Category Archives: Travel and Tourism

Jaipur Rugs Promote Rural Artisans At Arcasia Jaipur

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A few kilometers away from the hustle bustle of the city, in a far away village, lies a community of artisans who use their gifted hands in making India’s finest hand knotted carpets and a company that bridges the gap between these local artisans and global community – Jaipur Rugs.

One of India’s largest manufacturers of hand knotted rugs, Jaipur Rugs has this time partnered with Arcasia – a forum that has gathered experts and professionals from the architectural industry, to discuss potential methods that could help incorporate green elements and green technology in the project design and construction process progresses. The 3 day event started on 23rd May and Jaipur Beat took the opportunity to meet the artisans at Jaipur Marriott.

The most interesting part of the forum was a setup that offered a live experience of watching the extremely elaborate process of carpet weaving by the rural artisans. Out of the 86 processes that are carried out in this highly skilled art, 5 processes were on display and the feeling was nothing short of bewilderment and admiration to watch 5 women happily carrying out the 5 processes of map making, spinning, Rafu, hand knotting and embossing.

“The idea is to bridge the gap between grass root heroes and global delegates.” said Kavita Chaudhary, the Design Director at Jaipur Rugs. Having been the only Indian company to have won an accolade in the esteemed Carpet Design Awards 2017 and the only Indian company to consecutively win 3 awards at German Design Award, Jaipur Rugs aims at uplifting the grass root level weavers and introduce them to the end consumers and global architects at this event.

Headquartered in Jaipur, the 1978 establishment – Jaipur Rugs sells hand-knotted rugs via retail stores and online portal – http://www.jaipurrugsco.com/. Mr. NK Chaudhary, the founder of Jaipur Rugs, came up with this idea after some conflicts of interest with his family which now makes for an interesting background story.

“I get the maximum of my design ideas while travelling. The best ideas come to you when you are in a relaxed mood and the windows and doors of your mind are open.” said Kavita Chaudhary (D/o NK Chaudhary). When asked about her inspirations for such unique and pleasant designs, she said ‘I love Europe. It’s not just the architecture, but the moods of the spaces used in the interiors that in turn inspire the moods of our carpets”.

Each of the women carrying out their tasks earnestly in the colorful setup at the event was a treat to watch. Not only this, every weaver had a lesson to share and story to tell.

Jaipur Rugs

Jaipur RugsJaipur Rugs’ operations span across 20+ branches, 6 states and 600 villages in India with distribution to over 40 countries with its independent base of over 40,000 artisans. The company also has a large distribution base in Atlanta, United States.Stall of Jaipur Rugs at Arcasia, jaipur.

 

Grandeur of Polo in Rajasthan

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HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur

Polo ! The very name conjures vision of aristocracy and excellence, of style and rare athletic prowess. Polo is not just a game but a royal tradition that signifies power, adventure, beauty, elegance, graceful team work, class. Among the world’s most ancient sports, Polo is not less than a religion in Rajasthan. For a game, that is as “Exclusive as Elusive”, Jaipur is a natural home of polo, in Rajasthan.

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Image via Google: Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II

Believed to be originated in China and Persia nearly two thousand years back Horse Polo has become the most fascinating sport of the elites of Rajasthan. Polo is such an amazing sport that it not only excites the player but also the spectators, even if they know a little bit about the game. Horse Polo is a glamorous sport and has drawn international attention to India.

The Mughals were responsible for bringing the game from Persia to the East. Emperor Babur established the game of Polo in India. In the 1850s, British tea planters discovered the game in Manipur.

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Rajputs being keen equestrians made the game their own during the Mughal period and even gave it several twists. In 1889, the Minister of Jodhpur Sir Partap Singh invited the Bengal Lancers to raise the Jodhpur Lancers; thus Polo was introduced to Jodhpur in its current form. The various Polo teams of Rajasthan have won numerous accolades and there have been several Polo players who have gained international acclaim.

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Since the days of Emperor Akbar it has been the Indian Maharajas that have given this game its Royal Tradition. The history of Polo in Indian is full of proud achievements. Rajasthan is famous for its immortal legends of patriotism, sacrifice and glorious traditions of valour. Since 1887, this fascinating game has been greatly influenced by the traditions of Rajasthan. It is a matter of pride that most of the high handicap players produced in India have been from Rajasthan.

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Since then Polo has become a part of the royal heritage of Rajasthan. While the 61st Cavalry also based in Jaipur, has kept it alive in the army.  Here, the game is not just played on horses; there is camel polo, elephant polo and even bicycle Polo!

As time passed, the polo scene has changed but Jodhpur still leads the way and is considered to be a perfect destination for Polo. The Polo Season starts every year in winter in the month of December which lasts till mid April in different parts of India.

The Jodhpur Polo Season starts in December.. !!

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Witness The Changing Face of Pink City, Jaipur- Now and Then

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Jaipur, the largest city of Rajasthan, the construction of which started in 1727 by HH Sawai Jai Singh, was built following the principles of Vastu Shastra and it took around 4 years to complete the construction of major palaces, roads and squares of the city. Jaipur is noted as India’s first planned city then and now is among the fastest emerging metropolis of the nation. The life in the Pink city in 18th-century that was full of Rajasthani flamboyance embraces modernity swiftly by 21st Century while retaining its centuries old charm.

The Pink City has undergone a sea change- its people, their pace of life, transportation, visibility of the gender ration on streets, how they dressed and their expressions but even today when you pass through the buzzing lanes of the capital city you’d recognize that you are walking through more than 3 hundred years of living heritage. The city gates, havelis, courtyards, palaces and monuments have been witness to the changing phase of lifestyle in Jaipur keeping intact its ambiance.

Owing to the great urban planning in past, the modern development has never affected the true grandeur of Jaipur. The City with its new infrastructure and global exposure is undoubtedly the most beautifully evolved ancient city of the country. Today, Jaipur proudly retains its pink hues; the built heritage standing tall and firm alongside the splendor of modern infra with equaled wider lanes together weave a marvelous picture of three hundred centuries living in harmony!
Jaipur’s historic erections during the times of yesteryears when compared with its today’s look make a fascinating story- on one glimpse it is what it was centuries back and on other one can comprehend with its Oh So New Look 🙂

Jaipur Beat brings to you the fascinating story of Jaipur Now-and Then through the historic and modern photographs of Jaipur –

  1. Galta Gate, Jaipur

It is the only gate to enter the walled city of Jaipur.The view of Jaipur City developed around Galta Gate is ravishing, while back then there was very few construction and long range of barren land.

2.  Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Built in 17th Century and perched in the middle of the walled city, Hawa Mahal is also known as the Palace Of Winds. Its walls of pink color give a hint of the Pink City. 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.

3.  Tripoliya Gate, Jaipur

Once the point of entrance and arrival of Royal Families from City Palace, Tripoliya is a famous land mark in Jaipur. One thing that hasn’t changed since then is the procession of Gangaur and Teej from this restored Gate of Jaipur. Now, this gate is open to use exclusively for royals living inside City Palace and closed for the common man.

4.  Johri Bazaar, Jaipur

Johari Bazaar is the popular shopping arena of Jaipur dedicated to the market of gems and jewellery.  As the name suggests, Johari Bazaar attracts jewellers and buyers of precious semi-precious gems and metals from across the world.

5.  Govind Dev Ji Temple, Jaipur

Govind Dev ji is one of the prominent temples of Rajasthan. Since decades it is visited by thousands of devouts annually. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple is well preserved by the royal family of Jaipur.

6.  City Palace

City Palace is located in the heart of the old city of Jaipur. It is where the Kachwaha Rajput clan ruled from. Built in the 18th Century, the Palace houses many gardens, splendid courtyards and a Museum displaying many artefacts from the bygone era.

7.  Badi Chaupar

Chaupar means a large square and Badi means Big. This is also known as Manak Chowk and located near to famous Hawa Mahal. This is one square that leads to many fascinating bazaars of Jaipur. The under process construction of metro station can be seen in this area.

8.   Chandpole Gate

Adjacent to the famous Hanumanji temple with 25 feet high dome, Chand Pol is the Moon Gate . Along the East-West Axis of the City, it forms the Western Gate of the walled City. Spotting this gate means you have reached the western end of the walled city.

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Another view of Badi Chaupar where one can see how over the centuries mode of transportation changed from camels to auto, rickshaw, cars and buses and the change will continue as very soon it will be metro site as well.

 

10.  Albert Hall

Albert Hall Museum is located in Ram Niwas Garden of Jaipur. The foundation stone of Albert Hall was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward to Jaipur in 1876 and completed in year’s time in 1877 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob, then Director of Jaipur PWD.It is a home to many beautiful paintings, sculptures and other distinct objects of historic significance. It is the oldest museum in the state and is quite popular for its Indo-Saracenic architecture.

 

Different Shades of Jawahar Kala Kendra

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

 

 

Sariska National Park hikes its Safari Rates

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Image via Google

We remembering sharing with you some exciting reasons to go on Ranthambore wildlife safari in summer, that’s good but you should also know that visiting one of the Tiger Reserves in Rajasthan- Sariska will be costlier now.

The tiger safari in Sariska Tiger Reserve has become costlier after the recent hike. Tourists will now have to shell out Rs 1,000 more for the Gypsy safari, starting this month i.e. May, 2017. The forest department has now increased the Gypsy safari fee from Rs 3,280 to Rs 4,280, a hike of rs 1,000, from May 1. The Sariska Park has been faring badly in the wildlife safari circuit since 2005 and this new hike may take it even more down the preferred list of tourists.As it is, the park is short on tigers when compared to the more illustrious Ranthambore reserve.

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With only 13 to 14 tigers compared to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve’s 60, sighting a big cat has become rare in Sariska, which is jokingly referred to as ‘buffalo sanctuary’. Instead of such price hikes, the government will have to draw up a comprehensive plan of action if it’s serious about reviving the park. The forest cover of Sariska reserve (1,100 sq km) is larger than Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, which spans over barely 392 sq km along with 60 tigers. Though Sariska lost all its tigers to poaching by 2005, it is now home to 14 big cats after relocation of tigers, distributed over a vast expanse of forest. To add to the woes, the forest department had copied the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve model and introduced three or four designated zones for tourists in Sariska.