|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."
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.
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
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
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!
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'.
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.