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Cities of Rajasthan
 
For a visitor, Rajasthan builds a lot opinions and breaks a number of misconceptions. It is a place, which defies any definition. "Many people have seen the immense luxury of the palaces and this remains the image they hold of Rajasthan. Others find in the gaunt, grim, hill forts symbols of history A history of passionate love, warfare, guns, swords & suicide charges, women rising in smoke from fiery pyres. But none of these is the truth. The truth is the desert, which made hardmen cut their way to kingdoms and turn from soldiers to sybarites in a generation." -Dominic Moraes.

Jaipur :
The conceptualisation of this city some 270 years back was based on the motive to make it an architectural masterpiece, a prominent centre of art & music, and a great cultural centre. In concrete form, it turned out to be even greater a city. A city of clean layout, broad avenues, public squares, thousands of temples, centers of learning, beautiful mansions, magnificent structures and opulent palaces. The patronage to all religions, castes, customs and practices by its rulers made this city a storehouse of varied customs and traditions. The styles and wealth of Jaipur rulers mixed with such customs made them the liveliest in the world full of Pomp & Shows. No doubt, weddings are the most important customs here and Jaipur has withnessed many such ones, which have become legendary forever.

Jodhpur :
The city being geographically out of the reach most of the times, has manged to retain its distinct character. The city is known for its customs, traditions, morals and values. The dress-up and cuisine is also very distinct in Jodhpur. The majestic fort of Mehrangarh crowns the city. A formidable wall with several gates encircles the old-city. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is a majestic palace built in art-deco style of 1930's. The city has a number of villages of Bishnoi community around it.

Bikaner :
A desert city in the truest sense with scores of camels proving the point. Founded in 15th century by Rao Bikaji, this city has for long remained the home of wealthy tradesmen. The Junagarh fort, sandstone havelies, Bhandasar Jain temples and Lallgarh palaces are astonishing! The fames temple of rats at Deshnoke, National camel breeding farm, archaelogical remains of Indus Valley Civilsation are all at short excursions.

Jaisalmer :
The amazing little town seems to be the last outpost of the Thar Desert like an Oasis full of life and colour. The still inhabited fort crowns the town full of maze of lanes and by-lanes. The city is dotted with havelies (mansions), palaces and temples made of intricately carved yellow sandstone making it an architectural splendour. The shape of the fort and the life within, suggests of the scenes of Arabian Nights. The town is surrounded by vast stretches of desert and sand dunes. The richness of lifestyle, music and dance here is seen to be believed!

Udaipur :
The city of lakes has the largest Palace complex in Rajasthan with beautiful gateways, overhanging balconies and artworks. The palace is situated on the banks of a beautiful Pichhola lake, which has the Lake Palace at its centre. The whole atmosphere seems magical and romantic. Among other attactions Udaipur has a beautiful Jagdish temple, Sahiliyan ki Bari, folk art centrecs, palaces and a number of lakes. It is also known as 'Venice of the East'.

Shekhawati :
The small towns of this region are full of amazingly frescoed havelis (mansions) of wealthy Marwari merchants settled elsewhere. The havelis are the perfect example of Rajasthani architecture having beautiful entrances, courtyards, cupolas, kiosks and trellis. The exteriors and interiors are frescoed with fine details. The best way to see them is on foot or cycle.

Abu and Ranakpur :
It was a delibrate attempt to make the exteriors of Delwara and Ranakpur Jain temples look ordinary (to some extent ugly) which, of course, largely saved them from the attacks of Islamic invaders. What one sees inside leaves him totally surprised and astonished by the ultimate play of human creativity and perseverance over the marble. Perhaps, nowhere else in the world can one see such fine and perfect work over the stone.

 
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