Monthly Archives: March 2013

Colours of all hues, the smell of ‘gulal’ and joyous spirit during Holi Celebration!

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Holi and Dhuledi — the festival of colour — were celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety throughout Rajasthan. Foreign tourists too had a blast as they were seen enthusiastically participating in the Holi festivities organized at various places.
The tourism department had organized two back-to-back programmes especially for foreign tourists at Rambagh polo ground and Khasa Kothi in the capital, Jaipur. A cultural programme on Holi-eve that lasted for nearly two hours brought everything from Barmer’s Langas and Manganiaars to Bharatpur’s Raas Leela on one stage. During the Holi festival, hundreds of foreign tourists were seen dancing and putting colours on each other.

     

Holi Celebration



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All the above pictures were clicked during ‘Holi Festival’ organised by Department of Tourism at Rambagh Polo Ground, Jaipur on 26th March, 2013.

Photo Credit: Gaurav Hajela

Free entry on Rajasthan Day!

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On the occasion of Rajasthan Day Celebration on March 30, there will be free entry for all at various museums & tourist spots of Archaeological department.

Amber Fort

Amber Fort

It also includes Amer Palace & Albert Hall in Jaipur.

 

Rajasthan Foundation Day Celebration

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The people of Rajasthan enjoy several festivals with lots of gusto and fervor. Numerous fairs also keep the people occupied throughout the year. Animal fairs are part of the lives of the people of Rajasthan. Dancing, drama, singing and music enthrall all the visitors in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan Diwas

Rajasthan Diwas is every year celebrated on 30 March marking the unification of the erstwhile princely states in the region into the State of Rajasthan with an aim to showcase Rajasthan’s culture & heritage and revive the traditional sports, cuisines and folk-art.

The people of Rajasthan, who rejoice everyday in effervescent ways of their life, who enliven their traditions every now & then in festivities & revelries, are all set to celebrate Rajasthan Diwas in a grand manner this year throughout the state from March24 to 30, 2013.

Sixty four years ago, on 30th March 1949, took place the grand unification of the erstwhile princely states of Rajputana giving birth to Rajasthan state in the Union of India. Since then, the weeklong celebration is marked to celebrate the Rajasthan Diwas every year. With Rajasthan emerging as a frontrunner in tourism industry, Government of Rajasthan continues to add new attractions to its repertoire of festivals while bringing forth the vast range of Rajasthani Folk Art, Craft, Dance & Music.

Tantalizing the taste buds would be the mouth-watering Marwari, Mewari, Hadoti, Dundhari, Brij and Punjabi delicacies that would be savoured by the people in the Food Festival. Craft Bazaar showcasing the art forms, handicrafts, pottery styles, prints & textiles, embroideries, carpets, wood & metal work of different regions of Rajasthan promises to be a major attraction for visiting tourists as well as the residents in Rajasthan throughout the week long celebrations.

No festival can be exciting without the charm & laughter of children. To enlighten the school going kids about the heritage & glory of Rajasthan, theme based competitions like debate; quiz, essay writing, drawing & painting would be organized in Jaipur during the course of celebrations.

One of the most unique features of these celebrations, never seen before in any other festival, would be the Night Bazaar. An ensemble of shoppers’ items ranging from handicrafts, clothes, potteries, carpets, internationally renowned quilts, blankets & jewellery to day-today household commodities, would ensure a shopping experience par imagination to the Pink-city dwellers every evening till midnight.

Grand cultural shows and live concerts every evening in the ambience of majestic Albert Hall, Amer Fort and other equally eye-arresting venues have been planned to entertain people throughout the celebrations. A variety of programmes ranging from Classical Music & dance performances, Ghazal Evening, Bollywood Celebrity Evening to Nritya Natika, Natya Sandhya etc. would be held during the celebrations in Jaipur. Tourists and residents would get an opportunity to enjoy the performances of nationally famed artists like Toshi, Sharib, Ajmat and several other renowned Rajasthani folk artists, also who are shining stars of the constellation of celebrities in their own field.

New Special Train between Jaipur and Secundrabad

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The Railways have decided to run special trains between Secundrabad and Jaipur via Narkher to clear the extra rush of passengers this summer.

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Accordingly, train number 09736 Jaipur-Secundrabad special will leave Jaipur at 9.10 pm on March 23 (Saturday) and arrive Secundrabad at 7.30 am on third day (Monday).

This train will leave from Betul at 1.55 pm, Amla-2.26 pm, Narkher-3.50 pm, Chandur Bazar-5.40 pm, New Amravati-6.20 pm and Badnera-6.40 pm on March 24.

In its return journey, train number 09735 Secundrabad-Jaipur special will leave Secundrabad at 10.00 pm on March 25 (Monday) and arrive Jaipur at 06.15 am on third day (Wednesday).

This train will leave Badnera at 9.35 am, New Amravati at 9.50 am, Chandur Bazar at 10.35 am, Narkhed at 12.00 noon, Amla at 12.39 pm and Betul at 2.15 pm on March 26.

It will halt at Durgapura, Bhanasthali Niwai, Sawai Modhopur, Kota Junction, Ramganj Mandi, Nagda Junction, Ujjain, Barchha, Shujalpur, Sehore, Bhopal, Habibganj, Itarsi, Betul, Amla, Narkher, Chandur Bazar, New Amravati, Badnera, Murtajapur, Akola, Washim, Hingoli Deccan, Purna, H.Sahib Nanded, Mudkhed, Nizamabad, Kamareddy and Medchal in both directions.

The composition will be a total 20 coaches including One First-cum-2 Tier AC, One AC-2-tier, Four AC-3-tier, 10 Sleeper Class, 2 General Second Class and 2 General Second Class cum brake vans, according to a release from Public Relations department of Central Railway, Nagpur.

Rail Budget 2013-14: 5 New trains for Rajasthan

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Railway Budget 2013

Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the introduction of 19 new train services, extension of three and increase in frequency of five trains acceding to demands of MPs. Out of which, 5 new trains along with some increased frequency trains are introduced for Rajasthan.

Railway Budget 2013

The new Trains announced for Rajasthan are…

  1. Jodhpur-Samdari-Bhildi passenger (daily)
  2. Nagpur-Ajmer Express (weekly) via Bhopal, Kota, Nagada
  3. Bilaspur- Jodhpur Express (Twice in a week)
  4. Bilaspur-Bikaner Express (Twice in a week)
  5. Okha-Nathdwara Express (weekly) via Dwarka,

Increase in Frequency of trains

  1. Puri-Ajmer Express (weekly) via Abu Road will be bi-weekly

New Railway Line

  1. Ajmer to Sawai Madhopur via Tonk

 

Have a Happy Traveling 🙂

Sheetla Mata Fair

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sheetla Mata

The Sheetla Mata Fair is scheduled to take place in Rajasthan on April 03, 2013. The word ‘Sheetla’ is derived from Sheetal which means calm and composed. The fair is held in Seel-Ki-Doongri village in Jaipur. It lasts for only 24 hours in which pilgrims visit to pay homage to Sheetla Mata.

It is believed that if due to any reason, Sheetla Mata, the goddess of epidemics loses her temper then the area is expected to be affected by dangerous epidemics. That’s why, the fair is organized to keep her mood cheerful and offerings of different type of fruits, sweets and cash is placed at the feet of Sheetla Mata. A beautiful red stone placed inside the temple is an embodiment of the deity. People who come to attend the fair are supposed to take food only after visiting the sacred shrine of Sheetla Mata.

amber fort

In this fair, the cattle fair also occur simultaneously. Due to plethora of colorful activities happening in the fair, the atmosphere becomes truly joyful. Cattle breeders decorate their animals beautifully and take them to the fair. Finally the best breeder is awarded with a prize.

Rajasthan Fairs and Festivals

People from all across rural Rajasthan grace the occasion with their presence. They are uniquely dressed and accompanied with their horses and bullock carts. During this one-day fair, a small market is set up from where one can buy various shoes, clothes, foodstuff, utensils and agricultural implements.

Celebration of immortal love- Faag Utsav!!

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For the locale folks of the desert state, Rajasthan, the festival of Holi is a whimsical event which takes on an altogether special meaning and hue, colour and paint notwithstanding.

During the Hindu month of Phagun, Rajasthanis celebrate Holi by singing special songs called “Faag”, which celebrate the triumph of good over evil and the onset of spring.

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The tradition of celebrating faag season has its own significance in the rural society which lasts till holi. There are reportedly different types of faags, for instance Krishna faag, which is voiced as a verse to Lord Krishna’s romps during the festival of Holi.

Apparently faags are eminently celebrated all over the India, especially in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Mathura and Rajasthan according to their traditions.

In Jaipur, except Janmashtami, Holi is celebrated grandly in Govind Dev ji Temple of Jaipur. During the festival, Faag, Raas and special Jhankis start from one month before holi festival.

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Instead of color or gulal powders, flowers are used to play Holi here. The celebration shows the re-enactment of Lathmar Holi of Braj and Muslim artists pay homage to the immortal love of Radha and Krishna.

The history of Faag Utsav is growing since 300 years and the raison d’être for using flowers instead of color stanches from the belief that the use of the color hurts the idol of Krishna. The colorful affair is eventually marked by many cultural exuberant processions, like dancers wearing colorful dresses and painting their bodies in anticipation of a performance before the public.

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The legends of Radha and Krishna are showcased through vibrant folk songs & dances of Holi at the temple for more than a week during the faag festival.

At the temple, the greatest artist of the world, Krishna, witnesses the art of numerous performers which are performed as offering to Krishna. The celebration of Faag utsav certainly broadens the meaning of Holi.

Jaipur to have its first Art Festival

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Undoubtedly, Pink City is turning into a prominent platform for both artists and writers, after being a spectacular host to many national and international festivals. Yet another festival to debut in the city is “Jaipur Art Festival” which is starting from 18th to 22nd March, 2013 at Diggi Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

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Adding diverse and vivid colours to the already colourful Pink City, the event will see the participation of more than 150 artists from all across the globe. The festival will not only showcase some of the exquisite art forms but will also bridge the gap between the artists and art lovers. Another highlight of the festival will be the live demonstration session of painters. The artworks will be exhibited from March 21 to 24.

Artists will give live demonstrations of some of the unique and rare art forms like miniature art, calligraphy, maandana, fresco, blue pottery, wash technique, glass painting, enamel art, sand sculpture and lac bangle making. To acquaint the young artists with the contemporary painting styles, art seminars and sale of artworks will also be held.

Art Festival

Some of the international artists who are expected to participate in the five-day long festival include Christopher Griffin from Canada, Lisa Kovvuri from US, David from UK, Daria Raldugina from Russia, Nagendra Paudyal from Nepal, Mohammad Eunus from Bangladesh, Walmir Benhotti and Emanuel Vasco Da Graca from Brazil, Tala from Iran and Nutan Arthur from Hawaii.

Rajasthan Forts to make it to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Tag

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The famed hill forts of Rajasthan are inching closer to get the World Heritage Site status.

At the moment, seven forts Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Gagron, Ranthambore, Amber, Jalore and Bala Kila are on the Unesco tentative list.

The full landscape view of Kumbhalgarh Fort

The full landscape view of Kumbhalgarh Fort

Amber Fort

Amber Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Ranthambore Fort

Ranthambore Fort

Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort

The UNESCO team was in Jaipur on Monday to discuss the nomination of ‘Hill forts of Rajasthan’ for the world heritage site status. The ‘Hill Forts of Rajasthan’ are strategically built in a series and located on the oldest mountain range of the Aravallis or the Vindhyan range in the region.

According to UNESCO, the series of seven hill forts in Rajasthan represent the genius of Rajput military architecture in the medieval and post medieval period. The forts built in local stone masonry trace the development of the fort typology and evolution of the Rajput architectural style from the 15th to the 19th century.

Historians and researchers also noted that five of these forts-Chittorgarh, Gagron, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore and Jalore-include additional historic layers from the 6th to 10th century, while exhibiting significant structure of the Rajput military architecture of the 15th and 16th century.

Jalore fort

Jalore fort

Bala Kila  Alwar

Bala Kila Alwar

The Amber Fort and Bala Kila Fort represent the later phase of a mature Rajput architectural style. The forts are important records of the political scenario of the period, marked by strife and subjugation from the Sultanate and the Mughal Empire and friction amongst the Rajput kingdoms ruled by various clans.

At the moment the Jantar Mantar and Keoladeo National Park are the two sites from state listed on the World Heritage List.

Let’s see whether these magnificent forts could make up to the list of World Heritage Sites.

 

Birding in Ranthambore

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Rajasthan is the biggest state and one of the popular destinations of India. The wildlife safari, historical Places and heritage enrapture visitors of across the globe.

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Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest and famous National Parks in India. It is mainly famous for its Tigers.  Located at about 130 kms from Jaipur, in Sawai Madhopur District of Southeastern Rajasthan, it was once the most famous hunting grounds for the Royal Maharajas of Rajasthan. It is spread across area of 1,334 sq kms. Every year thousands of tourists throng in due to its exotic and exciting wildlife Tours.

Besides being a habitat to the land creatures and amphibians, Ranthambore National park is also a home to many beautiful and rare birds due to its numerous water bodies and terrain. There are in all 272 species of birds namely, Indian Gray Hornbills, Drongos, Bee eaters, parakeets, Common Kingfishers, Cuckoos, Asian palm Swift, Dove, Herons, Bitterns, Graylaggoose, sandpipers, gulls,  storks, Ioras, Falcons, Mynas, Munias, Finches, Wagtails, Pittas, Flycatchers, Pipits, Bulbul, Orioles, Cuckoo Shrikes, Pigeon, Bayas, Treepies, Crows, Egrets, Owl, Sipes, Terns,   Woodpeckers, Minivets, Ibis, Eagles, Storks, Ioras, Pelicans.

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A bird lover or Ornithologist can easily catch a glimpse of these beautiful flying creatures at the Ranthambore Fort, Padam Talao, Jhalra region and Malik Talao.

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The Park is an easily reachable destination from Jaipur as its nearest city at a distance of 130 kms. Visitors can either come via train or their local vehicles to the national park. To feel that excitement, thrill and the goose, tourists visit the Ranthambore National Parks to watch these wild birds and animals live in action. Best time to visit the Ranthambore National Park is from 1 October to 30 June. So Plan a holiday with your family and friends for this adventurous safari in Ranthambore. …..