Amber Fort (Amer)
Amber Fort is one of the oldest heritage sites of Rajasthan. Amer is a small town in Kukas Village on Jaipur – Delhi Highway. It is understood for its idiom, blending both Hindu and Rajput elements. It’s one of the principal tourist attractions within the Jaipur area, located high on a hill. This Fort was originally built by Meenas and later reconstructed by Raja Man Singh II during his rule on the riyasat. The fort was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritages in the year 2013. Amer or Amber, the name of this glorious fort comes from the Ambikeshwar Temple, which is built at top of the Cheel ka Teela. The temple name Ambikeshwar is an old and ancient name dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, local folklore conveys that the fort got its name from Amba, the Mother Goddess Durga. Now, the it has become a tourist place which is open from 10 AM to 05 PM publically throughout the week.
Jal Mahal Palace
The Jal Mahal Palace built in the middle of Man Sagar Lake was rebuilt for enlargement in the 18th Century by HH Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. Standing valiantly in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, this monument of Jaipur is a marvelous sight for tourists. This is possibly the foremost serene sight amidst the chaos of the City. As the name says, the Jal Mahal Palace means a Palace in Water. The palace is built with walls made of Sunshine Coloured Sand Stones in the deep blue waters. The majestic view of the Palace makes it the most captured or most clicked monument. This sight is 4 km distant to the north of Jaipur on Amer-Jaipur road. The Palace is an architectural representation of the Rajput style architecture which is so common in Rajasthan on a huge map. Originally, this is a five-story building, four floors of which remain underwater when the lake is full and only the top floor is visible for view.
As the name suggests, the Hawa Mahal Palace is also known as the Palace of Winds because of several windows made with the purpose of proper ventilation. This is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage. The majestic monument is located at the heart of the Pink City, just near the Famous Radha-Govind Dev Ji Mandir. The architectural structure of the Palace is a five-storied building constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kachhawaha Rajput Dynasty. The main architect of the building was Shri Lal Chand Ustad with red-pink sandstones and a total of 953 windows (Jharokha). The primary intention behind the planning of the palace was to provide the ruler Family or Royal Family Women a view of lifestyle, markets, and festivals functions through the windows.
The City Palace is located at the heart of the Pink City Jaipur. This was the palace where the royal families were residing. Origianlly, this palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1729-32 AD. As time lapsed, the structure of the City Palace was also changed to urbanization. The current urban layout of the palace was proposed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The main building of the palace includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal Palace inside it. Later, the Chandra Mahal was converted into a museum where the unique handcrafted items of vintage style are kept for public or tourist view.
The Rambagh Palace was a garden house inbuilt in 1835 AD for the wet nurse of Prince Ram Singh II. Later in 1887, it was converted into a modern urbanized royal lodge or hotel. Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II made Rambagh his principal place of living and added a number of varieties of royal suites in 1931. Post-Independence, the Palace became a Government body. Later in 1957, it was converted into a luxury hotel by the Taj Group of Hotels. This luxurious hotel has continued with the elaboration of its splendor and extravagantly decorated with hand-carved marble stone handwork, sandstone balustrades, cupolas and Mughal Gardens. Along with this most glorious of palace presenting the best of Rajasthan’s heritage, you can also experience the best fine-dining restaurants in Jaipur.
Dargah Sharif Ajmer
The Dargah Sharif of Ajmer is located near Delhi Darwaja of the city. This structure is a Sufi shrine dedicated to the revered Sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti. Today, the tomb of Moinuddin Chisti continues to be one of the most popular sites of religious visitation for Sunni Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, with “hundreds of thousands of people from all over the Indian subcontinent assembling there on the occasion of the saint’sʿurs or death anniversary.” Additionally, the site also attracts many Hindus, who have also venerated the Islamic saint since the medieval period.
Subhash Udhyan is located between Bajrangh Garh and Agra Gate in the heart of Ajmer City. The majestic look of Hotel Merwara Estate makes it more lovely and attractive. This garden was rebuilt by the Ajmer Development Authority in order to honor Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Hence, the western side of the udyan consists of all the life events of Netaji. Also, the former name of the garden was Daulat Bagh which was later changed to the new name in order to pay respects and homage Netaji.
Taragarh Fort is the imposing monument of Ajmer which is built on a crest of a hill. This is also called Garh-Beethli. This fort is believed to be the living place of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan and his wife Sanyogita.
Maharana Pratap Smarak
Maharana Pratap Smarak is a memorial built to honor the brave Mewar Rajput Ruler Maharana Pratap. The memorial is located in the Nausar Valley on Pushkar Road of the city. This smarak is well-known and so popular among the tourists because of its mesmerizing laser light shows at night. The fantastic location of this monument presents its visitors a feel of relaxation, chill and majestic view of the Anasagar Lake and the whole of Ajmer City.
Prithviraj Chauhan Smarak
This smarak is a memorial made to honor the brave Rajput Samrat Prithvi Raj Chauhan III. He was the last ruler of the Chauhan Clan and was enthroned to rule over the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi, in the 12th century. This memorial is installed with a statue of the emperor seated on his horse, made in black marble stone. The horse has one of its front hooves up in the air as if charging forward. The smarak is standing on atop a hill that is surrounded by the Aravalli range. It’s majestic location gives visitors an awesome panoramic view of the Anasagar Lake and Ajmer City.
Pushkar is a small town near Ajmer. It is located at a short distance of 14 km from Ajmer. This is one of the five Hindu sacred pilgrimages. According to Hindu theology, the world-famous pond or Sarovar in the middle of the city was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva which he is believed to have shed after the death of his wife, Sati. Accordingly, the beliefs, when Maharani Sati died, Lord Shiva cried so much and for so long, that his tears created two holy ponds, one at Pushkar and the other at Ketaksha. It is also known with another name of “Tirth Raj ” – the king of pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in the holy sarovar. This city has in recent years become a popular destination for foreign tourists. It is one of the oldest existing cities of India. There are a lot of temples within the city and around the city. Most of the temples are not too old because many temples were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, they were rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century CE. The Brahma Temple of Pushkar is the only Brahma Temple in the world. In addition, there is also another temple which is only one in the world – the Temple of Goddess Savitri. When it comes to the famous food of the city, round-shaped Malpuas made in sweets shops of Varah Ghat road are a point of attraction for foodies all over the world. There are also many other holy sites in to visit which mainly include Rangnathji Temple, Gurudwara Sahib, Varah Mandir, Vaijnath, Ganahera, Gautam Ashram, Ramdwara, Gau Ghat, Varah Ghat and much more. There are also some hill points famous for their ropeway. There is only one ropeway in the city which is called Savitri Mata Ropeway. Another attraction of this holy city includes World Famous Pushkar Fair which is famous for cattle and other awesome races and competitions. This Fair takes place for a span of 5 days starting from Kartik Mas Shukla Paksha Ekadashi to Poornima. This is one of the largest fairs of the world.
This pure silky white memorial built of marble at the end of the 19th century was a tribute to the leader Jaswant Singh and is a huge tourist attraction. Jaswant Singh, who ruled Jodhpur, invested well in his state. Maharaja Jaswant Singh made several attempts to bring down crime, dacoits, built railways and broadly worked on raising the economy of Marwar for the welfare of his people. Today, his memorial Jaswant Thada is managed and taken care of by the Mehrangarh Museum Trust (MMT) and is publically open. Tourists or visitors can easily gaze through the portraits of Marwar rulers along with informative didactics as orientation space to understand the history of Marwar through the Portraits. The surrounding of the awesome place is a serene venue for morning concerts during music festivals. Most popular festivals like Rajasthan International Folk Festival and the World Sacred Spirit Festival takes place only at Jaswant Thada.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
The Ummed Bhawan Palace is located in Jodhpur which is also known as the Blue City of India. The marvelous location of the Palace offers an awesome look of Jodhpur City. The palace is one of the Largest Private Residences in the world. The palace was named after Maharaja Ummed Singh Rathore of Jodhpur and now maintained by his grandson HH Maharaja Gaj Singh Rathore of Jodhpur. A nearby building of the palace is also a museum. The ancient name of this palace was Chhittar Bhawan Palace.
The Mehrangarh Fort is located in Jodhpur and is one of the largest forts in India. The fort was built in 1459 by Maharaja of Jodhpur Rao Jodha. The same fort is built on a height of 125 meters and hence visible from any corner of the city. It is also known as the Mayur Dhwaj Fort and Skyline of Jodhpur. The Fort still bears the imprints of cannonball attacks courtesy of the armies of Jaipur on its second gate. Mayur Dhwaj Fort is also known for its deep handwork stone and sandstone windows, eye-catching decorated walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. There are seven gates inside the fort, which include Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in memory of his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. There is also a Fattehpol, which remembers the Maharaja Ajit Singhji victory over Mughals. Also, there is a museum inside the fort which is one of the well-stocked museums in India. Therefore, it is also acknowledged as the best-preserved fort and heritage in the world.
Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower)
Clock Tower is situated in one of the most crowdest parts of Jodhpur, the Sardar Market Girdikot. This is also called the Ghanta Ghar. It was constructed by Jodhpur Maharaja HH Shri Sardar Singh Ji. The tower and Sardar Market both are quite popular among all the Indian and Foreign tourists. You can easily observe the change in the cultures of Marwar and Mewar on the streets of Sardar Market, Jodhpur in terms of purchasing Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver Jewellery and many other varieties of Indian Art and Craft.
Sardarsamand Lake Palace
This palace is constructed on the bank of Sardar Samand Lake which was built by Maharaja Ummed Singh in 1933. This sculpture was made with the intention to make a spectacular hunting lodge. It is still considered to be the favorite retreat of the royal family. The walls of this palace are decorated with a vast range of African trophies and original watercolor portrait paintings. This palace is a point of attraction for migratory and local birds like yellow-legged green pigeon, Himalayan griffon and Dalmatian pelican which makes it a bird watcher’s paradise.
Mandore Garden is an ancient garden located towards the north side of Jodhpur. It is believed to be the Home town of Mandodari (Wife of Ravana). This side of Jodhpur city retains the historical importance of it along with the former rulers of Jodhpur. In addition, towards these localities of Jodhpur, you can easily spot the Chhatris of rulers and other great personalities that are built similar to the Hindu Temples.
Kailana Lake is located on Jodhpur – Jaisalmer Road. This small artificial lake is like an ideal picnic spot which is developed and taken care of by the Jodhpur Development Authority and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. It is also a symbolic representation of romance for couples created by the combination of sunset and boating. The charm of the lake creates never lasting memories and experiences for its visitors.
Machia Safari Park
Machia Safari Park is a biological park located approx 1 km distant from Kailana Lake. Tourists can have fun and enjoy the bird watching at the bird watching point and several other animals in their habitat like deer, desert foxes, monitor lizards, blue bulls, hare, wild cats, mongoose, monkeys, etc. The park also offers spectacular views of sunset which cannot be missed if you are there.
“Battles begun and cannons roared as the Hindu Rajputs bravely defended the frontiers of Marwar against the Muslim Mughals.” This is a common saying in the local folklore about Fort Khejarla.
This fort is located in Khejarla Village near Borunda, Jodhpur and was constructed in early 1611 AD. Khejarla was then one of the most prime located Jagirs of Marwar. The Thakurs of Khejarla were closest to the Maharaja of Jodhpur and were well-known for their bravery, valour, sacrifice and gallantry. The 16th generation of the royal lineage of this dynasty was Thakur Bhairon Singh Khejarla who was also the first member of the legislative assembly of Rajasthan who was elected from the Bilara constituency post-independence. Thakur Bhairon Singh opened a Research organization to promote the culture and literature of Marwar and Rajasthan.
Sonar Fort is one of the most important fort attractions in the world. It’s situated within the city of Jaisalmer. It’s a World Heritage Site. Jaisalmer Fort was built in 1156 AD by Rao Jaisal of Jaisana. The same fort is also known as the Golden Fort or Sonargarh Kila or Jaisalmer Fort because of its view in sunlight which shines like Gold in daylight. Also, this fort is the only fort in the world in which 70% of the total city population is living and is one of the very few living forts in the world. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the good Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. This is found within the very heart of the town and is one of the foremost notable monuments within the locality. The same monument has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
Gadisar Lake was built by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to fulfill the water related needs of his arid lands of his people around the 14th century. This is one of the biggest water sources of Jaisalmer. Also, it holds its auspicious presence with relation to Lord Baba Ramdev Ji. Therefore, a great number of small temples and shrines are also established around it which transforms the lake into a pilgrimage and an awesome tourist attraction.
Kuldhara – The Abandoned Village
Kuldhara is located 18 km distant from old Jaisalmer city. This is a haunted place. Stories behind this village are not based on any movie but are still believed to be true. The story has a beautiful daughter, an unscrupulous minister, scared villagers, an exodus in the middle of the night, and no idea where the villagers vanished. There is an unfathomable legend that lies behind The Abandoned Village of Kuldhara. This old town was abandoned by its villagers in the 1800s. The entire village vanished in a single night. Even today, it remains a mystery as to how no one saw them leaving, in fact, even to this date, no one knows where all of them went either. The village and its nearby areas are still uninhabited, in the same condition that the villagers had left, hundreds of years ago. It has now become a major tourist destination for visitors and especially for archeologists as people from all over the world travel here to explore and reveal the mysteries of that night.
Tanot Mata Temple
Tanot Mata Temple is situated at a distance of 120 kilometers from Jaisalmer City. This temple is just close to the Indo-Pak borders in the middle of the Desert of Thar. Native people and folks believe that Goddess Tanot is another incarnation of Goddess Hinglaj. Still, there are some facts based on the real presence of the Goddess. One of them is about the 1965 India-Pakistan war. This temple was under heavy attack and shelling. However, none of the shells or bombs fired on and near the temple exploded. Even today, all the bombs which fell near the temple are stored in glass boxes, causing no harm to anyone till date. This reaffirmed people’s faith in the temple. Post the war, the Border Security Force (BSF) rebuilt the temple and today that is managed and worshipped by a battalion of the Border Security Force. This temple is also known as Faujio Wala Mandir.
Ramdevra Temple, Runecha
Located 12 kilometers from Pokhran Firing Range, on the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer route lies Ramdevra Temple. This pilgrimage is dedicated to renowned Saint Baba Ramdevji. This temple is the Samadhi place of Baba Ramdev which means the auspicious mortal remains of the saint were cremated here. In the months of August and September (Sawan & Bhadrapad), a huge fair known as Ramdevra Fair is held here to renounce the glories to Baba Ramdev and it attracts large numbers of people and native folk singers who sing devotional songs to glories of the Saint all night long. This temple is also a great reason behind the faith of the native people to protect from all the natural disasters like drought, sandstorms etc. This is also known as Runecha Dham.
Jaisalmer War Museum
The Indian Army has commemorated the sacrifices of their soldiers in a beautiful display at this war museum, which is located at the Jaisalmer Army base. The museum is primarily to pay homage to all the valiant soldiers who made their supreme sacrifice in the 1965 India-Pakistan war and the 1971 Longewala battle. Whenever you visit this glorious museum, you can see the captured Pakistani tanks from the battle which instills a sense of immense pride in your country and its soldiers and faith in the forces. You can also see an interview of Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri who was a crucial part of the Longewala battle. The museum has a war memorial with many war trophies, vintage equipment along with tanks, guns, and military vehicles, murals of soldiers who lost their lives in the war, and weapons that were used during the same. The Indian Air Force has installed a Hunter aircraft in the museum which was used during the Battle of Longewala in the 1971 Indo-Pak War, as a present to the museum. This War museum is located on the Jaisalmer-Jodhpur Highway. There are no tickets for entry in the museum.
Longewala War Memorial
Longewala is located in the Western sector of Thar Desert and was a major point of attack by Pakistani Forces during the Indo Pak War 1971. The Battle of Longewala is an inspiring saga of courage and victory in the face of unconquerable forces of India under the leadership of Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri. To celebrate the victory of the Indian soldiers who defended Pakistani forces with their aim of cutting deep into the Indian Territory, the Desert Corps have constructed a War Memorial on the post. An inspiring destination, this commemorates the valor and the supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers, instilling in you a sense of pride when you visit this site.
Mount Abu is a marvelous hill station in the Aravalli Range of Rocks in the Sirohi district. The ancient name of this place is Arbudaanchal. According to Puran and other ancient books, this area was known as Arbudaranya which means forest of Arbhuda in Hindi. The mountain forms a rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide around the city. The highest point of the Aravalli Range is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level which is located here in Mount Abu only. The nearest train station is Abu Road railway station which is 28 km away. Also, the city is famous for its Nakki Lake and the famous Rabdi made of milk.
Jagmandir palace is built on an island in Lake Pichola. It is also called the “Lake Garden Palace”, the construction for this began in 1620 and was completed around 1652 credited to Sisodiya Rajput Maharanas of Mewar Kingdom. The royal family of Udaipur riyasat used this palace as a summer resort and for hosting parties. Another Interesting fact about this palace is that Shahjahan got shelter here when rebelled again his father. The architecture and latticework done here had such an impact on him that it became an inspiration for him for the construction of The Taj Mahal.
The Monsoon Palace is popular among the native people of Udaipur also as Sajjangarh Palace. This is a hilltop palatial residence, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. This palace was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh and hence, the name goes as Sajjangarh Palace. It is said that the Maharana built it at the top of the hill to get a view of his ancestral home, Chittorgarh. This palace was previously owned by the royal family of Udaipur riyasat and later was undertaken by the Government. Recently, the palace has been opened to the public.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Fateh Sagar Lake is situated in heart of Udaipur. It is an artificial lake named after Maharana Fateh Singh of the Mewar dynasty and was constructed in the north of Lake Pichola in 1680. Within the confines of this lake, there are three small islands namely Nehru Park, a public park and the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO). There is the facility of inboard Motorboats to reach the Nehru park. These marvelous looks of blue waters of the lake and the backdrop of the green mountains have given Udaipur the sobriquet of ‘the second Kashmir’.
Lake Pichola is located in the middle of Udaipur City. It is an artificial freshwater lake that is used to fulfill the daily water and irrigation needs of people within the city and nearby villages. This lake was built in the year 1362. There are a total of four islands in the middle of the lake which offers several views of the lake and natural beauty and have been developed with several palaces to provide views of the lake.
The four islands in Lake Pichola are namely:
- Jag Niwas, where the Lake Palace is situated.
- Jag Mandir, where the Jag Mandir Palace is located.
- Mohan Mandir, from where the king would watch the annual Gangaur festival celebration
- Arsi Vilas, a small island which was an ammunition depot, but also a small palace. This one was built by one of the maharanas of Udaipur to enjoy the sunset on the lake. It is also a sanctuary catering to a variety of birds, including tufted ducks, coots, egrets, terns, cormorants and kingfishers.
Three of the numerous lakes found in the vicinity of Udaipur which connect with the Pichola and Swaroop Sagar are connected by an arched bridge built by Maharana Swaroop Singh. This in turn, connects to the crystal watered Fateh Sagar Lake in the midst of tree-lined hills and the smaller Arsi Vilas.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore Sanctuary is one of the largest national wildlife reserve parks in India. The total area of this sanctuary is 392 km. Also, it is a national tiger reserve area. It is located in Sawai Madhopur. Geographically, this park lies between Banas and Chambal river. It was established as a Game Sanctuary in 1955 by GoI and was made a Tiger reserve Project in 1973, which later became a national park in 1980. This wildlife sanctuary is well known for its tiger reserve project and is one of the best places in India to spot wildlife animals in their natural jungle habitat. Here, tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. Even if you are planning a visit to this awesome destination, May and November is the best time to suit you and make your visit unforgettable.