Monthly Archives: June 2013

The incredible Albert Hall Museum of Jaipur

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

Opened in 1887AD, Albert Hall Museum placed a midst of the gardens of the Ram Niwas Bagh in the Pink City is one of the oldest museums in the entire Rajasthan state. Located picturesquely in a garden just outside the walls of the old city, this marvelous structure is impossible to miss or ignore. And the multitudes of pigeons ensure a magnificent eyeshot.  It was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, an architect from Britain, who also designed several other places in the Rajasthan.This museum is a fine example of Indo-British architecture. The architecture of this building is based on that of Albert Museum in London.

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela



The Albert Hall Museum houses a very rare collection of decorative art objects, pottery objects, paintings, sculptures, woodwork, natural history specimens, an Egyptian Mummy that belongs to Ptolemaic era and the well known Persian Golden Carpet.

The ground floor of the museum displays the heritage of Rajasthan. Different dressing styles of Rajasthani tribes and classes are also displayed in exclusive galleries. A special gallery has also been dedicated to the art of heena – mehndi, where emphasis is laid on its various traditional designs. Exhibits from the Mughal era such as Royal portraits and pieces from the Royal wardrobe are displayed on the first floor.


This museum is dedicated to showcasing and preserving the rich culture and heritage of Rajasthan.

Timings: Opening Hours: 0900 hrs-1700 hrs, Wednesday to Monday ( closed on Tuesdays)

Entry Fee: (In Rupees): 
Indian: 20
Foreigner: 150

Six Hill Forts of Rajasthan wins World Heritage Site title by UNESCO


Cheer spread in the tourism as well as the art and culture sector today in Rajasthan when its 6 hill forts were selected to be in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The hills forts are – Amber, Chittorgarh, Gangron, Jaisalmer, Kumbhalgarh and Ranthambore. The Tourism, Art & Culture Minister, Ms. Bina Kak said: “the selection of these forts is a reflection of our work done in the past. We stand by our commitment towards conservation and protection of our rich cultural heritage, of which we are immensely proud.”

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Gagron Fort

Gagron Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort



Amer Fort, Jaipur

Amer Fort, Jaipur



These hill forts were approved in the 37th Meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Cambodia on 21 June. The selection of these forts, located in different cities, as a serial cultural property, is the first of its kind ever by UNESCO.

Now with the selection by UNESCO these six forts will receive enhanced international recognition the way the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur did after being selected in the World Heritage List in 2010. This selection will also pave way for other monuments to be nominated for being included in the World Heritage List. In fact, the work relating to Stepwells of Abhaneri, Bandikui, Bundi as well as the Fresco paintings of Shekhawati region for being submitted for consideration to UNESCO list has already started.

All these efforts will sure reinforce positioning of Rajasthan on the world tourism map as a favored tourist destination.

It is to be recalled that several missions of ICOMOS (advisory body to UNESCO) visited Rajasthan since 2011 and discussed the nomination in great detail with State Archaeology Department, ASI and the Indian Advisory Committee on the World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.

Within the State of Rajasthan, six extensive and majestic hill forts together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence. The extensive fortifications up to 20 kilometres in circumference optimized various kinds of hilly terrain, specifically the river at Gagron, the dense forests at Ranthambore, and the desert at Jaisalmer, and exhibit important phase of development of an architectural typology based on established “traditional Indian principles”.

Follow the link to know more about these forts in Rajasthan…


Jewellers Association Show 2013



If hankering on glitz and glitters of gems and Jewelry is your  cup of coffee , then here’s an amazing chance for you to witness the statuesque masterpieces of jewelry which Jaipur is famous for. The Glamorous Show of Gems and Jewelry is right here starting from Friday 19th July to Monday 22nd July  at B.M. Birla Auditorium,Statue Circle, Jaipur. The show timings would be 10.00 am to 06.00pm (10.00 to 12.00 noon Business Hours)


Jewellers Association Show’13 is a dynamic tradeshow which makes Jaipur the focus of the world jewelry industry. This event will highlight the art of jewelry making apart from focusing on a wide variety of precious metals and colored gemstones and showcasing new trends and technology in the jewelry industry. It will be a great platform for the exhibitors to network with their trade partners and consumer clients.

This year being the 7th edition of the Show will showcase a breathtaking variety of loose color gemstones, gold and diamond jewelry, platinum jewelry, silver jewelry, studded traditional jewelry and much more along with equipment and machinery used in jewelry manufacturing. It will attract over 26,000 visitors including buyers, traders and retailers from all over India. It would be an ideal shopping destination for jewelry lovers.

Side Events

  • Jewelry Design Competition
  • Seminars by GIA, India
  • Daily Raffle Draw
  • Mega Raffle Draw

Check out some designs from last seasons…

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Jodhpur RIFF- 2013


The Rajasthan International Folk Festival comes every year to the royal ‘Sun city’ of Jodhpur. Jodhpur RIFF, an event that welcomes musicians and performing artists from across the world to celebrate Rajasthan’s musical heritage for five days.


Timed to coincide with the brightest full moon of the year in north India, Sharad Poornima, Jodhpur RIFF features a series of spectacular concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort – voted “Asia’s Best Fortress” by Times Magazine.

Started in the year 2007, Jodhpur RIFF becomes an annual feature. The jubilee brings together a host of talented musicians and dancers and Jodhpur to celebrate the music and culture of Rajasthan.

Classically known as one of the most beautiful music festivals of India, RIFF is set against the splendid backdrop of the Mehrangarh Fort. Some of the most refreshing artistic performances that involve a enchanting fusion of transnational and local artists are part of this festival.


RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival), Jodhpur ranked amongst the Top 25 International Music Festivals in the world, is back again this year to enthrall music lovers from October 17-21 October, 2013. Each year in October for five days, RIFF celebrates different musical heritages and creates new sounds through innovative collaborations of connoisseur of folk arts & music.

Apart from breathtaking performances at the venue, the festival also involves interactive performances for tourists. The event is also includes smaller events like a jazz night, interactive folk music and dance sessions.

Guests can also enjoy a variety of events including traditional dance forms, a jazz night, a Rajasthani night and some early morning ragas to soothe the soul.


Udaipur gets the World’s first Silver Museum


Udaipur is popularly known as the  city of lakes’ and endearingly called the ‘Venice of East’, is a rich and unique repository of architectural and tangible heritage of not just Rajasthan and India but also of the world.

Adding more charm to Udaipur comes the world’s first silver museum that showcases the best silver exhibits  from royal family. Silver is held sacred in traditional Hindu beliefs, which associates the beautiful white metal with cool moon, surpassed only in importance by warm gold. The selection of unique items included in the silver gallery reflects the artistry of  silversmith and the beauty of this precious metal.

Udaipur's Silver Museum

Unveiled by Arvind Singh Mewar, Chairman & Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) and 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar, the silver museum is filled with family heirlooms dating back to 743 AD.

Udaipur's Silver Museum

The works on display illustrate the result of  age-old historical associations between the House of Mewar and both Rajput courts and Mughal establishment, as well as showcasing indigenous artisan techniques.

The nostalgic exhibit is displayed at the renowned Amar Mahal, which is located at the entrance of Zenana Mahal of City palace and said to be an inspiration for the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The wedding mandap where His Majesty gave away his daughter two years ago.

The wedding mandap where His Majesty gave away his daughter two years ago.

One of the exhibits at the museum: Traditional royal transport accessory like the haudah used for mounting elephants in religious, state and military processions.

One of the exhibits at the museum: Traditional royal transport accessory like the haudah used for mounting elephants in religious, state and military processions.

Immerse yourself in the history of the Maharanas of Mewar, and get the feel of their culture and how they lived. 


Rajasthan to get new Airports!


Travelling to Rajasthan is going to be much easier & comfortable in the coming days as around half a dozen new airports are either proposed or on the verge of completion in near future.


Airport Autority of India (AAI) has proposed a plan for Ranthambhore, a home for big cats to have its own airstrip.

Upcoming Airport at Jaisalmer will be operational by the month of October this year. Construction of Bikaner airport may also commence from this year.

Construction of airport at Kishangarh will start from July onwards.

International Tourist travelling to northern part will be diverted to Rajasthan instead of landing on Delhi thus saving travelling time.

With airports coming into operation, tourist can now just hop onto a flight & arrive at any of these places.

Weekly summer special train from Darbhanga to Yesvantpur


To clear the extra rush of large number of passengers during the summer season 2013, Railways have decided to run weekly summer special train between Darbhanga and Yesvantpur for the convenience of the passengers.

Train No.05289 – Running schedule of the weekly summer special train 2013 from Darbhanga toYesvantpur : Train will leave Darbhanga at 16.15 hrs. on every Friday from 07/06/2013 to 28/06/2013 i.e., 07/06,14/06,21/06 and 28/06/2013(04 trips).Train will reach at Yesvantpur  at 20.55 hrs. on the third day (Sunday).

Train No.05290 – Running schedule of the weekly summer special train 2013 special train 2013 fromYesvantpur to Darbhanga : Train will leave Yesvantpur at 09.55 hrs. on every Monday from 10/06/2013 to 01/07/2013 i.e., 10/06,17/06,24/06 and 01/07/2013 (04 trips).Train will reach at Darbhanga at 14.15 hrs. on the third day (Wednesday).

train 2


Darbhanga- Yesvantpur –  Darbhanga   weekly summer  special train 2013 will stop at the following Stations : Samastipur Jn.,Barauni, PatnaJn., Danapur, Ara,Buxar,Mughalsarai Jn.,Mirzapur,Chheoki,Manikpur Jn., Satna,Katni Jn.,Jabalpur,Narsinghpur,Pipariya, Itarsi,Ghoradongir,Betul,Pandhurana, Nagpur, Sevagram,Chandrapur,Balharshah,Vijayawada Jn.,Gudur,Chennai Central,Katpadi Jn. and Jolarpettai Jn. stations in both the directions.

 Train will have Two AC – 2 – tier, three  AC – 3 –tier and thirteenSleeper Class coaches.



Weekly summer special train to start from Jodhpur to Bandra Terminus


For the convenience of passengers, WR will run special trains between Bandra Terminus and Jodhpur from 8th June to 29th June, 2013 Ex. Bandra (T).
Train No.04804 Bandra (T) – Jodhpur Weekly Special will leave Bandra (T) at 23.55 hrs o­n every Saturday from 8th June to 29th June, 2013 and reach Jodhpur at 17.45 hrs, the next day.


Similarly, in return direction Train No. 04803 Jodhpur – Bandra (T) Weekly Special will leave Jodhpur at 4.00 hrs o­n every Saturday from 8th June to 29th June, 2013 and reach Bandra (T) at 22.25 hrs, the same day.

The train will halt at Borivali, Vapi, Valsad, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Mehesana Jn., Palanpur, Abu Road, Sirohi Road, Falna, Marwar Jn., Pali Marwar and Luni stations in both directions.

The train will have AC 2-tier, AC 3-tier, Sleeper class and II class general accommodation.
The booking of Train No. 04804 will start from 8th June, 2013.

Kuldhara- A Ghost Town of Jaisalmer


Beyond the fort and the sand dunes, the folk tunes and the camel safaris, there is a Jaisalmer experience that stays back with you long after you have left it. But, there is one spot 18 kms from  Jaisalmer that tells a story that you are not likely to forget in a hurry. It’s a village called Kuldhara.


Kuldhara village near Jaisalmer has a very unique history. Kuldhara village is a haunted location and it is believed that it is impossible to spend an entire night in the village.It is said that the residents of 84 neighboring villages including Kuldhara vacated the villages overnight around 170 years back!! No one is sure where they have gone, but they are believed to have migrated to a place somewhere near Jodhpur. The residents were Paliwal Brahmans — said to be very intelligent, and residing there for about 500 years. So what made them do such an act? Stories say that the ruler of these villages pounded the Paliwals with heavy taxes and treated them very inhumanly; the ruler was unethical and forceful to them.And the other version is that the ruler wanted to marry a brahim girl and just to save that girl & her family, all the villagers left the village one single night. They had no alternative, but to vacate all the 84 villages overnight and just disappear from the vision and reach of the ruler. The brave, self-respecting village folks unanimously took the decision. They packed up all their belongings, abandoned their homes and left Kuldhara overnight.

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

When the Paliwals left the villages, they left a curse that nobody can inhabit the villages ever. Residents of Jaisalmer say that there have been some attempts by some families to stay there, but they did not succeed.  There are still some double storeyed houses that are intact and the awestruck tourist can well visualise how life went on in Kuldhara, ages ago.

It is also believed that who so ever pick even a stone or pebble from there, it will bring him curse. The houses of the village are big enough and still at many of the houses there are utensils left in their kitchen.

An old city with so many secrets!

Trains to Vaishno Devi shrine up to Katra likely to start in July


Travel to Vaishno Devi shrine is expected to get much easier as several Mail, Express and local trains are expected to go up to Katra, the shrine’s base camp.


Ongoing project of the construction of 25 km-long Uddhampur-Katra rail link is almost complete, and several mails, express and local trains are likely to go up to Katra, the base camp of Vaishno Devi shrine from July onward. The new route will let pilgrims to reach the base camp of Vaishno Devi shrine at Katra without having to break their journey at Jammu.

The Udhampur-Katra rail route passes through inhospitable terrain, making it an extremely challenging engineering project. The route consists of seven tunnels and 30 small and big bridges, including a 185-feet high tunnel. A total of seven tunnels span over 10 km of the 25-km stretch.

The trains, including New Delhi-Uddhampur Uttar Sampark Kranti, Jammu Mail, Chandigarh-Katra Express, Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Uddhampur Express, Ahmedabad-Uddhampur Express, Delhi-Pathankot Express, among others are likely to reach Katra once the line is operational.

Katra station is ready with three platforms and two more platforms will come up later.