Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wildlife Safaris In Rajasthan

Rajasthan is not only illustrious for various palaces and forts but also natural wonders, and the land presents some of the finest sanctuaries and national parks of India and the world. Some of the most sought after parks and sanctuaries are Sariska National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and many more. And what better way to roam around these wild other than wild safaris? To explore and to discover the hidden behind the wilds, safaris are an excellent choice. There are many choices available such as Camel Safari, Horse Safari, Tiger Safari, Bird safari or a Jeep Safari to enjoy and to understand wild and mystical beauty of wild of Rajasthan.

Wild of Rajasthan presents all types of enjoyment to its visitors. The world famous Ranthambore National Park is well known for tiger and tiger safari is offered to track tigers, a lifetime experience that cannot be missed otherwise. Apart from tiger Ranthambore National Park is also known for various other types of animals such as Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Marsh Crocodile, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards and a large number of birds.

Another popular tiger spotting destination in Rajasthan is Sariska National Park. The thick and huge wooded reserve is cradled in the picturesque valley of the Aravali. A few years ago excessive poaching made all tigers disappear from the park but couple of years back forest department had introduced tigers. The park is noted national park in the country for its huge population of rare breed of leopard, sambhar, nilgai, wild dog and chinkaras.

There are various types of safaris available for tourist

Jungle Safari
Camel Safari
Elephant Ride
Village Safari
Horse Safari
Jeep Safari

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Special Rajasthani Cuisines

Rajasthan is arid land where shortage of water and fresh green vegetables has greatly affected on food habit of the people. Even shortage of water forces people to cook meals with the use of milk, buttermilk and clarified butter, particularly in the desert belt of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner. Although there is a scarcity of water and also hot climate, the variety of food is no less than any other regions of India. Some of the very popular food items are as follows: -

Ker-Sangri on Bajara Roti

This dish is prepared from dried lentils, beans from indigenous plants like sangri, ker. Other ingredient such as churmaand is used liberally to make the dish sour. This dish is served with papad. It is quite a staple food of Rajasthani with other common food such as unleavened bread, made up of wheat, barley, millet or maize.

Rajasthani Dal-Bati-Churma

It is the most popular food gained immense popularly outside Rajasthan. This is a simple food called dal-bati that is cooked lentils and roasted balls of dough with diverse kind dried or pickled berries cooked in different ways.

The chapatti of Rajasthan is somehow different from other regions of India. The unleavened bread is more of a brown colored and thick. It complements the food it scoops up and the smoothness of the chapatti easily lure anyone.

Frying Puris

Puris are delicious, fried wheat bubbles which have varied uses; as snacks, scoops for food and as a complement to hot spices.

Khud khargosh

Khud Khasrgosh is meat of hare or rabbit cooked in a pit. It is a traditional Rajput dish, especially savor during summer when rabbit is lean and soft. The hare is skinned and stuffed with spices, wrapped in dough and finally in layers of mud-soaked cloth.


Natural yogurt is churned to remove the butter content for the making of Lassi or buttermilk a cooling summer beverage.

Sula - Tender Morsels of Meat

During early days, Rajput hunted boar or some other animal and cooked the meat marinated in a mixture of dry yogurt, browned onions, garlic, ginger, coriander, red chilli and and kachri, a small pod which tenderizes meat and lends a particular sharp-sour flavor. The preparation was also called sula means tender morsels of meat. The meat was then smoked, spitted on skewers, and grilled over hot coals. Now a days, sulas are made up of chicken, mutton, pheasant or fish.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ajmer – The City Named After Invisible Hills

Ajmer, a small city was established in the early 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan and named Ajaimeru – the invisible hill. The city is surrounded by Aravalli mountain. The Chauhans ruled the city for many years but ultimately went to Delhi Sultanate when Prithiviraj Chauhan was killed in the battle with Mohammad Ghori. During the time of Akbar the city was designated as full fledged province and base for operations in Rajputana.

Ajmer is most popular for Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. It is the final resting place of the great Sufi mystic and a popular pilgrimage center for Muslim as well as Hindus. The shrine is especially thronged by thousands of pilgrims all over the subcontinent during the URS. The Dargah has two big cauldrons, which are filled with about 48 and 32 quintals of rice, dry fruits and condiments respectively and then cooked by professionals. The cooked rice is then sold as “TA BARUKH – SANCTIFIED FOOD”.

Pushkar, a small city is located around 11 km from Ajmer, is sacred to Hindus. Pushkar Lake is believed to created by Lord Brahma and have equal importance as Manasarover in Tibet. The lake is located on the fringe of desserts and surrounded by Aravalli range, also called ‘Nag Parvat.’ The place is also visited by lots of foreigners, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels, though Pushkar is considered as a holy town and therefore, there are no such place called bar or non vegetarian restaurants. There are around 400 temples in and around Pushkar. The important temples are dedicated to Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Badri Narayan, Varaha, Gayatri and Savitri.

The most attractive feature of Pushkar is the cattle fair, which is believed to be the most colorful and the largest cattle fair in the world. On the full moon night of Kartik (November) pilgrims take a holy dip in the lake.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heritage Jaisalmer - The City Of Golden Dunes

Jaisalmer, one of the last princely citadels in the state of Rajasthan is located in the heart of Thar desert, was once illustrated for heroism of Rajput rulers. Jaisalmer was spotted by huge palaces and havelis, made up of sandstone, delicately and intricate ornamented façades and balconies usually made up of gold or silver or other fine twisted wire. Jaisalmer fort in the midst of numerous forts and palaces stand tall and speaks gallantry of erstwhile rulers.

Jaisalmer fort is about 800 years old, exquisitely made up of golden sandstone and mounted top on the Trikuta Hills with its huge turrets pointing skywards seems rather lacking in harmony in the midst of gloomy desert. Jaisalmer fort is second oldest fort after famous Chittorgarh fort. The fort, on a hill that overlooks the city, houses the royal palace, several ancient Jain temples, and a library called the Gyana Bhandar (A Store of Knowledge), which contains old Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts. The surrounding region, once a princely state, consists almost entirely of sandy waste, forming part of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert. The Kakni, the only river, spreads over a large area, forming Bhij Lake. Bajra (pearl millet) and jowar (sorghum) are the chief crops. The breeding of goats, camels, sheep, and cattle is widespread; and limestone, fuller's earth, and gypsum deposits are worked. The fort was the only one that had a meteorological gadget mounted on top of its ramparts. In the month of April, a flag was hoisted in its center and based on the direction in which it blew, weather was predicted. There was a strange equation of forecast, if the flag blew northwards it augured famine and if it blew westwards a fortunate monsoon was on offering. Though the calculation was dim-witted still hold much water for its accuracy.

Not To Forget

  • Jaisalmer fort is worth visiting during nightfall as huge fort seems to wake from the erstwhile Rajput’s period. The grandeur you witness in the night is much more attractive than in daytime.
  • Do not forget to visit the palaces of Maharawals and witness a fine ornate architecture. Constructed by Muslim craftsmen, the palace is worth a see.
  • Though Jaisalmer fort is mounted on the top of a hill but due to tourists rush there are scoops of shops mushrooming up. It is a good place for buying exquisitely, traditional rugs, blankets and shawls, silver jewellery, stonework embroidered garments with mirror work in a brilliant mosaic of colours, carpets made from camel hair, and colourful silk and cotton cloth. So don’t forget to buy some nice memento.
Climate of Jaisalmer

Climate is typical of desert. Summer temperature varies from 46 to 36 degree Celsius and winter is hovering 12 to 2 degree Celsius.

Excursion From Jaisalmer

Lodurva – It is 16 km from Jaisalmer. It is a ruined city famous for ancient Jain temples and Kalpataru, a mythical tree of achieve your desire. The place is famous for peacock and an artificial water reservoir, a great place for picnic.
Akal Wood Fossil Park – it is a 21 acre preserved area reel you back to the Jurassic era when the whole Thar desert was under water. The park is famous for fossilised log.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Explore Rajasthan Handicrafts

Rajasthan - the land of erstwhile Rajputs, illustrious for rich, regal past and their arrogance, luring people from all across the globe from centuries. Rajasthan is not only famous for palaces and forts but the cultural dimensions of land are also vivid and exotic. One of the attractive aspects of the land is the tradition of craft and handicrafts that spread almost every part of the state. The diverse heritage of crafts spread across Jaipur, Kishangarh, Bikaner, Alwar, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bhilwara, Udaipur and almost all the nook and corners of the land. From Banathani painitings to woodcraft Rajasthan excels in every possible aspect of handicrafts. Here we site some details of handicrafts of Rajasthan and the location where they are most famous for.

Rajasthan Wooden Handicraft Furniture

The wooden handicrafts of Rajasthan is famous for its exquisite designs and delicate carvings. This art form is especially famous in the cities of Barmer and Jodhpur, made by local artisans who beautifully carved images on the wood and shaped different patterns of furniture. Kishangarh and Shekhawati have their own unique designs while Jodhpur sport the traditional look and charm. The technique of painting furniture in various colors is quite common in Rajasthan. The local shops and bazaars are filled with all types of wooden handicrafts chairs, boxes, cabinets, mirror, doors, windows and many more.

Paintings of Rajasthan

The painting style of Rajasthan speaks the medieval glory and renowned all over world for its elegance and beauty. The most famous paintings is the miniature painting, which owns a distinct style and regional characteristics. The cities like Udaipur and Jaipur have their own style and distinct looks of paintings and illustrious for their fine brush strokes. While Bundi and Kotah paintings are known for their subject, mostly scenes of battles and hunts. However, if one painting excels all others, it is Banathani paintings of Kishangarh. The school of paintings are of different genre and portrays Radha and Krishna as the principle characters. It is the most attractive and sought after artifacts as well. Less recognized painting Phad is famous for folk and draw on cloths.

Rajasthan Jewelry

The brightest gem is crafted on the map of India and that is Rajasthan. The jewels have distinct looks, exquisitely carved and showcases in various precious and semi precious gems. In fact, the art of jewelry flourished in the land of Rajputs and gifted to the other parts of India. The wide range of Jewelry finds in different carvings such as wood and ivory carvings, lacquer and filigree work. Moreover, silver jewelry and exquisite enameled semi precious gems are fine carved by Rajasthani craftsmen.

Textile & Printing of Rajasthan

The textile tradition of Rajasthan is old as medieval time and it comes in different varieties such as tie and die block printing and diverse patterns and designs. Amongst them, tie and die art of textile is prevalent in most of the parts of Rajasthan. The traditional art of tie-and-die textiles involves knotting the material and dipping it in color to form delicate Bandhej patterns, Lageriyas or the delicately created patterns in waves are found in the cities like Udaipur, Jodhpur and other eastern parts of Rajasthan.

Another important part of printing is hand block printing that is actually embedded of motifs and strong colors on fabric, mostly cotton. It is done by using carved wooden blocks soaked in different colors and then imparted on the fabric. It is eco-friendly and done by using vegetable dyes. Although this type of sarees and other fabrics are popular in most of the parts of Rajasthan but Sanganer and Bagru are devoted solely to the pursuit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Travel To Jag Mandir Palace, Udaipur

If you want style and romance, there’s no better person to turn to than a maharaja. More specifically, the Maharanas of Mewar. Where royal families in other countries might have added a wing to the palace to create a space where their young princes could carouse in private, the Maharanas of Mewar went and built a whole island palace on Lake Pichola.

Jag Mandir Palace was built by Maharana Karan Singhji in 1622 AD Jag Mandir rightly earned itself the tag of ‘pleasure palace’. The first island palace – located in Lake Pichola in Udaipur – Jag Mandir’s location was ideal. Far enough away from the majestic City Palace, on the banks of the lake, Jag Mandir ensured the prince’s seduction of nubile nymphs never reached the eyes or ears of elders.

Jagmandir and Its Former Glory

Prince Mewar has ensured that palace’s place in romance remains even today. The central courtyard of the 17th century marble palace has been in continual use for celebrity weddings. Industrialist Vikram Chatwal, actress Raveena Tandon and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel’s daughter have been some of the lucky few who have got married here. And there’s no wonder why. Certainly, nothing can beat the magic of climbing into a boat at the jetty and gliding along the waters, the breeze in your hair, towards this fairytale palace while the majestic City Palace, set high on a hill on the shores of the lake, gradually recedes from view.

Jagmandir Palace For Honeymooners

Committed as they are to conservation, Prince Lakshyaraj and his father, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of HRH Hotels India, who run a chain of heritage hotels in Rajasthan, were eager to restore the floating palace to its original architectural splendour. Their aim is to make Jag Mandir the ultimate romantic destination for couples, newlyweds or honeymooners.

Jagmandir Palace Interior Architecture

Within Jag Mandir Palace, Gol Mahal catches the major attention, as this is the place where Shah Jahan lived with his family. Gol Mahal is made in the Islamic style of architectural, which shows that Maharana Karan Singh kept in mind the tastes of Shah Jahan. The hall has amazing interiors and is decorated with the Muslim crescent. Other pavilions worth mentioning are Bara Patharon ka Mahal, Kunwar Pada ka Mahal and the Zenana Mahal, Bara Patharon ka Mahal (palace of twelve stones) because of twelve solid marble slabs. Kunwar Pada ka Mahal was meant for the crowned prince and the Zenana Mahal offered several chambers for the ladies of the royalty.

What to offer in Jagmandir Palace?

For couples in love, the palace has many beautiful gardens adorned with roses, palm trees, jasmine flowers, frangipani trees and bougainvilleas. Also on offer is the Panghat Spa, the bar rooms and luxurious suites all offer sumptuous fixtures and fittings. Guests can sit by huge picture windows offering spectacular views of the City Palace. Also playing Cupid is Lake Pichola. Couples can enjoy an Ayurvedic massage in total privacy as they glide along the waters in a boat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wildlife of Rajasthan

The name Rajasthan reminds us with arid desert, rustic landscape, grandiose fort and palaces and colorful people. But it is the call of wild that is varied as your imagination. Rajasthan has some of the world’s richest flora and fauna, teeming with wild and avian life of the exotic kind.

Important Wildlife Places And National Parks

Ranthambore National Park – Ranthambore lies at the border of Vindhiyas and the Aravalis, amid vast arid tracts of desert, sprawling over an area of 392 The wildlife includes the Cheetal, Sambhar, Blue Bull, Wild Boar and Crocodiles. But the most attractive of all is Royal Bengal Tiger. Other ferocious animals includes Leopard, Hyena, Ratel and Sloth Beer. Avian fauna is aplenty. There are about 300 species of birds. Ranthambore is also popular for archaeological relics. A mighty fort is here situated on a hill top. Recently the Kaila Devi Sanctuary, famous for tiger population, has been a part of Ranthambore. (For further information see indian-ecstacies)

How To Reach Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary
Sawai Madhopur, the nearest railway head connects Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. The nearest airport is Jaipur.

Best Time To Visit
October to June

Where To Stay In Ranthambore wild Park
Castle Jhoomar Baori (RTDC)
Hotel Vinayak(RTDC)

Sariska Tiger Reserve – Reintroduction of tigers have made the park again as popular as old days. once the hunting ground of Maharajas of Alwar, Sariska is a wonder of ecological adaptation. Tiger became a tiger reserve in 1979, located just 200km from Delhi, nestling in the Northern part of the Aravali hills. During the hot months of April, may and June, Sambhars, Chitals,Nilgais, Chausinghas, Jackals, Wild Boars etc.can be seenat the water holes throughout the day. The tigers appears at dusk or night. Other predators are leopards, hyena, wild dog and jungle cat can bee spot at night. The wild one seems to have chosen their area limits; Slopka is best for observing the Sambhar,Kundli for Cheetals and Karunda and Kali ghati for Nilgai. Four horned antelopes can be seen at the Pandupole Nallah.

How To Reach Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary
Sariska is 34 km from Alwar,110km from Jaipur and 200kms from Delhi. Nearest railway head is Alwar

Where To Stay
Tiger Den(RTDC)
Hotel Lake Palace,Siliserh(RTDC)

Desert National Park – The Desert National Park with its craggy rocks and sand dunes provides shelter to an altogether different kind of wildlife. The great Indian Bustard, tall and stately, moves about in small flocks feeding on everything in sight –cereals and berries to grasshoppers, locusts. Birds such as sandgrouse,partridges,bee eaters, larks and shrikes are commonly sighted while demoiselle cranes arrive here in winter. The park is also a habitat of the desert fox, wolf and reptiles like the spiny tail lizard, monitor lizard, russel’s viper and other.

How To Reach Desert National Park
Jaisalmer is the nerarest town about 40kms away.

Where To Stay In Desert National Park
Moomal Tourist Bungalows (RTDC)
Sam Dhani (RTDC)
Other private hotels available in Jaisalmer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Camel Safari in Rajasthan Desert

The Place: India’s westernmost state, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan has exotic, barren desertscapes and drifting sand dunes.

The Season: November to March

The Gear: Desert nights are cold and can be unbearable, so it’s essential to take along plenty of warm sweaters and jackets while on camel safari. A warm sleeping bag is recommended and an additional blanket or two can always come handy. During the daytime sun glasses can help to cope up with blistering sun. Carrying a hat and sunscreen lotion is must. Last but very important carry as much as water you can.

Do Not Miss: The special cultural performances on the sand dunes, the camps set up for travelers, the tradtional Rajasthani meals and the colourful hamlets with friendly folk, all make the Camel Safari truly memorable.

Make It Incredible: The best wildlife Camel Safaris can be enjoyed around the Aravalis region of Rajasthan, in the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. An interesting variation of the wilds can also be seen in the Rann of Kutch.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Yoga and Nature Therapy Centres in Rajasthan

In any society it is maintained that some kind of healing or preventive system us required for aiding longevity, Rajasthan in that context is not an exception. The erstwhile royal palaces had ancient system of healing therapy, which was solely depends in nature and by products of nature. As a matter of fact, till date in many Rajasthani homes these therapies are prevalent. The traditional system of Rajathani healing therapy is actual a combination of different systems gained from interaction with parts of West Asia. There were also ashrams where vaids, hakims and yoga instructors advised people on the benefits of these systems, and the royal families often invited practitioners of these sciences to train people in their kingdoms on their benefits, so that their prevalence became more widespread.

Naturepathy, yoga and meditation techniques are well documented in ancient texts, which were written long before the birth of Jesus or Buddha. The healing methods were largely based on mental strength and assisted with natural herbs used in special formulations. During British rule these practices often misunderstood or say forcefully abhorred as quackery. As a result their popularity decreased, especially among the educational class. As a result, their popularity dwindled, and was soon taken over by the allopathic system of medicines.

However, the science of traditional medicine still exists in Rajasthan and also in India. They lost their pre-eminence but they survived, at least among a smaller group that believed in its value. Even though there is nothing about them that is linked only with Rajasthan, these practices have once again been revived, and are enjoying renewed popularity. There are some reasons also such as it enjoins the practice of meditation and yoga, which are the buzzwords of GenX, and so have a youthful appeal. Also, in a world waking up too late to the horrors of antibiotic medicines, these natural systems offer no fear of side-effects.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Bazaars of Jaipur

When Sawai Jai Singh II laid out his city, he took great care to invite artisans and crafts persons to come and settle here, and recognising the need for family life, created proper grids where they could settle here, and recognising the need for family life, created proper girds where they could settle, rather than serve at the royal ateliers. The gamble paid off: almost three centuries later, Jaipur can easily qualify as the world’s capital for quality arts and crafts, each known handicraft trade finding its own resonance here.

The first place where you can easily head for is Mirza Ismail Road, with its quality stores and limited yet big shops are worthwhile. However, the place fails to deliver the pulse of the old city’s bazaars, which constitute the fun of shopping in Jaipur. The walled city is a mosaic of people, colours, shops, more colour, craftsmen at work, and the kaleidoscope continues to move between the present and the past. The Badi and Choti Chaupars, for example, consist of rows of shops that run parallel to the road, and you can continue exploring endlessly, as each tiny store has its specialisation: if one sells only supari, another trades in braids for the hair; for everyone store that sells only juttees, there are others where the interest is only bandhani fabrics, while others deal in hand block printed textile; for every shop that is popular for its light, Jaipuri quilts in bright tie-and-dye patterns, there is another where only buttons will be sold.

Nor does the experience end with the shops on the road. After intermittent intervals, there are narrow lanes that branch off into the innards of the old city. Follow them and you could be lost in moments, but what a world of excitement awaits you: piles of semi-precious stones, vendors of silver, tiny stores trading in lame ribbons, exporters of dhurries.

While a visit to the Rajasthan Handicraft Emporium called Rajasthani offers you a taste of everything Rajasthan does, increasingly visitors want to visit designer stores that use ancient techniques to give tem a contemporary flavour as in the case of Anokhi and Soma. The best part is to walk down Johari Bazar with its jewellery stores, and dealers of precious and semi-precious stones; Khazane walo ka rasta (the path of treasurers) for marble statuary; another road is exclusive for gems and jewellery; Badi Chaupar for handblock printed textiles and quilts.