Rajsamand

Rajsamand is famous for Rajsamand Lake constructed in the 17th century by Maharana Raj Singh. This royal lake is embellished with a magnificent dam, beautiful arches, Chhatris, sculpture pavilions and stairs made of marble. There are also Sanskrit verses vividly inscribed in stone making it a place of faith and worship too.
The citadel of Kumbhalgarh built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century is an impressive fortress surrounded by 13 peaks of the Aravalli ranges. It is historically important as the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. Haldighati or the narrow pass leads to the plain with turmeric coloured soil where Maharana Pratap took on the forces of Emperor Akbar in the battle of Haldighati. Nearby is the Tomb of Chetak, the noble and faithful royal steed of Maharana Pratap. Other historically important sites in Rajsamand are Machind, Dewair and Rakamgarh Fort
Temple of Shrinathji at Nathdwara (Shrinathdwara) and Dwarikadheesh Temple at Kankroli are evidence of the time when custodians of the idols sought refuge under Maharana Raj Singh from the plundering of Hindu temples by the Mughal ruler Aurangazeb. The Jain religious shrine of Bodhisthal, Charbhuja Vishnu Temple and Parshu Ram Mahadev Temple are other holy places in the vicinity of Rajsamand.
Rajsamand is connected to major cities by road and railways, while the nearest airport is in Udaipur.
Best time to visit: October to March
Languages spoken: Hindi, Rajasthani
Climate: Hot summers and pleasant winters
Heritage sites: Kumbhalgarh Fort, Haldighati, Chetaks Tomb, Machind, Dewair, Rakamgarh Fort
Holy Places: Shrinathdwara, Dwarikadheesh Temple at Kankroli, Bodhisthal Jain temple, Charbhuja Vishnu Temple, Parshu Ram Mahadev Temple

Road journeys – Delhi to Udaipur-the Lake City

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Enjoying the splendid landscapes we reached Baewar by 1.30 pm on our first major stop for refreshment and lunch. I was so energetic till then that my wife didn’t ask me why we are heading towards Udaipur and not Chittorgarh for the break journey. Filled the tank of the car alongwith our tummy, we were again lost in the nostalgic picturesque landscape full of greenery, on an average speed of 100 kmph with ease due to good tar and less traffic. Our first visiting place was Rajsamand Lake which soon appeared with an awesome view of a natural wild lake on the left side of the road. Rajsamand Lake is an artificial lake created in the 17th century by Rana Raj Singh of Mewar. We stopped and hurriedly captured the view both in our eyes and in the camera. Surprisingly, none other was available to enjoy the serene virgin beauty of the so natural place in wilderness. A clear water in the lake, yet uninterrupted by artificiality, was a soothing sight. A rusted board mentioning victory of Maharana Pratap over Akbar’s huge army in 1582, fought there was boasting its historical importance. We stayed a few minutes clicking photographs and watching the silence in the tranquility, glooming hearted was back to our seats. It was sad to see that a place of so rich history, so beautiful is so unattended.

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Memories of Mewar (II): Kankroli, Nathdwara, and Sajjan Garh (Udaipur).

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The temple of Shrinathji at Nathdwara is among the most sacred places of worship for the followers of Lord Krishna. The idol is made of black stone and is said to have been brought here from Mathura in 1669 to protect it from the marauding Moguls under Aurangzeb’s rule.

The temple opens its doors to the public for worship seven times a day for just about half an hour each, and there is a huge crowd always waiting to rush in. Inevitably there is some pushing and jostling and you barely get a minute for darshan before you are pushed out to the exit, just like in a Mumbai local train. This makes the whole experience quite unpleasant, and the temple authorities should take the initiative to organise it in a better way. Some touts promise to get you in through the VIP channels, but they only serve as paid guides, and can do nothing when the push becomes a shove.

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Memories of Mewar (I): Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur.

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The fort is built on a hill at a height of 1100 metres and requires a considerable effort to climb to the top. But once you are in the palace at the top of the fort, also known as ‘Badal Mahal’, you are rewarded with awesome views of the forested Aravalli hills, with the Mewar region on the eastern side and Marwar region on the west. The forests surrounding the fort comprise the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to leopard, sloth bear, monkeys, wolf, jackal, sambar, peacock, jungle fowl and a host of other birds and animal species.
[caption id="attachment_94003" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Badal Mahal. Badal Mahal.[/caption]

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