Category Archives: Details

An Animal Fair With A Difference

Every year in the month of October, for the past 500 years, a four day animal fair  is held in Bhawgarh Bandhya, near jaipur, in the Looniyawas village. Held in honour of the Sri KhalKhani Mata-this fair showcases the best of Donkeys money can buy.There is sale and purchase of donkeys,race featuring donkeys,poem recitals in praise of donkeys, prizes for the best bred donkey of the marwari or kathiawari breed,beauty pageant to find the Ms. Donkey & Mr.Donkey among other events.The owners name their donkeys after the bollywood stars to enhance their charms in the eyes of the buyers.Even so the organisers have a difficult time every year to find VVIPs to do the honours at the fair.

As people are preferring to buy horses instead of donkeys or mules for their use these days  a lot of horses turn up at the fair every year also.For example this year there were only 300 donkeys and 50 mules but about 1200 horses at the mela.Also on display was a white colored Shyam Karan Horse  worth 31 lacs.According to the scriptures Lord Ram set loose a Shyam Karan horse when he performed the Ashwa medh yagh.

Legend has it that Sri Khalkhani mata performed a miracle for her devotee in distress by turning a bag of stones into gold coins.Since then this fair is held every year.

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Pabu ji

The life and times of the warrior Saint of Rathores,Pabu ji, are stuff legends are made of.It is believed that he sacrificed his life to honour his word given to a Charan woman from whom he had borrowed a horse when he was on his way to his marriage. On her plea, true to his word he left his marriage halfway to protect her cattle from a neighboring clan. As fate would have it he paid with ultimate sacrifice. The bards all across rajasthan have sung of his life and legend for generations.He inspired the local artists to paint the tales of his life and legend in the form of a scroll of canvas which is treated with wheat starch and painted upon in red,green,blue,brown and black. With these five colors the artist boldly sketches the folk tales of Pabu ji and the local bards use these paintings known as, Pabuji ki Phad ,to help narrate the tales.These paintings are sold all over Rajasthan now a days and made in Chittaurgarh and Shahpura near Bhilwara.Only one family is engaged in this art form now a days in Shahpura(Bhilwara).

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Grace in Gait-The Thar Marwari Horse

A Bit of Water To Drink-1a

In a guest Post Arvind Chawdhary Polo Player,Marwari Horse enthusiast and team leader for The Thar Marwari Horse Safari, Jaipur writes about The Marwari Horse.

As much a mystery as a legend, the Marwari horse instantly evokes reminiscence of the valorous Chetak. The loyal horse of Maharana Pratap of Mewar is alive even today in the annals of history in Rajasthan synonymous for valour, speed and stamina.

The elegant and brave, intelligent and graceful, strong and high in performance, proud and athletic, the horse has been long enshrined in the bardic literature of Medieval Rajasthan. One of the finest horse breeds in the world today, the elegant Marwari comes from an ancient Arab-Turkmeni mix lineage that evolved in the harsh desert climate of the Marwar Region in India.

The horse has since time immemorial had a symbiotic relationship with the desert and the soldiers. The Marwari horse was an awe-inspiring sight on the battlefield with the soldier, who unmindful of the dangers was battling between – victory and death. His resolve helped in no small measure by the confidence he had in his steed – a magnificent horse rearing on its hind legs over the din of clashing swords and warriors’ curses. The Marwari was truly a hero’s horse. Maharana Pratap rode one, the peerless Chetak. Amar Singh Rathore rode Udal and Pabu ji rode Kesar Kalmi . As did most of the heroes whose deeds light up Rajasthan’s embattled history.

By traditional accounts, the Marwari horse has been bred in Rajasthan since at least 1212 C.E. It was originally developed to be a war horse. Bred by the Rathores, the traditional rulers of Marwar, the valiant Rajputs developed a policy of strict selective breeding.

Graceful in his gait the Marwari horses are born with a “rehwal” or “revaal”, a quick, four-beat lateral gait, which is smoother and more comfortable than a trot, used in the desert to cover long distances with greater comfort.

The horse is distinctive with a long head with a broad forehead, wide-set large and alert eyes, a roman nose with full nostrils, and a well-shaped mouth. The most distinctive feature of the Marwari horse is its lyre-shaped ears, which curve inwards and meet at the tips. The ears capable of rotating through an angle of 180 degrees apart from providing the horse with an extremely acute hearing also protect it in sand-storms.The average height of a Marwari Horse is 62-66 inches.And when he leaps, he spans 12 feet!

Apart from their undoubted use in battle, Marwaris were excellent horses for hunting and racing. Albino Marwaris were considered priceless and were used in religious ceremonies. Today, the horse is used for horse riding safaris, endurance competitions, religious ceremonies, and earlier were also in the Cavalry of the Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan Police.

The horse in recent years, has gained a strong following both inside and outside India. The Marwari horse is capable of adapting almost anywhere. Its undoubted beauty and courageous disposition along with the steadfast loyalty it shows towards its owners is making it very trendy with horse enthusiasts.The Marwari has also raced at The Meerut Race Club in May 2008 for the first time in the Indian racing history of  past 129 years.In March 2009 three Marwari horses will be show cased at the EQUITANA-2009 ( a biannual equestrian sports world fair)in Germany for the first time.

THE THAR MARWARI HORSE SAFARI

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Kota Doria Sarees

Genesis of Kota Doria Sarees is the stuff of legends. One version has it  that Maharao Kishore Singh ji , a Mughal General of note,on a campaign in south India,brought back with him master crafts men from Mysore who  skilfully omitted threads in the warp and weft of cotton fabric and produced such small checks that even a single  masur dal seed would not pass through.The fabric so produced was light as gossamer and very strong.These sarees are still called Masuria in Kota.But the rest of the world knows of them as Kota Doria Sarees.

Original Masuria is made on hand looms in the villages of Kaithun, Roteda, Bara and Mangraul.Each loom produces only 5 sarees a month.Now a days the mix of the fabric is 70% cotton from Coimbatore and 30% silk from Karnataka-so as to last longer through the day.Traditionally the color of the sarees was white but now a days many more colors have been introduced including vegetable dyes,Bagru and Sanganer block printing/screen printing and embroidery and mixing Zari from Surat.

Rajasthan Handloom Development Corporation (RHDC) is taking the lead in producing items other than sarees from the Kota Doria .They have helped produce lamp shades,curtains, skirts and salwar-kamiz.They have even helped make an all silk saree on Masuria handlooms.

There are many other varities of  Kota Doria Sarees made on power looms in Benaras, Surat and other cities.

Kota Doria Sarees are avilable at the RHDC showroom opposite Ajmeri Gate on M.I.Road(2371109).

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Chocolates-A Life Long Affair

In this post let us talk about where we can find this ‘food of the gods’ in Jaipur.The chocolate junkie & the Jaipur Romeo will already know where to go.For others-here goes.

Factory made mass produced chocolates by Cadbury India  and Nestle India are freely available. Cadbury India has been around since 1948 when they imported the delicacy for repacking and sale in India.They hold about 70% of the domestic chocolate market share.

Imported dark chocolates and chocolate bars are freely available in the better department stores  and in stores in the newly constructed Malls.They are more expensive than the domestic chocolates.But the new flavours and  the international brand and the sugar free option are the major attractions.

Chocolate is used in pastry, biscuits, cake,ice cream,toffee, indian sweets,desserts and even coffee shakes and hot chocolate ( Hot milk with sugar and Drinking Chocolate or Cocoa).

The Chocolate Boutique at 68,Gopal Bari(2370734) in C-Scheme offers 45 different types of egg less hand made chocolates in attractive packing  & brownies,cakes & pastries.

For baked goods with chocolate- Hot breads on Sarojni Marg and Bake Hut off M.I.Road and Sunrise in Crystal Palm all in the C-Scheme and Bakewell in Raja park.

Melting Moments in Crystal Palm,C-Scheme for chocolate brownie with hot chocolate sauce.

Barista,Mall 21 off  Panch Batti  for Chocolate brownie with hot coffee.

Cafe coffee Day for egg less chocolate chip cookies.

Chocolate ice cream in 1589 on Ashok Marg,Nirulla’s(3130100/200) at the Polo Victory complex Baskin Robins(2388688) at Ganpati Plaza and New Zealand Natural ice Cream at Crystal Palm, Sardar Patel Marg &Crown Plaza,Vaishali Nagar.

Lac-Worth Its Weight In Gold

Lac was known and being used in India during  the Mahabharat times. The Kauravs had a Lac Palace made for  the Pandavs  to stay in during their Banbas period.They wanted to torch the palace while the Pandavs slept.Lac flows when heated and burns easily if naked flame is applied to it. Fore warned Pandavs had to make a tunnel to come out of the burning Palace alive.

Lac is commonly cultivated from the insect species   kerria lacca in India.The secretion is scarlet in color and is deposited by the insect in the branches of host trees like Ber, Dhak and Kusum. It is harvested from the trees for various uses.

In ancient times in India it was  used as a dye for woolen and silken materials and for torturing people.I It is also used  as a filling in fat gold and silver bangles as it gives weight to the ornaments. Transparent lac is also used in Ayurvedic   medicine and in airplanes to fill cracks.

From 18 th century onwards the  artisans of Jaipur in the maniharon ka raasta  have been producing lac bangles- Chura. Now a days  they make whole jewellery sets of Lac.  They also make gift items of Lac like replicas of guitars,jewellery boxes, mirror frames  bottles  and pen stands.To add beauty to these items they are inlaid  with little pieces of mirror etc.These items are in huge demand by the locals and tourists alike.Lac items are exported also.

Karan’s Guesthouse

A Quick Bite To Eat In Jaipur-2

Here are some more tips about mouth watering edibles Jaipur has to offer us all. As I intend to keep adding new establishments as people share their favourites with me  I decided to contribute these gems in a  new post.

Let us start with Rabri this time-Mahaveer Rabri in  Mishra Rajaji Ka Rasta, and Raja Park and  on Tonk Road.

For a  snack  Cafe Delta Food Counter in Mall 21. They also deliver food to your door step.

Sodhani’s on Tonk Road offers  Rasgulla’s, Kulfi and great Dal ki Kachori’s besides rest of the sweets.

Sambharwala  in Ghi walon ka rasta for Ghewar & phini and Doodh Mishtan Bhandar in Chand Pole Bazaar (near Sikar House area) for the same items and also for good Chaat.

For Gulab Sakri & Mishri Mawa –  Somy Ji Rawat in Sonthli walon ka Rasta & LMB.

For Gajak – Narayan ji in Johri Bazar & Jagannath Ji in Ghi walon ka Rasta.

Sanjay omelet at Janta Store,Bapu Nagar  for Omelet.

Dal-Baati-Choorma & Rasmalai & Rajbhog at Natraj on M.I.Road

Chinese cuisine at the Golden Dragon,near Bake Hut off M.I.Road

Sundaes and Milk Shakes At the Ice Cream Parlour next to Surya Mahal Restaurant on M.I.Road

Dana Paani Restaurant in Vidhya Dhar Nagar offers Fast Food Joint & a Disco besides a Restaurant.

For Paan Mohan & Prem Paan Bhandar on M.I.Road & Murli Paan Bhandar In Tripolia Bazaar.

Karan’s Guesthouse

Pachar-The Desert Citadel

85 km from Jaipur,in the Shekhawati region lies the village Pachar.The name of the village itself means ‘The Desert Citadel’.On one side of the village is the Ganpat Jheel.On the other side are sand dunes and  the rest two sides are bound by greenery.There is a Jain Temple worth a visit in the village itself.The temple is lavishly decorated with intricate gold leaf and mirror work and stained glass windows and chandeliers. Near Pachar in the hills there is an ancient Sri Jeen Mata Temple. About 70 km from Pachar,in the Aravalis about 3000 feet above sea level are the ancient Harsh temples. Khatu Shyam Ji temple is near by also.

Castle Pachar Official Web Site

Sri Khatu Shyam Ji

Karan’s Guesthouse,Jaipur

A Quick Bite To Eat In Jaipur

Times Food Guide-First Jaipur Edition

Times Food Guide-First Jaipur Edition

This post is about best of the snacks Jaipur has to offer to its residents.You will share my feelings when I say that these shops etc. are world famous in Jaipur.But however hard I might try to list them all I am bound to miss your favourite shop selling the finger licking delicacy to eat.So feel free to list the eating joint in the comments section.I will try to put them in the main post later.

Let us start with some of the more famous and obvious ones.

Lassiwalla, on M.I.Road, right next to the Charmica Co-Operative Leather goods shop. They open early and offer lassi in earthen kullhars.In the summer months a kullhar of Lassi is a welcome thirst quencher.

In the galli next to the Zeiss Optical Shop there are two shops selling Indian snacks made of gram flour just 25 steps from the lassiwalla. Not a bad idea to have some thing hot and spicy to eat before the lassi.

LMB in Johri Bazaar,Sury Mahal on M.I.Road, Bistro,Near Panchwati Circle,Raja Park,Chawalas in Raja Park all offer Chaat in hygienic conditions. At  the Bistro you can mix your own Paani Puri.LMB offers a legendary Allo Ki Tikiya & Dahi Baras besides Achars & Sherbets & Mangoris & ghewars & phini you can buy to take home.Their forte is stuff made in desi ghee ( All joints above are full fledged vegetarian restaurants also).

Bakeries

Cake Town,G-1,V-Jai City Point, Ahimsa Circle, Ashok Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur-1, M.96609 96609

Hot Breads,on Sarojani Marg,Bake Hut,On M.I.Road,Bakewell in Raja park.They offer Top of the line baked goods.Venus Bakery on Subash marg,one of the older bakeries,is also good.

National Handloom  offer snacks in their stores it self.Gaurav Tower in Malviya Nagar has its own open air Chaat Bazaar.

On station Road there  is Rawat Misthan Bhandar and Kanji sweets shops.Try Rawat’s Mawa Ki Kachori, Pyaz Ki Kachori, Mirchi Bara and Ras Mali (Indrani).Try Kanji’s Dal Ki Kachori.They offer lot of other snacks and sweets too.

Try Pandit Ji’s Kulfi in the Gangori Bazaar. It is very good.

Milky Way, off Bhagwan Das Road offers numerous flavours of Shakes and other snacks.

Vijay Store on Chaupar , for namkins ( especially salted peanuts and masala chana).

Samrat Restaurant in Kishan Pole Bazaar for Dal Ki Kachori And Samosas and Gazak in a near by shop. Near by Bhagat Mishtan Bhandar for Thal Ki Barfi & Boondi Kae Laadoo.

If you decide to see a hindi pot boiler in the Golcha Cinema hall Complex be sure to have some samosas.

Chawala Sweets on Mooti Doongri Road offers some great mouth watering Kesar Barfi. And their paneer is so good people eat it there and then with salt and pepper masala.

Off Tonk Road,Near Kuttons Show room Shankar Misthan Bhandar Offers some great khasta dal ki kachories.

On Subash Marg, Williams Juice bar offer great Papaya Shake.

On the link Road on Nehru Bazaar you can have Sugar Cane Juice all the year round.

On Chatoriyon ka churaha on Bapu Bazaar link Road You can have great Paani Puri.

Where To Shop When In Jaipur

Jaipur A Fun Place Even By Night

Karan’s Guesthouse

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Bal Vipra Bankura Hanuman Ji Mandir,Baleta

Bal Vipra Bankura Hanuman Mandir, Baleta

Bal Vipra Bankura Hanuman Mandir, Baleta

On the banks of the pond of village Baleta on a sandy knoll,this ancient temple of Hanuman ji is situated.The idol is only about one and a half foot high.It depicts Hanuman ji in his child image in the guise of a brahmin.He is standing with folded hands.
According to folk lore this Temple of Hanuman ji dates back to the time of foundation of the town of Baleta.The people decided on the child image of Hanuman Ji as he would be quick to please.

Every week on Mondays and Saturdays special pooja is done.People offer the deity paan, cloves and raisins as prasad.

This temple is 33 kms from Alwar.

If you are going from Jaipur, you will have to go till Shahpura on Jaipur-Delhi Highway from there you turn for Thana Gazi-Sariska-Alwar. About 20Km before Alwar you have to turn right for Baleta village. The route is thru villages and it is time consuming. So set aside a full day for the trip.

Karan’s Guesthouse

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