The capital of Rajasthan is an immense decor of operetta, of pink and white structures where come thousands of peasants in their multicolored costumes to exchange their goods. "Hawa Mahal" the palace of wind, a curious facade of screens of stone network, the Observatory, and finally the City Palace which now houses a collection of miniatures, carpets, arms and costumes of Rajasthan.
Jaipur ( Amber fort )
At about 11kms from Jaipur, this fort controlled the plains in the 15th century, and is a beautiful example of Rajput architecture. One arrives on elephant back at the entrance to the courtyard of the fortress. Then a visit to the Kali temple to attend a brief morning ceremony. The visit of the public and private areas of the Fortress, along with the visit of the hall of mirrors and the apartments of the harem hold numerous delightful surprises.
Jaipur ( Sanganer )
About 40 kilometers away from Jaipur, a visit of this village allows you to learn about the ancestral techniques of manual printing of cotton fabrics used in Rajasthan. One also witnesses here the handicraft production of papermaking and blue potteries. A delicate 17th century Jain temple in white marble is also situated here.
Dubbed the Golden Pearl in the Thar desert,Jaisalmer was founded in the 12th century and became an important waypoint on the caravan route for 7 centuries.Princes, priests, and merchants made a beautifully carved city of yellow sandstone.The Fort, founded by the Maharawal Jaisal Singh, is surrounded by a wall of 9 km with round towers, and dominates the desert. It houses the Royal Palace, the Palace for the women of the court, 5 Jain temples of great beauty, and a part of the city where the quiet country life follows its course. The fort entrance doors and the royal balconies are especially beautiful.Gadisar, the sacred lake, is protected by a beautiful carved door dating to the 17th century. The royal cenotaphs of Barra Bagh (or the princely garden) hill tells the story of the dynasty. The view of from the cenotaphs at sunset is beautiful.Time goes by quickly while wandering through the darke narrow lanes between the 'Havelis' of the ancient city situated just outside the rampartsof the fort. The fabulous mansions of the marwari merchants were built in the 16th century and are exquisitely carved with sandstone facades. The colorful handicrafts also add charm to the visit.
The 'Blue City' dominated by an 'Eagle's nest' Fort, Jodhpur played an important role in the 17th century during the period of the Rajput-Moghul rivalry. This imposing military fort, with its unique architecture, houses an impressive collection of arms, palanquins and miniatures. One must visit the covered space of canons and the blue city of Brahmins.The Jaswant Thada Cenotaph near the fort is an architectural landmark. It is a white marble memorial built in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. The Jaswant Thada is also a traditional cremation ground of the Jodhpur princes.
A few kilometers from Jodhpur, in a beautiful garden adorned with basins and fountains, a group of cenotaphs of different styles have been built in the memory of each of the princes and princesses of the Rathore lineage.
Located at the gateway to the desert, Pushkar is a holy Hindu city. About 400 temples and shrines stand around the sacred lake. According to religious texts, Brahma had performed a ritual sacrifice (yajna) on its shores. Pushkar is now known worldwide for its camel fair in October or November.The lake is surrounded by steps called 'ghats' so that Hindus can immerse themselves in the lake for a purifying bath.According to legend, Vishnu would have appeared on the Varah Ghat in the form of a boar and Brahma had made a sacrifice on the Brahma Ghat. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in the waters at the Gau Ghat, now known as the Gandhi Ghat.In the evening, the faithful float illuminated oil lamps on the water. This gives a spectacular view of the lake at dusk.
Isolated in the heart of the Mewars hills, the spectacular complex of the Jain temples of Ranakpur is a true wonder. The temple of Adinath with its 1500 columns of white marble at different levels, and a bewitching atmosphere in the main sanctuary, is always active. One can also visit the three smaller temples constructed nearby in the same era.
This enchanting region is situated on the way from Jaipur or Delhi to Bikaner. The towns of Shekhawati region are known for their amazing painted havelis. So varied and architecturally rich are the havelis that this region is dubbed as the "open art gallery of Rajasthan". The plethora of painted Havelis in rich artistic tradition makes them fascinating. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century. Various forms of fine art adorn the walls and the ceilings of these structures as a contrast to the otherwise flat and barren land. The havelis are noted for their frescoes depicting mythological themes and huge animals. Some later day frescoes reflect British influence in the form of steam locomotives and trains depicted on them. The 'must see' townw are Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Alsisar and Fatehpur.
The white capital of Mewar was founded by Maharaja Udai Singh in the 16th century, in the mountains and on the banks of the Lake Pichola. The most striking visit of Udaipur is the City Palace. It is the largest and the most sumptuous palace of all Rajasthan. It was built in the 16th century on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichola and the town. The palace is a huge maze of halls, rooms, terraces and courtyards connected by an intricate network of corridors and stairs. The attraction of this palace is the wall decoration of the rooms and in the beautiful terraces. It houses a collection of miniatures and paintings. The bustling bazaars offer treasures of handicrafts and artifacts: silver, embroidered fabrics, paintings.
Udaipur (Chittorgarh Fort)
The Chittorgarh (or Chittor) fort was founded in the 8th century by Bappa Rawal. The fort is famous for the three sieges which its inhabitants had to face and the particularly bloody way they ended. The inhabitants of Chittorgarh, facing defeat, declared the Jauhar. Men fought to the death in saffron robes while the women immolated themselves along with their children. This citadel is built on a hill 170m high. The entrance to the fort is through the seven gates which were designed for defensive purposes.