Thursday, July 31, 2008

History of Rajasthan

Rajasthan History

According to the Hindu Mythology, the Rajputs of Rajasthan were the descendants of the Kshatriyas or warriors of Vedic India. The emergence of the Rajput warrior clans was in the 6th and 7th centuries. Rajputs ancestry can be divided into two: the "solar" or suryavanshi-those descended from Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, and the "lunar" or chandravanshi, who claimed descent from Krishana, the hero of the epic Mahabharata. Later a third clan was added, the agnikula or fire-born, said to have emerged from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt Abu.

It has been accepted that the Rajputs were divided into thirty-six races and twenty-one kingdoms. The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties like Sisodias of Mewar (Udaipur), the Kachwahas of Amber (Jaipur), the Rathors of Marwar (Jodhpur & Bikaner), the Hadas of Jhalwawar, Kota & Bundi, the Bhattis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati and the Chauhans of Ajmer.

Early History
Rajasthan is the north-western region of India, and has remain independent from the great empires. Buddhism failed to make substantial inroad here; the Mauryan empire (321-184 BC), whose most renowned emperor, Ashoka, Converted to Buddhism in 261 BC, had minimal impact in Rajasthan, However, there are Buddhist caves and stupas (Buddhist Shrines) at Jhalawar, in Southern Rajasthan.

Ancient Hindu scriptural epics make reference to sites in present-day Rajasthan. The Holy Pilgrimage site of Pushkar is mentioned in both the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Emergence of the Rajputs
The fall of the Gupta Empire, which held dominance in northern India for nearly 300 years until the early 5th Century, was followed by a period of instability as various local chieftains sought to gain supremacy. Power rose and fell in northern India. Stability was only restored with the emergence of the Gurjara Partiharas, the earliest of the Rajput (from 'Rajputra', or Sons of Princes) dynasties which were later to hold the balance of power throughout Rajasthan.

Whatever their actual origins, the Rajputs have evolved a complex mythological genealogy. This ancestry can be divided into two main branches: the Suryavansa, or Race of the Sun (Solar Race), which claims direct descent from Rama; and the Induvansa, or Race of the Moon (Lunar race), which claims descent from Krishna, Later a third branch was added, the Agnikula, or 'Fire Born'. These people claim they were manifested from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt.Abu From these three Principal races emerged the 36 Rajput clans.

The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties such as the Chauhans, Sisodias, Kachhwahas and Rathores. Chauhans of the Agnikula Race emerged in the 12th century and were renowned for their valour. Their territories included the Sapadalksha kingdom, which encompassed a vast area including present- day Jaipur, Ranthambore, part of Mewar, the western portion of Bundi district, Ajmer Kishangarh and even, at one time, Delhi. Branches of the Chauhans also ruled territories know as Ananta (in present-day Shekhawati) and Saptasatabhumi.

The Sisodias of the Suryavansa Race, Originally from Gujarat, migrated to Rajasthan in the mid-7th Century and reigned over Mewar, which encompassed Udaipur and Chittorgarh.

The Kachhwahas, originally from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, travelled west in the 12th century. They built the massive fort at Amber, and later shifted the capital to Jaipur. Like the Sisodias, they belonged to the Suryavansa Race.

Also belonging to the Suryavansa Race, the Rathore (earlier known as Rastrakutas) traveled from Kanauj, in Uttar Pradesh. Initially they settled in Pali, south of present-day Jodhpur, but later moved to Mandore in 1381 and ruled over Marwar (Jodhpur). Later they started building the stunning Meherangarh (fort) at Jodhpur.

The Bhattis, who belong to the Induvansa Race, driven from their homeland in the Punjab by the Turks, installed themselves at Jaisalmer in 1156. They remained more of less entrenched in their desert Kingdom untill they were integrated into the state of Rajasthan following Independence.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hawa Mahal - Jaipur

Hawa Mahal (Jaipur)

Hawa Mahal - The Hawa Mahal was designed by renowned architect Lal Chand Usta and is built of red and pink sandstone and is a living testimony of Rajput architectural grandeur. The Hawa Mahal is shaped like a pyramid and has a staggering 953 small windowpanes and all of them are conspicuous by their miniscule lattice work, miniature balconies and vaulted roofs all of which are exquisitely designed and engraved.

Hawa Mahal Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, Hawa Mahal is the most stunning sight in the city of Jaipur. The palace, part of a huge complex, overlooks one of Jaipur's main streets and was originally constructed to offer women of the court a vantage point, behind stone-carved screens, from which to watch the activities taking place in the bazaar and the surrounding streets. Hawa Mahal Jaipur five-story, pyramid-shaped structure is made up of small casements, each with tiny windows and arched roofs with hanging cornices, exquisitely modeled and carved. Its façade makes Hawa Mahal look more like a screen than a palace. Its top three stories are just a single room thick but at the base are two courtyards. It is a fifty-foot high thin shield, less than a foot in thickness, but has over 900 niches and a mass of semi-octagonal bays, carved sandstone grills, finials and domes, which give this palace its unique façade. As a matter of fact, Hawa Mahal is believed to build for the women of the Royal Families, since they had to observe strict "purdah" (cover). The small windows and screened balconies serve the women to watch processions and different activities taking place on the streets. In this manner, the women could enjoy a sense of freedom without showing themselves.

Early morning is considered as the best time to visit the Palace, when it is drenched in the golden light of the Sun. At this time, Hawa Mahal appears incredible. One cannot possibly describe the beauty of the Palace in words. The golden light of the early morning sun floats beautifully through the windows of this palace creating a wonderful sight for one and all. The palace has to be visited to experience the true beauty.

Jaipur is a fascinating city but to make the city fascinating, it has great palaces and other structures that are architectural wonders. Look you may from whichever way - houses, shops and havelis - they are all pink. The long crenellated walls protecting the city and the huge gateways guarding the entrance to the city are all in pink. Even the women who come to the city market from their neighboring villages are dressed in pink, gorgeous yellow, red and blue. Men dressed in white dhoti and shirts carry huge magnificent turbans - mostly pink, red and yello

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ranthambor city information

Ranthambore - the undisputed thrilling destination to spot Tigers and numerous Animals which we might have never heard of. In Ranthambore you don't see a Tiger, you see Jhumroo, Jhmri, Machchli, Bachchi, Sultanpur Mother or Isabelle (named after a BBC's cameraman's daughter). Experts would take you through various Circuits and would also tell you interesting story related to each and every Tiger. Ranthambore National Park has an excellent network of tracks and more than half the core area is open to Visitors. Best time to visit is October to June. Park remain closed for July - Sept

How to reach Ranthambore

By Road : Delhi to Sawai Madhopur (the town closest to the Ranthambore National Park) via Jaipur and Tonk is a 440 Kms/8 hours drive. Private Vehicles are not allowed into Park. Driving from Jaipur would take 3-4 hours (180 Kms.)

By Rail : The Kota Jan Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Kota leaves Delhi Nizamuddin Station at 1.10 pm and arrives at Sawai Madhopur at 6 pm. The Dehradun Express from New Delhi station, which does an overnight run to Sawai Madhopur ia a convenient way to getting Ranthambhore (leaves 9.40 pm, arrives 5 am).

Distance from major cities
Ranthambore - New Delhi 450 Kms
Ranthambore - Jaipur 180 Kms
Ranthambore - Udaipur 405 Kms
Ranthambore - Jodhpur 476 Kms
Ranthambore - Ajmer 272 Kms

Places to see

Ranthambore National Park :: This is a Government project to save the tigers.
Here you can see the tigers, leopards, hyena, jackal, for, blue bull, chinkara & sloth bears. Hotels arrange for Jeep Safaris with a Guide at a very reasonable price but needs to be booked very well in advance.

Ranthambore Fort :: This fort is situated on the top of a hill in the dense jungle.

Mansarovar and Surwal :: Mansarovar is large deep lake, 24 Kms from Ranthambhore Bagh, known for its picturesque sunsets, while Surwal is a shadow lake. Both these water bodies are excellent for winter migratories like Demoiselle Cranes, Pelicans, Flamingoes, Bar Headed and greylag geese.

Pushkar city information

Pushkar the holy place is famous the world renowned camel fair & the Holy lake. The lake was formed when Lord Brahma dropped a lotus here. Pushkar is the mixture of Indian & many other foreign culture. Pushkar is an important pilgrim for Hindu people. It has world's only temple of Lord Bramha (God of Creation). Best time to visit Pushkar is during the Pushkar fair, this time the town becomes a cultural hub, people from all over India & all across the globe gathers here to enjoy the most grand Camel fair.

Pushkar Fair Dates

2005 :: 8th to 15th November
2006 :: 29th October to 5th November
2007 :: 17th to 24 November
2008 :: 5th to 13th November
2009 :: 25th October to 2nd November
2010 :: 13th to 21 November

How to reach Pushkar

Pushkar is well connected by roads. Ajmer is just 11 kms, is well connected to all major cities by trains. There are so many regular buses to/from Ajmer.
Nearest Airport :: Jaipur 145 Kms
Click here to see the Accessibility of Ajmer

Distance from major cities Heritage Rajasthan - Tour Package for Rajasthan
Ajmer - New Delhi 392 Kms
Ajmer - Mumbai 1071 Kms
Ajmer - Jaipur 131 Kms
Ajmer - Udaipur 274 Kms
Ajmer - Jodhpur 205 Kms
Ajmer - Jaisalmer 490 Kms

Places to see

Pushkar Sarovar :: The holy lake is surrounded by numerous ghats & temples. The lake is very busy in the morning, all the devotees & Sadhus take the holy bath in the Sarovar.

Temples :: There are so many big & small temples in Pushkar. The famous & major temple is the Bramha Temple.

Bramha Temple :: This world's only temple devoted to Bramha, is situated near the market in the old town. Apparently Lord Brahma wanted to perform a Yagna (self mortification) at the lake, and when his wife Savitri didn't attend, he married another woman on a whim. Savitri, understandably annoyed, vowed that brahma would not be worshipped anywhere else. It's marked by a red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the hans, or the goose symbol, of Bramha.

Pushkar Fair :: Every year so many people converge on the small town with there thousands of camel & other animals. The seven day Camel Fair starts from Neomi & ends on the Kartik Purnima (Full Moon). Besides the business of camels, horses, cow & bulls, people enjoy the camel, horse & bullock cart races. lot of foreign tourist also take part in the races & fun games.

Jaisalmer city information

Jaisalmer is a must visit destination in Rajasthan. It is very colorful, vibrant & energetic. Jaisalmer - "the land of sand" is famous fro its exotic sand dunes, the Fort, friendly people and interesting lifestyle.

How to reach Jaisalmer

By Road :: There are deluxe & semi-deluxe buses to Jodhpur in every hour. Deluxe buses are also available for Jaipur, Bikaner & Ajmer.

By Rail :: There are so many express tains to/from Jaisalmer. The Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Express leaves to Jodhpur at 11:15 PM & reaches at 5:15 AM, the same train leaves Jodhpur at 11:15 PM & arrives Jaisalmer at 5:05 AM. The Jaisalmer Delhi Express departs at 3:30 PM & reaches Jodhpur at 9:30 PM, Jaipur at 5:20 AM & Delhi at 10:20 AM.

By Air :: There are frequent flights to Jodhpur & Jaipur.

Distance from Major Cities
Jaisalmer - New Delhi 882 Kms
Jaisalmer - Mumbai 1341 Kms
Jaisalmer - Jaipur 621 Kms
Jaisalmer - Udaipur 545Kms
Jaisalmer - Jodhpur 285 Kms

Places to see

Jaisalmer Fort :: The majestic 250 feet high fort is made up of yellow stones. It as built by the Rajput Ruler Jaisala in 1156. This fort has lot of interesting things to see like the poles & traditional Havelies, you can stay there in the fort coz there are so many hotels & houses in the Fort.

Patwon ki Haveli :: These havelies are beautifully designed & crafted very finely. the Jhali work is simply amazing.

Gadi Sagar Lake :: The lake was once the water supply of Jaisalmer, there are so many beautiful temples around the lake. You can enjoy the boating from 8 AM to 9 PM.

Sam Sand Dunes :: The beautiful sand dunes of Sam & camel safari is a must activity there.

Museums :: There are three major museums in Jaisalmer, they are Desert Culture Museum, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum and Government Museum. All of them are worth to visit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Udaipur tourist places and sight seeing

  1. City Palace
  2. Saheliyon ki Bari
  3. Suraj Gokhda
  4. Pratap Memorial
  5. Gulab Bagh
  6. Sajjan garh
  7. Fateh Sagar
  8. Pichola Lake
  9. Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum
  10. HaldiGhati
  11. Kumbhalgarh Fort
  12. Ranakpur

Prime tourist attractions in rajsthan

Rajasthan is rich in architecture and is a delight for all kinds of tourists with its sandy dunes, mighty forts, lush blossoming gardens, shimmering lakes and outstanding monuments. The medieval zeal of honor among the Rajputs rings true in Chittorgarh Fort, men and women alike, while the romantic reverie hovers over the island palaces of Lake Pichola. One can almost see the shy royal ladies chuckling to see the royal procession on the roads of Jaipur, unseen and safe behind the screens of Hawa Mahal. The religious fervor of the staunch devotees at Dargah Sharief at Ajmer and Shrinath ji at Nathdwara is no less than the grandeur of City Palace of Jaipur and astronomical wonders of Jantar Mantar. We present here a list of the top favorite tourists' places that are not worth a miss in this land of wonders:
Albert Hall Museum -
Positioned amidst the gardens of Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur, this museum has an assortment of rare articles on its display including textiles, carpets, paintings, metal and wood crafts, pottery, arms and weapons.

Amer Palace :
Raja Man Singh built Amer Palace in 16th century. It is a mesmerizing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Rajputs made use of the Amber Fort from the 16th century up to the foundation of Jaipur in
1727 both for defense purpose as well as the residential purposes.

City Palace :
Situated in the capital of Rajasthan, the City Palace of Jaipur or the chief palace is a titillating fusion of conventional Rajasthan and Mughal architecture. The gigantic palace complex engages one seventh of the walled city of Jaipur.

Chittorgarh Fort :
The Chittorgarh Fort has witnessed three bloody sieges and 'jauhars' (a Rajput tradition in which royal maidens and ladies immolate themselves in the fire to save their honor from the cruel hands of the enemy, when there is no chance of defeating the enemy).

Dargah Sharif :
'Dargah Sharif' or 'Holy Dargah' is one of the most sacred Muslim shrines in the country. Venerated by both Hindus and Muslims, it is the tomb of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti, a Sufi saint who came from Persia and devoted his life to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden.

Fateh Sagar Lake :
The pretty Fateh Sagar Lake of Udaipur is located to the north of Lake Pichola was originally built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh as a medium-sized perennial storage reservoir. Surrounded by holls on three sides and Pratap Memorial on the fourth, it presents captivating scenery.

Havelis of Jaisalmer :
The beautiful sandstone mansions of Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants are known as 'havelis'. Their elaborate homes are a poem etched out in sandstone with infinite details and pains, carved and pieced together in different patterns, and though they are lavish and loud in nature.
Lake Pichola :
Maharaja Udai Singh did not underestimate the panoramic beauty of Lake Pichola surrounded by beautiful hills when he chose to widen it. Later Maharaja Jagjit Singh conceptualized the two beautiful island palaces in the middle of the lake, now, known as Jag Niwas (the much-renowned Lake Palace) and Jag Mandir that adds to the shimmering beauty of the lake.

Umaid Bhawan Palace :
The famine had struck the arid and barren land of Jodhpur and farmers were dying of hunger as their lands yielded nothing and they had no money to buy food. It was then, when like a judicious king, Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur undertook the construction of this magnificent building as a famine relief project to provide employment and a regular source of income to his subjects.