Rajasthan ‘Land of Kings’ or ‘Land of Kingdom’ is India’s largest state by area. The state located on northwest part of country and is a home of cultural diversity. Its features include the ruins of Indus Valley Civilization, Temples, Forts and Fortresses in almost every city. Rajasthan divided into 9 regions; Ajmer State, Hadoti, Dhundhar, Gorwar, Shekhawati, Mewar, Marwar, Vagad and Mewat which are equally rich in its heritage and artistic contribution. These regions have a parallel history which goes along with that of the state.
Rajasthan, the Land of Kings is synonymous to heroism, royalty and honor. Historic tales of battles fought and romance of the riches adorn the walls of the state. Established in the era marked with wartime ballads yet living in the modern period, this beautiful region is a travelers’ destination. Those looking out for the remnants of the past should not pass up a trip to Rajasthan. For wanderers interested in adventures at the various landscapes should definitely get a glimpse of this venturesome state. And for the ones who plan to have a quiet sojourn gazing at the beauty of the golden sand dunes, Rajasthan tops your list. Come, explore the miscellany of the old and the new in Rajasthan, a glittering jewel of India.
When one speaks of rich culture in India, Rajasthan is what comes to our minds. Proving it true for several years now, Rajasthan depicts each nuance of its authentic civilization in its artwork. Stone, clay, leather, wool, wood, lac, glass, brass, silver, gold and textiles. You name it and the Rajasthani craft industry has it. The industry not only provides mass employment but is also a way of sustaining years of family businesses started centuries ago.
- Taj Mahal
The love of a man for his wife is preserved in the gleaming white marble of the Taj Mahal. A vision of symmetry and delicacy, like a perfect pearl set against an azure sky, it is the world’s best-known mausoleum and one of the most exquisite buildings ever designed. On the southern bank of the River Yamuna (Jamuna) at Agra is the Taj Mahal, arguable the most famous building in the world.
- Red Fort
Agra fort is the most important fort of India, The great Mughals, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb lived here and country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint. It was visited by foreign ambassadors, Travelers and the highest dignitaries who participated in the making of medieval history of India. No other fort of India had this honor.
- Fatehpur Sikri
This magnificent fortified ancient city, 40km west of Agra, was the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire between 1572 and 1585, during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Earlier, Akbar had visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When the prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque, still in use today, and three palaces, one for each of his favourite wives – one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian (though Hindu villagers in Sikri dispute these claims). The city was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but erected in an area that supposedly suffered from water shortages and so was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death.
- City Palace
Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous ‘Chandra Mahal’ and ‘Mubarak Mahal’, and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. The palace is located towards the northeast side of central Jaipur and has many courtyards and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Sawai Jai Singh II. He ruled in Amer and planned and built the outer walls of the palace and later rulers added to the architecture of this palace. These additions have been known to take place right up to the 20th century. The urban layout of the city of Jaipur was commissioned to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. Today, the ‘Chandra Mahal’ has been turned into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products, various uniforms of the rulers and many more things pertaining to the royal heritage of the City Palace.
- Hawa Mahal
The renowned ‘Palace Of The Winds’, or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone, is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. Read further to know more about Hawa Mahal, its history, architecture and its visiting hours.
- Jantar Mantar
There are plenty of observatories all over the world, but the Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. Combining religion, science and art, the Jantar Mantar is the name given to a series of five, magnificent structures built in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. Jaipur was the seat of Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 1720’s and this is when this magnificent structure was built here. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five observatories and also houses the world’s largest sundial. The Universe and the Cosmos have always been of interest to man, and it was this interest that compelled the Maharaja to build an astronomical observatory. The term ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from the Sanskrit terms ‘Yantra’ and ‘Mantra’ meaning ‘instruments’ and ‘formula’ respectively. The term ‘Yantra’ was replaced with ‘Jantar’ which means ‘magical’. The Jantar Mantar houses various architectural and astrological instruments that have caught the interests of astronomers, historians and architects around the world.
- Albert Hall Museum
When the foundation stone of Albert Hall was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward to Jaipur in 1876, it had yet to be determined what use it would be put to. There were some suggestions about cultural or educational use or as a town hall. However in 1880 Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II approved a suggestion by Dr. Thomas Holbein Hendley, Resident Surgeon (whose interests extended beyond his medical responsibilities) to open a museum of Industrial Arts to display products of local craftsmen. A small museum was created in 1881 in temporary accommodation and proved most popular. Additionally, Hendley in 1883 mounted a Jaipur Exhibition at Naya Mahal (old Vidhan Sabha). The purpose of these exercises was to acquaint local craftsmen with the best examples of art work and handicrafts of India to inspire them to improve their skills, thereby protecting and preserving traditional art and reviving skills, while providing greater employment for artisans. It was also the intention that the display would help to educate youth in a wide variety of fields, entertain and inform the people of Jaipur.
- Amer Fort
Amer fort was built with red sandstone and white sandstone. The fort still stands as a grand example of ancient Indian architecture. It is known for its blend of Rajput and Hindu style of architecture and mixture of Hindu and Muslim style of ornamentation. The carvings on the ceiling and the walls are extraordinary features of this fort. There are many paintings of ancient hunting styles, portrait of important Rajput rulers and others. There are a series of gates in the fort and each one has a unique structure and architectural element to enjoy.You can find many buildings inside the fort including Diwan-e-Aam, SukhMandir, Sheesh Mahal and others.
- Birla Temple
The Birla Temple, originally known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and is situated below the Moti Dungri Fort in Jaipur. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, this temple is a proud architectural landmark of Jaipur. Built in pure white marble, the Birla Temple is unlike the traditional ancient Hindu temples, and is built with a modern approach. Inside this magnificent shrine, beautifully sculpted idols of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, as well as other Hindu Gods and Goddesses, can be seen. Delicate carvings of Hindu symbols, and ancient quotes from the Geeta and the Upanishads ornament the walls of this fascinating temple. One can also recognize the mythological events engraved on the walls. Apart from the religious idols, pictures and figures of several religious saints, philosophers and historical achievers, like Socrates, Buddha, Zarathustra and Confucius, are also included in the temple. A work of art, this temple truly represents architectural beauty, in a modern form.
- Jaisalmer Fort
Jaisalmer Fort locally known as Sonar Quila is one of the largest forts in the world located in Jaisalmer City in Rajasthan, India. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal, from where it originates its name. This fort is popularly known as the ‘Sone Ka Quila (Golden Fort)’ by the local people and is one of the most magnificent monuments in the city of Jaisalmer. The fort is standing proudly in the middle of the unending golden sands of Thar Desert, Jaisalmer fort is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of Jaisalmer
- Patwon Ki Haveli
The Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time. He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century.
- Jodhpur Fort
Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it “the work of giants”. Today, it is acknowledged as one of the best preserved fort in India.
- Sunset Point
The Sunset Point in Mount Abu is a popular place in city, which lies to the south-west of the Nakki Lake. It is a popular spot for watching a scenic view of sunset every day. People often visit in large numbers at Sunset Point in summers to seek cool climate and scenic view of surrounding hills. Many travellers also visit the nearby Honeymoon Point which is famous for art crafts shops and food joints. These food stalls and souvenir shops are good places to buy trinkets and knick-knacks, carved marble statues, sandalwood idols, and wooden toys.
- Brahma Kumari Temple
I knew a little about the Brahma Kumaris since my childhood because one of my teacher was associated with it. It was way back, when I was in class 9th or Xth. I remember the teacher was known by his nickname Om Shanti. I still do not remember his real name. The imprints of his personality, his sketch of white shirt trouser of khadi and glasses of heavy frames still vividly formed. Later, I always felt facination of white dress code for men and women of Brahma Kumaris, their soft-spoken attitude and simplicity.
- Nikki Lake
It is a very ancient sacred Lake, according to the Hindu legend. It is called by this name because it was dug out from Nails (Nakh). One story is of dug by Gods to live in, for protection against the Bashkali rakshash (a wicked demon). While other is of Rasiya Balam (a sculpture of Dilwara Jain temple), who dug the lake, as the king told that whoever will dug the lake within one night I will marry my daughter to him. But later king’s wife refused and he couldn’t marry the king’s daughter. Temple of Rasiya Balam and Kunwari Kanya (king’s daughter)’s is located behind the Dilwara Jain temple.
- City Palace
Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.
- Lake Pichola
Lake Pichola, situated in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is an artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. It is one of the several contiguous lakes, and developed over the last few centuries in and around the famous Udaipur city. The lakes around Udaipur were primarily created by building dams to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the city and its neighborhood. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake, and have been developed with several palaces to provide views of the lake
- Eklingji Temple
Eklingji Temple is one of the most famous temples of Rajasthan. Located in the town of Eklingji (Kailashpuri), the place got its popular name from the temple. Eklingji Temple is positioned at a distance of 22 km in the north of Udaipur, on the national highway no. 8. Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion. Initially, the temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. Since that time, Eklingji has been the ruling deity of Mewar rulers. In the later years, it was repaired and modified by various Kings, to clean the remnants of obliteration made by the attacks of Mohammedans.
Saheliyo Ki Bari
- Sahelion Ki Bari
Sahelion Ki Bari was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake have beautiful lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant- shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose.
This garden is located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake, presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. Garden of maids was built from 1710 to 1734 by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal ladies.
- Doodh Talai and Musical Garden
Dudh Talai Musical Garden also known as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Park, is a magnificent rock garden in Duddhtalaii. It is manage by Urban Development Trust, Udaipur. Visitors love the sunset and scenic view of Lake Pichola. This garden is the perfect example of modern architecture.
- Vintage Car Museum
On 15th February 2000, The Vintage & Classic Car Collection, The Palace Udaipur was unveiled in its entirety to the general public. This inauguration allowed visitors to appreciate this astonishing collection of cars for the first time. The Vintage & Classic Car Collection is a car collection and a museum with a difference. All the vehicles on show have belonged to the Maharanas of Mewar both past and present. Despite some vehicles being over seventy years old, each one has been painstakingly restored so that they are in working order.
- Jagdish Temple
Jagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture. In 1651, Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur during 1628-53. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan), the preserver of the Universe. It is celebrated for being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur. The gateway of this temple can be sited at a distance of 150 meters from the Bara Pol of the City Palace.
- Ajmer Dargah
Ajmer Sharif Dargah is also known by the name of Dargah Sharif, Khawaja Gharibnawaz Dargah Ajmer, Ajmer Dargah, Ajmer Sharif. It is most popular and important Muslim pilgrimage in Rajasthan. People from all the communities come here and pay homage in the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharif . Ajmer Sharif is famous for fulfilling the wishes of the devotees. Various followers of different religion offers flowers, velvet cloth, perfume (non-alcoholic) and sandalwood at the Dargah.
- Brahma Kumari Temple
Brahma Temple in Pushkar is one of the most famous and only few of the temples dedicated to Lord Brahma in the holy city of Pushkar, Rajasthan. This Pushkar Brahma Temple is the place of deep spirituality and thousand of devotees come here to pay homage to the many gods that reside in this temple town. Pushkar city has over 500 temples with the main Pushkar temple. It is dedicated to lord Brahma and the only Brahma temple anywhere in the world. Although the structures of the temple dates back to 14th century but it is believed that the temple is about 2000 years old.
- Pushkar Lake
A sacred lake of the Hindus, Pushkar Lake is of the five most sacred pilgrimage destinations for the Hindus in India. It is believed that when the lotus petals fell from the hands of the Hindu God of Creation, Lord Brahma, the Pushkar Lake was created. This tranquil lake is located in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer district of Rajasthan. According to the Hindu scriptures, the sacred lake of Pushkar is described as “Tirtha Raj” or the king of all pilgrimage sites related to a water body. No pilgrimage is said to be complete unless one takes a holy dip here. And if the ritual is performed on Kartik Purnima, it is thought to be equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years.
- Man Mahal
The Man Mahal Pushkar is one of the greatest palaces of Pushkar. Built as a guest house of Raja Man Singh I, the palace is one of the most attractive spot to visit in Pushkar.
The Man Mahal Pushkar is a dream palace. It was built to serve the purpose of royal guest house for Raja Man Singh I. This palace was mostly used by the Raja during his tip to Pushkar. Boasting Rajasthani architecture, it is a treat to the eye. Though the palace had been converted in into a heritage hotel yet it boasts the various features of the royal era of Rajasthan. The hotel is currently run by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. Located in the east of Sarovar, it is a must visit in Rajasthan. By visiting the Man Mahal, you will not only enjoy the beauty of the palace but also the breathtaking view of the lakes and temples around the lake.
- Junagarh Fort
Junagarh Fort is a fort in the city of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. The fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or “Old Fort” in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort.
- Ganga Singh Museum
Popularly described as the best museum in the state, it displays a rich array of archaeological discoveries from prehistoric Harrapan and early Gupta period. Separate sections put on view paintings, arts and craft, terracotta, pottery, carpets, coins and ancient Rajput weaponry.
Deshnoke is famous for its 600-year-old Karni Mata Temple, where rats are worshiped. The goddess Karni Mata has been worshiped by the royal family as well as the general public of Bikaner and other parts of Rajasthan since long ago. They original natives are depawat’s of deshnoke known grandsons of karni mata. There are four bramches of depawats- 1.Dungrot 2.Lakhan 3.Siyawat 4.Narsingh
- Ranthambore Fort
This fort stands majestically atop a hill overlooking the entire park. The walk up, one of the only places this mode of transport is possible, is a very refreshing and exciting one as even the big cats have been spotted up there! The view of the surrounding keeps getting better and better as you go up but the view from the fort itself can only be described as breathtaking. It is advisable to take along a good pair of binoculars and if possible a camera with a very powerful lens when visiting the fort.
- Trinetra Ganesh Temple
When we say “Pratham Ganesha” in Hindu religion, it is believed to be the Trinetra Ganesha of Ranthambhore. Located in Ranthambore fort of Rajasthan state of India, The Trinetra Ganesha Temple is the famous and oldest temple of Lord Ganesha in Rajasthan that comprises of his whole family all together at one place. The temple is about 12 kms from Sawai Madhopur and is well established in Ranthambhore fort.