Category Archives: Pilgrimage Tourism

Rajasthan government gifts free air travel to senior citizens.

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Senior citizens of Rajasthan will now be able to travel abroad under the Senior Citizens Pilgrimage Scheme. Senior citizens will be able to travel to Kathmandu, Pashupatinath in Nepal by air. Devastation Minister Vishwaendra Singh has sealed the decision at a meeting of the state level committee at the tourism hall. This year, 5,000 passengers will travel on pilgrimage by air and 5,000 by rail.

Two new circuits have been added in rail travel and three in air travel. In the Dehradun-Haridwar-Rishikesh circuit, the pilgrims will be airlifted to Dehradun and from there by buses. In the Gangasagar-Southeshwar Kali-Velur Monastery-Kolkata circuit, devotees will be airlifted to the shrines by air and from there by bus. In the Pashupatinath Kathmandu circuit, the passengers will fly to Kathmandu by air and will be taken by bus to Pashupatinath from there.

In fact, earlier air travel included 6 circuits, which have been increased to 9. Meanwhile, two additional circuits have been added to the proposed Senior Citizens Pilgrimage Scheme. The rail journey includes Shri Govardhan-Nandgaon-Barsana-Mathura-Vrindavan circuit and Ajmer (Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti), Delhi (Dargah of Nizamuddin Auliya) and Fatehpur Sikri Agra (Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chishti) circuit.

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A piece of heaven in Rajasthan- Dausa

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A piece of heaven in Rajasthan- Dausa

The historic town of Dausa meaning beautiful like heaven is located 55 km from Jaipur (NH 11). It is also referred to as Dev Nagari. Far away from the bustling cities, it is popular for its temples all over India and has exemplary archaeological and excavation sites which you can visit this summer.

Chand Baori (Stepwell) – Abhaneri

Abhaneri is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dausa. Built back in 8th century, it is one of the deepest and largest stepwell in India. The phenomenal structure is 64 feet deep and consisted of 1000 perfectly symmetrical narrow steps, spanning 13 storeys.

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Harshat Mata Temple

Harshat Mata Temple is a magnificent piece of architecture and home to Harshat Mata, goddess of joy and happiness. It is adjacent to Chand Baori. The temple is decorated with domicile ceiling and pillars, carved with many sculptures and Brahmanical deities.

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Bhandarej

Tracing back to 11th century Bhandarej is a fine example of the splendid history of this region. It is located about 10 km from Dausa. The Baori (stepwell) is a fine example of the architecture with glorious walls, sculptures, ornamental lattice work (Jaalis) and stunning terracotta utensils, found in excavations, the region is also known for its carpet making.

Abhaneri Step Wells

 

Lotwara Garh (Fort)

Just 11 km from Abhaneri, the fort of Lotwara is another attraction of Dausa, built in 17th century by Thakur Ganga Singh. It is home to the largest peacock population in Lotwara.  The best way to reach the village is by road.

Jhajhirampura

Known for its spiritual glory, Jhajhirampura accommodates natural water tanks, temples comprising deities such as Rudra (Shiva), Balaji (Hanuman) and other Gods and Goddess. It is surrounded by hills and has immense natural beauty.

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Mehendipur Balaji

Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Mehendipur Balaji is 50 km from Dausa. The temple holds a lot of religious significance and is visited by locals as well as devotees from all over India. It is believed to hold a reputation for healing the mentally unbalanced, exorcism of evil spirits or black magic and attracts many pilgrims.

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Bandikui

Bandikui is the railway city, located about 35 km from Dausa. The Roman style church for Protestant Christians is a popular attraction in Bandikui, cast in stone and is located near the railway station. The church was built by King Shishir Shamsher Bahadur.

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Ranakpur Jain Temple- a striking destination of wonderful architecture

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Ranakpur Jain Temple- a striking destination of wonderful architecture

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It’s Mahaveer Jayanti today, and we are reminded of the most beautiful Jain temple in Rajasthan i.e Ranakpur Jain Temple!
Ranakpur Jain temple is a beautiful destination to experience the marvels of architecture in Rajasthan. The famous Jain temple is located near Sadri town in Pali district of Rajasthan.

The main attraction of the Ranakpur Jain temple is its architectural excellence and fine carvings on the walls. The major attraction of this temple is the Chaumukha marble temple.

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The temple comprises of 1444 pillars, each unique in architecture and design. These pillars in the temple are completely carved in a different manner without any similarities. Carvings of pillars are the peak level of architectural skills in this temple. Other than the pillars, the mesmerizing multi-curved ceilings catch the visitors’ attention. Ceilings of this temple are beautifully carved and designed with miniature designs, geometric designs. Not just the pillars and ceilings of the temple, some other beautiful carvings like Marble elephant are also the attractions of Ranakpur temple.

Ranakpur temple

So many sculptures and different fine carvings are the symbol of architectural style and preaches of Jainism. This temple is the best and unique place to experience the legends Jainism. The deities that are worshipped here are the Adinath, Neminath, Parshvanath, Surya, and Amba Matha. Among them, the Adinath temple means Chaumukha is visited by a maximum number of devouts.

Galta Ji Jaipur – The Sacred Kund of Natural Water Springs, Ponds and Cluster of Temples

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Decades ago in the year 1726, the Maharaja of Jaipur established this kingdom of royal architecture. Within the unfolding lanes of Jaipur you’ll find many temples and holy halts But the most fascinating and intriguing among them all is Galta Ji- the magnificent campus of temples, yes you read it right, it’s not just one temple but a marvelous cluster of numerous beautiful temples spread amid the boundaries of Aravali Hills. Unlike any other tourist spot in Jaipur, Galta ji is rather more popular among locals and pilgrims from adjoining villages for its religious significance.

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Dated back to 16th century, Galta Ji temple was developed further by Sawai Jai Singh II’s companion Vaishnavite Ramanandi Diwan Rao Kriparam. The temple complex however is named after the Saint Galav who spent his whole life in search of truth and meditated for 100 years within this compound. Touched by his perseverance, the Gods appeared before him and blessed this place with abundant water. So as to honour the great Saint Galav; the temple was named after him. The gaumukh shaped structures (Cow’s mouth) secretes holy water and the water from these natural springs is further accumulated in the ‘kunds’.

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Of all the seven tanks, the holiest is the Galta Kund, which never goes dry. The pre historic temple is flocked by thousands of pilgrims every year who believe that taking holy dip in these natural springs of Galta ji would wash off all their sins. Holy months or dates like Makar Sankranti, Ekadashi, the revered month Kartik ,which is currently going on, Purnima (Full moon night of Kartik month) are the important dates when the crowd of pilgrims is at its peak.

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Located 10-11 kms from Jaipur in the sprawling expanses, the striking temple of Galta ji appears more of a mansion replete with temples, pavilions, natural springs and sacred kunds. The compound of pink sandstone with brilliant layout is primarily dedicated to the Sun God that rests on the top of the temple which is decked up with intricate gazebos, carved pillars and painted walls.

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Galta ji also houses the temple of RamGopal ji- an architecturally beautiful temple dedicated to lord Vishnu whose Idol in the temple is unique that appears like Lord Krishna and Rama both. As per the legends, lord Krishna appeared before Goswami Tulsidas ji in the form of lord Rama. Hence we see the image of both lord Ram and Krishna in the idol.

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Another major attraction is Hanuman temple that stands out for being surrounded by hundreds of monkeys. When you enter the temple you’ll find a mass of monkeys ranging from babies to adults all playing around, sleeping, feeding and taking care of each other by grooming them. It totally feels like an empire of monkeys where you can feed them with bananas or nuts; which is also another way of washing off sins according to local guides and hawkers.

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Nevertheless this lush green landscape of nature, where the sight of bathing pilgrims, praying women, meditating monks, decorated cows and makeshift shops of attractive souvenirs offer another kind of solace, on the other hand the compassing hills, lush green vegetation with breathtaking landscapes, offer a mind blowing panorama of the surroundings and the Pink City.

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Galtaji Temple is a treasure trove of heritage and a sacred pilgrimage where pilgrims would dive into the kunds with the idea that they would receive a good karma, and monkeys are treated as sacred animal and worshiped like Gods.  A visit to Galta ji that attracts people from far lands owing to its tranquility, temples, kunds, people and pilgrims is one in a lifetime experience that not just offers a travel story but also fills your soul with sacred sanctifying thoughts while returning home!

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Pushkar Beyond Camels & Culture: A film by Pathfynder

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The sacred town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, popularly known as ‘Teerth Raj’, is a kaleidoscope of life, colours and culture where people of different regions and nation’s flock to immerse in its cultural galore!   For locals and foreigners alike, Pushkar, the city of absolute being has always been the destination of intrigue. What defines Rajasthan – where heritage meets architecture, culture meets legacy, nobility meets populace and colourful meets trippy – is what exemplifies Pushkar.

The vibrant city of Pushkar in Rajasthan comes alive during Pushkar Fair that raises the spirit of all. The annual Pushkar Fair is a spectacle that celebrates the rich culture of Rajasthan and the vibrant colours of the desert.  But the Fair is not just about camels and livestock trading. This is the time when entire Pushkar town bustles with liveliness which is to be experienced and lived.

The film by PATHFYNDER– ‘Pushkar-Beyond Camels and Culture’ is an attempt to capture the same spirit of Pushkar Fair.

 

Pushkar- a quintessential experience

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Pushkar- a quintessential experience

The architecture, monuments, history or the calmness and serenity normally defines the beauty of any city, but around 145 kms from Jaipur in Rajasthan, is the temple city of Pushkar which is famous for its Brahma temple (the only temple of Lord Brahma in the world) and Pushkar lake that raises the spirit of tourists.

Annual Pushkar Fair is an important event that takes place in the month of November every year but the fact is the place has its own charm when visited during off days.

Way To Pushkar-

2 hr. 30 min drive from Jaipur to Pushkar on a 6-lane highway NH48.

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As we moved towards winding through the endless vistas of Aravali hills and patches of sand and green fields of marigold farming, lay this beautiful town that bustles with huge crowd, temple bells and lively mesosphere.

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The boisterous bazaars of Pushkar is the spectacle that one shall never miss; the streets refreshed in the shades of red, yellow, pink, blue are, synonymous to the people of Rajasthan and its people.

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It’s interesting and fun to navigate on Pushkar’s narrow alleys on foot because anyway that is the only option. The streets scented with incense sticks along with marigold flowers and red roses — handicraft shops lined on both sides, choc-a-bloc with intricately designed cloth danglers, bags and other artifacts are so unique and distinctive that you would love to binge at each and every corner.

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Paraphernalia of Pushkar

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The decked up endless rows of Rajasthani paraphernalia in pulsating colours, is something beyond words. Tourists often carry back home these as souvenirs. It is difficult to muse on shops only because your eyes are utterly on a different sojourn.

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At once you’re looking at a monk with savage white stripes painted across his nose, sandal wood beads in his hand and at the same time your taste buds are titillating with the sight of Gulab Jamun and freshly made Malpua’s. Malpua is a sweet delicacy that is made best only in Pushkar.

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The Famous Malpua of Pushkar

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Pushkar is one hub of religious happenings but over a period of time it has become a hub of cultural extravaganza. All the streets of this beautiful and historic town lead to the Pushkar Lake through the tranquil Ghats.

Pushkar Ghat

Spend your day shopping and as the sun sets down sit by the lake side and witness the evening aarti performed on the ghat and soak yourself up in the chanting of hymns and mantras. Spiritual travelers must visit Pushkar as this is one lifetime experience to cherish.

Pushkar Evening aarti

Stay tuned to know about the places to stay in Pushkar in our next blog 🙂

 

Phagotsav at Govind Dev ji Temple Jaipur

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The Pink City witnesses a beautiful melange of colors, culture and celebration of love at the Govind Dev ji Temple during Phaagotsav!  An annual cultural festival with devotional songs, classical and traditional dance, drama and music dedicated to Lord Krishna is held every year at the popular temple of Govind Dev Ji in City Palace of Jaipur.

The Phagotsav at Govind Dev Ji Temple offers to see a marvelous extravaganza of dance and music with flower holi followed by Gulal holi.  The main attraction remains various cultural performances by artists disguised as Lord Krishna, Radha ji and numerous gopis. They dance and portray the bliss of holi with flower petals during the phaagotsav in the temple premises with thousands of devotees thronging the temple. The festival is culminated with Kalash Yatra.

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During the Phaagotsav, the temple celebrates love between Radha and Krishna! It is believed that Radha ji was always full of love and dedication towards Lord Krishna. She is seen as the divine energy “Maha Bhava” of Lord Krishna. The devotees at the temple visit the temple with a spirit that the supreme goal of oneself is to attain selfless love of Radha and Krishna to get liberated.

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The three days ‘Phagotsav’ has already begun from today at the Govind Devji Temple. Devotees are enjoying the devotional songs of Radha Krishna and by playing holi of flower petals. This has been a tradition that dates back to several hundred years to come and play Holi with one another with devotional fervor.