Happy World Tourism Day
With a populace of over a billion, and several hundred languages and dialects, India floods your senses with a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds- both historical and contemporary. Your journey will take you by sea, air, and land through metropolitan and rural areas of this picturesque country. Today is the World Tourism Day and we are going to share with you some unearthed treasures of Rajasthan firsthand.
Marvel at the magnificent and ancient structures of Royal Rajasthan which would amaze you with their stupendous legend, heritage and architecture.
Bhangarh tops the list…
India, with its rich and long history, is full of mysteries. Perhaps none is as puzzling as what happened hundreds of years ago at a royal city in Rajasthan, now under excavation. At the edge of the Sariska forest, 47 kms from Alwar in Rajasthan lays the town of Bhangarh whose haunted status is attracting scores of tourists. Bhangarh is known for its ruins, and it’s interesting to note that entry to this “Ghost town” is legally prohibited between sunset and sunrise. That might be more legend than fact, but Bhangarh is still a charming ruin to visit. Even today, a walk to the palace through the remains of what once used to be a bustling town is a fragrant affair with the aroma of kevda wafting in from a nearby grove. Large banyan trees and several temples dot the landscape. The beautifully carved temples of Gopinath, Shiva (Someshwar), Mangla Devi, Keshava Rai, resplendent cenotaphs and dancers’ mansion have survived the passage of time and are a must-see for visitors.
These days, Bhangarh is run by the government of India as a tourist site, attracting a primarily domestic crowd. Many visitors have heard about the myth, but most come simply to explore the ruins, which are pretty interesting whether or not you believe in ghosts.
Shekhawati came into light since last two decades only; earlier this beautiful place was not much in the very common touring routes of Rajasthan. Shekhawati is simply beautiful. Every street, house and wall has the stamp of an artist’s imagination in paint. Wherever you cast an eye, frescoes smile back. The plethora of these murals comes rather as a surprise in a land which is traditionally known as ‘warrior’s turf’ and also an ‘impoverished part of an arid region’. You just have to visit Shekhawati to believe what a riot color and imagination can create together, the Shekhawati which is Rajasthan’s very own Open Air Art Gallery.
Today Shekhawati is fully prepared to welcome the guests coming from any corner of world by providing all the comforts and facilities of modern world. The dedication of the Shekhawatis made the famous saying true i;e “Padharo Mhare Desh” means “Oh guest, you are welcome to my land”.
Nuzzled among the cluster of thirteen mountain peaks, in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, Kumbhalgarh fort is recognized as an abode of massive fortification and the homeland of the great warrior and king of Mewar; Maharana Pratap. Fortified with 33 kms of walls, Kumbhalgarh fort holds the peculiarity of having the second longest incessant wall in the world, passing all tests of time. Recently Kumbhalgarh Fort has been honored with the UNESCO’s world Heritage Site title.
Every evening the fort stands soaring to share its regal past and recuperating the pride with thundering music and magnitude of colorful lights at the Light and Sound Show on stunning backdrop.
Chand Baori Stepwell
Chand Baori is one of the deepest and largest step wells in India. It was built by Raja Chandra of the Chauhan dynasty who ruled over Abhanagri during 8th-9th century AD. Logically, it is man’s answer to the perennial water shortage in the area. What is astonishing is not man’s quest for water; rather, the high degree of precision and engineering skill displayed by the architect and the other workers in the general design and concept in an age when sophisticated machines and computers were unknown and unheard of. To top it off is the fact that this was not a showpiece but a utilitarian well used by the village folks for their daily needs and before proceeding to the nearby Harshshat Mata Temple.
The step well is square in shape with a strong wall enclosing the entire structure. It has over 3,500 symmetrically laid out steps on three sides of the structure which drop down 13 levels, to a depth of over 100 feet. There may be more steps below the water level. On the fourth side, the one you encounter the moment you enter the step well, there are pavilions built one on top of the other. These pavilions have carved out places housing beautiful sculptures and religious carvings of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga. The pillars holding up the pavilions are tall, slender and intricately carved. Strong railings enclosing the steps and the pavilion prevent you from descending to the pavilion or to the water level. The overall visual effect is that of an upturned pyramid.
We know that you must be already lost in your imaginations and head tripping these incredible hidden gems of Rajasthan. Then wait no more and do something “Hatke” (off the beat) by planning an incredible visit to these fascinating unfathomed destinations of Rajasthan.