Rajasthan

The state of Rajasthan is a blend of the traditional and the modern, with somewhere a medieval ambience still lingering on. The heritage monuments and traditional costumes rub shoulders with modern infrastructure and luxuries. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is known as The Pink City and is a treasure house of palaces, fortresses, monuments, museums, temples and gardens. The lakeside city, Udaipur, set in a valley surrounded by lush hills, is famous as The Venice of the East. Jaisalmer situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, has a massive fort in yellow sandstone while Jodhpur lies at the foot of the soaring Mehrangarh fort. Jodhpur, Chittaurgarh, Bundi, Bikaner and Bharatpur all have a long and colourful history resounding with sagas of valour and heroism.
The Dargah of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, at Ajmer, Brahma Temple at Pushkar and the stunning Jain temples at Ranakpur and Mt. Abu are holy places in Rajasthan.
Rajasthans nature reserves cover a broad spectrum with habitats ranging from the verdant and hilly Mt. Abu to the arid desert wastes of Thar. Some of them are Sariska Tiger Reserve, Desert National Sanctuary, Sambhar Salt Lake, Ranthambhore National Park and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Rajasthan is well connected on the vast network of Indian railways and connected by well-maintained National Highways to its neighbouring states. The cities of a Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur have airports. The best time to visit Rajasthan is during the winter months from October to March.

Motorcycle Diaries: Road to Pushkar…

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For a true Royal Enfield enthusiast, a long ride is always a pleasure, and last weekend was one such gratifying ride. I was meaning to drive to Ajmer for a good while now. Last weekend, Nitin, my younger brother and a recently-christened biking-enthusiast, encouraged the idea and we geared up for a good 750km ride

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Ranthambore – My Machaan???

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We broomed the place under the tomb with a make shift Jhadoo and sat down; it gave us fantastic view of partly dried lake with deer grazing in the marsh. Amazingly there was no Machaan, to tell you the truth we forgot that it was a must at all the locations. Hours passed and we documented the deer and small carnivorous animals. At sunset, the wind direction changed and I could smell very strong tiger urine as and when the wind blew. It began to worry me a bit due to my experience in jungles watching and spotting tigers; I knew we were in the tiger territory for sure.

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Jaipur : Chokhi Dhani and Sightseeing

Jaipur : Chokhi Dhani and Sightseeing

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Finally it was time to have food and it was so sumptuous that we forgot to click the images. There were 5 kinds of vegetables, 3 kinds of chapattis, curd, sweets, desi ghee and I don’t know what else. After meal my only thinking was that if they fed so much then for some extra charge they should also provide a bed so that one can sleep then and there if felt so. But indeed it was a bad idea even I can’t imagine people sleeping and burping at this beautiful place. So, I scolded myself for such a bad dreaming and we came out more than happy, filled till neck, and started the engine to find a bed as soon as possible.

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Ranthambore

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Ranthambore tiger reserve was organizing its annual animal census in the nation park and was looking for volunteers. Initially we thought that it would be just like a jeep safari in Jim Corbett National Park and would be fun to count the wild animals for a national level census.

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Jaipur : Kite Festival and Forts

Jaipur : Kite Festival and Forts

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There was a famous kite master of Jaipur; Babu Khan. He must be some kind of previous champion because he was alone getting 50% attention of media and tourists and also flying the longest chain of kites.

Then started the cultural and dance program. Without any effort one can easily notice the way people of Rajasthan dress themselves, especially the ladies. It was extremely colorful coupled with bangles and ornaments.

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राजस्थान यात्रा – बीकानेर से जयपुर और जयपुर –

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पहले हिस्से में सूरज पोल से जाने पर मिलता है जलेब चौक जहां सैनिकों के रहने के लिए बैरकें बनी हैं| जीत के जश्न को देखने के राजसी महिलाओं के लिए झरोखे भी बने हैं| इस हिस्से को सवाई जय सिंह के कार्यकाल में बनवाया गया था| जलेब चौक के बाद इस हिस्से का प्रांगण है जिसके एक किनारे पर शिला देवी का मंदिर है| मंदिर का दरवाजा काफी प्रभावशाली है और इस पर तरह तरह की बनावटें हैं| इसके पीछे कहानी यह है कि राजा को सपने में देवी ने दर्शन दिए थे और उसके उनहोंने बंगाल के राजा को युद्ध में हराया था| देवी की मूर्ति को समुद्र से एक पत्थर लाकर उस पर नक्काशी करके यहाँ स्थापित किया गया था, इसीलिए नाम पड़ा शिला देवी| नवरात्री के दिनों में यहाँ बलि की प्रथा भी है| हम मंदिर के अंदर नहीं जा पाए क्योंकि पट बंद थे|

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Jodhpur->Jaisalmer->Bikaner in 5 days : Part-2

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Jaisalmer was our next destination and on our return journey we planned to cover Bikaner. We decided to start after getting fresh in early morning so that we do not end up wasting time in Jaisalmer. We reached Jaisalmer by around 8:30 AM, luckily found a local guide and took some guidance from him and by 10 we were in the Jaisalmer fort. Took a guide (he was just hovering around there) there and started the fort visit. We booked the tickets for the Swiss camp in the Sam sand dunes from the fort only.

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Gagron Fort , Jhalawar —- Water on all Sides

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After visiting the Mahadev shrines near Kota and returning back to my friends house, where we unanimously voted for Gagron Fort in Jhalawar (a part of the Hadoti region of Rajasthan) to be our next. Gagron Fort is so obscure but at the same time it is such an outstanding embodiment of great architecture in terms of design,structure and strategy coupled with the bravery and chivalry of the erstwhile Rajput Rulers and warriors.

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Jodhpur->Jaisalmer->Bikaner in 5 days : Part-1

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Since quite some time I have been thinking “what an amazing experience it will be drive through the Rajasthan deserts and barren lands”. I have only seen those in movies but to do it on my own is something I have always been dreaming for. Unfortunately because of our professional life, it is not always an easy job to plan such kind of trips. But then you get a chance and you have to reap the advantages then and there on. Exactly that is what I did, and made a quick plan of visiting Jodhpur, Jaisalmer during the republic day leave on 2012. Took two additional days leave and planned the whole trip. And as we found out later, it was not a bad decision at all. Here’s a small description on the entire trip that I had and I hope this will be really helpful to those who are actually planning for such trips. Although 5 days is a bit tight for visiting these places, I tried to cover the maximum things that can be visited within this schedule.

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Chambal Ki Ghati — Kota Gorge through the Hadoti Belt

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So far i had traversed to places having familiarity with the social mass but this time i thought of cherishing and exploring the obscurity of the Chambal Gorge, created by the mighty and the pristine Chambal River ,who oblivious of my encroachment is busy streaming and gushing.

December was the month back then two years ago ,when i thought of going down to the South Eastern frontier of Rajasthan surrounding Kota and Jhalawar, from Delhi. The region is situated on a tableland being a part of the Malwa Plateau which encapsulates the whole Northern Madhya Pradesh along with the Vindhyan Ranges and enscrapments.

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A Taste of Salt – Sambhar Lake

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Sambhar Lake is India’s larget inland salt lake. We keep moving on the road but dam was nowhere in picture. It should be around 5 km from the place we started and we have already crossed more than that. I check on map that we were moving far from lake so we decided to return. We realized that there was no connecting road to dam and we have to find a entry point. We found a dusty track which was going towards the lake. It must be used by tractors and other vehicles. Finally we were inside the lake and it was amazing to drive bike in the lake :).

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