RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan,the Land of Kings, is the last bastion of the maharajas who now lord over magnificent palaces turned heritage hotels. A caravan of camels wends its way through the dunes. The strains of a folk song fill the emptiness of the desert. A royal train chugs through the cool desert night. These are the images thrown up by the dramatic Rajasthani desert. This is a rugged land, home to a race of fiery warriors-the Rajputs.


The breathtaking Thar Desert occupies western Rajasthan and is home to great medieval cities like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner. The painted havelis of Shekhawati Rajasthan are in the north. The south is hilly and green and Udaipur with its lakes and places is set here.



hawamahal

Jaipur :- Rajasthan's capital, Jaipur, is one point of a must-do tourist circuit, the so-called Golden Triangle (the other being Delhi and Agra). Indians like to call it the Pink City, after the pretty wash on its buildings. Sawai Jai Singh II built Jaipur when he shifted his capital here from Amber in 1727. Wander through the 18th - century bazaars of the walled city, take in the City Place and Jantar Mantar (an astronomical observatory), then explore the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the winds), Rajasthan's most dramatic edifice.

Splendorous sights :- The towns of the Shekhawati region contain some of the most elaborate havelis, step wells and temples in the state. The Rajput nobles who ruled over their fiefdoms here became great patrons of art and financed elaborate frescoes on their havelis.

Desert Cities :- Called the Sun City, Jodhpur is a rugged, no-nonsense town. The Mehrangarh Fort looms over the Old City and its striking blue-washed homes. A major attraction is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, now a heritage hotel. Jaisalmer, the Golden City, is noted for its gigantic fort.

Ajmer And Pushkar :- Ajmer is famed for its Dargah Sharif, the tomb of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Nearby Pushkar has long been a backpacker hangout. A pilgrim town with a sacred lake surrounded by 400 temples, Pushkar is one of India's holiest towns.

Udaipur :- Udaipur is a pleasant surprise in arid Rajasthan. This is Rajasthan at its great and the City of Lakes and Palaces lies within a circle of hills. The massive City Palace overlooks Lake Pichola and boasts a fine museum. The Lake Palace set in the middle of the lake and is on the list of "Leading Hotels of the World".

Mount Abu :- There's even a hill-station in Rajasthan- Mount Abu. The Dilwara Jain Temples here are known for their sculptural details and intricate carvings.

Nature In The Desert :- In spite of a hostile terrain, Rajasthan is home to many mammals and birds. Its vast size and latitudinal variations provide varied vegetation. Notable National Parks are Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary, Sawai Madhosingh and Keoladeo Ghana, Bharatpur.

Adventure Sports :- You can't leave Rajasthan without riding a camel into the sunset. Or better still, set off on an overnight Camel Safari across the dunes and dine under a blanket of stars. For an adrenaline high, do the same by Jeep.

Fair And Festivals :- Fairs and festivals add colour to the bleak lives of a desert people and turn the land into a creative fertile basin every region has something to offer. Check out the World-renowned Pushkar Fair, Desert Festival, Elephant Festival and Camel festival.

Luxrury On The Wheels:- The success of the palace on wheels and the Orient Express trains, which run through Rajasthan, is now part of legend. Palace on Wheels is one of the 10 most luxurious trains in the world. Rajasthan remains a classic tourist destination in that it caters to all income groups. For the luxury loving, there is a gamut of heritage hotels. In fact, nowhere in the world can one find so many heritage hotels in the palace.

Umaid Bhawan Palace jodhpur :- The pride of Jodhpur, the Umaid Bhawan palace is one of the largest and grandest private residences in the world. Henry Vaughan Lanchester designed a fine example of the Indo-Colonial and art Deco style of the 1930s, the sandstone palace. Construction of the sprawling palace, which finished in the 1940s, was part of a food-for-work programme initiated by Maharaja Umaid Singh to tide his subjects over a grim famine. Umaid Singh's grandson, Maharaja Gaj Singh still stays in a section of the Palace. The rest has been converted into part museum and part luxury hotel.

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