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   North India
   Delhi
   Haryana
   Himachal Pradesh
   Jammu and Kashmir
   Punjab
   Rajasthan
   Uttaranchal
   Chandigarh
   West India
  Chhattisgarh
   Dadra & Nagar Haveli
   Daman & Diu
   Gujarat
   Goa
   Madhya Pradesh
   Maharashtra
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North India (Rajasthan)

Rajasthan
Rajas than, India’s desert state, was once a collection of princely kingdoms where feudal traditions still carry on amidst forts and palace hotels.

Bharatpur is famous for its 29 sq km bird sanctuary which has the largest concentration and variety of birdlife in Asia. Throughout the year Bharatpur’s native population of tree and water birds can be seen, the latter breeding in July-August. However, the sanctuary has gained worldwide attention as being the winter home of several migratory species including the endangered Siberian crane.

The capital city, Jaipur, was the stronghold of a clan of rulers whose three hill forts and series of palaces in the city are important attractions. Known as the Pink City because of the colour of the stone used exclusively in the walled city, Jaipur’s bazaars sell embroidered leather shoes, blue pottery, tie and dye scarves and other exotic wares. Western Rajasthan itself forms a convenient circuit, in the heart of the Thar desert which has shaped its history, lifestyles and architecture.

Jodhpur’s exquisitely lovely fort, now a museum; art deco royal palace converted into a hotel, and quaint markets, all vividly testify to the history of the princely state.

Jaisalmer, in the heart of the desert, is surrounded by sand-dunes which rendered the sand coloured fort impregnable. Today it is an inhabited city whose chief attraction is lacy filigree of pierced stonework facades of private houses, and a series of ornately carved Jain temples.

Bikaner too has echoes of the past in its sandstone palace, temples and cenotaphs.

In the north of Rajasthan, Shekhavati is approachable by road from Jaipur. The greatest attraction here are the deserted mansions of local merchants decorated with a profusion of wall paintings. The subjects and styles vary greatly, and are not encountered elsewhere in India.

Nearby Dundlod and Mandawa are forts, now converted into charming hotels.

Seldom visited Bundi is remarkable for its palace fort and gallery of fine frescoes, executed in the style for which the state is famous.

Approachable by road from Jaipur are Ajmer and Pushkar. Ajmer’s pre-eminence is due to the shrine of a Muslim saint who is believed to fulfill one’s wishes. Nearby Pushkar has one of the very few temples dedicated to Brahma the Creator. The sleepy town with its placid lake is catapulted into prominence for 10 days every November as India’s most splendid camel fair takes place here, attended by thousands of locals flashing jewellery and exuding colour. For the thousands of tourists who visit Pushkar, accommodation is in the form of tents which cater to all budgets.

Also in Rajasthan is the wildlife sanctuary of Sariska where a royal hunting lodge has been converted into a hotel. Sariska’s wildlife includes the tiger, panther, deer and antelope.

Jaipur
Founded in AD 1727 by Sawai Jaisingh II, Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the Pink City with broad avenues and spacious gardens. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificent forts and palaces, blushed pink, where once lived the maharajas. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur, famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes, possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure-trove for the shoppers. This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to an epoch of royalty and tradition.

The imperial city, replete with amazing legends of romance and heroism. A land where the past thrives still. This is the fortified city of Jodhpur, standing a wary sentinel to the great Thar Desert. Beckoning you to the wilderness of fascinating dunes, rocky terrain and thorny vegetation.

Once the capital city of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodhaji - chief of the Rathore Clan of Rajputs who claimed descent from Lord Rama. A major trade centre of 16th century, the city, today, has grown to become the second largest city of Rajasthan, retaining the medieval splendour.

The city is encompassed by a high wall, 10 km. long with eight gates. Within the city, atop a rocky hill, stands the massive fort, 120 mtrs. above the plains.

Packed with history, art and culture, this princely state is a treasure – trove of some exquisite palaces, forts, temples and havelis – standing a testimony to the imperial grandeur. But what entices the most in Jodhpur is the traditional lifestyle, festivity and smiling people.

Ajmer
Founded in 1100 AD by Aijpal Chauhan, Ajmer derives its name from `Ajaya Meru' the invincible hill, at the foot of which the present city stands.

Udaipur
A famous city of Rajasthan state, standing on the banks of lake Pichola with white marble palaces. Udaipur is one of the most romantic cities of India.

Chittorgarh
The history of Chittor is one of the most stirring chapters in Indian history for it was there that the flower of Rajput chivalry sprang to life and the immense stretch of its sacred walls and ruined palaces relate the saga of innumerable sieges and heroism which has almost become a myth now. Western railways connect Chittorgarh on the metre guage with Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur, Ratlam, Udaipur. However the convenient railhead is Udaipur. Rajasthan State Roadway Transport Corporation operates regular bus service from Agra 557 kms, Ajmer 182 kms, Delhi 578 kms, Jaipur 320 kms, Jodhpur, Kota 000 kms, Mount Abu 390 kms and Udaipur 115 kms to Chittaurgarh.

Jodhpur
Encircled by a stone wall, Jodhpur City was founded in 1459 by Roa Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs & was the capital of the State of Marwar.

Jaisalmer
Golden splendour amid the desert

Jaisalmer – the golden beauty, etched in yellow sandstone. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand. Epitomising the desolate, awesome charm of the desert.

Jaisalmer, the city of the golden fort is a fantasy in yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. The city was founded in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal, a Bhatti Rajput King.

Legend has it, that Lord Krishna – the head of Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled, when in 1156 AD Rawal Jaisal, a descendant of Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, founded the city of Jaisalmer.

This amber-hued city, in the heart of the desert, dazzles gloriously in the early morning. The sunset has a peculiar glow here. As the night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving a few embers, till it becomes black. A breathtaking sight indeed!

Jaisalmer is famous for cobbled streets, strewn with palaces, forts, temples and havelis. Every house, here, is exquisitely carved, having filigreed work all over. These houses date back to 12th – 15th century. And hence Jaisalmer is called ’the Museum city’.

Filled with colour, festivity and smiles, Jaisalmer is truly a memorable experience across the shimmering sands.

Bikaner
Founded in 1488, Bikaner is a desert built on an elevation and surrounded by a long embattled wall pierced by five gates. A magnificient fort built betwen 1588 & 1593 by Raja Raj Singh dominates the city. Season: October to March.

Sheer beauty in the desert is the royal fortified city of Bikaner. Lying at the northern tip of the famous triangle of the desert cities, Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a long embattled wall having five entrance gates.

The genesis of Bikaner dates back to 1488, when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, son of Rao Jodhaji of Jodhpur, chose a barren wilderness called ’Jangladesh’ and transformed it to a charming city called ’Bikaner’, after the founder’s name. Its location on the ancient caravan routes, which linked Central Asia and North India with the Gujarat seaports, made Bikaner a bustling trade centre in the times of yore.

Bikaner’s forts, palaces and temples – magnificent creations in red and yellow sandstone, are living manifestations of its rich historical and architectural legacy. One can feel the medieval aura pervading the city’s lifestyle.

Not only do the traditions come alive here in colourful bazaars and havelis, but Bikaner is also famous for the best riding camels in the world. One can witness gaily caparisoned camels at the spectacular Camel Festival at Bikaner, held annually.

 
 
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