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RAJASTHAN                         General Information of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a vibrant, exotic state where tradition and royal glory meet in a riot of colors against the vast backdrop of sand and desert. It has an unusual diversity in its entire forms- people, customs, culture, costumes, music, manners, dialects, cuisine and physiography. The land is endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palace havelis, rich culture and heritage, beauty and natural resources. It is a land rich in music, Dance, Art & Craft and Adventure, a land that never ceases to intrigue & enchant. There is a haunting air of romance, about the state, which is palpable in its every nook and corner. This abode of kings is one of the most exotic locales for tourist world over. The state has not only survived in all its ethnicity but owes its charisma and color to its enduring traditional way of life. 

It is one of the 26 states that, along with seven union territories, form the republic of India. So rich is the history of the land that every roadside village has its own tales of valour and sacrifice, the winds sing them and the sands shift to spread them. Rajasthan is Spicy, but then, what is life after all without little bit of spice, Rajasthan provides abundant scope to explore it.

The panoramic outlook of the state is simply mesmerizing, with lofty hills of Aravali's - one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world and the golden sand dunes of the Great Indian Desert - the only desert of the sub-continent. No other region in the country is a  conglomeration of so many paradoxes. It is a land of superlatives, everything over here is breathtakingly beautiful, impressive and fascinating! The state is well connected with other parts of the country and can be easily approached from Delhi and Bombay. Fast trains, direct bus and air connections make travel easy and comfortable.

A visit to this wonderland will leave a lasting spell on your mind. In fact, one visit is not enough to capture the real essence of this magical land. You will, we assure you, keep coming back for more.

Rajasthan is a destination that defies definition.

Udaipur: Set in a valley of the Aravalli Hills, the city of the kingdom of the Ranas of Mewar, presents a tranquil portrait of white marble palaces, placid blue lakes, and green hills, and defiantly colorful in an avid landscape. It is a walled city, with five impressive gates. Lake Pichola, is a not to be missed site, fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples. The lake Palace, is a magical monument set amidst the lake, and recalls, the grandeur and romance of Rajputana.

Jaisalmer: A medieval town on the western fringe of India, with its beautiful buildings, and narrow street and golden sandstone walls. The approach is across the scorching desert. The Golden Fort dominates the town. This town is famous for its camel safaris.

Bharatpur: Bharatpur in Rajasthan is set in the Jat land replete with old forts and palaces. The Bharatpur Palace has large number of ancient exhibits dating to 15th century. Deeg with it's pleasure palace is often visited. Proximity to Agra adds to its attraction. But it is best known for its bird sanctuary. The Koladeo National Park with it's rich variety is perhaps the best in Asia. Every year the rare Siberian Cranes migrate here to spend winters in the warm climate of Bharatpur. The nearest airport is Agra. Regular trains connect Bharatpur with other cities on Delhi_ Mumbai trunk route and it has a very good network of buses.

Jaipur: The 'pink' city, first used in 1853, when this welcoming color was painted, to honour Prince Albert, is the capital of Rajasthan, and is around 275 years old. Tourist attractions are varied. The Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds, built in pink sandstone, is the most famous building, and built for ladies of the harem. The City Palace, occupies the centre of Jaipur, and should not be skipped. The Jantar Mantar is a grand observatory, built by Jai Singh, after whom Jaipur is named.

Ajmer: The burial place or Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti, a Muslim saint, his tomb became a world famous place of pilgrimage, and at Id and Muharram, pilgrims converge from all over. Mosques, pavilions and other tombs were subsequently erected.

Pushkar: Pushkar Lake is a sacred place for Hindus, since at the end is the only Brahma (one of the famous trinity, apart from Vishnu & Shiva) temple in the country, and marks the place where Brahma was incarnated. At the Kartik Poornima (full moon in November), is a spectacular fair, of cattle and camels, and a must on a tourist's calendar.

Jodhpur: This was once the Capital of Marwar, and stretches around the Meherangarh Fort, and is on the edge of the Thar Desert. This was an ancient trading centre, on the Delhi-Gujarat route, and generated wealth for the military might. The Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Museum, and nearby Chhatris, besides the fort, are worth visiting.

Bikaner: The city was founded by Rao Bikaji and was an important center in the ancient caravan trade route. The most famous of all structures is the massive fort with its 986 mtr. Long wall, 37 bastions, 2 entrances and exquisite quality of stone carving seen on the palaces and havelis inside the fort. Lalgarh palace made of red sandstone is 3 kms from the town; the 16th century Bhandsagar temple complex is only 5 kms away. The government managed camel breeding farm , perhaps the only of its kind in Asia, is only 10kms away. The Karni Mata Temple is famous for its profusion of rats as they are considered sacred and worshipped, is 33kms Bikaner. The temple has huge silver gates and exquisite marble carvings.

Chittorgarh: The town is full of Rajput legends and history. It was built in the 8th century by Bappa Rawal. The attraction here is the Chittorgarh fort that has been besieged thrice in the past each time resulting in "Jauhar" , mass suicide by women and children. The best way to visit Chhitorgarh would be to make Udaipur once base and take a day's excursion to the fort. 

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