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Places to See

Delhi
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsDelhi is a palimpsest, bearing the complexities, the contradictions, the beauty and the dynamism of a city where the past coexists with the present. many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Diverse cultural elements absorbed into the daily life of the city have enriched its character. exploring the city can be a fascinating and rewarding experience....

India a land of snake charmers and magicians and the capital of this land of mysteries is Delhi. Delhi is just not a city but it is a book-- a book which narrates the history of India. The city was built and destroyed seven times and has been witness to the various events which has brought India through the history books. Seven times this city went through the pain of being built and rebuilt.

Today as the capital of India Delhi is the seat of administration and the monuments which tell the saga of a bygone era stand there. These icons are testimony to the grandeur of past and also an attraction for the tourists. With an area of 1483 sq. Kms, Delhi is all set to acquire full statehood. The charm of Delhi has attracted Emperors, Conquerors and poor in equally. It is correctly said that Delhi is a land of 'Dilwalas' or for people with heart. This phrase acquires a true colour when one goes around the lanes of Delhi. Delhi-- a window to the kaleidoscope that is India.



Jaipur
Jaipur the `Pink City' as it is popularly known, is the bustling capital of Rajasthan. `Pink city' because most of the buildings are pink in colour in the old city. The city retains its old self, at the same time it is moving fast Royal Rajasthan on Wheelsas a modern city. You can see extreme contrast on the streets of Jaipur. On one side you have cars, buses and motorbikes, on the other side you can see camel carts.

On one side there are traditionally dressed men and women in their turbans and colorful long skirts and blouses. On the other hand you can see modernly dressed Indians and foreign tourists having a bite in their favorite American restaurants. There are new modern buildings existing along side with old Palaces. You have posh showrooms, which give the best in artifacts and clothes and you have vendors on the streets selling Rajasthani shoes or jewellery. The city with such contrasts has almost everything to offer you in terms of royal style, classic jewellery, lovely handmade and embroidered clothes which includes dresses, dress materials and beautiful handicrafts.

The city was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1643) to shift his capital from Amber to a new place. He has planned the city according to shilpa-shastra, which is the ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. The city was built with surrounding walls and rectangular blocks. But the city to which he shifted is no longer spacious. The surroundings of the Palaces are now very crowded. It is now all shops and hotels. But the buildings constructed by him like the Jantar Mantar are still intact for people to see.



Bikaner
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsBikaner is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in western India which was founded in 1488 A.D. This is the royal fortified city by with a timeless appeal which is surrounded by a long embattled wall pierced by five gates. Lying in the north of the desert state, the city is dotted with many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle. Bikaner is popularly known as the camel country and is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. One can witness gaily caparisoned camels at the spectacular camel Festival at Bikaner, held annually. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts, transporting grains or working on wells, camels are the prime helpers. This city is especially famous for its school of miniature paintings which are an admixture of the Rajput and Mughal styles. This city is also famous for its minakari on camel hide, and golden minakari in the palaces of Bikaner. The wells of Bikaner: an important source of water is other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minaret towers on each of the four corners and can be noticed even from a distance.

The history of Bikaner dates back to 1488 A.D. when a Rathore Prince, Rao Bikaji- a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur(1459 A.D.), Rao Jodhaji, established his kingdom here. Rao Jodhaji had five sons but Rao Bikaji was the most enterprising of them. Bikaji chose a barren wilderness called 'Jangladesh' and transformed it to an impressive city, called Bikaner after the founder's name.



Jaisalmer
Its like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The name Jaisalmer induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain not with standing the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. The beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city.

And you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in Thar Desert. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156. On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the Tricut Hills as his new abode abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa just 15 kilometres northwest. In Medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The Bhatti Rajput rulers lined their coffer with gains from traditional taxes and cess on passing by caravans and sometimes through illicit gains by rustling cattle.

Royal Rajasthan on WheelsOver the years the remote location of Jaisalmer kept it almost untouched by outside influences. In the 13th century Ala-ud-din Khilji Emperor of Delhi besieged the fort for nine years in an effort to take back the treasure taken by the Bhatti Rajput from his imperial caravan train. When the fall of the fort was imminent the women of the fort committed Jauhar, an act of mass self-immolation, while men donned saffron robes and rode to their certain death.

Duda son of Jaitasimha, a Bhatti hero also perished in the battle. Dudas descendants continued to rule Jaisalmer. In 1541 they even fought Mughal Emperor Himayun. Though their relations with Mugshal was not always hostile. Sabala Simha won the patronage of Mughal Emperor Shaha Jahan for battle distinctions in Peshawar and the right to rule Jaisalmer. In the days of Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British. Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through.

Jaisalmer is a marvel of beautiful culture and harsh climatic conditions, together amounting to a memorable experience. The old city was completely encircled by wall but much of it is now pulled down sadly for want of building material in recent years. The massive golden fort, which is the essence of Jaisalmer, is entered through First Gate. Is a burrow of narrow streets complete with Jain Temples and old palaces. The main market the Bhatia Market is right below the hill. The bank, offices and several shops are also located near the Amar Sagar Gate to the west.

Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city.

The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, lord Krishna- the head of Yadav clan foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill, His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156AD.

When Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill Bhatti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were fedual chief who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi-or Sind. These seems to be straight out of the "Tales of the Arabian Night ' still enchants.

The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. the setting turn Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight.

The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival held in Jan/Feb. every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contest, especially the turban raying contest.

Mr. Desert contest and camel races enliven the festivals colorful craft bazars are setup for the occasion and a sound and light spectacle is organized with folk artistes performing against the spledid backdrop of the famous sam sand dunes on the full moon night. Surely a not-to-be-missed events.



Jodhpur
Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. This city is popularly known as the "Sun City" because it enjoys the bright & sunny weather all year. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination a valiant sentinel in the desert, on the eastern fringe of the Thar Desert has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar Desert nor out of it. At best it is a doorway to the Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj.

In 1459 AD, Rao Jodha, chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from Rama, the epic here of the Ramayana, laid the foundation of Jodhpur. A high stone wall protects the well-fortified city. The wall is nearly 10km in length and has eight gates facing various directions. Within, stands an imposing fort on a low range of sandstone hills, about 125m above the surrounding plains. Invincible! And dauntless in its league with time! The city lies at the foot of the hills. The clear distinction between the old and the new city is visible from the ramparts of the fort.

Royal Rajasthan on WheelsOn the other side of the city, facing the fort is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the most spacious, sprawling and well-planned palaces in India. And from here, as you look at fort, a tantalizing view rises before your eyes at sunset. The peculiar slant of the sunset lends the desert landscape an awe-inspiring glow and the people, a chivalry undaunted. This bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur and has landscape dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge.

The old city is surrounded by 10 km long wall with eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in 1459 and it is named after him. The Afghans drove the Rathore out of their original homeland Kaunaj and they fled to this region around Pali a short distance from present day Jodhpur. A man oeuvre leads to marriage between Rathore Siahaji and the sister of a local prince that helped the Rathore to establish and strengthen them in this region. In fact they flourished so well that managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, just 9 km of present day Jodhpur.

By 1459 a need for more secured capital lead to the founding of Meherangarh Fort on its rocky perch and Jodhpur was thus founded by Rao Jodha. The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter's struggle for war of succession. Only problematic relationship they had was with Aurangzeb. After Auranzeb's death Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar. In the reign of Maharaja Umed Singh Jodhpur grew into a fine modern city. The quintessence of Jodhpur was its valour and equestrian skill. Polo has been the traditional sport of the Jodhpur nobility since medieval times.

Jodhpur has two railway stations; City and Rai ka Bagh both are outside the walled city. The bus stand is right outside the Rai ka Bagh Station. The High Court is a while from the bus stand after the Umed Gardens, after which is located the tourist reception centre and RTDC Hotel Ghoomer. Ahead is the main market and entry in to the wall from Sojati Gate. This area also has many hotels. Jodhpur is also military and air force station and has a large cantonment.



Udaipur
Udaipur, popularly known as the City of Lakes, is a lovely land around the azure water lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravallis. This city stands on the banks of the lake Pichola in Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Singh founded Udaipur meaning the 'city of Sunrise' in 1599 AD and today it is a one of the better-known tourist destinations of India. Uadipur, once known as Mewar, is the land that produced a galaxy of patriots and heroes in quick succession, people who etched the name of Rajasthan in every corner of the world.

Royal Rajasthan on WheelsA vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a mesmerizing blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valour and gallantry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing sight. Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands the splendid City Palace-a marvel in granite and marble. Of the original eleven gates of the Udaipur City, only five remain. The Suraj Pol the original or Sun Gate on the eastern side is the main entrance to the city. Exquisite lake palaces of Udaipur shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichhola are overwhelming in splendor.

: Lakes Udaipur 'The City of Lakes & Fountains ' is adorned by the 5 beautiful Lakes...Fateh Sagar, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar, Badi Lake & Udai Sagar, located in its Heart along with numerous others like Jaisamand 'Asia's biggest artificial Lake', & Bagdada Lake . PARKS & GARDENS :- Nature gifted the Garden City of Udaipur with abundance of water and richness of soil, and man carved out of them beautiful gardens the well known resorts of leisure and pleasure for tourists visiting this city.

Temples Udaipur is also rich in the holy Pilgrims places. Temples in & around Udaipur keep great values for the Deities and the Tourists who come here in search of peace and sacred life. The Stone carving work on Ranakpur Temple resembles Khajurao style. The 17th centaury agdish Temple has gigantic construction and is absolutely like a Hindu iconography School. Temples of Eklingji & Nathdwara are known as the most sacred Pilgrim in Mewar.

Udaipur has several other Places of interest which are never to be missed of. Check out these destinations to have complete view of Udaipur. Shilp Gram is rendezvous to the Craftsmen from all over India & will make you feel of typical Village life. Udaipur Solar Observatory is heaven for Space and astrology Lovers. At Ahar Cenotaphs, you could see the royal Cenotaphs of Rulers of Udaipur. Gangaur Ghat (Bank of lake Pichola) could give you a marvelous view of City Palace, Lake Palace, Old Udaipur Havelis, Bagore Ki Haveli & Lake Pichola at a time. The Clock Tower stands near Jagdish Temple looks wonderful after flamboyant lighting at night. At Millennium Art Gallery, you could shop all types of Contemporary Art Work & Paintings of World-fame Artists.



Chittorgarh
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsThe pride of Rajasthan, Chittorgarh still reverberates with the tales of its glorious but turbulent past. It is a land where the ideals of chivalry, sacrifice and honor were always worshipped. Today, all that remains of those glorious times are the ruins of forts, palaces and temples that have nevertheless managed to retain their old grandeur.

Chittorgarh has been a witness to some of the bloodiest battles fought on Indian soil. The city itself was ravaged thrice staring with Alauddin Khilji's attack in 1303 AD followed Bahadur Shah in 1533 AD. Mughal Emperor Akbar attacked the city for a third time and razed the Chittorgarh fort to the ground. The fort was never inhabited after that attack.

Every time Chittorgarh was attacked, its brave populace left no stone unturned to defend their honor to the last breath. As the men rode out to meet their adversaries on the battlefield, the women and children would light a huge pyre and immolate themselves in order to escape the marauding enemy.

Today, Chittorgarh is synonymous with the tragic tale of Queen Padmini who chose death over dishonor by committing 'Jauhar' or self-immolation with other women. It happened that Alauddin Khilji was so overwhelmed by her beauty that he attacked Chittorgarh with the sole motive of possessing her. However, queen Padmini foiled his plans by taking the brave decision of facing death before giving him any chance to fulfill his aim.



Bharatpur
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsBharatpur city is named after Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama. This city is also called the Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan. The foundation of this city was laid by Maharaja Suraj Mal, an adopted son of Badan Singh in 1733 AD. It was once an unconquerable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewar. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. The fort is popularly known as "Loha Garh" or " Iron fort". The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th century, leader like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with.

Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century. Today Bharatpur is better known for the Keoladeo Natinal Park, a unique bird place, delight of ornithologists. A paradise for the avian world, and the pilgrimage for the bird lovers, it was known as the best duck shooting resort in the British empire. But was declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to National Park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site. The geographical location is ideal as it is on the main North-South avian route of India. Although small in size, 29 sq km. Only, it boasts to house more than 375 species of beautiful birds, and more than 132 of them breed inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park and nearly every year new ones are added to the list.

The sanctuary not only attracts birds from India but also from places like Europe, Siberia, China and Tibet Before monsoons hundreds of these exotic birds roost and nest building activities start on the babool and kadam trees of the park. Water coming through the Ajan Bandh starts filling the various ponds and lakes of the Park.



Agra
Royal Rajasthan on WheelsAgra, the world’s most well-known monument and well worth its fame; The Taj Mahal. Built in the memory of his beloved empress by Emperor Shah Jahan, this marble mausoleum is the greatest gesture of love known to mankind, and is breathtakingly, bewitchingly beautiful. Land for the building of the Taj Mahal in Agra came from the maharaja of Jaipur and the marble used in its construction was from the mines of Makrana, also in Rajasthan. The precious stones used in its inlay, and the craftsmen employed for the twenty-two years its construction took, came not only from India, but from all over the World.

The Taj Mahal is the perfect finale to your Royal Sojourn.

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