08 Nights 09 Days / Classic Rajasthan

Package Price

Rate: Rs. 21475 / Person

Destination :

Jodhpur Khuri Jaisalmer Bikaner Pushkar Jaipur Agra Delhi

Contact Our Tour Experts

Your tour itinerary:

Day 01 | Home - Jodhpur

Arrive at the Jodhpur airport our representative will assist you in getting transferred to your pre booked hotel. Check in at the hotel and get fresh. Jodhpur, the Blue City because of Blue houses in whole city. Also visit Jodhpur "The Sun City" was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459. It is named after him only. Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India was previously known as Marwar. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. It is divided into two parts - the old city and the new city. The old city is separated by a10 km long wall surrounding it. Also it has eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Jodhpur is a very popular tourist destination. The landscape is scenic and mesmerizing. Jodhpur city has many beautiful palaces and forts such as Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhavan Palace and Rai ka Bag Palace. Other charms of Jodhpur include Government museum and its beautiful Umed garden. The city is known as the "Sun City" because of its bright and sunny weather throughout the year. Evening free for old market & your own activities overnight stay at hotel.  

Day 02 | Jodhpur - Jaisalmer Khuri Desert via Pokaran Fort        /       (325 KM 6 h drive)

Morning check out from the hotel and proceed to Jaisalmer, the golden city of Rajasthan. In the afternoon reached Jaisalmer and Proceed to Khuri desert for Camel Ride at Sunset. Night sleep in desert in Swiss luxury tent with attached bathrooms. Also you can visit Enrooted Pokran fort.

Khuri - Surrounded by huge desert hills, the Khuri village is located just 40 kms in the south west of Jaisalmer. Khuri Sand Dunes is one of the main sand dunes and your will surely enter into the life of the native in Jaisalmer. Feel the real romance underneath the starlit night at Khuri. Explore the exotic sand dunes on a camel back to witness the spectacular Sunset behind the Golden desert. The desert village and the people struggle every moment of their life in this sandy desert. You can enjoy and experience the idea of staying in desert and enjoy various aspects of it. The local houses are made of clay and are beautifully decorated. The strength of these houses can be measured when the strong sand storms attract s and fail to make the houses move from its original position. At Khuri Village, experience the hospitality that is so much associated with Rajasthan. The warmth of the people is sure to make you feel at home away from home. It will be the most unique and personal way to experience the cultural tours of Rajasthan. The village carries a unique charm that makes it distinct from the other tourist destinations in Rajasthan. Narrow streets of the villages lined with shops selling local handcrafted items and food is a site to behold. Your stay at Khuri village is sure to be an enriching experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Just pack your bags and get ready to have an experience of a lifetime. The place bears wonderful beauties of sand and visitors visit to spend the wonderful time in the great India desert. The local huts and the local houses give the opportunity to stay and enjoy the tranquil ambience of desert which is miles away from busy streets of cities.

Day 03 | Khuri - Jaisalmer             /            (45 KM 1 h drive)

After breakfast at the Khuri proceed to Jaisalmer city check-inn in the hotel and start exploring Jaisalmer. Proceed to visit Jaisalmer Fort known as SONAR QUILA- rising from the sand, the mega structure that merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colorful shades gives it a wonderful look. It’s simply a magic, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex, various security sources, and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch. Several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders are placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed en-route passing all the riches for the prosperity. Patwon Ji Ki Haveli This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work. The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis, it has exquisitely carved pillars and exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five story high haveli is painted with beautiful murals and visit Gadisar Lake, Bada Bagh etc.  Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04 | Jaisalmer - Bikaner                   /                (325 KM 7 h drive)

After breakfast at your hotel, drive to the Bikaner after check-inn in the hotel visit Junagarh fort & Lalgarh Palace. A city that has a rich cultural heritage the city was established in the year 1488 AD by Rao Bika Ji, a Rajput prince. The city is known for producing great warriors. The excavations from this city prove that the civilization was at its peak here even before Harappa civilization. Imposing palaces, forts and stunning temples with great architecture boast of the finesse of the Rajput civilization and Camel breeding farm. After that you can also visit Deshnok temple (Rat temple) overnight stay at the hotel. 

 Day 05 | Bikaner - Pushkar                     |                    (255 KM 4 h 40 m drive)

After breakfast at the hotel get driven to Pushkar, It is situated 20 km (8.7 min) northwest of Ajmer at an average elevation of 510 m (1,670 ft) and is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage site) for devout Hindus. Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities of India. It lies on the Shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Brahma with its creation. Pushkar has many temples, Most of the temples are not very old because many temples were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, the destroyed temples were rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century CE. In the evening get ready for Pushker desert safari on camel after then come back and overnight stay at the hotel.

 Day 06 | Pushkar - Jaipur                        |                    (140 KM 1 h 45 m drive)

After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Jaipur. Reached Jaipur check in at the hotel and get fresh. Rest of the day will be at ease and for leisure activities. In the evening if time permits get ready for an evening sightseeing of Jaipur. Otherwise go in the evening visit the Birla Mandir, a Hindu Temple. After that go for dinner at Chauki-Dhani where you enjoy typically Rajasthani food as well as Rajasthani folk dance we are sure you will very enjoy over there and come back to hotel for overnight stay.  

Day 07 | Jaipur City Tour

After breakfast, drive to the Pink city of Jaipur, including City Palace in the heart Of Jaipur is known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Also visit Jantar Mantar, is the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh, City Palace, Hawa Mahal & Jal Mahal and the Amber Fort situated just outside the city. You can have the unique experience of travelling on Elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. Evening free for Jaipur shopping. Night stay at hotel.

Business has flourished in Jaipur since its inception. It is also a shopping destination. There are both traditional and modern shopping avenues in Jaipur. The city is famous for handicrafts, gems and jewelry, textile among other things.

Day 08 | Jaipur - Agra via Fathehpur Sikri           /            (210 KM 4 h drive)

After breakfast at the hotel get driven to Agra, which is famous for one of the wonders of the world THE TAJ MAHAL & places like Agra Fort, Tomb of Akbar the Great, etc? Evening will be free for leisure activities and shopping in the local bazaars. On the way to Agra you can visit one of the most important places of Mughal founded by Akbar in 1569 AD. Fatehpur Sikri, a unique blend of Mughal architectural traditions that has a specific purpose, aura and royal ambience that is reflected in the unmatched regal legacies that includes Diwan-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience); The Diwan-I-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) and the Panch Mahal. Continuous drive to Agra, Arrive at Agra and check in at hotel .Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 09 | Agra - Delhi           /          (210 KM 4 h 20 m drive)

Get-up eraly in the and visit Taj Mahal again in Sunrise, come back to hotel and have your breakfast & leave for Agra on the way to Delhi, On the way to Delhi if you want, you can also visit Mathura and Vrindavan it’s a Krishna Birth place you can also visit here, Bake Bihari Temple, Iskcon Temple and Radha Raman Temple. After that continuous drive for Delhi and we will assist you in your transfer to the New Delhi airport for back to home with sweet memories with Guruji Travel of India.     

***Tour Ends***

Inclusions

Hotel

City Name Hotel Name Hotel Type

About The Place

About Jodhpur

Jodhpur is a City and district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name. The capital of the kingdom was known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert. The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright and sunny weather it enjoys all the year round. The old city circles the fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates. Jodhpur is also known as the "Blue City" because of the blue colours that decorate many of the houses in the old city area. However, the city has expanded greatly outside the wall over the past several decades. Jodhpur lies near the geographic centre of the Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists.

History

According to the Rajasthan District Gazetteer's of Jodhpur and the Hindu epic Ramayana (composed up to the 4th century AD), Abhiras (Ahirs) were the original inhabitants of Jodhpur and later Aryans spread to this region. There may have been small settlements before Rathore rule. The Jodhpur city was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan. Jodha succeeded in conquering the surrounding territory and thus founded a state which came to be known as Marwar. As Jodha hailed from the nearby town of Mandore, that town initially served as the capital of this state; however, Jodhpur soon took over that role, even during the lifetime of Jodha. The city was located on the strategic road linking Delhi to Gujarat. This enabled it to profit from a flourishing trade in opium, copper, silk, sandals, date palm and coffee. After the death of Chandrasen Rathore the state became a fief under the Mughal Empire, owing fealty to them while enjoying some internal autonomy. During this period, the state furnished the Mughals with several notable generals such as Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Jodhpur and its people benefited from this exposure to the wider world as new styles of art and architecture made their appearance and opportunities opened up for local tradesmen to make their mark across northern India. Aurangzeb briefly sequestrated the state (c.1679) on the pretext of a minority, but the prior ruler Maharaja Ajit Singh was restored to the throne by Veer Durgadas Rathore after Aurangzeb died in 1707 and a great struggle of 30 years. The Mughal Empire declined gradually after 1707, but the Jodhpur court was beset by intrigue; rather than benefiting from circumstances, Marwar descended into strife and invited the intervention of the Marathas, who soon supplanted the Mughals as overlords of the region. This did not make for stability or peace, however- 50 years of wars and treaties dissipated the wealth of the state, which sought and gratefully entered into a subsidiary alliance with the British in 1818. During the British Raj, the state of Jodhpur had the largest land area of any in the Rajputana. Jodhpur prospered under the peace and stability that was a hallmark of this era. The land area of the state was 90,554 km2 (34,963 sq mi) its population in 1901 was 44,73,759. It enjoyed estimated revenue of £3,529,000. Its merchants, the Marwaris, flourished and came to occupy a position of dominance in trade across India. In 1947, when India became independent, the state merged into the union of India and Jodhpur became the second largest city of Rajasthan. At the time of partition, the ruler of Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh, did not want to join India, but finally due to the effective persuasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Home Minister at the time, the state of Jodhpur was included in Indian Republic. Later after the State Reorganisation Act, 1956 it was included within the state of Rajasthan.

Mehrangarh Fort {Jodhpur}

The Mehrangarh Fort, one of the colossal and majestic forts of India is located atop a 150 m elevated hill lying at a distance of 5km from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 when he transferred his capital from Mandore. Subsequently more additions were made by the other rulers of Jodhpur with passing time. The marks of cannon balls from the past skirmishes are still prominent on the second gat of the fortress. The palm imprints that are smeared with vermilion paste and paper-thin silver foil on a gateway leading to the funeral pyre site, reminds the tourists of the princesses and the queens who committed self-immolation or Jawhar for the sake of their consorts.

Jaswant Thada {Jodhpur}

This milky-white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, sitting above a small lake 1km northeast of Mehrangarh, is an array of whimsical domes. It’s a welcome, peaceful spot after the hubbub of the city, and the views across to the fort and over the city are superb. Built in 1899, the cenotaph has some beautiful jalis (carved marble lattice screens) and is hung with portraits of Rathore rulers going back to the 13th century.Look out for the memorial to a peacock that flew into a funeral pyre.

Umaid Bhawan {Jodhpur}

The Umaid Bhawan Palace at Jodhpur, India's last great Palace, was constructed between 1929 and 1944. The Palace was originally envisaged as a drought relief measure and the intention was to provide employment to over 3000 people afflicted by consecutive years of drought, Constructed in what can loosely be described as the Indo-Art-De co style, this magnificent edifice with 347 rooms was the world's largest private residence when it opened its doors as a royal residence in 1944. Named after The Late His Highness Maharaja Umaid Singhji, the palace has been the residence of Maharaja Umaid Singhji and his successors. Guests and residents of the Palace experience aspects of royal living, with period furniture, priceless antiques and artefacts adorning the public areas as well as the rooms in which the hotel section is situated Classified as a 5 Star Deluxe property by the Government of India, the Umaid Bhawan Palace has every modern convenience to cater to today's traveller and several unique features. 

Rai ka Bag {Jodhpur}

The Rai ka Bag Palace of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is another tourist spot for you to visit on your trip to Jodhpur. The queen of Maharaja  Jaswant Singh-I, Hadiji, built this palace. It is situated near the Raika Bag palace railway station. Famous Rai Ka Bag palace in Jodhpur  ur, India was constructed in 1663. It was amongst the favorite palaces of King Jaswant Singh-II. Most of the time he stayed in the octagonal bungalow of Rai Ka Bag palace.

Umed garden {Jodhpur}

One of the popular gardens of Jodhpur is the Jodhpur Umed garden. It is spread on an area of 82 acres. The famous Umed garden of Jodhpur, Rajasthan was developed by Maharaja Umed Singh. It is named after him only. The garden has five separate gates around it to facilitate entry to the garden from different directions. It has lush green la  wns with beautiful roses and other seasoned flowers.

About Khuri Desert

Khuri - Surrounded by huge desert hills, the Khuri village is located just 40 kms in the south west of Jaisalmer. Khuri Sand Dunes is one of the main sand dunes and your will surely enter into the life of the native in Jaisalmer. Feel the real romance underneath the starlit night at Khuri. Explore the exotic sand dunes on a camel back to witness the spectacular Sunset behind the Golden d  esert.The desertvillage and the people struggle every moment of their life in this sandy desert. You can enjoy and experience the idea of staying in desert and enjoy various aspects of it. The local houses are made of clay and are beautifully decorated. The strength of these houses can be measured when the strong sand storms attract s and fail to make the houses move from its original position.At Khuri Village, experience the hospitality that is so much associated with Rajasthan. The warmth of the people is sure to make you feel at home away from home. It will be the most unique and personal way to experience the cultural tours of Rajasthan. The village carries a unique charm that makes it distinct fr  om the other tourist destinations in Rajasthan. Narrow streets of the villages lined with shops selling local handcrafted items and food is a site to behold. Your stay at Khuri village is sure to be an enriching experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Just pack your bags and get ready to have an experience of a lifetime.The place bears wonderful beauties of sand and visitors visit to spend the wonderful time in the great India desert. The local huts and the local houses give the opportunity to stay and enjoy the tranquil ambience of desert which is miles away from busy streets of cities.

Khuri Camel Safari

The camel safari, India welcomes you to this land of camels, desert, palaces, folklores, mysteries and charms. “Camel” also known as the 'ship of the desert' the camel is the most popular of all animals in the desert. A camel safari allows the visitor a glimpse of the simplistic villages of Rajasthan and exposes the tourist to the rustic lifestyle of the desert people. The camel safari routes traverse through the desert sand dunes taking the tourist the ancient havelis, temples and abandoned palaces. On the Camel Safari, the tourists are required to gear up for the harsh weather of the desert. The safari is designed to suit travelers all across the globe. The tourists may enjoy the traditional cuisine of Rajasthan and listen to the traditional music. Tourists may also participate in the cultural programs hosted in the deserts of Rajasthan.Rajasthan, India’s westernmost state is the very essence of exotic India- barren desert and drifting sand dunes. Monotonous and dull- but only at first sight, Step in deeper, and you’ll be overwhelmed by sounds and sights, colours and fragrances which will stay with you long after. The vivid orange andgreen skirts of local women on the way to a distant well; the bright blue houses of an entire town; the beautifully folksy sound of a village musician playing on a four-stringed sarangi. The aroma of good,home-cooked food, redolent with pure ghee; the comforting warmth of a blazing bonfire on a chilldesert night. Gangaur desert resorts as one of the leading Resort in Jaisalmer is welcoming you to the 'Golden City' of India. We provide our guests fun and galore.We at the our resort offer you unique Camel Safaris as well as Jeep Tours during which you can visit villagers who live in the Rajasthani Desert to see their traditional daily life; you will cross dunes and remote, isolated places of the Thar Desert, sleep in custom made bedrolls under the stars and experience some of the most beautiful sunsets, night skies and sunrises in the world.We claim to be the finest in this profession and promise to give you the best of experience ever. A Camel Safari is great fun, especially when combining riding and walking side by side with your camel at your own pace; this way you can enjoy both, relaxing riding and refreshing bone stretching. It is obvious that the longer you choose to go on your safari, the more remote places you will see and the more you may adjust to and enjoy the desert tranquility. Even for us it is difficult to describe the sunsets, the nights and the sunrises in the desert which you can experience only in areas this remote from any settlements you have to experience it in order to understand it.Of course it is possible to go for a shorter safari like sunset only or overnight and it is up to you to decide what suits you best.

About Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer pronunciation, nicknamed "The Golden city", is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, located 575 kilometres (357 mi) west of the state capital Jaipur. Once known as Jaisalmer state it is a World Heritage Site. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which contains the palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples are finely sculptured. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert (the Great Indian Desert) and has a population of about 78,000. It is the administrative headquarters of Jaisalmer District. Luxury camps have become the traditional way of experiencing life of residents of Khuri desert , visited by celebrities, honeymooners and peace-seekers alike. Largely eco sensitive and built by local workers using local materials, the camps are a relatively guilt-free way to enjoy the tranquillity and wildlife of the desert.For families, couples and single travellers who seek a carefree nature retreat, amidst the sun kissed Thar desert, our Khuri Camp is the place to visit. The desert Resort is located near Khuri Village 49 kilometres away from Jaisalmer. Our goal is that you leave feeling content and happier than when you arrive. So escape the hustle bustle of the cities and stay with us to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Everybody should take a camel ride deep in sand dunes and watch breath-taking sunsets and sunrises.All our tent furniture have been crafted by hand using natural and local materials. Staff at Oasis camp and Resort is made up of rural people of Sodakore cast which is our contribution to rural and responsible tourism. This also helps provide employment to the local village folk.Our desirable location allows guests to make the most of their visit to Jaisalmer. While staying with us, one can indulge into a number of activities like bird watching, interacting with the vibrant village folk, camel treks, village visits, dinner on the sand dunes, taking a tractor ride and even plucking your own fruits and vegetables!We feel that we have prepared all aspects of our campsite to ensure that our guests are comfortable with us and really enjoy the Rajasthani desert life splendour.

Jaisalmer Fort {Jaisalmer}

Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. It is situated  in the city of Jaisalmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. It was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. (Rawal Jaisal's son was Shalivahan II; Manj and Bhati Rajputs are descended from him.) The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, onTrikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. The fort is located in the very heart of the city, and is one of the most notable monuments in the locality. In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jaisalmer Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

History

The fort was built by Rawal Jaiswal in 1156 CE. Jaisal conspired with  the Sultan of Gaur to dispose his nephew Bhojdev from his territory. The other important event of the fort was during 1276 when King Jetsi strengthened the fort against the invading Sultan of Delhi. the 56 bastions were manned by 3,700 soldiers. After eight years of invasion, the Sultan's army destroyed the castle. Bhatis took control of the fort, but had no means to strengthen it. In 1306, Dodoo was elected the Rawal for his bravery for ejecting the Rathors. He subsequently started building the fort. The Rawals could not stand the invasion of Mughal emperor Babur and subsequently seeded to Akbar in 1570 and also got his daughter married to him.During medieval times, the city played a major role in trade with Persia,Arabia, Egypt and Africa. The fort contains 3 layers of walls. The outer or the lower layer is made out of solid stone blocks and it reinforces the loose rubble of Trikuta Hill. The second, or middle, wall snakes around the fort. From the innermost, or third, wall, the Rajput warriors once hurled boiling oil and water as well as massive blocks of rock at their enemies, who would become entrapped between the second and third walls. This defences of the fort include 99 bastions, of which 92 were built between the period of 1633-47.Ala-ud-din Khilji attacked and captured the fort in the 13th century and managed to hold it for 9 years. During the siege of the fort the Rajput women committed Jauhar. The second battle at the fort happened in 1541, when Mughal emperor Humayun attacked the fort city.The fort was under the control of Mughals until 1762 when Maharawal Mulraj took control of the fort. Due to its isolated location, the fort escaped the ravages of the Marathas. The treaty between the East India Company and Mulraj on 12 December 1818 allowed the king to have succession of the fort and provided protection from invasion. After the death of Mulraj in 1820, his grandson Gaj Singh took reigns of the fort. With the advent of British rule, the emergence of maritime trade and the growth of the port of Bombay led to the gradual economic decline of Jaisalmer. After independence and the Partition of India, the ancient trade route was totally closed, thus sealing the fate of the city. Nonetheless, the continued strategic importance of Jaisalmer was demonstrated during the 1965 and 1971 wars between India and Pakistan Although at one point the entire population of Jaisalmer lived within the fort, it today has a resident population of about 4,000 people who are largely from the Brahmin and Daroga communities. They are mostly descendants of the workforce of the Bhati rulers of Jaisalmer which was permitted to reside within the fort's premises.[2] With an increase in population, people gradually relocated to the foot of the Trikuta Hill and the town of Jaisalmer spread out from the fort.

Patwon Ki Haveli {Jaisalmer}

The Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time. He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century. The havelis are also known as the 'mansion of brocade merchants'. This name has been given probably because the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However, there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending.This is the largest Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. This haveli is presently occupied by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself.Nevertheless, even after these encroachments and abuse you can find a good amount of paintings and mirror-works on the wall. The other important aspects are its gateways and arches. You will notice individual depictions and theme on each and every arch. Although the whole building is made yellow sandstone, the main gateway of the Patwon Ji ki Haveli is in brown color.

About Gadisar Lake {Jaisalmer}

Set to the south of the city, Gadisar Lake is an unadulterated treat for  one’s eyes and mind. Enjoy a calm boat ride on these waters as the sun sets to close a hectic day of sightseeing in peace. A number of shrines and pavilions dot the lake banks and a domed pavilion in the middle adds tremendously to the aesthetic appearance of the lake. A interesting fact about this lake is that its never dry (even though it’s in the middle of a desert) as it is fed by the Indira Gandhi Canal. You can also buy bread and feed the numerous catfish to whom the Gadisar Lake is home sweet home. Also, do ask your boat rower or guide to narrate the story of Teelon-ki-Pol while you enjoy the boat ride.

Bada Bagh {Jaisalmer}

Bada Bagh, also called Barabagh (literally Big Garden) is a garden complex  about 6 km north of Jaisalmer on way to Ramgarh, and halfway between Jaisalmer and Lodhruva in the state of Rajasthan in India. It contains a set of royal cenotaphs, or chhatris of Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, starting with Jai Singh II (d. 1743). A descendant of Maharawal Jaisal Singh, the founder of the state and Maharaja ofJaisalmer State, Jai Singh II (1688–1743), commissioned a dam to create a water tank during his reign in the 16th century. This made the desert green in this area.After his death on September 21, 1743, his son Lunkaran built a beautiful garden next to the lake and a chhatri (Hindi for cenotaph) for hi  s father on a hill next to the lake. Later on, many more cenotaphs were constructed here for Lunkaran and other Bhattis. The last chhatri, meant for maharaja Jawahar Singh, dates from the 20th century and remains unfinished after Indian independence.The gardens are largely neglected, but the hill with the cenotaphs is still quite an interesting sight.

About Bikaner

Bikaner is a city in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. It is located 330 kilometres (205 mi) northwest of the state capital, Jaipur. Bikaner city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division. Formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner, the city was founded by Rao Bika in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. The Ganges Canal, completed in 1928, and the Indira Gandhi Canal, completed in 1987, facilitated its development. The city celebrates its foundation day on Akshaya Tritiya by flying kites and eating special Rajasthani food that includes Bajre Ka Khichda and Imli ka Paani (Tamarind Water) among other snacks. The celebration lasts for two days, known as Chhoti Akha Teej and Badi Akha Teej. People can be seen flying kites during these two days right from the early morning at 5-6am till late sunset. Given the extreme desert weather, standing for long hours under the bright Sun is a torture in itself. Hence, a quick home-made drink like Tamarind Water really helps in controlling body temperature and prevents from heat stroke.

History

Prior to the mid 15th century, the region that is now Bikaner was a barren wilderness called Jangladesh. Rao Bika established the city of Bikaner in 1488. He was the first son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur and conquered the largely arid country in the north of Rajasthan. As the first son of Jodha he wanted to have his own kingdom, not inheriting Jodhpur from his father or the title of Maharaja. He therefore decided to build his own kingdom in what is now the state of Bikaner in the area of Jangladesh. Though it was in the Thar Desert, Bikaner was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujarat coast as it had adequate spring water. Bika's name was attached to the city he built and to the state of Bikaner ("the settlement of Bika") that he established. Bika built a fort in 1478, which is now in ruins, and a hundred years later a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre, known as the Junagarh Fort. Around a century after Rao Bika founded Bikaner, the state's fortunes flourished under the sixth Raja, Rai Singhji, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. During the Mughal Empire's rule in the country, Raja Rai Singh accepted the suzerainty of the Mughals and held a high rank as an army general at the court of the Emperor Akbar and his son the Emperor Jahangir. Rai Singh's successful military exploits, which involved winning half of Mewar kingdom for the Empire, won him accolades and rewards from the Mughal emperors. He was given the jagirs (lands) of Gujarat and Burhanpur. With the large revenue earned from these jagirs, he built the Chintamani durg (Junagarh fort) on a plain which has an average elevation of 760 feet (230 m). He was an expert in arts and architecture, and the knowledge he acquired during his visits abroad is amply reflected in the numerous monuments he built at the Junagarh fort. Maharaja Karan Singh, who ruled from 1631 to 1639, under the suzerainty of the Mughals, built the Karan Mahal palace. Later rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh ji, who ruled from 1669 to 1698, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter, a royal dwelling for women and children. He refurbished the Karan Mahal with a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal.Maharaja Gaj Singh, who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace).During the 18th century, there was internecine war between the rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and also amongst other thakurs, which was put down by British troops. Following Maharaja Gaj Singh, Maharaja Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and lavishly decorated the audience hall (see illustration) with glass and lively paintwork. Under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, during Maharaja Surat Singh's reign, Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British, after which the Maharajas of Bikaner invested heavily in refurbishing Junagarh fort. Dungar Singh, who reigned from 1872 to 1887, built the Badal Mahal, the 'weather palace', so named in view of a painting of clouds and falling rain, a rare event in arid Bikaner. General Maharaja Ganga Singh, who ruled from 1887 to 1943, was the best-known of the Rajasthan princes and was a favourite of the British Viceroys of India. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India, served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented India at the Imperial Conferences during the First World War and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference. His contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audiences in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. He also built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio. This palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner. He named the building Lalgarh Palace in honour of his father and moved his main residence there from Junagarh Fort in 1902. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee (in 1938) as Bikaner's ruler is now a museum. Ganga Singh's son, Lieutenant-General Sir Sadul Singh, the Yuvaraja of Bikaner, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1943, but acceded his state to the Union of India in 1949. Maharaja Sadul Singh died in 1950, being succeeded in the title by his son, Karni Singh (1924-1988).The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel.

Junagarh Fort {Bikaner}

One of the most attractive forts in Bikaner is Junagarh fort. It was built by Maharaja Rai Singh. The entire fort is steeped in deep history due to which it appeals to the tourists to a great extent. The fort is completely built with red sandstone brought from the Thar Desert. However, the interior work is done with marble. There are many wonderful things to see within the fort. The rich heritage of the king along with many temples and Havelis of the kings are found within the fort. Some of the palaces found here include Ganga Mahal, Phool Mahal, Badal Mahal, etc. There is also a fort museum within the fort and displays collection of dresses, weapons, paintings and many other things of historical importance. The museum is one of the major tourist points in Rajasthan. You can also find many manuscripts written in Sanskrit and Persian. Therefore, if you ever visit here, make sure that you also visit these different palaces to get the best experience.

Lalgarh Palace {Bikaner}

Lalgarh Palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the year 1902 in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji. The red sandstone construction is a stupendous example of the architectural brilliance of the past. Mughal, Rajput and European architectures blend excellently well. The massive lawns houses peacocks, which are a sight to watch when they dance. You could find library, cards room and billiards room among various other rooms. Lalgarh Palace is a feast to your eyes and architects’ delight.  

About Pushkar

Pushkar is considered to be a sacred town for the Hindus. Situated about 11 km northwest of Ajmer, this town has its name even in the Epics and also in Kalidasa's Sakuntalam. Being a pilgrimage for the Hindus the major Pushkar tourist attractions are the Pushkar Lake and the 400 temples that are scattered around the town. The most famous temple of Pushkar is the Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir. It is the one and only temple in India that is dedicated to Lord Brahma. On the other hand it is said that a dip in the Pushkar Lake on the full moon in the month of Kartik can take away all your sins. There are 52 ghats on the Pushkar Lake and all of them are supposed to be bestowed with healing powers. Pushkar tourist attractions therefore centers mainly on the religious activities of India. Brahma Temple is one of the main sites of Pushkar Pilgrimage. The legends associated with the temple of Lord Brahma, its uniqueness, its significance as a holy place, add to the beautiful settings of the temple. It is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in India.  

Brahma Temple {Pushkar}

Brahma Temple is one of the main sites of Pushkar Pilgrimage. The legends associated with the temple of Lord Brahma, its uniqueness, its significance  as a holy place, add to the beautiful settings of the temple. It is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in India. Lord Brahma is known as the creator of everything and therefore holds a position of importance among the Hindu deities. One of the most important religious spots in India, Brahma Temple, is respected by the Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma performed a Yagya on the same spot where the temple stands. All Hindu gods and goddesses participated in the Yagya.

Pushkar Lake {Pushkar}

Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar is located in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer district of the Rajasthan state of western India. Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of the Hindus. The Hindu scriptures describe it as "Tirtha-Raj" – the king of pilgrimage sites related to a water-body and relate it to the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most prominent temple stands in Pushkar. The Pushkar Lake finds mention on coins as early as the 4th century BC. Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats (a series of steps leading to the lake), where pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath, especially around Kartik Poornima (October–November) when the Pushkar Fair is held. A dip in the sacred lake is believed to cleanse sins and cure skin diseases. Over 500 Hindu temples are situated around the lake precincts. Tourism and deforestation in the surroundings have taken a heavy toll on the lake, adversely affecting its water quality, reducing the water levels and destroying the fish population. As part of conservation measures, the government is undertaking de-silting, de-weeding, water treatment, and afforestation as well as mass awareness programme.

History 

Pushkar Lake's history dates back to the 4th century BC. Numismatics, in the form of punched Greek and Kushan coins date the lake back to this time. The inscriptions found at Sanchi attest to the lake's existence to the 2nd Century BC. This suggests that Pushkar was a pilgrimage centre even if it did not lie on the trade route. In the fifth century AD, Chinese traveller Fa Xian made reference to the number of visitors to Pushkar Lake. A story tells of a ninth-century Rajput king, Nahar Rao Parihar of Mandore, chasing a white boar to the lake shore on a hunting expedition. In order to quench his thirst, he dipped his hand into the lake and was astonished to see that the Leukoderma marks on his hand had disappeared. Impressed with the sacred curative nature of the lake, he got the lake restored to its glory. After discovering the curative characteristics of the lake water, people have since visited the lake to take a holy dip and cure themselves of skin problems. The creation of Pushkar Lake, as an artificial lake, is also credited to the 12th century when a dam was built across the headwaters of the Luni River. The 10th Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh (1666–1708), is said to have recited the Sikh sacred text Guru Granth Sahib on the banks of the lake. During the Mughal rule, there was a short break in the lake's importance due to the levy of a pilgrim tax and a ban on religious processions. In 1615–16, the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569–1627) built his hunting lodge (seen now in total ruins) on the shores of the Pushkar Lake to celebrate his victory over the local Rajput Rana (king). He came to this lodge 16 times for hunting during his stay in Ajmer, about 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Pushkar. This act violated the local tradition of not killing any animals in the precincts of the sacred lake. He also committed an idolatrous act by breaking the image of Varaha – the boar Avatar of the god Vishnu, as it resembled a pig and symbolically hurt Islamic sensitivity. Thereafter, Jahangir's grandson emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707) destroyed and desecrated several temples, which were later rebuilt. However, during the rule of Jahangir's father, Emperor Akbar (1542–1605), there was a revival of not only the lake but also the Ajmer's Dargah dedicated to sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, of whom Akbar was a devout follower. The Rajput rulers of Amber, Bundi, Bikaner and Jaisalmer made great efforts to restore the importance of the lake and its surrounding temples. Credits given for modern additions to the building of ghats and the renovation/construction of temples go to Maharaja Man Singh I of Amber for the Raj Ghat and Man temple; Maha Rana Pratap for the Varaha temple; Daulat Rao Scindia for Kot Tirth Ghat, the Marathas-Anaji Scindia to the Koteshwar Mahadev temple and Govind Rao, the Maratha governor of Ajmer for Shiva Ghat; to the British rule for combining the religious pilgrimage with a cattle fair to generate taxes for improving the lake and its surroundings; and gifting of the Jaipur Ghat and the Main Palace on the ghat in 1956 by the Maharaja of Jaipur.

Holy Dip {Pushkar}

Holy Dip in Pushkar Lake is considered by the Hindus to bring them good luck and ward of all sins and evils. Pilgrims turn out in hordes every year at Pushkar to take a dip in the pure waters of the lake which is believed to contain medicinal and curative powers. One such occasion when there is a major rush is that of Karthik Poornima.

Camel Safari {Pushkar}

Rajasthan invites you to feel the adventure of a Camel Safari, which takes you through the golden sands of the vast. Thar desert. Like horse safaris, camel safaris are also popular in Rajasthan. The camel, popularly known as the ship of the desert, is not only common in the Thar desert, but also the only means of transportation in remote areas. Ride through sandy tracks, passing through remote villages. Pitch your tent at a new place each night. Spend the evenings next to the camp tire and dance to the folk music. The safari is organised to take one through the golden sands of the vast Thar desert and untamed countryside, enabling one to experience the days gone by when time drifted at a leisurely pace. The rolling landscape of the sand & shrub covered area is breathtakingly beautiful and the range of flora and fauna surprisingly large for a desert area. The camel breeders or Raika are the best guides. They know every pasture, waterhole and village of the region. One can ride or walk along leisurely with the safari and enjoy the deserts-cape. The camel-carts are fully equipped and tourists need not bother about comfort in the desert. Camel safari can be arranged at Pushkar, Jaisalmer or Bikaner and also during nagaur fair,desert festival and Pushkar fair but without camel safari your journey to Rajasthan is not completed. Camel safari in Pushkar gives visitor a chance to see the mixture of mountain landscape, desert and the rose’s orchid that will make the camel safari more exciting and full of site scene as well.

About Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital and largest city (in term of size) of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18 November 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer after whom the city is named. As of 2011, the city has a population of 3.1 million, making it the tenth most populous city in the country. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India. Located 260 km (162 miles) from the Indian capital New Delhi, Jaipur forms a part of the west Golden Triangle tourist circuit along with Agra (240 km, 149 mi). Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India and serves as a gateway to other tourist destinations in Rajasthan such as Jodhpur (348 km, 216 mi), Jaisalmer (571 km, 355 mi) and Udaipur (421 km, 262 mi). The city of Jaipur was founded in 1726 by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amer who ruled from  1688 to 1758. He planned to shift his capital from Amer, 11 km (7 miles) from Jaipur to accommodate the growing population and increasing scarcity of water. Jai Singh consulted several books on architecture and architects while planning the layout of Jaipur. Under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was planned based on the principles of Vastu shastra and Shilpa Shastra. The construction of the city began in 1726 and took four years to complete the major roads, offices and palaces. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates. During the rule of Sawai Ram Singh, the city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, in 1876. Many of the avenues remained painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance and the epithet Pink city. In the 19th century, the city grew rapidly and by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The wide boulevards were paved and its chief industries were the working of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) opened during the reign of the Maharaja Ram Singh II.

Chokhi-Dhani {Jaipur}

Famous place in Jaipur , attracts lot of tourists ....the theme is based on village where u can enjoy games ,rajasthani dance , camel rides etc nd even purchase some stuff.....there is an entry ticket which includes traditional rajasthani food. Two types of seating is available floor and proper restaurant type dining, depends which category of ticket u have purchased..
Food- It’s an unlimited buffet where they serve dal bati churma and some other items along with loads of white butter.... sweets like jalebi was delicious....overall the food is good... Service is very good and fast....prices are ok for the overall experience....weekends are generally more crowded...best enjoyed on a cool winter day…Good place to enjoy and visit at least once...

Birla Temple {Jaipur}

Situated in the south of Jaipur, Laxmi Narayan Temple is one of the many such temples built by wealthy Birla family in India, thus it is also known as Birla Mandir. The temple is a great reminder of the secular traditions India has shown over the centuries. The temple has been constructed in white marble and has three domes, each portraying the different approaches to religion. The temple is situated at the foot of Moti Doongri Fort, converted as a small palace by Ram Singh II for his wife Gayatri Devi.

Jantar Mantar {Jaipur}

Jantar Mantar at Jaipur is the largest stone observatory in the World and this feature makes it, a special destination for a traveler. Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. During the period between 1727 and 1733, Jantar Mantar took its form and structure. Initially Jantar Mantar was named as Yantra Mantra, which means instruments and formulae, but due to mispronunciation of the term, it is changed to the recognized name. Jantar Mantar has a remarkable collection of architectural astronomical instruments.  It portrays noteworthy attempt of the ancestors, who were interested in astronomy and knowledge of celestial bodies. Above all, this observatory still, provides accurate information, which can be compared with today's modern instruments undeniably. The compound instruments, whose settings and shapes are scientifically designed depicts the forte of Medieval Indian Astronomy. Jantar Mantar is wholly constructed with stone and marble.

City Palace {Jaipur}

City Palace forms one of the most famous tourist attractions and a major landmark in Jaipur. The beautiful palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during his reign. Among the various forts and palaces of Jaipur, City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. City Palace complex covers a huge area, which is divided into a series of gardens, courtyards and buildings. Initially, Raja Jai Singh built the outer wall occupying a huge area. The additional grand buildings were constructed later by the succeeding rulers. A part of the exquisite Palace still makes home for the former Maharaja/ King. The premises consists several buildings like Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani's Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. One would come across the Mubarak Mahal, as one enters the first square. Mubarak Mahal was built by Sawai Madho Singh in the 19th century to entertain his guests. Today, it has converted into a costume gallery, which displays royal attires of the Kings. After crossing the first square, a beautiful gateway welcomes to Diwan-I-Khas, a hall meant for private audience. It has two sterling silver vessels on display and they are acclaimed to be the world's largest silver vessel. These vessels were made for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II to carry water from River Ganga to drink on his trip to England. Diwan-I-Aam, which was meant for public audience, forms the other attraction of this courtyard. At present, it makes an art gallery showcasing enthralling painted ceilings and rare ancient handwritten original manuscripts of Hindu scriptures. In the series, Maharani's Palace, which was meant for royal queens, has been converted into a museum, showcasing weapons dated back to 15th century. Chandra Mahal is essentially regarded as the best part, out of the whole tour to City Palace. It has seven stories and each story is known by a different name. The topmost story is known as Mukut Mahal. The wonderful architecture of this Palace with delicate paintings, mirror work on walls and floral decorations, makes it a "must-see" for every visitor. In the present day, this palace serves as the residence of ex-ruler. Badal Mahal stands opposite to Chandra Mahal and while crossing the path, one would find Govind Dev Ji Temple between them. Above all these, the Palace also offers delicacies in its multi cuisine restaurant.

Hawa Mahal {Jaipur}

Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh; Hawa Mahal is the most stunning sight in the city of Jaipur. The palace, part of a huge complex, overlooks one of Jaipur's main streets and was originally constructed to offer women of the court a vantage point, behind stone-carved screens, from which to watch the activities taking place in the bazaar and the surrounding streets. Hawa Mahal Jaipur five-story, pyramid-shaped structure is made up of small casements, each with tiny windows and arched roofs with hanging cornices, exquisitely modeled and carved. Its façade makes Hawa Mahal look more like a screen than a palace. Its top three stories are just a single room thick but at the base are two courtyards. It is a fifty-foot high thin shield, less than a foot in thickness, but has over 900 niches and a mass of semi-octagonal bays, carved sandstone grills, finials and domes, which give this palace its unique façade. Hawa Mahal or Hawa Mahal Jaipur is also popular as "Palace of Winds" and it is designed by Lal Chand Usta and this name of the palace is given because Hawa Mahal has about 953 windows through which wind or (hawa) flows and keep the palace cool.

Hawa Mahal {Jaipur}

Hawa Mahal (English translation: "Palace of Winds" or "Palace of the Breeze") is a palace in Jaipur, India, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, and extends to the zenana, or women's chambers. The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. He was so intimidated and inspired by unique structure of Khetri Mahal and he built the grand and historical Hawa Mahal. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey strict "purdah" (face cover). The lattice also allows cool air from the Venturi effect (doctor breeze) through the intricate pattern, air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summers. Many people see the hawa mahal from the street view and thought that it is front of the palace but in reality it is the back of that structure. In 2006, restoration and renovation works on the Mahal were undertaken, after a gap of 50 years, to give a face lift to the monument at an estimated cost of Rs 4568 million. The corporate sector lent a hand to preserve the historical monuments of Jaipur and the Unit Trust of India has adopted Hawa Mahal to maintain it. The palace is an extended part of a huge complex. The stone-carved screens, small casements and arched roofs are some of the features of this popular tourist spot. The monument also has delicately modeled hanging cornices. Like several other monuments of Jaipur, the palace is also constructed using sandstone.

The Amber Fort {Jaipur}

Amber Fort is located in Amber (Jaipur), which used to be the capital of the Kachhwaha clan, till Jaipur was made the official capital in 1727. The Amber Fort looks stunning, all-built in white marble and red sandstone. To add to its charm, Maotha Lake makes its foreground. The crystal mirror image of the Fort, on the still waters of the lake, seems to be a beautiful illusion. Amber Fort is usually pronounced as Amer Fort. In 1592, construction of the Fort was started by Raja Man Singh I. However, the Amber Fort took its present form during the reign of Raja Jai Singh I. The outer appearance of the Fort, being rough and craggy is totally different from its core. The interior of the Fort provides a soothing and warm ambience, which is least expected from its outer appearance. The marvelous decoration of the Amer Fort is influenced by both, the Hindu and Muslim manner of ornamentation. Exquisite paintings of hunting scenes on the walls depict the temperament of the Rajputs, who were adventurous, revolutionary and self-indulgent.  Artistic quality of delicate work. The mighty walls guarantee the protection of the Fort against the invasion of the enemies. The Fort is divided into four subparts. Kali Temple, which is also known as Shila Devi Temple, forms the part of the Fort. It is renowned for its glorious past, huge silver lions and silver doors. The Hall of Public Audiences, Diwan-I-Aam is a pavilion with double row of columns. Ganesh Pol, another feature of the Fort, directs the way to the inhabited apartments of the King. The Hall of Victory, Jai Mandir has a stunning ceiling comprised of mirror work and an inlaid panel.

About Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. After his military victories over Chittor and Ranthambore, Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to a new location 23 miles (37 km) W.S.W on the Sikri ridge, to honor the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Here he commenced the construction of a planned walled city which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction of a series royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. He named the city, Fatehabad, with Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning "victory." it was later called Fatehpur Sikri. It is at Fatehpur Sikri that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collections of Mughal architecture in India. According to contemporary historians, Akbar took a great interest in the building of Fatehpur Sikri and probably also dictated its architectural style. Seeking to revive the splendours of Persian court ceremonial made famous by his ancestor Timur, Akbar planned the complex on Persian principles. But the influences of his adopted land came through in the typically Indian embellishments. The Easy availability of sandstone in the neighbouring areas of Fatehpur Sikri, also meant that all the buildings here were made of the red stone. The imperial Palace complex consists of a number of independent pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of level ground, a pattern derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments. In its entirety, the monuments at Fatehpur Sikri thus reflect the genius of Akbar in assimilating diverse regional architectural influences within a holistic style that was uniquely his own.The Imperial complex was abandoned in 1585, shortly after its completion, due to paucity of water and its proximity with the Rajputana areas in the North-West, which were increasingly in turmoil. Thus the capital was shifted to Lahore so that Akbar could have a base in the less stable part of the empire, before moving back Agra in 1598, where he had begun his reign as he shifted his focus to Deccan. In fact, he never returned to the city except for a brief period in 1601. In later Mughal history it was occupied for a short while by Mughal emperor, Muhammad Shah (r. 1719 -1748), and his regent, Sayyid Hussain Ali Khan Barha, one of the Syed Brothers, was murdered here in 1720. Today much of the imperial complex which spread over nearly two mile long and one mile wide area is largely intact and resembles a ghost town. It is still surrounded by a five mile long wall built during its original construction, on three sides. However apart from the imperial buildings complex few other buildings stand in the area, which is mostly barren, except of ruins of the bazaars of the old city near the Naubat Khana, the 'drum-house' entrance at Agra Road. The modern town lies at the western end of the complex, which was a municipality from 1865 to 1904, and later made a "notified area", and in 1901 had a population of 7,147. For a long time it was still known for its masons and stone carvers, though in Akbar time it was known and 'fabrics of hair' and 'silk-spinning'. The village of Sikri still exists nearby.

About Agra

Agra is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is 378 kilometres (235 mi) west of the state capital, Lucknow, 206 kilometres (128 mi) south of the national capital New Delhi and 125 kilometres (78 mi) north of Gwalior. With a population of 1,686,993 (2013 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous in India. Agra can also refer to the administrative district that has its headquarters in Agra city. It is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra is included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Jaipur; and the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc, tourist circuit of UP state, along Lucknow the capital of the state and Varanasi. Agra falls within the Braj cultural region. The city was first mentioned in the epic Mahabharata, where it was called Agrevaa (derived from Sanskrit (अग्रेवण) meaning "the border of the forest"). Legend ascribes the founding of the city to Raja Badal Singh, a Sikarwar Rajput king (c. 1475), whose fort, Badalgarh, stood on or near the site of the present fort. However, the 11th century Persian poet Mas'ūd Sa'd Salmān writes of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by the Shahi King Jayapala, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sultan Sikandar Lodī (1488–1517) was the first to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in 1506. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital. He died in 1517 and his son, Ibrahim Lodī, remained in power there for nine more years and several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period. Finally being defeated at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Between 1540 and 1556, Afghans, beginning with Sher Shah Suri ruled the area. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658.

Taj Mahal {Agra}

It is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Yamuna River. Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and Queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. It is an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream." Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of Queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. The documents contain names of those employed and the inventory of construction materials and their origin. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks. The Taj stands on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon.

Agra Fort {Agra}

Agra Fort was originally a brick fort, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs. It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1488–1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital. He died in the fort in 1517 and his son, Ibrahim Lodi, held it for nine years until he was defeated and killed at Panipat in 1526. Several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period.After the First Battle of Panipat, Mughals captured the fort and a vast treasure - which included a diamond later known as the Koh-i-Noor - was seized. Babur stayed in the fort in the palace of Ibrahim. He built a baoli (step well) in it. Humanyun was crowned here in 1530. Humayun was defeated in Bilgram in 1540 by Sher Shah Suri and fort remained with Suris till 1555, when Humanyun recaptured it. Hindu king "Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, also called 'Hemu' defeated Humanyun's army lead by Iskandar Khan Uzbek and won Agra. Hemu got a huge booty from this fort and went on to win Delhi from Mughals. "Mughals under Akbar, defeated the Hindu King Hemu finally at the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556.Realizing the importance of its central situation, Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558. His historian, Abdul Fazal, recorded that this was a brick fort known as 'Badalgarh' . It was in a ruined condition and Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years, completing it in 1573.It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. Legend has it that Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble, often inlaid with gold or semi-precious gems. He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort in order to make his own. At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was deposed and restrained by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal.The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India Company's rule in India, and led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain.

Sikandra Fort Tomb of Akbar the Great {Agra}

The third Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1555–1605), hi mself commenced its construction in around 1600, according to Tartary tradition to commence the construction of one's tomb during one's lifetime. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. After his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605-1613. Akbar was one of the greatest emperors of his time. This was not known until later on because his burial chamber laid on a 20 by 5 acre plot of land.

Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah {Agra}

Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agrain the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a "jewel box", sometimes called the "Baby Tāj", the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Tāj Mahal.Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents a transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture – primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Akbar'stomb in Sikandra – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most elegantly realized in the Tāj Mahal.The mausoleum was commissioned by Nūr Jahān, the wife ofJahangir, for her father Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of I'timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Mirzā Ghiyās Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtāz Mahāl (originally named Arjūmand Bāno, daughter of Asaf Khān), the wife of the emperor Shāh Jahān, responsible for the construction of the Tāj Mahal. Nur Jehan was also responsible for the construction of the Tomb of Jehangir at Lahore.

About Mathura

Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located approximately 50 km north of Agra, and 145 km south-east of Delhi; about 11 kilometers from the town of Vrindavan and 22 kilometers from Govardhan. It is the administrative centre of Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh. During the ancient period, Mathura was an economic hub, located at the junction of important caravan routes. Today, it is a fast expanding city with over 2.5 million residents. Mathura is the birthplace of the Hindu mythological character Lord Krishna at the centre of Braj or Brij-bhoomi, called Shri Krishna Janma-Bhoomi, literally: 'Lord Krishna's birthplace'. The Keshav Dev Temple was built in ancient times on the site of Krishna's legendary birthplace (an underground prison). According to the Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana epics, Mathura was the capital of the Surasena Kingdom, ruled by Kansa the maternal uncle of Shri Krishna.

Bake Bihari Temple {Mathura}

Shri Bankey Bihari Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, in the holy city of Vrindavan in the Mathura district It is situated near to the RADHAVALLABH JI Temple.This temple is among the 7 temples of Thakur of Vrindavan including Sri Radhavallabh ji, Shri Govind Dev ji and four others. Bankey Bihari ji was originally worshiped at Nidhivana. Bankey means “bent in three places” and bihari means “supreme enjoyer.” The image of Lord Krishna stands in the Tribhanga posture. Haridas Swami originally worshipped this devotional image under the name of Kunj-bihari ("Enjoyer of Lakes"). 'Bānke' means 'bent', and 'Bihāri' or 'Vihāri' means 'enjoyer'. This is how Kṛṣṇa, who is bent in three places, got the name "Bānke Bihāri". According to Śrī Brahmasaḿhitā (verse 5.31), Brahma says the following about Kṛṣṇa: "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, round whose neck is swinging a garland of flowers beautified with the moon-locket, whose two hands are adorned with the flute and jeweled ornaments, who always revels in pastimes of love, whose graceful threefold-bending form of Śyāmasundara is eternally manifest.

Iskcon Temple {Mathura}

Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir is a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple in the holy city of Vrindavan. It is one of the main ISKCON temples in India and internationally. Spiritual seekers and particularly devotees of Krishna from all over the world are seen here year-round, adding new color and life to this ancient holy city. Sri Krishna-Balaram Mandir was built in 1975 on the orders of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Even today, it is regarded as one of the most popular temples in Vrindavan. In his book,Hinduism: A Short History, Klaus Klostermaier described it as, "a big and beautiful temple" and "one of the main sights of Vrindavan.

Radha Raman Temple {Mathura}

Sri Radha Raman Mandir or Sri Radha Raman Temple, is an early modern period Hindu temple in Vrindavan, India dedicated to Lord Krishnaas Radha Ramana. It was constructed at the request of Gopala Bhatta Goswami at around 1542 AD.This temple is among the 7 temples of Thakur of Vrindavan including Sri Radhavallabh ji, Shri Bankey Bihari Ji, Shri Govind Dev ji and three others. The temple is exquisitely crafted and one of the most revered temples in Vrindavan, especially by the followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It houses the original shaligram deity of Krishna alongside Radharani. Radha Raman means the lover (ramana) of Srimati Radha. The temple was established over 500 years ago by Gopala Bhatta Goswami. At the age of thirty, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami came to Vrindavana. After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee from the pangs of separation, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream "If you want my darshan then make a trip to Nepal". In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see several Shaligrama shilas enter his pot. He dropped the shilas back into the river, but the shilasre-entered his pot when he refilled it. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas. It is believed that once a wealthy man came to Vrindavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothes and ornaments for his Shaligramas in charity. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shaligramas. He advised the donor to give the deity decorations to someone else. It is believed that the donor refused to take them back and Gopala Bhatta kept the clothes and ornaments with his shilas. On the Purnima (full moon) day, in the evening after offering naivedhya to his Shaligrama shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest. in the early morning he went to take bath in the Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shaligramas in order to render puja, and saw amongst them a Deity of Krishna playing the flute. There were now only eleven shilasand a Deity. The "Damodara shila" had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. In this way Radha Raman emerged in a perfectly shaped deity form from a sacred shaligrama shila. Devotees consider this image to be alive and that he grants a chosen family the privilege of assisting him in his daily schedule. In this way "the Lord has granted his wish and the stone was turned into the murti of Sri Krishna". As a narrative account of actualized Krishna-bhakti, Radharamana's appearance story highlights the divine-human relationship of love as the ontologically central category of ultimate reality. The Prasad for Shri Radha Raman Ji is prepared by the male members of the Goswami families in the temple kitchen. The fire in the kitchen lit in early days of the temple still continues today. The Goswami families are allotted a calendar in advance for their personal seva (service) period and they perform seva accordingly. They also invite their disciples during their period and celebrate major family functions and ceremonies. Inside the temple complex, the samadhi of Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami is also situated. There the rarely available Unag vastra of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is kept.