Category Archives: Rajasthan Forts

Chittorgarh Fort, the Witness to the Valor of Rajput Queen Padmavati

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Chittorgarh Fort, the Witness to the Valor of Rajput Queen Padmavati

Chittor established in 728 AD by Bappa Rawal is one of the oldest cities of Rajasthan. The imposing Chittorgarh Fort here among the oldest in the state is not only grand to look at but also has equally grand stories attached to it. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chittorgarh fort might be in ruins now but that doesn’t diminish its importance.

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The fort has total seven gates or Pol-  Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jodla Pol, Laxman Pol and Ram Pol which is the main gate. A circular road in the fort links all the gates.

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Vijay Stambh is called the symbol of Chittor and was built by Rana Kumbha to celebrate his victory over Mahmud Shah I Khilji. The 72 feet high Kirti Stambh built by a businessman, Jijaji Rathore is dedicated to the first Jain tirthankar Adinath.

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There are 130 temples in the fort premises. The most popular ones are- Meerabai Temple, Kumbha Shyam Temple (Varaha Temple), Kalika Mata temple and Tulja Bhawani temple.

 

The three-storied Rani Padmini’s palace is surrounded by a water-body. Legend has it that Sultan of Delhi Alauddin Khilji saw the Padmavati’s image in the same water-body and got attracted to her.

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The fort has another impressive palace known as Rana Kumbha Palace. This is the place where Rani Padmini, Rani Nagmati and other women of the fort did Jauhar. Jauhar was a Rajput tradition where women immolated themselves on burning fire when the defeat in a war was certain. It was done to not get caught by vicious attackers. The brave Rajput warriors fought to death but never surrendered. This reflects the courage and pride of Rajput clan.

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Chittorgarh Fort was attacked thrice, once each by Alauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah and Akbar. The story of the attack by, Alauddin Khilji is the most well-known. Poet Malik Mohammad Jayasi wrote a poem known as Padmavat which mentions the legend. According to the poem- Rani Padmini or Padmavati was the wife of Rawal Ratan Sen the ruler of Chittor. Padmavati was exceptionally beautiful and hearing about her beauty, Alauddin Khilji attacked Chittorgarh to get the queen. A battle ensued where Ratan Sen was killed and Rani Padmavati along with Rani Nagmati and other women committed Jauhar.

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The authenticity of this story has not been established but that hasn’t made it any less popular. Jauhar was anyway a tradition. It shows that Rajput women were symbols of gallantry, honor and culture. The upcoming Hindi movie ‘Padmavati’ has got mired in controversies over various events depicted in it. The idea of taking creative liberties might not have gone down well with some people but the fact remains that a movie cannot lessen a fearless woman. Whatever is shown in a movie can’t take away from history and what Rajput women stand for.

If you are also enamored by the legends and want to witness the place where it all happened, head to Chittorgarh Fort.

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Segway Scooters for Tourists at Nahargarh and Amer Fort

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Segway scooters are coming along, riding all the way  to Rajasthan 😀 Yes you heard it right! Now you have a chance to be Akshay Kumar or a carefree child! Starting from today, the tourists visiting Amer and Nahargarh forts in Rajasthan will have an add-on adventure experience of riding a Segway scooter other than elephant rides.

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Picture – Hridesh Kumar Sharma, Director Dept. of Archaeology & Museums

Rajasthan’s archaeological department has inked an agreement with a private firm, which will provide the paid scooters  which will run on batteries. These eco-friendly and battery-operated self-balancing scooters are a hit among people abroad, and now they will run in Rajasthan too.

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The scooter service will initially be started at Jaleb Chowk in Amer and Nahargarh fort, and the company will charge ₹200 for a ride, a tourism official informed.

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The ride will be available between 11am and 3.30pm when the elephant ride is not there, and after 5pm.

 

 

Kumbhalgarh Festival kicked off today

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The unconquered fort of Kumbhalgarh is majestic, and the stern and strong stature of the fort is amazingly inspiring!  To patronize the overall aura  and magnificence of Kumbhalgarh area, the tourism department of Rajasthan has organized an exquisite festival- ‘Kumbhalgarh Festival’ purely dedicated to the place!

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Kumbhalgarh Festival, every year, in all its glory promotes the artistic and cultural heritage of the place. It is a beautiful effort of the tourism department of Rajasthan, which is primarily divided into two parts-Folk performances at the daytime and an impressive show of light and sound at night.  It is also a platform where India’s finest classical musician, artists and renowned dancers assemble to delight the viewers with their best performances. Among the highlights of this festival includes the dance performance by local artists. Indulging games and sports such as musical chairs, turban tying and tug of war are also a part of the festival that encourages tourists to participate and enjoy.

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The festival has kicked off today i.e 01- 03 December 2016 .If you are somewhere near or around Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this fun filled festival.

Here are the rushes from the festival held in March this year 🙂 

Jodhpur’s “Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF)” is here to spark up the moods!

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On chilling October evenings, when the sun is setting and the sky is filled with orange and reddish hues, you hear light music passing by your ears and the wind embracing your skin gently.  Everybody wrapped in shawls and sweaters, occupying their place on the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and listening to the enthralling music of Rajasthani Folk musicians. This is exactly how the setting of Jodhpur’s Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) is, which is conducted every year in and around Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort.

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Image via Google

Jodhpur RIFF is among the world’s top 25 music concerts which soak you totally into Rajasthani culture. This year, the fest is being conducted from 13th to 17th October. The event goes on from day to night where talented performers showcase their area of expertise and enthrall the spectators. From Rajasthani folk music to traditional dances, from circus acts to plays, everything keeps people engaged throughout.

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Image via Google

The Festival should not to be missed by anyone because this can only be experienced once in a year. The schedule for this year’s RIFF is as below:

Date Event(s) Time Venue
13-Oct Children’s Folk Morning 9.30 AM to 2.00 PM Veer Durgadas Memorial Park,

Jodhpur

Opening Night – Variety City Concert 8.30 PM to 10.00 PM
14-Oct 1)      Jodhpur RIFF DAWNS with the Meghwal of Marwar 5.30 AM to 7.30 AM Jaswant Thada (outside

Mehrangarh Fort)

2)      Kahaniyan Kahan hai? 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM Chokelao Bagh (Mehrangarh

Fort)

3)      Living Legends I 5.45 PM to 7.15 PM Lift Terrace

(Mehrangarh Fort)

4)      MOODY RIFF 7.45 PM onwards Old Zenana Courtyard

(Mehrangarh Fort)

5)      Desert Lounge (all acoustic, traditional – from Rajasthan) 11.30pm onwards Rao Jodha Park (Mehrangarh

Fort)

15-Oct 1)      RIFF DAWNS with Bhaga Khan Manganiyar 5.30 AM to 7.30 AM Jaswant Thada (outside

Mehrangarh Fort)

2)      Where do we go from here? An interaction with the next generation of Langa and Manganiyar musicians and their teachers. In Residence II – a series of interactive sessions with our custodians of culture 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM Chokelao Bagh (Mehrangarh

Fort)

3)      Living Legends II 5.45 PM to 7.15 PM Lift Terrace

(Mehrangarh Fort)

4)      STRINGS and BEATS 7.45 PM onwards Old Zenana Courtyard (Mehrangarh Fort)
5)      CLUB MEHRAN 11.30 PM onwards Venue to be confirmed
16-Oct 1)      RIFF DAWNS with Smita Bellur 5.30 AM to 7.30 AM Jaswant Thada (outside Mehrangarh Fort)
2)      Winds of the Thar – The aero-phonic instruments of Rajasthan In Residence III – a series of interactive sessions with our custodians of culture 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM Chokelao Bagh (Mehrangarh Fort)
3)      MOONRISE SPECIAL 5.30 pm to 7.00 pm Jaswant Thada (outside Mehrangarh Fort)
4)      INSIGHTS 7.30 PM onwards Old Zenana Courtyard (in Mehrangarh Fort)
5)      RIFF Rustle at Club Mehran with Ben Walsh and a pick of Rajasthani and international artists from the festival 11.30 PM onwards Old Zenana Courtyard (in Mehrangarh Fort)
17-Oct RIFF DAWNS with Jasleen Kaur Monga and Gurmat sangeet 5.30 AM to 7.30 AM Jaswant Thada (outside Mehrangarh Fort)

For more information, please visit http://www.jodhpurriff.org/index.php

Explore nightlife of Jaipur with “Jaipur by Nite” on September 16 & 17

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Great news has arrived for all those who would love to experience night life in Rajasthan. An event called Jaipur by Night is being conducted to promote night tourism in Jaipur. This is going to take place on 16th and 17th September.

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Band performing in musical night at “Jaipur By Nite” held in 2014

The event will begin with various performances. In fact, 16th will be dedicated to the cultural performances at the majestic Jaigarh Fort. The entry will begin from 5.30 pm onward where Rajasthani troupe will be performing at Chowk 1 & 2 on the beats of vibrant music while others will be showcasing the various other forms of art such as puppet dance, caricature artist, magic show, handicraft show, live painting at night etc.

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Glimpse of musical night at “Jaipur By Nite” held in 2014

A musical concert will also follow at Char Bagh in which the pioneer of Indian pop music, Euphoria will make you tap your feet to the beat of their music. Rajasthan Roots, which is a world’s famous band of folk musicians from Rajasthan, will make you groove under the sheet of stars in the moonlit skies. Then, the event will come to an end with dinner.

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Musical night at “Jaipur By Nite” held in 2014

The next day, Jaipur will experience its first after sunset marathon at night at Clarks Amer. The marathon has been divided into two tracks;

10k with timing chip for age group of 14 years and above

5k without timing chip and for all age group.

There will be other attractions running along like roadside bands, music and nukkad show on the theme etc.

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Jaigarh Fort

The charges for the event are as mentioned below-

Cultural night at Jaigarh Fort – Rs 2500

10k Marathon – Rs 1000

5k Marathon – Rs 500

For more details, please visit http://www.jaipurbynite.com/

Restoration work of the haunted Kuldhara village of Rajasthan began from September 11

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From colorful clothes to the dark haunted places, Rajasthan is a state which doesn’t only attract tourists to the rich heritage it has but also to various stories that it carries in its baggage of secrets.

Kuldhara is an abandoned village in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan which is known to be haunted. This tourist attraction site is made accessible to people by Rajasthan Government only in the daytime as it is said that no one can ever spend a complete night here. Its unresolved mystery fascinates a lot of travelers who keenly devote their time looking for answers. Some just visit to click pictures and others consider it an adventurous expedition.

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The Kuldhara village is completely into ruins now and it’s just a few two-storied buildings that remain intact. There were some who tried to come back to the village but couldn’t stay. It is also said that curse comes to those who try to move even single pebble from its place.

Pic Courtesy: Gaurav Hajela

There are various stories connected as to why the place was abandoned. Some say that the ruler of the state imposed heavy taxes on the people due to which they has to move and the others say that the ruler loved a Brahmin girl and to save her from atrocities, everyone left the village. However, the true reasons stand unknown.

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Now, due to rising attraction to this place, Rajasthan Government started the restoration work on Sunday, September 11, 2016. During the restoration, there will be no fiddling with the original ancient heritage of Kuldhara, no structure including the houses would be relocated from the present location and the roads leading to Kuldhara will also be taken care of. The village will be conserved and beautified and will also be prevented from thefts of its ancient artefacts. As the village will regain its lost glory, it is considered that the tourism will also increase manifold.

Where to Stay, Eat, Visit and Shop in Jaipur This Long Weekend

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Where to Stay, Eat, Visit and Shop in Jaipur This Long Weekend

Pink City, Jaipur is among the most loved cities of India. The city has always been a favorite of domestic and international tourists due to its cultural heritage. You get the regal experience in every corner of the city. Now that a long weekend is just around the corner, many people are planning to soak in the aura of this city. If you are also planning a trip to Jaipur this weekend or some other time, here is a quick guide to help you plan-

Hawamahal Jaipur Beat

 

Stay Here

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A beautiful place with courteous staff is everyone’s choice of stay. Jaipur has many good hotels where you can stay alone, with family or with friends. You can stay in the heart of city at Devraj Niwas and Zone By The Park for good service at reasonable prices.

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For the taste of Rajasthani heritage, Rawla Narlai Resort and Alsisar Haveli are totally suitable. Jaipur also has many international hotels like Radisson Blue, Marriott and Hilton which provide global experience in traditional Pink City.

 

Eat Here

All the hotels mentioned above have their in-house restaurants where you get a wide variety of national and international cuisines. The Forresta Kitchen and Bar at Devraj Niwas and Bazaar restaurant at Zone By The Park are loved by locals too.

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Bazaar Restaurant

If you want to taste food that reminds of the legacy of Rajasthan, head to Handi Restaurant and Niros Restaurant. Handi is especially known for its Laal Maas, Handi Meat and Mughlai delicacies.

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Jaipur also has many cafes where you can enjoy yummy food in a quirky setup. We like Skylights Café, Nibs Café and Mamu’s Infusion. The best Pyaaz Kachori of the city is available at the popular Rawat Mishthan Bhandar.

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The city also has a thriving night life. Bar Palladio, Blackout Lounge and F Bar and Lounge are the favorites among the hip crowd of the city.

 

Visit Here

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The historical sites are the main attractions of the Pink City. The 3 forts- Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort should not be missed. A palace in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal offers a beautiful view and is the favorite spot of even locals.

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The grandeur of City Palace and pink façade of Hawa Mahal mesmerize visitors. If astronomy fascinates you, you have to visit Jantar Mantar which is a world Heritage site. Albert Hall is the state museum of Rajasthan which has many treasures that you will surely admire.

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Albert Hall

 

One more place that you cannot miss visiting is Raj Mandir Cinema Hall. The movie theatre is built in royal style and you have to see it even if you don’t have time to watch a complete movie. The theatre has huge chandeliers and soft carpets that add to the royal experience.

 

Shopping

JOHARI BAZAR

Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar are a shopper’s paradise. Everything Rajasthani is available here. Leheriya and bandhej prints, jewellery, Jutis and artifacts, you can buy everything in these markets.

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World Trade Park

If you want to shop, eat and hangout in a modern setup the World Trade Park is a must visit.

Jaipur is a magnificent city that will charm you with its amazing beauty!