In a bid to share the pie of tourists visiting Rajasthan for its majestic forts and palaces and to link it with Taj Mahal at Agra, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), an off shoot of Indian Railways has declared a tour itinerary for its patrons offering two conducted tours.
One for Golden Triangle of Indian Tourism Delhi- Jaipur- Agra and other to Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur. On one hand the tourists will be visiting the symbol of love, the fabulous, Taj Mahal in Agra, breathtaking beauty of Jaipur on other side they can find themselves awed by the splendor and majesties of Junagarh fort in Bikaner, Sonar Fort in Jaisalmer and Sajjangarh Fort in Udaipur.
HAWA MAHAL JAIPUR
The tour program for Delhi- Agra-Jaipur which is scheduled to begin from December will be a one night/two day’s affair for which the online bookings will open in second week of August. As per the itinerary released by IRCTC, the tour will start with departure by Shatabdi Express to Agra from Delhi in which the tourist will avail a visit to Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Id-Mat-ud –Daula . Lunch will be provided in Agra and then the tourist will travel by Shatabdi Express to Jaipur for night stay, At Jaipur, a guided sightseeing activity to Amber Fort and City Palace will be conducted. This package will be available on every Saturday-Sunday and is inclusive of confirmed tickets of Shatabdi Express plying between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
RED FORT AGRA
CITY PALACE JAIPUR
The salient features of second tour package for Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Udaipur are almost identical to the first one where confirmed to and fro train ticket accommodation and meals at every destination is included in the expenses. Here the tourist will have an option to choose from Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer Delhi, Delhi- Jaisalmer- Delhi and Delhi- Udaipur-Delhi package. The tour will be available on every Thursday from Second week of October. The bookings for which will commence from July end on IRCTC’s tourism portal.
JUNAGARH FORT BIKANER
SONAR FORT JAISALMER
SAJJANGARH FORT UDAIPUR
The first tour is designed for time starved tourists needing a refresher for a busy week ahead while the second is for the tourist who wishes to delve into the beauty and royalty of forts and palaces of Rajasthan.
Jaipur since its inception has been a cradle for fine arts and crafts. One cannot associate the city with a particular craft but it can be touted as a city of Arts and crafts, a distinction which has recently been conferred to the city by UNESCO, The erstwhile rulers had patronized several crafts during their tenure, in fact, to patronize the crafts and their practitioners, a separate department, ‘Gunijan Khana ‘ was created. which was directly controlled by the rulers. Under their patronage the art and craft prospered. The exponents of these arts and crafts showed their talent in stone sculpturing, jewelry making and enameling, dyeing of cloths, painting, lacquer art, dance, music and many more.
These artisans were housed in a particular lane or a colony named after their profession which later became a platform to show case their art. One such lane is Maniharon Ka Rasta at Tripoliya Bazar one of the prime market places of the walled city. Here one can see a lot of crafts men and women showing their expertise in Lacquer art of molding Lacquer a natural scarlet resin from selected trees into various articles and decorating them since generations. They mold a large number of articles such as mementos of Animals, ashtrays covered with lacquer and many more articles which can be used for decoration and souvenirs. For their female clientele, they have jewelry pieces such as Bangles, earrings, finger rings toe rings, anklets, nose rings and many more pieces of local jewelry which adorn women.
The significance of Lac or lacquer bangles for married women of Jaipur is such that they flock to this narrow lane to buy them prior to every festival or a happy event in their house irrespective of their financial and social strata.
This craft has bought laurels and recognition to the city. On the national level it has won two awards by the President of India for Master Crafts Person.
The global acclaims this unique craft has earned for the city has created new avenues of earnings for these craftsmen who get direct exports orders from leading souvenir shops across the world. A lot of foreign tourists visiting Jaipur specifically include Maniharon Ka Rasta in their city seeing itinerary to have a firsthand look of the molding process and the decoration of beads etc. which ‘ Maniharin’ the female crafts person does on the moldings.
The distinct smell which emanates during the making of dough for molding penetrates the nostrils of the visitor who enters Maniharon Ka Rasta besetting the environment for a large buy.
Rajasthan has always caught the fancy of Film and Documentary makers across the globe. It has been proud participant to many Hollywood and Bollywood flicks who have scouted and exploited abundant scenic and shooting friendly destinations in Rajasthan. They have either shot major part or have some sequences shot at different spots, especially when they are related to showcase rustic and heritage look of India.
Can one imagine the similarity between latest Bollywood blockbuster ‘ Bajrangi Bhaijan’ and older hits like ‘Paheli’, ‘Jab we Met’, P.K. have in common, they have many scenes which have been shot in a discreet town of the state, ‘Mandawa’.
Apart from picturesque locations in major cities of the state, film makers to display near semblance to small town or village of India prefer ‘Mandawa’ a small town located 270 kms. from National Capital.
Mandawa town has retained its rural flavour, appealing ambience, havelis restored in original form. The mind blowing puzzling bye lanes are an added attraction for the film makers. The simplicity of locals also add to the unique character of the town.
The town provides many dimensions for the film makers with varied types of locations to suit the script. Here they can create a scene of prison or can show an international border with the help of vast fields and uneven shoots of grass. Dunes of sand all over can also give an additional option to them.
Though the town has lately caught the fancy of Bollywood film makers, Mandawa has for a long time had been favourite destination in the itinerary of foreign tourists thronging to Shekhawati region of the State to savour the beauty of frescos art on walls and ceilings of Shekhawati Havelis and revel in the peaceful and calm environs of the town which still is not spoiled by the radical commercialization which the world is experiencing.
Mandawa has effectively set an example for other such town in the area or other parts of the country that tourism can be nurtured without compromising the original essence and beauty of the place.
The artistic instincts of people of Rajasthan are on display in all aspects of life. A vast spectrum of forms of Art & Craft symbolize the life of Rajathanis include Music, pottery, drawing and painting etc. From crude painting using lime stone water on walls of rustic hut to golden laced decorative frescos on the wall and ceilings of Royal abodes, Art is omnipresent. Even the earthen pots of daily use are decorated by motifs which depict love for all type of art & craft of local folks.
In consonance to other globally acclaimed craft forms of Rajasthan, miniature paintings done on Ivory panels, leather, marble cloth and walls using natural colors extracted from vegetables, minerals, and precious stones, categorized as Kalam or style of painting prominent among which are Bundi, Kishangarh etc. has caught the fancy of art lovers all over the world. These kalams are artifacts of spiritual paintings, the theme of which is mostly Radha Krishna.
This noble art felt the neglect due to change in taste of connoisseurs who shifted their interest to contemporary art. An artistic family under the tutelage of Royals of Jaipur has vowed to conserve this art form and establish its past glory on global art horizon. The scion of the family, Ramu Ramdev along with his family has portrayed his skills at Whitely Arts festival held in U.K. between 16th and 18th. July 2015.
This festival was witnessed by over 3,000 art lovers pouring from all over the world. This is Ramdev’s third participation in this festival. Along with demonstrating his skills to visitors Ramu imparted the basics of Art and conducted workshop on it.
Ramu Ramdev along with preserving miniature art in original form has done some experiments by fusion of contemporary art ideas such as paintings on animals. He has included Rajput and Mughal royalty in his works too.
To make the itinerary of tourist landing at Jaipur airport hassle free, Government has included Jaipur in the list of places across the country where e-visa facility will be provided. The date and modalities for this facility is being finalized and the starting date will soon be declared.
Tourists arriving from UK, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal. Malaysia and Tanzania can avail this facility and will get visa within 30 minutes of applying for the same. All they will have to do is to fill a form in which the tourist will provide information related to him or her and the country of his citizen ship plus details of his places of visit in India, his tenure of stay and the purpose of visit.
This facility will provide impetus to tourist trade in the state as the tourists on visit to Rajasthan exclusively will not have to go to other airports for this purpose. Until now, such tourists had to get down at Delhi to take care of visa issues. This facility will be beneficial for the delegates coming to Resurgent Rajasthan starting in November this year who will zero there stay to Rajasthan only.
The tourist season is soon to start in the state and the local tourism industry hopes an early start to this facility so that they earn more revenue for the State.
Another avenue opens to State tourism. With golden triangle, desert trail, jungle safari etc. already a hit with tourists, tourism department of the state to undo the image of state being seasonal tourism place and add new facility is contemplating to boost Monsoon tourism in Hadauti region of Rajasthan.
Hadauti region is different in context to ecological and natural environment from other regions of State. The region experiences heaviest rainfall as compared to other regions. The scenic water bodies and other natural spots in Hadauti are a treat to eyes for the visitor. The department is to promote tourist spots in Kota, Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar where waterfalls, namely, Bheemlat, Rameshwar and Menal and Sarson, Gagron Fort, Chambal River and Chambal garden gladden the hearts of aqua tourism lovers.
Hadauti region being a part of an ancient civilization has many archaeological sites which are an additional sightseeing spot apart from the more visited ones. Besides, a lot of religious sites and an array of fairs such as Bundi Utsav, Chandrabhaga fair, and Kota Dusherra fair attract a large number of tourists prominently domestic ones to savor the natural beauty of the region.
Nawal Sagar, Bundi
The tourist spots of hadauti region have liven up during monsoon and the tourism department is anticipating a boost in tourism riding upon its intense campaign in this regard.
Image Credit: Google
Jungle safari season in most of the wild life parks and sanctuaries in Rajasthan has ended. It marks the start of three months vacation for the hoteliers and tourist dependent vendors. Such closures might bring financial hardships for human beings but the original inhabitants feel relieved that there will be no human interference during their mating season.
Animals are basically shy in nature and need a cover for every activity of theirs and what a better cover then the lush green cover which nature provides during this quarter of the year. The prominent spots for jungle safari in Rajasthan, Ranthambore National park, Sariska National Park, Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, Desert National Sanctuary, Jaisalmer, Kumbhalgarh Wild life Sanctuary, Kumbhalgarh, Darrah Sanctuary, Kota, Sita Mata Sanctuary, Pratapgarh., Kela devi wild life Sanctuary, Karauli will be out of bounds for tourists up to 30th. September.
The visitors will be able to witness the world fame Tigers in Ranthambore from 1st. October onwards.
The practice to build cenotaphs during medieval period is an example of Mughal influence. Major royal families in Rajasthan in an effort to preserve the memory of their deceased ancestors constructed Cenotaphs complex in their respective city. With the passage of time such complexes lost their importance and the royal visits became lesser and these complex lost their sheen and importance. As they were related to last rites of life, Cenotaphs never gained prominence with visiting tourists though the carvings and art work were magnificent.
The Royal family of Udaipur which has been a pioneer in restoration of heritage, under the aegis of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation has initially undertaken the task of restoration of 2 Cenotaphs erected in the memory of Rana Amar Singh I and Rana Sangram Singh I situated in Royal Cenotaph complex, on the banks of River Ahar, 5 km. away from City palace. With the restoration of these Cenotaph, a new tourist spot will emerge in the city although the complex already has a 10th. Century Shiva temple and few step wells.
Dubbed as future tourist spot, this complex will be an example for future guideline for young conservationists.
A new trend of Geo Tourism is becoming a fad with tourist visiting Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Mehrangarh fort is established on 750 million year old volcanic rocks which made a welded tuff of the emanations that spurted out from a volcano which were carried by air and ultimately settled here.
Geologists at Jainarayan Vyas University, Jodhpur in association with Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur and Geology Alumni Association have joined hands with each other make selfie zones for the tourist visiting it. These selfie zones will not only fulfil the desire of tourist to have a memorabilia of their visit but impart scientific information about these rocks. This is the part of conservation drive launched by these organisations where in along with promoting Geo-tourism, the visiting tourists will be discouraged to deface the rocks through etches or colouring to maintain the beauty and uniqueness of the rocks.
This will, on one hand will conserve the rocks but will also give another reason to the tourists to visit and admire the distinctiveness of the spot and enlighten them with a rare natural phenomenon.