Rajasthan Trip Information
The Lake City of Udaipur, under the dark shadows of green Aravali hills, is a real ‘Oasis of Romance’ in the otherwise drab land. With its three lakes Pichola. Udai Sagar, and Fateh Sagar palaces, parks and fountains, this most beautiful city of Rajasthan was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1576 following the third sack of Chittorgarh. Udai Singh fled to this place to escape the Mughal forces and then fashioned a romantic city in this serene vale. This ‘Venice of the East’ has following spots of tourist interest.
Maharana ‘s Palace & Museum
The City Palace Complex at Udaipur overlooking the Pichola Lake is one of the biggest in Rajasthan. With in the palace the Sheesh Mahal, Krishna Vilas, the Bari Mahal and the Museum containing beautiful mosaics, glass and porcelain figures are worth visiting.
Out in the Lake Pichola are two islands with two Palaces Jag Mandir and Jag Niwas. The Jag Mandir is a three-storey high yellow sandstone structure within laid mosaics and crowned with an imposing dome. It was here that Prince Khurram, later Emperor Shah Jehan, took refuge when he unsuccessfully revolted against his father Jehangir. On an another island at the southern end is Jay Niwas Palace. Both of these palaces were built by Jagat Singh II. Jag Niwas is now a luxury hotel.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Originally built by Maharana Jai Singh in 1678, it was reconstructed by Maharaj Fateh Singh following its destruction in floods. In the midst of the lake is now an island garden called Nehru Park with a refreshment pavilion. The Park is accessible by motor-boats which ply regularly between the other end and the Island.
The garden of the ‘Maids of Honors ,right below Fateh Sagar Lake, is an excellent example of the Hindu art of landscape gardening. Built by Maharana Sangrarm Singh specially for the delight of damsels sent by the Emperor from Delhi as peace-offering, .this lovely garden is lavishly decorated with lovely lotus pool, finely designed cenotaps surrounded by a number of fountains operable now by an electric switch.
It is a memorial to the heroic warrior Rana Pratap, atop the Moti Doongri overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake.
Kala Mandal Museum
This is a culturally very rich museum with a fine collection of puppets, costumes, masks, paintings and other musical instruments.
Twenty four km. north of Udaipur is this temple of the chosen deity (Lord Shiva) of the Mewar Royal Family. The shrine, pyrarmidical and pagoda like with its apex crowned with an ornamental figure of an urn and a bull, is surrounded by hills of primitive formation.
Twenty four km. further north of Eklingji and 48 km. from Udaipur, lies Nath Dwara, a great centre of Hindu pilgrimage. The sculptured Krishna image in black marble is over 600 years old. It was brought here by Maharana Raj Singh from Mathura Vrindavan in 1669 to save it from the iconoclastic frenzy of Muslim invaders. This temple is one of the richest shrines in India.
Next only to Chittorgarh, this fort, constructed by Maharaja Kumbha, is situated 64 km. north-west of Udaipur. The fort is perched on a precipitous lofty hill rising over 3,000 feet.
This unique complex of Jam temples is 96 km. from Udaipur and is one of the biggest Jam centres of pilgrimage. Located in the serene and remote glen of the Aravalli hills, they are over 500 years old yet well preserved. Most of the present temples date back to the 12th to 15th centuries. The Chaumukha or the four-faced shrine, is the main temple in the centre of the complex, and is dedicated to tirthankar Adinath, The whole complex soars like a symphony in marble.
Being the only hill station of Rajasthan, Abu is a popular summer resort and a centre of pilgrimage. Situated on a 1,220 metres high isolated plateau, Abu is an ancient place, also mentioned in Mahabharat as the ‘Arbudgiri’. The Agni Vanshi Rajputs are said to have originated here from sacrificial fire of a yagya performed about 2,500 years ago. The bracing environs, relaxed life, shaded woods, temples, beautiful rock formation shaped by rain and wind, lake and many vantage points and beauty spots make it a popular hill resort of the region.
These Jam temples here mark the culmination of medieval Rajasthani temple architecture. Nestled in a rocky vale, these shrines were erected between 1031 and 1231 AD chiefly by Vimal Shah and his two ministers of the Vaghela King of Gujarat. The three storey Parsvanath is the tallest structure here. It was built in the 15th century.
Centrally located Nakki Lake, dotted with rocky islets, is another land mark of Abu. The lake takes its name from Sanskrit ‘nakh’ which means a nail. The legend is that a thirsty god scooped it out by using only his nails.
Founded by Rao Jodha in 1459, Jodhpur is a beautiful sprawling white washed city under the ceaseless vigil of a massive fort of sheer rocky eminence. Once the Capital of Marwar kingdom, ruled by Rathor warriors its fascinating long-winding streets, palaces, latticed windows through which light filters making varied patterns on ancient stone floors, cenotaphs, temples, lakes and painted ceilings. Here the spots worth visiting are Meherangarh Fort (straddling on a 125 meters. high hilly scrap), Raj Mahal on the banks of Gulab Sagar Lake and the nearby Kunj Behari and Chamunda Temples; Jaswant Thara a white marble cenotap of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, also preserving the geneology of the rulers of Jodhpur; and the Government Museum set in the Umaid Gardens. Excursions include Mandore and the town of Osian. Jodhpur is well connected by rail, road and air with Jaipur and Delhi. There are many good hotels near the main railway station for visitors’ stay besides some tourist lodges and bungalows.
Jai the golden city of fiery tenderness of creativity, is one of the most remote and unique towns of India Founded by prince Jaisal Bhatti eight hundred years ago, Jaisalmer, the biggest town of the biggest Parliamentary constituency in the world, with an average of six persons per square kilometer, is like a dreamland where the setting sun, like a big ball of bright copper seems so near that you feel al most touching it, and where everything slumbers into eerie serenity. The spots worth visiting are the Fort—a triangular edifice on 80 feet high Trikuta Hill, was built in 1178 and 1187 and the famous Havelis in the cobbled alleys, with delicate stone carvings and lattice work of intricate designs. Some of the magnificent mansions include Salim Singh ki Haveli, Patvon ki Haveli and Nathmalji ki Haveli, Mumal ki Mehri is another spot, now in ruins, hervalding the sage of a love-lorn tragedy.
Deep in the desert and in extreme north of Rajasthan, on an ancient camel caravan routes going to Africa and West Asia, lies Bikaner, a real desert town encircled by massive battlements. Bikaner, the former capital of the state of the same name, was founded by Bika Ji in 1488, a son of Jodha Singh, the founder of Jodhpur. This township, on a slight elevation a challenge to inexorable forces of bleak barrenness of the desert, is an interesting place with its ancient palaces, shrines, pavilions, sculptures, camel breeding farm. Colourful bazaars and above all so Picture sque and formidable fort. The places worth visiting are Junagarh Fort and Museum. The fort, built in 1588- 1593 by Raja Jai Singh, is characterized by its 37 pavilions, 986 meter long surrounding wall, two entrance gateways and a superb palace complex. Excursions here include the renowned Camel Breeding Farm (10 km); Devi Kund, Gajner Sanctuary, Deshnok famous for Karni Mata Shrine where thousands of rats are fed and preserved as they are considered sacred.
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