Monthly Archives: December 2017

Welcome the New Year 2018 in Rajasthan

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A fusion of modernity and tradition, the vibrant colours of Rajasthan are truly captivating.  This New Year’s eve enjoy a quick getaway and celebrate it amidst the royalty of palaces and serenity of nature in Rajasthan. Mesmerizing destinations in Rajasthan give you a marvelous insight of historic sites, wildlife and pilgrimages. Unwind and pamper your soul as we list out the best destinations to mark the new year in Rajasthan with sheer bliss.

The Blushing Pink City – Jaipur

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The capital city of Rajasthan is not just the epicenter, but the pink city is the party pulse of the state. A home to the most luxurious hotels and clubs in the state, jaipur is a combination of heritage, luxury nightlife and shopping where the fun and excitement is limitless.

The golden threshold of sand and dunes- Jaisalmer

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One of the best place for new year in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer has beautiful golden yellow stone fort with detailed stone carvings to embellish the traditional Jharokhas and arches. While a campfire within the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an experience one can never forget.

The shimmering city of lakes – Udaipur

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One of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan, Udaipur is surrounded with shimmering lakes, luxury resorts and the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. It is once in a lifetime experience when you cruise through the lake pichola on wooden boat or gaze at the panorama of lakes from City palace of Udaipur.

The brimming sand of Bikaner

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Another desert destination popular for its camel festival, sand dune riding and  various other desert activities, Bikaner is home to the Junagarh Fort which is an amalgamation of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. But if you love tranquility over grandeur, enjoy nature’s bliss on the banks of the river Gajner.

The tourist city among world’s top ten – Jodhpur

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The blue city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is enchanting as it dazzles with its spectacular architecture and brightly painted homes. However, if you seek serenity in this famous tourist destination, away from the hustle and bustle of city life head straight to a heaven for bird lovers, Khichan. It is a small village and bird paradise in Jodhpur District hosting 20,000 Demoiselle Cranes.

The hill station of hot land- Mount Abu

Mt Abu

 

For a chilly new year experience, visit the only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu. It is amidst forest hills of coniferous trees and dotted with huge rocks. It is home to many sages and is famous for its Dilwara Jain Temple built in the 11th-13th Century.

The place famous for not just jauhar but magnificent UNESCO fort- Chittorgarh

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The famous fort of Chittorgarh takes you back to the 15th century AD. Get a glimpse of heaven on new year’s day at the Char Bagh patterned garden that plays host to many peacocks and several parakeets at sunrise and sunset even today.

The undiscovered paradise- Bundi

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Quite strange that this destination is still hidden from the tourist crowd. Regarded for its intricate paintings, Bundi is the historically rich town of Rajasthan. Encompassed by the Aravalli Hills on three sides. The intricate carvings on its monuments and impressive medieval forts, palaces, havelis and temples with carved pillars with a beautiful lake is an enchanting paradise right in the heart of the town.

The tiger land – Sawai Madhopur

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The tiger land of Rajasthan is this fascinating paradise of wildlife and nature called Ranthambhore in Sawai Madhopur. Nestling adjacent to the natural beauty of the wildlife of Ranthambhore is Nahargarh Palace. In the town of Sawai Madhopur dwells this leading luxury Palace Resort. It hosts fantastic new year events in Rajasthan. For a picture-perfect yet thrilling and dramatic experiences with sun-kissed poolside, head straight to this place. The palace’s royale spots like the Hathikund, swimming pool, Lancer’s Bar and Den Bar with fine detailing and ambiances will pose a blissful contrast to the ruggedness of the jungle.

The storybook town – Shekhawati

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In the painted town of Shekhawati lay the magnificent Palace Alsisar Mahal of Alsisar. If you wish to join an exclusive party at the 17th-century palace in Rajasthan then you’ll be enthralled to experience the exciting activities and arrangements in Alsisar. There are magic shows, snake-charmers and dancers, fireworks off the roof of the palace and the exotic banquet with succulent cuisines.

The sacred town of holy ghats and temples- Pushkar

Pushkar Evening aarti

Begin the fresh year by washing away the sins of the past year and praying for a prosperous and peaceful 2018 at Pushkar. Among the many famous temples in Pushkar, you can find the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Bramha. The Pushkar Lake has huge religious significance, as it is supposed to have been created when Bramha dropped a lotus on earth. Ajmer and Pushkar are both places of worship and if one is religiously inclined, can prove to be perfect sites to begin an auspicious year.

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Mukundra Hills in Kota to become India’s first tiger reserve offering Water Safari

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Image for representation, not clicked at Mukundra.

Kota’s Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) will be the first tiger reserve in the country offering both “wildlife safari” and “water safari” services to the tourists.

“Tourists visiting MHTR for wildlife safari will also get the option of boat ride in Chambal river from Jawahar Sagar sanctuary to Bhainsrodgarh sanctuary to get a glimpse of beauty of MHTR and Chambal valley,” said Om Birla, the BJP MP from Kota, after a visit to the park and interaction with its officials on Tuesday.

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Chambal

MHTR is rich in flora and fauna with the perennial Chambal river flowing through it. There are around 60 panthers, 1,000 cheetal/sambhar deer, 60 bears, 1,000 wild boars and 500 blue bulls. However, there is no tiger in the park at present. Iinfrastructural projects are underway in the park ahead of the proposed release of tigers in it by March next year.

Birla said that ecotourism would start at the park after the release of tigers. “Water safari and wildlife safari will both boost ecotourism in the region and generate employment opportunities for people,” he added. The MP said that the water safari project, including the 25-km boat ride in the Chambal river, would be funded by the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) of Kota.

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Chambal

Informing about water safari plan at MHTR, SR Yadav, deputy conservator of forest, MHTR, said that wildlife safari and water safari services will be started only after the released tigers will get acclimatised with the new habitat, which may take some months.

A documentary film on MHTR will also be made for the first time, which will show the flora and fauna, heritage structures and aquatic life at MHTR. “The documentary film will be of around 5 to 10 minutes,” said Yadav.

MHTR was formed in 2013 by joining wildlife sanctuaries of Kota region including Dara wildlife sanctuary of Kota, Jawahar Sagar sanctuary of Bundi, Chambal Ghariyal sanctuary of Kota and Bundi districts and some forest blocks of Chittorgarh district. The park is spread in around 759.99 sqkm area including 417.17 sqkm of core area and around 342.82 sqkm of buffer area.

Chambal Safari Dholpur

Fair hike in flights to Jaisalmer

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Tourism in Rajasthan sees a boom, especially, after Jaisalmer was connected to other destinations by air.

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Looking at the high demand for Jaisalmer, the private airline operating flights between Jodhpur and Delhi from Jaisalmer has increased the fare to Rs 18,000 between Jaisalmer and Delhi and Rs 10,000 from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur. There are so many tourists that now the 12th century city looks too small to accommodate the crowd.

Leading travel agents say that Delhi-Jaisalmer air travel is costing between Rs 16,000 and Rs 18,000 and Jaipur-Jaisalmer is Rs 10,000 whereas the scheduled fare was Rs 3,029 and Rs 2,254, respectively.

Churches, Cakes and Carols- Merry Christmas from Jaipur

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All Saints Church Jaipur

All Saints Church Jaipur

It is the time of year to snug ourselves in woolens and delve into the chill that is embracing us but more so, it is the season of the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, the source of the Christian Religion and savior in the Christian faith, which means it’s the season to be merry again!

With Christmas around, spotting people in red, pretending to be Santa is a treat to eyes. What fills the air is the sweet rhythm of ‘Jingle Bells’ and the aroma of freshly baked cakes. But is Christmas just about Carols, Candles and Cakes? Jaipur beat dropped in a few Churches covered in red and white of our pink city to plunge into the festivity.

Torch in All saints Church

Torch in All saints Church

The believers start practicing for the celebration when the sun waves goodbye. They participate in skits based on the birth of Christ and the story that revolves around it, While Carols fill the heart with pure symphony, sermons fill the soul with love for God.

 

Preparations at the St Xavier's Church

Preparations at the St Xavier’s Church

Roohamah Maitey, member of the Bible Chapel, a church situated in C-scheme shared her excitement for the festival. “Christmas is full of zest! I wait for it all year. It’s so heartening to sing carols with the dear ones for everyone in the neighbor. The week goes by so fast and then there is a new year to look forward to”, she said.

Rajasthan Bible Institute

Rajasthan Bible Institute

The Rajasthan Bible Institute situated on Ajmer road was nothing less than a happy place to be at. Babulal ji, the gray haired caretaker who had trouble walking found no trouble reciting the verses fluently. He handed over a Bible and marked his favorite verse with a leaf that he plucked from a plant nearby. Still filled with thrill, he asked us to visit again.

Babu lal ji

Babu lal ji

It is these little things that keep the warmth of the festival intact even under the cold temperature of Jaipur. What kept the warm fuzzies going was the next place we visited. In the Heart of the city lies the 140 years old, All Saints Church. The antique beauty is open for all to visit and indulge in the serene aura that the place offers.

All Saints Church

All Saints Church

“Christmas is just the best time of the year. We get together, meet all our friends and family and the atmosphere is that of gleefulness. What I love about Christmas is that all members of my church bake plum cakes and bring it to the Church. The cakes, from each family, are then put in a large tray. They are then served with coffee to all the members and so everyone gets to eat and share each others’ cake”, said Cyrus Derek Edwin, a member of the St Andrew’s Church situated in the bustling Chandpole of Jaipur. The decoration on this Church is one of the best decorated Churches of the city and a must visit place.

All Saints

All Saints

Along with this, Churches organize games, stalls, gift exchange programs, midnight prayers, mass and other such arrangements.

Roxanne Daniel, a young girl with gleaming eyes and galvanization about Christmas asked us to visit St. Xavier’s Church on the auspicious day to indulge in the absolute joys of the festival.

Stained glass-All saints Church

Stained glass-All saints Church

We’re definitely going to be there and hope the same from you too. Until then, keep yourselves warm and have a great season. Jaipur beat wishes you a very merry Christmas!

Palace on Wheels tour postponed

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palace on wheels

The very first tour of Jaipur’s Palace on Wheels, which was to start from December 22, Friday, has been postponed.  Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), which runs the train, has now decided to run the train from December 29.

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The announcement of the new train was made by state tourism minister (independent charge) Krishnendra Kaur (Deepa) and ACS (tourism) NC Goel during the press conference to list the government’s achievements in the last 4 years. They had declared that this new train will start from December 22. But the officials from the tourism department had been claiming that they have got 15-20 bookings for the tour on December 22, however, they are now claiming that the bookings were meant for December 29 tour of the train.

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Any which way, for those who are willing to travel to Rajasthan through luxurious train journey, this is your another chance to book the “Palace on Wheels”  and enjoy an unimagined palace experience on wheels.

You may visit: https://www.palacesonwheels.com/tariff.html  for more details.

Image courtesy: Palace on Wheels official

Asia’s biggest jewellery event JJS to begin tomorrow

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The much awaited 14th edition of glittering jewellery event –  Jaipur Jewellery Show (JJS 2017) will begin from tomorrow i.e. 22nd December, 2017 at the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC) at Sitapura. The 4-day event will be organised on the theme “Ruby… Red, Rare and Royal” this year.

Spread over an area of 1.75 lakh sq. ft, B2C and B2B visitors will get to see more than 800 booths at the mega event. These booths will feature not only brilliant gemstones but also fashion jewellery in its contemporary as well as traditional forms. This was informed by the JJS Convener, Mr. Vimal Chand Surana. He further added that for the first time 3 stalls will be provided to the budding designers in the show by JJS. More than 180 top retailers are to participate in the show.

As per the spokesperson of the show, the JJS will have a new dimension this year in form of the Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival (JJDF). This festival will be an integrated part of the JJS for the first time and will now be a regular annual feature. JJDF will feature elements like talk shows, wall displays, idea café, book launch, bloggers’ meet, seminars and artist workshops. 

Spokesperson of JJS, Mr. Ajay Kala informed that more than 65% booths are made on raw space thereby meaning that they all are designer booths. The exhibitors spend, time and energy to beautify the booth.  Furthermore, there will be free shuttle service for the visitors from Ram Niwas Bagh and SMS Investment Ground to the venue from 9 am to 4 pm. From the JJS venue, the buses will leave from 1 pm to 7 pm. Special business hour timings from 10 am to 1.30 pm have been kept for B2B interactions for the convenience of the jewellers.

A roundup of most amazing Musical Festivals in Rajasthan

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Since decades Indian music enthusiasts salivated over international music festivals, like the kinds of  Coachella and Glastonbury. But not any more, now the desert state of Rajasthan, with an impressive calendar of music festivals is becoming India’s hottest music destinations. Off late, Rajasthan with its folk art culture is fast becoming the preferred music destination for music lovers. The audience for these festivals is largely from India. Although, there are some festivals in the state that also attract a bevy of international visitors as well as performers. Read about the most prominent Music Festivals of Rajasthan that one mustn’t miss –

Ranthambore Festival

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Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambhore (January 19-21, 2018)

Calling all music luminaries, nature lovers, wildlife conservationists, business thought leaders and social influencers to this enthralling jamboree. Get ready for a weekend filled with some amazing and educational experiences. You can look forward to an amazing selection of indigenous and international musical performances.

The festival lets you immerse in interactive music workshops, TED talks, Rajasthani folk art workshops, wildlife and nature panel discussions and wildlife film festival. The Ranthambore festival also has street theatre, yoga workshops, food, pop-up art and crafts stalls to keep you entertained.

The ambiance is perfect, the chance of spotting tigers is high, Rajasthani cuisine is delectable and the Ranthambore festival at Nahargarh Palace is on. Don’t keep Rajasthan waiting!

 

Udaipur World Music Festival

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Udaipur (February 9-11, 2018)

Nearly 150 artists from various countries converge in the city to combine genres and cultures through music. As with most festivals in Rajasthan, the ambience takes center stage with early morning concerts in the backdrop of Fateh Sagar Lake. While the 2018 line-up is yet to be officially announced, the 2017 edition featured artists from 16 countries, including the UK, Iran, Norway, Cuba and Switzerland.

Iranian American singer Azam Ali enthralled the audience with Electro Sufi World Music and Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal collaborated with Constantinople Ensemble from Canada. The finale performance was by the London Community Gospel Choir. Festival Director Sanjeev Bhargava says, “A festival of this scale featuring such diverse music from so many different continents and regions coming together in one of the best tourist destinations of India makes Udaipur a culturally vibrant destination.”

World Sacred Spirit Festival

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Jodhpur (February 16-17, 2018)

Held in February every year, the event brings lovers of Sufism together. Sufi poets sing renditions of Rumi and Bulley Shah as the crowds sway into a spiritual trance. Next year’s festival will be held at three different breathtaking venues, Mehrangarh Fort, Ahhichatragarh Fort of Nagaur and Toorji Stepwell Square, across the desert city of Jodhpur. Artistes scheduled to perform include sitar player Irshad Khan, folk singer and storyteller Parvathy Baul. musician Mehdi Nassouli, tabla player Zuheb Ahmed Khan from Palestine, flute player Lingling Yu from China and musicians Samuel Cattiau and Quentin Dujardin. Princess Shivranjani Rajye of Jodhpur curates the festival. Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur said “The festival is a pioneering effort in cultural conservation and music tourism in India.”

 

Magnetic Fields

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Alsisar Mahal, Rajasthan 

Held in December every year, Magnetic Fields has been growing in popularity organically. The festival’s main draw is the holistic experience which includes camping under the skies, discreet parties, dance and music in palace dungeons, art installations with jazz, jam and electronica.

The 2017 line-up included British artist Four Tet, Canadian composer and musician Dan Snaith, Your Chin by Mumbai based Raxit Tiwari, and Donal Bergin, a prominent name in London’s electronic music scene. The three-day carnival combines the history of the magnificent venue Alsisar Mahal with rustic pleasures, such as kite flying at sunset as electronic and jazz melodies resonate in the desert palace.