bearing in mind it as Kamadhenu – the magical cow in heaven. The vision of the shrine from the premises of Doodh Baori seems to be a small tower at the peak of the mount.
Just 5 km away from Mount Abu is Trevor's Tank which was named after the English engineer that got in constructed. It is a perfect place to go bird watching as peacocks and pheasants can be seen along with some rare avian species. This man made tank is used for breeding crocodiles. In a right season a lucky one can spot wild black bear here.
Nakki Lake the mythological lake with a very exciting story behind its formation in the center of Mount Abu, the myth has it that this lake was dug by Gods or Devtas using their nails or nakh thus gained the name Nakki Lake. Few sections of local tribes also believe this lake as a sanctified lake and worship it. This is the only Indian artificial lake located at a height of 1200 Mtr's above sea level. Picturesquely set, with the hills rising surrounding it, the lake has several islets to which one can hire boats. An appealing aspect of the lake is the many rock patterns around it. They have been named Toad Rock, Nun Rock, Nandi Rock and Camel Rock because of the semblance with these figures. Nun Rock is a large smooth rock as it apparently looks like a woman with a veil. The climb up to these rocks, through the wooded forests is a beautiful one, with each of the rocks on the way making unique formations, fissures and shapes. This is a perfect place for a person who loves photography.
Located about 2 Kms from Mount Abu, this is the site of the ancient agnikunda, where legend has it that sage Vashistha performed the great fire sacrifice. The temple contains an image of Vasistha along with images of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna, both of whom are considered to be incarnations of Vishnu, the Preserver of the Hindu trinity. The name Gomukh literally means cow's mouth, referring to a spring here which flows through the mouth of a marble cow. The spring water is believed to have sacred, purifying properties.
Mt Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest parts of the Mount Abu mountain ranges. This Sanctuary is home to many sightseeing points offering fantastic views. Many people visit here just for the sightseeing and views, but most visits this pace for the animals and birds. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is about 7 kilometers long and only 300 meters wide. This means that while you take the long walk down The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary you won’t miss much on either side.
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is located in one of the regions oldest mountain ranges- The Aravali. The area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1960. In addition to the sightseeing opportunities, the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular destination for eco-tourism. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary crosses a variety of mountain highs, from 300m to 1722m at Gurashikhar- the highest peak in the Aravali Ranges. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is full of floral beauty. There is an evergreen forest that meets the water and the valleys on the other side. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary houses around 112 plant families with 449 genera and 820 species.
Sri Raghunathji Temple
Scenically located on the banks of the Nakki Lake, the panoramic Sri Raghunathji Temple is dated to be built around the 14th century. This temple is built by a scholarly Hindu protagonist, Shri Ramanand. Reflecting the old Mewar culture, the temple is beautiful and showcases the rich heritage of the era. Many devotees throng the temple to seek the blessings of Sri Raghunathji.
Jaisalmer- The Golden City
Jaisalmer – the Golden City is a great place to simply meander. The old city was once wholly bounded by a wide-ranging wall, much of which has forlornly been shredded away in recent times for building stuff. Some of it relics, nevertheless, counting the city gates and, inside them, the enormous fort which rises above the city and is the soul of Jaisalmer. The main market area is straight below the hill, while the banks, the new palace and several added shops and offices are near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.
Jaisalmer's past grandeurs can be seen in its imposing golden fort on Trikuta Hill that overlooks the horizon. The fort also houses a township with markets, palaces, temples and delicate engraved sandstone Havelis. In the present day, these homes are considered as national heritages and art museums that are still occupied. This last outpost of the Indian Republic is valued for its heritage as much as for its brave citizens, its people and culture, colorful festivals and crafts have placed Jaisalmer on the world tourist map.
Air: Indian Airlines operates flights to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mumbai and Delhi from Jaisalmer.
Rail: There are two trains IJPJ and Jodhpur express which operates daily from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur.
Road: There are many deluxe buses operating daily from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner.
Tourist Destinations & Attractions
Jaisalmer Fort is a monument worth visiting and worth preserving in your conscious mind. Like various other cities of Rajasthan, in Jaisalmer too you will find diverse facets of its own magnificent heritage. Though you can find chronological monuments spread all over the city, the Jaisalmer Fort will instantaneously grasp your attention. Made of sand stones and locally known as Sonar Quila, the Jaisalmer Fort is a dominating construction amidst sands. The city is said to be established by one Raja Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput ruler, in around 1156 AD. Legends go by that he did it on the request of a local hermit named Eesaal. The raja chose Trikuta hill as the new location for his fort as his earlier abode at Luderwa (16k.m from present Jaisalmer) was too defenseless to his reassure. But it should always be kept in mind that these myths are most of the time creations of conscious minds that are very susceptible to the oriental overstatement.
Jaisalmer fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. 250 feet tall and armored by magnificent crenellated sandstone wall 30 feet high; it has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 and 1647 AD. Wells within the fort still provide a regular source of water. Even today, one can find that nearly one fourth of the old city's population dwells within the fort. One can find the marvelous cross-cultural merging, the subtle fusion of Rajput and Islamic architectural styles, visible in this fort. Ganesh Pol, Akshya Pol, Suraj Pol and Hawa Pol are a must see structures.
One of the major Jaislamer attractions, the Tazia Tower bears remnants to the rich Muslim architectural brilliance of the ancient times. This five storeyed Tazia Tower was constructed by the Muslim artisans for their imperial rulers of Jaisalmer. Tazia Tower is an integral part of the architectural monument of the Badal Mahal that draws several tourists from far and wide. Each floor of the brightly constructed Tazia Tower is accompanied with brilliantly bedecked balconies that add to the elegance of this architectural monument. Tazia Tower was erected in the year of 1886 AD.
The delicate design and excellent carvings on the walls and ceilings of each floor of the Tazia Tower echoes the affluent artistic creativity and inspired skills of the local craftsmen of the bygone era. Amidst the pictorial scenery of the golden sand dunes of Jaislamer, the huge architectural monument of the Tazia Tower stands tall with it’s over striking structure.
Akal Wood Fossil Park
17 km from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Aakal Wood Fossil Park that houses fossils, which are 180 million years old! Measured to be geological landmarks, these fossils re-erect the world of Jurassic period before us when the entire Thar Desert lay under the sea, just as indicated by a legend in Ramayana (the great epic of Hindu religion). Sea shells and enormous fossilized tree trunks in this park evidences the geological history of the desert. The entire area is now conserved for posterity as a natural wonder. The park spreads out over the area of 10 sq km and boasts of 25 petrified trunks, the largest being 13 m long. It is alleged that the area was once covered with thick forests of non-flowering trees, mainly comprising of Chir and Deodar. It is said that the sea had withdrawn about 36 million years ago leaving behind a fossiled forest in this area and the wood fossils of the place, had given ample evidences to the geologists to consider that a possibly hot and humid climate existed in the region 180 million years ago as well as the area had been under the sea on four different occasions.
Located 7 K.M. west of Jaisalmer, this is very pleasant, but fairly abandoned, small old garden and tank. It belongs to the Royal family of Jaisalmer and was initially built as a cool summer retreat. The major attraction of this place is a Shiva temple, which is believed to be erected out of large blocks of sandstones. Maharawal Moolraj II built the Moolsagar in 1815 AD. There are numerous wells, the Moolsagar Garden and a splendid Raj Mahal built on its premises. Maharawal Moolsagar was known for his patronage to art and artisans and that becomes pretty apparent when you come across some great murals on the palace walls. Therefore his patronage to the art and architecture was echoed among his nobles and subjects. It was mainly due to his efforts that so many lovely palaces and structures were built in that period which was influenced by both the Mughal and Rajput schools of art.
Desert National Park
Desert National Park is the treasure trove of wild animals such as black bucks, chinkaras, hares, wolves, desert cats, desert foxes. Located in the district of Jaisalmer it is one of the central tourist spots in Jaisalmer. It abounds in flora and fauna. Desert National Park is one of the most popular wildlife reserves in the entire country. The species that are kept in this park are of varied origin. The wide variety of birds protected in this sanctuary is worth admiring. Several avian species such as Grey partridges, bush quail, Indian rollers, and bee eaters can be seen all over the place. Some rare and extinct species such as the Great Indian Bustard can be viewed within the sanctuary. A large number of reptiles are also found dwelling in the desert park of Jaisalmer. The monitor lizards, spiny tail lizards, saw scaled vipers are abundantly found.
Deewan Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli123
Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomizing the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolize the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli. It is a private property.