Monthly Archives: June 2017

After NTCA’s objection, Ranthambore and Sariska Wildlife Parks to remain closed for Monsoon.

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We were happier after the recent announcement of the opening of Wildlife reserves and parks to be opened for Monsoon, But after NTCA’s objection, Rajasthan Forest Department has taken its previous orders back and decided to close the reserves.

All the three tiger reserves of Rajasthan — Ranthambhore, Sariska and Mukandara — will be closed this year during monsoon. According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the Rajasthan Forest Department has dropped its orders to keep the parks open during monsoon, as it is the breeding period of wild animals, especially the tigers, and also because of safety concerns for visitors.

Although, there is still some hope of tiger sighting as five of ten zones remain open during monsoon where tourism continues unabated. One zone of Sariska also remains opened for tourism during monsoon.

 

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Ranthambhore Tiger Safari in Gypsy becomes costlier by Rs 170

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Ranthambore National Park rejoiced the monsoon travelers by throwing the park open to tourists in monsoon season too. But there’s an added price to pay as the Gypsy Safari has become costlier v.e.f. from June 23, 2017.

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Yes the tourists will now have to shell out more from their pockets, for sighting tigers in Ranthambore National Park (RNP). The department of forest has hiked the safari charges for the tourists who want to ride a Gypsy in the Park. No hike has, however, been proposed for safari in canters.

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Now, both domestic and foreign tourists will have to pay more for tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park. Previously, the booking price per person was Rs.727 for a domestic tourist and it has now been increased to Rs. 897 per person after the hike of Rs.170. Similarly, gypsy booking price for foreign tourists has been increased to Rs1,637 from the previous fee of Rs1,467. The increase in revenue is being attributed to the growing population of tigers in Ranthambore reserve.

Apart from this, Ranthambore in 2016 launched a ‘tatkal’ tiger safari scheme, allowing tourists to go on a full day or half day forest safari from sunrise to sunset.

Festivities of Eid-al-Fitr in Jaipur

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Eid Jaipur Beat

You can smell festivity in the air and devotion on faces because it is the festival of Eid after the month long fast of Ramzan! Observed annually by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), Ramzan is followed by the entire Muslim community in order to get closer to God and to remind them and live the life of the less fortunate ones.

Did you know that the word Ramzan comes from a translated version of Ramadan, which is derived from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness ? Because the time right now is of peak summer and that makes this fasting even more difficult and challenging to follow.

Though Ramzan is followed and celebrated in all the areas of Jaipur, the festival’s real sheen is seen in the walled city, especially Ramganj Bazaar. The market was named Ramganj after Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II who was the one to bring modernization in the architecture of Jaipur. The name Ramganj, Ram + Ganj (meaning area) reaffirms that this area is the soul of the city as it houses the oldest mosques that smoothly blend in the wise architecture of the walled city of Jaipur. Along with a plethora of mosques, the city’s most authentic Mughal cuisines are found in Ramganj Bazaar and the nearby lanes (galiyan). Ramganj Bazaar is equivalent to the Char Minar of Hyderabad & Jama Masjid of Delhi.

But how exactly do they go about the fasting?

Every Muslim, mostly after he/she turns 12, considers it their farz (duty) to fast during Ramzan but are excused in case of special circumstances like illness, pregnancy, travel etc. Ramzan is the ninth pillar of Islam and is practiced in reverence of Allah. The month generally consists of 29-30 days depending on the visual sightings of crescent moon and all the followers follow the timetable of Mecca. They eat before 4 a.m. and post that, they don’t eat or drink anything throughout the day, including water. The meal that they have in the morning is called Sehri. As the day proceeds, they recite namaaz at mosque (masjid) in the evening and at around 7:15 i.e. after sunset, they open their fast with something natural like fruits, dates (khajur), milk, water – basically anything which isn’t cooked over fire. Dates are popularly eaten to open the roza for their distinguishing quality of providing instant energy after a day full of fasting. The meal served in the evening is called Suhoor or Iftaar.

After Iftaar, the devotees visit Masjid at around 9 p.m. where Quran is recited for around 1.5 hours and all the people sit there listening to it. After 29 or 30 days, i.e today, the Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations are in full swing when mosques are decorated, the lanes are dazzling in lights and folks visit each other to wish and exchange sweets especially Sevayian Kheer as it’s also known as Meethi Eid. The night of spotting the moon and ending the fasts is known as ‘Chaand Raat’ or the night of the moon 🙂

Sevayian Kheer Jaipur Beat

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Eid Mubarak 🙂

India’s first Astronomy Resort that offers Star Gazing in Rajasthan

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It is quite rare to find a sky full of twinkling stars amid the dust and pollution of the cities we live in. We hardly get chances to gaze at and experience the beauty of the cosmic world above us. How many times have you thought to just lie down beneath the open sky and gaze at the millions of twinkling stars until you fall asleep? So here’s a big breakthrough!  Get away from your dreary life of this concrete jungle and rush to Astroport Sariska, which is India’s first Star Gazing Resort that offers an unimaginable experience of sky and beyond.

To delight and provide utter relief & excitement to your soul, this resort allows you to do just that- Star Gazing! Astroport at Sariska is every astronomy enthusiast’s dream come true. It gives you all the feel of camping under the clear starry sky and doesn’t really make you face any of the hardships of forest. Sounds like a plan for tonight? Then go ahead 😉

Situated near the Aravalli Range of Alwar District in Rajasthan, the India’s first Astronomy-resort is just 3 hrs drive from Jaipur and five-hour drive from Delhi. Sariska is known to be the second darkest place in India hence Astroport Resort offers to enjoy an amazing view of the starlit sky at night.

What’s more that makes Astroport unique is- it’s not just a holiday or weekend resort but also offers education of astronomy and space sciences, which means there is something for the kids as well as grownups. The indulgent activities planned by their team of experts are full of fun combined with a sense of learning.

Organic farming, drip irrigation and use of solar energy show that they are also sensitive towards protection of nature and conservation. If eco-friendly way of living is also something your look for on a holiday, then this place will excite you.

Astroport has luxurious camping facilities. There are Swiss tents with attached bathrooms. The food served is grown within the premises. There are activities like rock climbing, nature walk, jungle safari, village tours, track n sign, camel safari, horse riding, pottery, organic farm tour, yoga, aerobics and much more to engage you during the day time.

And it doesn’t matter if you are an uninitiated soul, there are guides and educators who are happy to explain you all the constellations and galaxy patterns. Well, yes you can definitely touch and operate astronomical equipment like telescopes, professional cameras and binoculars that are readily available here.

Nevertheless, Sariska is a wildlife reserve that offers to see tigers, birds and native wildlife. So there’s a lot more to experience in and around Sariska too.

Credits Shashank Birla

Hit this place called Astroport Resort and enjoy an experience of stargazing like never before.  Or we shall say , Live the beautiful lines, “Taaron Se Karein Baatein… Chaandni Raatein”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/astroportindia/

All the images are sourced from Astroport Resort

Rajasthan’s Wildlife Reserves and National Parks to remain open in Monsoon

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Ranthambhore Gate

Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts can add one more option to their list of holiday destinations this monsoon. The national parks in Rajasthan, which are usually closed for monsoon between July 1 and September 30, will be thrown open to the tourists’ jungle safari by the forest department.

Ruins of Ranthambhore

 

Ranthambore National Park (RNP), Sariska and Mukundra Tiger Reserves are the ones that will be kept open this monsoon season. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the standing committee of the State Board of Wildlife and the Tiger Conservation Federation. Although, the onus of taking appropriate steps to implement the order with due attention to safety concerns, has been left to respective field directors.

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During the last monsoon, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve had thrown open zones 6 to 10 for the public, where chances of tiger sightings were almost zero. But in a year, these have become popular zones of the critical tiger habitat, with reports good sightings of the big cat. “Tigers breed during all 12 months of a year. Some jungle tracks become slushy, but most of the terrain in the park is dry . Besides, opening the zones to tourism helped to check illegal grazing, cutting of forest, and other illegal activities during the monsoon as well as to monitor the movement of tigers,” wildlife experts said.

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 Zones in these parks will be kept open on a rotational basis for three months around the year, wherein each zone would be closed for three months. During monsoons, some zones will be opened for tourism depending on the critical circumstances, condition of roads and keeping in mind the safety of tourists.

So, plan your trip to Rajasthan now if you are looking forward to enjoying the thrills of Jungle in monsoon!

A trip to the Palace in Clouds- Badal Mahal

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Already dreaming of a romantic, indulgent evening here?

Rajasthan is rich with marvelous palaces and forts that never leave to mesmerize its spectators. In the remotes of Shekhawati in Alsisar town is a beautiful palace called Alsisar Mahal! On the top most floor of Alsisar Mahal is this paradise of colors and visual treats for the connoisseurs of luxury and lifestyle – Badal Mahal aka “Palace in  the Clouds”

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The refurbished palace – Alsisar Mahal in Shekhawati is a popular destination after the three consecutive Magnetic Fields Festivals every Year since 2014!  The 17th century palace is an epitome of grandeur and rich heritage. Alsisar Mahal exudes regalia of Royal Rajasthani lifestyle from each corner, the most fascinating and breathtaking being Badal Mahal.

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The arresting Badal Mahal encloses magnificent halls with jack-arched alley and multi hued windows. The walls and domed ceiling of the palace are festooned with exquisite paintings. These paintings are beautifully blended with soft furnishing and vibrant lanterns; all inspired by the refreshing monsoon clouds.

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With the yellow, blue and golden depiction of monsoon clouds, the entire aura of Badal Mahal is beyond your imagination.

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The restaurant has beautiful lounge to have a drink or two followed by delightful seating for dining amid clouds, vibrant lighting and intriguing antiques.  The intricate designs, the colored glass work give a rainbow effect to the clouds. All this in total make Badal Mahal a one of a kind dining experience.

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The restaurant opens up to an open air rooftop which is open only for dinner.
Treat yourself or your loved ones with an exquisite experience of dining under clouds on the top most floor of Alsisar Mahal and enjoying the interior magnificence along with commanding view outside.

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For more information about Badal Mahal and Alsisar Mahal Shekhawati, visit http://alsisarmahal.com/

Night Tourism to begin at Hawa Mahal and Chaura Rasta in Jaipur

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Rajasthan Tourism Department is leaving no stone un-turned to attract the tourists in Rajasthan. Days after the tourism department started night tourism at Vidyadhar Ka Bagh (Vidyadhar Garden), the state government recently announced that Jaipur’s  other attractions including Chaura Rasta and Hawa Mahal will become major tourism destinations for people who enjoy hanging out after dark.

It is announced that the Night tourism will begin at these two places by October. Rajasthan Chief minister Vasundhara Raje held a meeting of tourist department officials to review the ‘night tourism’ project in the city.

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The Parkota walls of the Pink City will be embellished with white mandana. Lights and decorations will enhances its aesthetic appeal and attract more tourists to the old part of the city. A clear focus is emphasized on the cleanliness and hygiene conditions of the surroundings. Attempts will be made to clean the bazaar. Besides, special arrangements will be made keep stray animals away so that tourists can enjoy the beauty of the city area on foot without any hussle.

The Pink buildings in the Walled City will also be decked up with beautiful lights, highlighting the marvelous beauty of heritage structures more prominently.