Monthly Archives: February 2013

Amer Fort – The Saga of Magnificent Architecture and Culture

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When we talk about Jaipur then it is not possible that we could ignore the Amer fort. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful fort and the pride of Jaipur!!  Amber fort, also known as Amber Palace boasts of an artistic grandeur and structural expertise. It is a reminiscent of the bravery and courage of the mighty Rajputs, who had played a remarkable role in the history of medieval India.

Amber Fort 1

Crowning the crest of a hill, Amber Fort offers a panoramic view of Maota Lake and the historic old town at the base of the hill, which was the early seat of the Amber kings before they made the fort their capital.

The main entrance to the historic Amber Fort is through the imposing Suraj Pol, so called because it faces the direction of the rising sun, the Kachhawaha family emblem. The gate leads into a huge courtyard, Jaleb Chowk, lined on three sides with souvenir and refreshment shops. A flight of steps leads to the Shila Devi Temple, which has silver doors; silver oil lamps, grand pillars carved to look like banana trees, and contain the Kachhawaha family deity, a stone image of the goddess Kali. The next courtyard is the Diwan-i-Aam, the space for public audience. Near it is the Sattais Katcheri, a colonnade of 27 pillars, where scribes once sat to record revenue petitions.

Amber Fort 2

The magnificent Ganesh Pol is the gateway to three pleasure palaces, each with special features, built around a Mughal-style garden, Aram Bagh. Maota Lake, which provided water to the fort, is surrounded by two exquisite gardens. The Kesar Kyari Bagh has start-shaped flower beds once planted with saffron, flowers, while Dilaram Bagh, built in 1568 as a resting place for Akbar on his way to Ajmer, is a clever pun on the name of its architect, Dilaram. A small archeological Museum is located nearby. The farthest and oldest end of the fort was converted into the zenana, with screens and covered balconies for the seclusion of the royal ladies in purdah. Faint traces of frescoes are still visible on the walls. In the centre of the courtyard is a pavilion with 12 pillars, the Baradari.

This rambling Palace depicts the true lifestyle of the gutsy Rajputs who are better known for their radical, audacious, volatile and decadent behavior. One among the best hill top palaces, amber palace presents a curious blend of Muslim and Hindu architectural design. An aide memoir of the yester years, this palace is a redolent of creativeness of the artisans of ancient time.

Amber Fort 3

Recently, two major developments have taken place at Amber fort. A very old tunnel to connect Amber Fort and adjoining Jaigarh Fort is now opened for public along with the electric cab facility for the tourists. Besides, Elephant rides to fort, sound & light shows and cultural evenings have always been a favorite among the visitors.

Certainly, Amber Fort, is one of the few places in India where the entry fee is worth it with never ending, consisting of a maze of rooms, tiny and grand!!  Spectacularly set within surrounding rugged hills and dotted with majestic architecture, Amber Mahal is one of the best places to visit on your trip to Jaipur.

Maharana Mewar Foundation 32nd Annual Awards 2013

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MMF A1

The Maharana Mewar 32nd Annual Awards 2013 are going to be held in Udaipur on March 03, 2013, that   constitute a major part of the activities of the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF, Udaipur). All the honoring of awards will be done by Maharaja Arvind Singh Mewar.

From a modest beginning of awards only for scholars in Udaipur, the range of this Scheme of Awards has steadily grown to become an event in the domestic and international arena. Today, the Awards honor the recognition of service of permanent value already rendered to society in which, eminent scholars, students and common citizens who, through their chosen field of study and activity, have been of benefit to society.

(This is) a humble effort to preserve the age old traditions and obligations of the House of Mewar to serve society and assist man who realizes his special status in the hierarchy of God’s creations and to serve as a temple of inspiration to future generations to preserve and protect the spirit of self-respect and self-reliance.

Annually, over 135 (the figure continually varies) people receive these Awards, and subsequently, their labor benefits from the proceeds of these awards.

There are in all 15 awards, which are wide reaching in scope, and particular in design

S. No. Title of the Award

Category

Year of Establishment

1. Colonel James Tod Award International Award

1996

2. Haldi Ghati Award National (India Award)

1982

3. Hakim Khan Sur Award National (India Award)

1986

4. Maharana Udai Singh Award National (India Award)

1996

5. Panna Dhai Award National (India Award)

1997

6. Maharana Mewar Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1981

7. Harit Rashi Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1980

8. Maharana Kumbha Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1980

9. Dagar Gharana Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1981

10. Maharana Sajjan Singh Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1983

11. Rana Punja Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1986

12. Aravali Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1983

13. Bhamashah Award State (Rajasthan Award)

1984

14. Maharana Raj Singh Award City of Udaipur Award

1980

15. Maharana Fateh Singh Award City of Udaipur Award

1980

You can also be a part of this honorary evening and applaud for the heroes and scholars who inspire many groups and individuals to serve the society.

Indian Army to present the ‘Cavalry Review’ in Jaipur

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On the initiative of the Tourism Minister, Ms. Bina Kak, the Jaipur-based 61 Cavalry, the only operational horse cavalry regiment in the world, will present a ‘Cavalry Review’ on 09 March at the Rambagh Polo Ground. On the visit of the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bikram Singh to Jaipur recently, the Minister had requested him to clear the proposal which had been sent by the Tourism Department to the South Western Command for the ceremonial mounted parade with full pomp and ceremony. The Minister said that this will be for the first time ever that the army will be organizing the elaborate cavalry drill for both the foreign and domestic tourists as well as the general public. This will go a long way in fostering harmonious and congenial relations between the army and the civilians, she said.  The Chief Minister, Mr. Ashok Gehlot has also been apprised of the event, she said. The event is being jointly organized by the Department of Tourism and the South-Western Command of the Indian Army.

The Minister informed that the ‘Cavalry Review’ is one of the most attractive mounted ceremonial drills of 61 Cavalry – and perhaps nowhere in the world is it organized on the same scale as in Jaipur. However, the ‘Cavalry Review’ till now was restricted to a very select audience within the army area, said the Minister.

Indian Army to present the ‘Cavalry Review’

The effective showcasing of the spectacle will also portray the military’s ethos and its history, she said. She also pointed out that with the army willing, the ‘Cavalry Review’ should become an annual feature and could be included in the calendar of events of the Department of Tourism in the Jaipur city.

Railways Introduce Ten Holiday Special Trains for Summer

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Ahead of Summer Holiday season we face extra rush during the booking of railway tickets and this experience often sours our fun of holidays. But this time we have good news for you!!

Summer Holiday Special Trains

The Train is coming, I can hear it.

The Season is coming, I can feel it.

Bright lights, Happy faces, joyous people Everywhere.

The Holiday Train! The train brings hope down the tracks.

The train’s not just about Pretty lights and Cheerful songs.

It was made to Warm the hearts of those who travel long.

It brings a party in a package, it brings people together.

It brings hope, it makes us care, it makes us remember.

The Summer Holiday Train Is Here….. 😀

For the convenience of passengers and to clear extra rush during summer, the railways have decided to run Ten Holiday Special Trains from April 01 to June 30, 2013. To cater to the increasing volume, the railways have also planned to augment the passenger carrying capacity on permanent/temporary basis.

Now, Plan your Summer Holidays hassle free with “Summer Holiday Special Trains” on irctc.co.in

Train Route Duration Operation Timings
Jaipur-Sholapur Jaipur 01 April to 24 June 12.55 hrs on Mondays
Jaipur Indore Jaipur 02 April to 25 June 20.40 hrs on Tuesdays
Jaipur Udaipur Jaipur 01 April to 30 June 06.45 hrs daily from Jaipur
Sadulpur Churu Sadulpur 01 April to 30 June 12.35 hrs daily from Sadulpur
Jaipur Bikaner Jaipur 01 April to 30 June 18.50 hrs on Saturdays
Jaipur Alwar Jaipur 01 April to 30 June 10.00 hrs daily from Jaipur
Byawar Marwar Byawar 01 April to 30 June 19.45 hrs daily from Byawar
Suratgarh Anupgarh Suratgarh 01 April to 30 June 18.30 hrs daily from Suratgarh
Suratgarh Anupgarh Suratgarh 01 April to 30 June 04.50 hrs daily from Suratgarh
Jaipur Phulera Jaipur 01 April to 30 June 20.20 hrs daily from Jaipur

 

 

 

 

Escalators installed at Jaipur Railway Station

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Escalators at Jaipur Railway Station

The wait for much awaited project of installing escalators at Jaipur station to ease congestion and help passengers at the station is over now as the escalator is inaugurated & now open for public.

The escalator was opened for the passengers on Wednesday evening by MP Mahesh Joshi which will facilitate the physically challenged, senior citizens and even patients reach various platforms.

“It was necessary for de-congestion. Railway will soon install two more escalators to help passengers to move to all platforms at railway station,” said a senior officer of Jaipur division of NWR.

Dear Barber, Make me Beautiful!

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Decorated Camel

Shahrukh is ready to mesmerize with a stylish hair-do, while Salman with his rippling muscles is getting geared up with clothes and accessories. No, he isn’t taking his shirt off. Rather, both these ‘studs’ are being dressed at a camel parlour in Jaisalmer for the Desert Festival that starts on February 23, 2013.

Since camels are the most special and sought after attractions at the Desert Festival for everyone, you would find many veteran barbers particularly at the beautification of these four-legged creatures. They are endearingly called the beauticians and have been practicing the art of catering to the ship of the desert since their forefathers.

The camel population in Rajasthan is approximately three lakh, of which some 50,000 are used in the tourism industry. These salons are popular among camel owners who wish to participate in various competitions during Festival.

desert Festival Camel

desert Festival Camel

The salon comprises of a fancy and colourful cart in the golden sand with a few iron boxes, which contain scissors of different shapes and razors. It takes three hours to decorate Shahrukh and Salman with colourful tassels, beads and mirrors. Even the tail is a sight to see. By the end of it, both look as beautiful and bashful as brides. The process of beautification would be an exciting and delightful sight for the tourists attending Jaisalmer Desert Festival.

desert Festival Camel

Decorating the camels is a very special art!! Earlier, camel raisers/owners would themselves be barbers. People would gather the camels in one place and collectively cut their hair. But now, this work is being done at special salons in style.

Another art form used on these animals is tattoos. Many camel owners have their animals take part in festivals and compete during races and polo matches. Having a decked-up camel can help them win prizes and they are ready to go that extra mile.    Wonder what the camels would say 😉

desert Festival Camel

But you don’t miss to witness the infatuating ramp and play of these flaunting beauties during Jaisalmer Desert Festival, starting from February 23 to 25, 2013!!

Taj Mahotsav, Agra

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Taj Mahotsav

Taj Mahotsav at Agra is a culturally vibrant platform that brings together the finest Indian Crafts and cultural nuances. Starting from mid-February every year at Shilpgram, the Taj Mahotsav is a much-awaited event. It is a festive introduction to India and Uttar Pradesh. India’s extensive arts, crafts and culture are on display at this event. There are a bundle of activities like folk music, shayari (poetry) and classical dance performances that keep you intrigued. Also, there are elephant and camel rides along with games and food festival that make the event even livelier.

This year Taj Mahotsav has started today i.e.  18 February 2013 and will continue till 27 February 2013.

taj

The Taj Mahotsav is a non-stop 10 day carnival which is held annually at Shilpgram, near Tajmahal. The impressive festival commences with a spectacular procession inspired by Mughal splendor.

Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen, together recreate the glorious past of the Mughals.

The Taj Mahal Mahotsav area becomes a live culture with a variety of crafts and traditions. It is a great opportunity for legendary artisans to display their exquisite work. Marble of course rules the festivities each year for obvious reasons.

Besides this, crafts include wood carvings from Saharanpur, brass and other metal ware from Moradabad, handmade carpets of Badohi, pottery of Khurja, chickan-work of Lucknow, the silk of Banaras and much more.

Indian festivities can never be complete without the preparation of exotic cuisine. Some of the best and richest food items are available at the fest for all the visitors and foodies. This will be a perfect fest to treat your taste buds with lip-smacking spicy Indian-Mughal food.

Throughout the Taj Mahotsav, one can experience a profusion of folk music and dances of Dundelkhand, ‘Nautanki’ (Drama), ‘Sapera’ dance of Rajasthan, Lavani of Maharashtra performed in the old and traditional style, just the way they used to be performed centuries ago. Visitors join in with the folk dancers enjoying swinging to a different tune and dance style.

The Taj Mahotsav gives a true picture of India at her best with a glimpse of her rich heritage and extraordinary legacies.