Category Archives: Incredible Rajasthan

Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur to represent Indian Polo Team in Iran

Standard

 

hh3

The Polo lovers will once again witness some thrilling action on the field of Iran this year. HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, erstwhile Jaipur royal and one of the youngest players  has been selected in the Indian Polo Team. He is just 18 years and youngest ever player to represent India in a World Cup match. The XI World Cup Zonal Play Offs are scheduled to be held in Iran from 29 June to 7 July this year.

Maharaja Padmanabh Singh has shown outstanding polo skills and performance in the past few years in the different tournaments. Within a short span of time his handicap has also risen to +2. The other players selected in the team are: Lt. Col. Ravi Rathore (+5); Abhimanuyu Pathak (+5); Angad Kalaan (+4); Siddhant Sharma (+3) and Pranav Kapur (+2).  The team will leave for conditioning cum coaching programme shortly.

hh6

It is to be recalled that the last time India had won the World Cup was in France in 1957 under the captaincy of late HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur. It is also to be noted that the present World Cup is now known as ‘Jaipur World Cup’. It was presented by late HH Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh in Buenos Aires in 1982.

HHPadmanabh

Incidentally, Maharaja Padmanabh Singh is the second player from the erstwhile Jaipur Royal Family to represent the country in the World Cup. He is the Brand Ambassador for the leading and prestigious Argentinean leisure polo-centric company, La Martina. He studied in Mayo College in Ajmer and Millfield School in London where he  excelled himself in the game of polo.

An elated young Maharaja of Jaipur said: “It is indeed gratifying to learn that I have been selected in the Indian Polo team to represent for the World Cup. I am further inspired to do my utmost for contributing to the game of polo and keeping the long standing legacy of Jaipur for this game alive.”

Image Courtesy: HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh’s Facebook Account

Different Shades of Jawahar Kala Kendra

Standard

Most people are familiar with the proud center of art & crafts and in fact a lot more than that with Jawahar Kala Kendra aka JKK in Jaipur. Like the rest of Jaipur’ wisely chalked out architecture and planning,  JKK boasts of an architecture that spellbinds a beholder at just one glance. No doubt, when the place is so unique and the location is worth shooting it is common to capture the same by one and all using own artistic spin.

JKK EntranceHistory of Jawahar Kala Kendra

Dedicated to India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, Jawahra Kala Kendra is truly metaphoric to the city of Jaipur i.e. an astonishing synthesis of past and future. A contemporary building based on an archaic notion of the Cosmos; the very same Navgaraha mandala, with one of the squares moved aside and beautiful murals inside, based on cosmology.

IMG_0035 copyJKK was built by Rajasthan Government with the plan prepared by the renowned architect Charles Correa in 1986. The building was ready in 1991 and of course, the plan was inspired by the original city plan of Jaipur, consisting of nine squares with central square left open.

IMG_0109 copy

This multi-arts center has been created  with the purpose of preserving Rajasthani arts and crafts and it was in 1993 that JKK was open to the cultural connoisseurs. 

IMG_9932 copyBuilt by Rajasthan government with the purpose of preserving Rajasthani arts and crafts, JKK adapts and applies concepts from ancient architectural principles called the Vastu Vidya.

IMG_0114 copy

The main building contains six exhibition galleries, open air theatre, auditoriums, dormitories, and coffee house.

IMG_0135 copyEach section of the building resembles the characteristics of the respective planet; for instance, the library is located in the Jupiter section, which attributes to knowledge and wisdom.

IMG_9960

The murals from the Jain mythology, the charts and paintings on the ceiling of the central dome formulate the exceptional nature of JKK.

JKK- Central Foyer

 

However, while preserving the cultural heritage and art of the state, JKK saw age catching up as far as maintenance of its building was concerned. Hence, it was revived and refurbished in 2016.

IMG_0700 copyWith the new lighting and the red sandstone could once again be seen shining clean and attractive enough to draw towards it a swarm of tourists, history lovers, local residents and art aficionados.

IMG_0079 copyRight from the entrance till the exit, every corner, center and even the smallest parts of Jawahar Kala Kendra either tell or make a story.

IMG_0028 copy

The building is designed with walls bearing paintings, murals, all of them based on astronomy and cosmology, but there are some which also give an honest tribute to art and theatre.

IMG_9973 copy

One of the oldest and most iconic coffee houses of Jaipur – Indian Coffee House, houses in its newly revamped look an admirable mural of Ebrahim Alkazi – a living legend who is one of the most influential Indian theatre directors and drama teachers belonging to 20th-century Indian theatre. 

IMG_9952

The Coffee House in the lunar section portrays the less revealed aspects of Indian astronomy through the paintings and creativity shown here; even on the coffee – tables. Every table depicts a different phase of Moon as seen in a painting at the coffee house.

IMG_0230

Adjoining the main building of JKK, a rural complex housed in it 9.5 acre complex known as Shilpgram is the venue for fairs, haat bazaars and festivals.

IMG_0724 copy

IMG_0008 copy

Let’s take a walk through this ultimate hub of arts and crafts through this video-

Kota Citrus Fruit Centre Developed 24 Varieties Of Citrus Fruits

Standard

Agricultural Tourism is a new trend in Rajasthan and we are happy to report that Rajasthan’s popular city Kota has some good news for the agriculture and farming enthusiasts!

It came out as a great announcement that around 24 varieties of citrus fruits are being developed at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Citrus Fruits at Nanta near Kota. The project, which methodically came in progress in 2014-15, is fast making waves as the state-of-the-art centre for plant development and orchard management of citrus fruits. Spread over 6.8 hectares, the primary objective of the centre is to develop citrus fruit saplings. This was informed by the Principal Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture, Government of Rajasthan, Ms. Neelkamal Darbari.

Citrus 3

Among the 24 varieties developed are Clementine, Michale Daisy, Kinnow, Nagpur Mandarin, Nagpur Seedless, Jaffa among others.

 

Ms. Darbari further said that the plant development and orchard management for developing these fruits are based on Israeli technology like mulch, drip and ridge bed system for irrigation. Within a short span of time the Centre is grafting 50,000 plants annually. The Centre has largely achieved its objective of producing disease free and high quality planting material. It is also doing its bit for creating new varieties of citrus fruits suitable for export in the global market. The centre also aims in promoting mechanization in orchard operations. The development of intensive horticulture technologies, spreading awareness about post-harvest and value addition technologies, fertilization and irrigation management techniques are its long term goals.

Citrus 2

According to Principal Secretary Agriculture the forthcoming Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Kota later this month, the Centre will be drawing attention for the yeoman service it is providing to the citrus fruit industry of the region. Needless to say that the potential of post-harvest processing projects will be explored by the investors at GRAM.

The Director Horticulture, Mr. Vijay Pal Singh said  that the project has the facilities of a primary nursery (plant grafting), a second nursery (budding), protected mother block (nurturing mother plants), open mother block (mother plants located outside the green house) and two demonstrations of root stock and inter space.

Mr. Singh further added that the centre has proved to be a boon for the region considering that the citrus production of fruits is its strength. The climate is suitable for orange orchards. Kota division is contributing 98% of the State produce in terms of ‘Nagpur Orange’. While majority of oranges produced here are Nagpur – there is scope of introduction of new varieties of oranges like Jaffa, Valencia and Daisy.

citrus 1

The post harvesting investment possibilities will relate to projects for orange grading, waxing and packing. With Kota division being strong in orange production (Jhalawar district being the largest in the State for the produce), there is immense potential for packaging and branding operations of the locally sourced fruit as well. The Department is mulling of marketing the produce as ‘Raj Santara’.

 

 

A voyage to discover the City Palace by night-Jaipur!

Standard

To the eye, Jaipur offers a landscape of opulence that tells of a magnificent and bygone but always a well-built era. The capital city of Rajasthan is the most flamboyant and colorful city and the rulers always have that flair to preserve heritage of this world’s most fancied destination that opens its windows to many wonders. Of all the beautiful monuments of this city, there is one, which is a treasure trove of centuries old art and craft, a place that loves fêtes, refreshes the glorious past through a spectacle Sculpture Lumiére Show and where one can experience an unparalleled gateway to Rajasthan’s Royal hospitality under the magnificent dining arcades of Baradari restaurant- The City Palace, Jaipur.

So, let yourself loose on a voyage of discovering the City palace, at night. Located in the heart of the city in a rambling walled enclosure, the splendor of this Palace turns manifold when seen under the pristine night sky.

IMG_7980 (1)-001.JPG

The City Palace, Jaipur-History

The City Palace in Jaipur is spread out over a seven interconnected courtyards. Some courtyards are now public property. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II as part of his ambitious city project founded it in 1727, and his successors continued to ornament and add to the elegant buildings up until the 20th century. The palace has always been much more than the grand residence of a royal family. It was also, from the start, a centre of patronage of the arts and of learning, and with its many temples; it is also a place of ritual and worship. On important festival days such as Gangaur and Teej, the procession of the image of the Goddess through the streets unites the City Palace and the people of the city in shared celebrations. Today, the palace has thrown open its exclusive spaces to the public through the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, welcoming domestic and international visitors from far and wide.

The Museum began during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II in 1952, when the Silehkhana and an Art Gallery were opened to the public. At that time, a turban or pagri was a part of the entrance requirement for male visitors, as wearing one was the contemporary etiquette of the Palace. In 1959, a Textile and Costume gallery was added (in the Mubarak Mahal), and the Museum was formally named the Maharaja of Jaipur Museum. In 1972, after the death of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, his son and successor Brigadier Maharaja SawaiBhawani Singh reorganized the museum to expand the collections and buildings, and renamed both the Museum and its managing Trust in honour of his father.

Voyage at Night

IMG_7979-001.JPG

Based on our personal experience, we will take you to discover City Palace but remember, the City Palace is beautiful by day but simply stunning by night.

As Rajasthan Tourism Buzz was invited to take this royal tour, we moved inside from the ceremonial Tripolia Gate that takes us straight to Mubarak Mahal. Usually, only royal family uses this gate.

FullSizeRender 4.jpg

Traditinal Welcome

Mubarak Mahal – As you enter from Tripolia gate, the first thing that your eyes meet is the striking Mubarak Mahal, which was commissioned by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II in the year 1900 for use as a guesthouse to receive foreign visitors. As it was situated in the outermost courtyard of the palace, it allowed him to be a gracious host while maintaining his, and his family’s privacy.

Now, this elaborately decorated building displays the museum’s textiles collection. This embraces all textiles bought for or collected and used by the men and women of the royal family, irrespective of where they were made. No doubt, City Palace has the largest group of historic royal textiles surviving in India today. These are usually part of the personal collection and being relatively fragile, do not last long.

IMG_7962-001

Opposite there is Painting and Photography Gallery, which is the latest edition in 2015. There is a broad selection of pictures from the Museum’s reserve collections that have been displayed for the first time. Many new and interesting stories about the paintings have emerged as a result. The exhibition begins in the era of the founder, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, in the 18th century and concludes after Indian independence in 1947, when ruler of the time, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, was no longer the sovereign ruler of Jaipur, but the democratically appointed symbolic head or Rajpramukh of the Indian state of Rajasthan.This room contains paintings bought for and commissioned by the founder and his sons.

IMG_5855-001.JPG

IMG_5863.JPG

Sarvato Bhadra- 

Sarvato Bhadra Chowk.jpg

Image Courtesy-City Palace Official

The SarvatoBhadra (where the famous silver urns are displayed) is built on a plinth or platform, with marble pillars that hold up the roof. SarvatoBhadra means single-storeyed, square, open hall, with enclosed rooms at the four corners. The rest of this building and the courtyard around it is built with ordinary stone pieces, finished smoothly with plaster and then painted pink. One use of the SarvatoBhadra was as the Divan-e-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, which meant the ruler, could hold court with the officials and nobles of the kingdom in a more private, intimate space than the grand spaces of the SabhaNiwas which was open to more people. But it’s also one of the most important ritual buildings in the complex, and continues to be so today, representing ‘living heritage’. The SarvatoBhadra is at its glorious best when illuminated with lights at night.

Pritam Niwas Chowk

The gate on the western side of the Sarvato Bhadra courtyard is called Riddhi-Siddhi Pol. Unlike most of the other gates, which are only plastered and painted, this gate is decorated with beautifully carved marble, giving us a hint about its importance – it was used by the Maharajas to enter their private residence! It leads into the Pritam Niwas Chowk, with the 7-storey Chandra Mahal on the right.

The courtyard is rectangular and has the famous painted and carved gateways. All four arched and painted gateways carry pictures of dancing peacocks and blossoming lotus flowers. Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, who lived about 200 years ago, built them. The courtyard was used for the Maharajas’ private gatherings and events, and the women could look down on them the same way they looked at functions in the Sabha Niwas.

Opulence – Museum at Night with Sculpture Lumiére Show

Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust has recently started a Sculpture Lumière Show, created by the world’s renowned light artist Patrick Rimoux, an introduction by the Shri Amitabh Bachchan and the State Anthem which has been revived by the Jaipur royal family and re-recorded by Rajasthan Roots inside the City Palace for visitors.

IMG_7989-001.JPG

The Museum at Night offers an élite experience of the City Palace. The buildings are specially lit and magically transformed, and selected galleries are open for viewing. The Sculpture Lumiére Show is an enlightening experience, basking in the glory of its past to today’s royal family it takes you on a enchanting journey covering the history of Jaipur and its rulers, through images from the Museum collection, video, and graphics, all projected onto the walls of the SarvatoBhadraChowk, and the Chandra Mahal. Guests can visit the illuminated palace buildings, courtyards and museum galleries before the Sculpture Lumiére Show.

IMG_5909.JPG

Chandra Mahal

Drenched in the spirit of pride, Chandra Mahal or the moon palace was the main residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It is seven storeys high, and was built in just seven years. The state flag of Jaipur, called the panchranga, or five-color flutters on the top. You may notice a smaller, quarter flag flying above it. That denotes that the Maharaja is in residence and is connected with the title ‘Sawai’ that is added to the names of the rulers of Jaipur. The founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh the second, was honoured by the Emperor Aurangzeb with the title of ‘Sawai’ literally meaning ‘one and a quarter’.

IMG_8009-001.JPGThe seven storied building, Chandra Mahal is built with such proportion that one can hardly realize its grand scale without going around its various apartments. The walls of the verandah of Chandra Mahal on the first floor are covered with life size portraits of Jaipur rulers painted by German Artist A.H. Muller during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. The verandah faces Royal Jai Niwas gardens, GovindDevji temple and the scenic view of the tiger fort on the Aravali Mountains all in one line.

The second storey of Chandra Mahal is Sukh Niwas. The gilded room has walls decorated with gold work from over 200 years ago. The room is full of royal memorabilia, including the famous Lalique Peacock table, an incredible piece specially made for the Royal Family of Jaipur by the world renowned artist Marc Lalique.

Chandra Mahal’s third storey, called Rang Mandir is embellished with mirrors on the walls, pillars and ceilings.

The fourth storey is called Shobha Niwas. Created in 18th century, it is a room of mirrors embellished with decorations in colour and gold. This is the point that heralds all the royal ceremonies.

IMG_8013-001

The fifth storey is the Chhavi Niwas, which is painted with floral pattern in blue & white to depict the reflection of clouds in the sky.

IMG_8018-001.JPG

The Sixth storey of the palace is Sri Niwas, one of the finest examples of Mughal artwork decorated with mirror & gold during 18th century. The reflections of the intricate glass work in candlelight is a treat to the viewer’s eye.

The top of Chandra Mahal or seventh storey is known as Mukut Mandir. It is the crown of the royal Palace over which the flag of Jaipur flies relentlessly. One can have a panoramic view of the walled city of Jaipur from the Mukut Mandir. While standing on the terrace you will find that there is something that carries a whiff of magic about the most beautiful city of Jaipur from here.

Baradari Restaurant

IMG_5956-001.JPG

When grandeur of past magically blends with avant-garde settings, a gorgeous ambiance is conceived, which can be experienced at the restaurant, Baradari the latest in a series of initiatives by the Jaipur royal family for the visitors at City Palace. It wraps around the courtyard of what was once the historic service court of the City Palace. With cooling water cascades and an elegant bar that plays with the traditional form of baradari (a columned, open pavilion), it is the perfect place to conclude a visit to the Museum, or to host a meal. It serves sumptuous Indian and international cuisines in elegant surroundings and also runs a Snack Bar for the convenience of visitors who wishes to grab a meal on the go. Baradari has won the INSIDE Award for the Best Building in the Creative Re-use category.

So the next time you are planning a trip to Jaipur in Rajasthan,  soak in the character of beauty and royal grandeur at the City Palace during night!

Visit the 8 best heritage monuments and sites of Rajasthan on World Heritage Day

Standard

World Heritage Day is celebrate across the globe on 18th April every year. It is not just a day to cherish the monuments from history, but to raise awareness about protecting our history and culture.  Rajasthan is globally popular for its rich heritage of architecture and culture. Having some of the best forts, palaces and monuments are till date maintained in really good conditions as they are very precious to the lives of Rajasthanis.

1) Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Recognized as the World Heritage Site, this observatory fascinates the visitors with the collection of various  astronomical instruments which were used earlier to know the correct timings through the movement of celestial bodies.

IMG_7527

2) Chittorgarh Fort, Chittor

One of the largest forts of India, it is the true epitome of Rajputana pride and vigor. This massive fort though being attacked thrice by the enemies, couldn’t take over the powerful people of this place. The fort of Chittor is known for its own beauty and uniqueness.

87

3) City Palace, Udaipur

The grandness of this palace can be seen now, as it took almost 400 years to construct this complex. The attractiveness of this palace is shown more effectively as it is surrounded by Lake Pichola. This magnificent palace stands as a fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.

Lake Pichola

4) Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

One of the largest private residences of the world is the house of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. Not only being a private residence, it also provides the chance to experience the royal and luxurious life at the Taj Palace Hotel in Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur.

100_1254

5) Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace Of Winds is situated in the capital city of the state of Rajasthan. Its walls of pink color give a hint of the Pink City – Jaipur. It was constructed especially for the royal women to be a part of the festivities, as they were secluded from the society by ‘parda’ system. Having its own history, today gives it a worldwide recognition.

Hawa Mahal

6) Chand Baori, Abhaneri

A 13 storey step well is one of the oldest and most attractive landmarks of Rajasthan. Constructed mainly to conserve water in the dry desert of Rajasthan is an architectural wonder in itself.

Chand Boari

7) Amer Fort

Amer or Amber Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is among the most visited places in Jaipur. The fort situated high on a hill overlooking the Maota Lake, is spread over a vast area with four levels. Every evening, the fort hosts a spellbinding Light and Sound Show. With a blend of folk music, the show brings to life the legends, history, traditions and cultures of the Rajputs and Jaipur City.

Amer Fort, Jaipur

8) City Palace Jaipur

Located in the heart of the old city of Jaipur, City Palace is where the Kachwaha Rajput clan ruled from. Built in the 18th Century, the Palace is a blend of Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture. Within the premises, one will find many gardens, ravishing courtyards and a Museum displaying many artefacts from the bygone era. Buildings like Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Maharani Palace add to the allure of the Palace. Their richly crafted walls and ceiling, marble flooring and the mirror work are just an addition to the beauty of the palace. Govind Dev Ji temple, which is in the palace premises, is also a major tourist attraction and sees a heavy footfall daily.

City Palace Jaipur

Behold the colourful extravaganzas of Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan

Standard
Behold the colourful extravaganzas of Gangaur Festival in Rajasthan

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-30 at 10.47.51 AM

Vibrant clothes, mehandi designed hands, sounds of folk music, temple hymns and decorated streets! Gangaur festival offers a beautiful blend of religious and colourful extravaganzas in the culturally rich state of Rajasthan. It is among the most enthusiastically celebrated fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. Celebrated across the state, Gangaur reserves a remarkable seat in Jaipur. It is held in the months of March or April. This year’s dates are 30th and 31st March.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-30 at 10.47.52 AM

Gangaur festival in Rajasthan is also considered as a celebration of ‘Martial Fidelity‘. Onlookers, especially tourists, find it exciting to watch the various ceremonies and activities of the festivals and show keen interest in learning about the culture.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-30 at 10.47.50 AM

You’d love to catch a glimpse of groups of womenfolk, who are the main participants of the festival. They enthusiastically adorn the idols of Eesar (Lord Shiva) and Gaur (Goddess Gauri), the consort of Lord Shiva. The intensity of faith that is manifested as clay idols of Eesar and Gaur is worth admiring. Another noticeable thing would be the women, who beautifully adorn themselves with vibrant outfits and traditional jewellery. The festivals add spark to Rajasthan tourism by attracting people from foreign lands who are inclined towards culture.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-30 at 10.47.54 AM

The belief working behind the Gangaur festival is  the hope that the worship would bring harmony in the lives of married women. Serving as the well-known Rajasthan attractions, the festival is equally important for unmarried girls as they get a good husband.

Gangaur Festival Rajasthan

The Gangaur festival in Jaipur is celebrated with great fervor in the royal families of Rajasthan as well. Magnificent human size idols of Eesar Gangaur are placed in the City Palace and other royal houses for worshiping. The royal women also get mehandi (Heena) applied on their hands by expert professionals.

mehndi-jb

The most exciting part of the festival is when women take out the Gangaur processions on the street, followed by immersing these idols in river or lake. The euphonic voice of ladies while singing the traditional songs, dedicated to the Gods is mesmerizing.

gangaur-festival

Pic: Google

While in Rajasthan, especially Jaipur, don’t miss to sweeten your tongues with finger licking “Ghewar”, a sweet dish that specially being distributed on the occasion.
Ghewar

Free Bus Rides for the Women in Rajasthan on International Women’s Day

Standard

buspic02112015

Rajasthan State Road Transport has a gift for all women of the state. On the occasion of International Women’s Day Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation has decided to make bus rides free for women on 8th March’17 till the midnight.

The offer can be availed on all buses except Ac & Volvo ones.