Category Archives: camels

JEWELS IN THE CROWN OF JAIPUR

In no particular order these are some points about Jaipur anybody would consider as the Jewels in the Crown of Jaipur.

Everybody has to eat something some time. So let us list salient points related to food about Jaipur.

Jaipur is part of the desert state of Rajasthan & lack of adequate rainfall & transport saw to it that people ate ‘ana se ana’ as vegetables were scarce. Also because of the heat and the hard work the people put in the fields red chilies & Desi Ghee were used in abundance.

Ghewar

Ghewar

The delicacies one would consider as Jewels in the Crown of Jaipur would be

  1. Gatte Ki Sabzi – A veg. curry made with gram flour dumplings
  2. Ker Sangari- A veg curry made with fruit of Khejari tree & a berry.
  3. Ker ka Aachar- An aachar made with a berry which grows in the wild.
  4. Piyaz Ki Kachori – A Kachori made with a filling of onions & potatoes.
  5. Mirchi Bare- Pakora made out of green chilie & allo based filling & gram flour.
  6. Pheeni- can be had as a dessert or at breakfast with milk.
  7. Gazak – Sweet made of Til & sugar or Gur
  8. Mishri Mawa- Mawa based sweet
  9. Mawa ki Kachori – a Kachori with mawa filling served with sugar syrup
  10. Omlete by Sanjay
  11. Khatto – A curry made with gram flour boiled in buttermilk.
  12. Paneer ki Sabzee & Bejar Ki Roti  with rabri as dessert at Mahaveer Rabri Bhandar
  13. Kulfi- traditional Ice Cream
  14. Namkeens from the Sonthliwalon Ka Rasta
  15. Choorma Daal Baati- It has to be tasted to be defined!
  16. Raabri- A little atta cooked in boiling Chach.
  17. A meal at Chokhi Dhani Ethnic Village
  18. Rajasthani Thali at Natraj, LMB
  19. Heeng ki kachori -Kachories made of asfoetida flavored masala.
  20. Heeng ki sev- Sev made of asfoetida flavored gram flour.
  21. Doodh Jalebi at Breakfast
  22. Meethi Lassi on M.I. Road
  23. Ghewar, a sweet, from LMB
  24. Gulab Sakri Mawa based sweet flavored with kesar
  25. Kangan – traditional sweet made more or less like a Jalebi
  26. A late night snack at the Saras Snack counter on JLN Marg
  27. Laal Maans – Mutton in red curry
  28. Safed Maans- Mutton in white gravy
  29. Paan – chewing betel leaf with slaked lime, Kattha & Supari.
  30. Jalebi made in Desi Ghee
  31. Mutton  Sule- Marinated boneless mutton cooked on coals
  32. Shammi Kabab- Minced meat tikiya cooked on a tawa or deep fried in oil.
  33. Mangori Curry- Lentil paste dried in small pieces and later on cooked as a curry.

As Rajasthan is a border state & the Princes in The Rajputana were at war more than they were at peace so you will find Forts & Palaces in which ever part of Rajasthan you might venture. But the monuments of Jaipur are special as they are not only in good condition but the administration takes pains to keep them in pristine condition.

Entrance To The Palaces Of Amber

Entrance To The Palaces Of Amber

  1. Amber Fort- Built in the 16th century on a hillock it is a majestic Fort.
  2. The Palaces at The Amber Fort are amazing.
  3. The imposing & artistic entrance to the Palaces of the Amber Fort.
  4. Elephant ride at up the Amber Fort Hillock
  5. Jaigarh Fort about 15km from Jaipur is located on a hill known as Cheel ka Teela & was built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh & Sawai Jai singh II.
  6. Jaibaan was built in 1720 and is said to be the biggest cannon on wheels in the world.
  7. Cannon Foundry at Jaigarh- Jaibaan was cast here.
  8. Water Tanks at the Jaigarh Fort- Still in use these tanks can store 60,00,000 liters of fresh rain water. Find out about the system thru which they collected this huge amount of water.
  9. Nahargarh Fort was used for the guests of the Maharajas.
  10. Stepwell at the Nahargarh Fort- This step-well was made famous by the film Rang De Basanti.
  11. Man Sagar Lake This Lake is sustained by recycled water & a popular spot for birding. A birding fair is held here, every year.
  12. Jal Mahal Palace- Recently restored to its former glory this palace is in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.
  13. Sisodia Raani ka Baagh- Built in 1728 by Sawai Jai Singh for his Sisodia Queen, it is a terraced garden.
  14. Galta Ji- A pilgrimage site it was built by Rao Kriparam, the Sun is worshipped here.
  15. Vidhyadhar ji Ka Baagh- This garden is named for the Architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya who designed the city of Jaipur.
  16. Kanak Vridavan Garden- Near the Man Sagar Lake this garden was the adobe of Govind Dev ji before the idol was moved to the City Palace Complex.
  17. Kos Minar at the VT Road circle was a pillar situated by the roadside, it was used to measure distances in the Mughal times.
  18. Peacock Garden- On the JLN Marg near the RCDF offices this garden was decorated with sandstone chatris & fiber Peacocks made by an eminent artist.
  19. Central Park is a most popular place for a morning walk, a date or for birding.
  20. French Sculptures in the Central Park & the Man Sagar Lake- Made by a French artist these sculptures are a thing of beauty.
  21. Isar Laat was constructed to celebrate the victory of the Jaipur forces under Sawai Ishwari Singh Ji in 1749.
  22. Jantar Mantar– An astronomical observatory having with huge Sundials etc made out of marble & masonry.
  23. City Palace-Residence of the ruling family of Jaipur. Some parts are open to public & some parts have been made into museums.
  24. Hawa Mahal Palace- Built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh ji for the royal women to watch the religious processions etc. & still be in purdha.
  25. The façade of Hawamahal- It has 5 stories & 953 windows & is painted terracotta pink.
  26. The various gates of the walled city- As Jaipur was built according to Vastu Shastra it had 9 gates.
  27. Maharanion ki chatriyans- This is the funeral grounds of the Maharanis of Jaipur.
  28. Gaitore- Cenotaphs of the past Maharajas are here.
  29. Sawai Jai Singh Statue Circle- Almost all circles of Jaipur have statues installed on them but only one circle is known popularly as The Statue Circle. A statue of Sawai Jai Singh stand tall here.
  30. Birla Planetarium-Plan a visit to be updated about the universe.
  31. Conference venue at the Birla Institute of Scientific Research (BISR)
  32. Rambagh Palace Hotel- One of the best hotels in the world today.
  33. Silver urns- Huge utensils cast in silver used to ferry Gangajal to UK for the use of  Sawai Madho Singh II.
  34. Light & Sound Show at Amber Fort
  35. Light & Sound Show at Amar Jawan Jyoti in remembrance of Kargil War Martyrs.
  36. The pillarless hall at the Govind Dev ji Temple is Jaipur’s contribution to the Guinness Book of World records. It is the world’s widest RCC flat roof construction with a single span of 119 feet.
  37. Rajmandir-A single screen theatre, offering bollywood song & dance movies.
  38. Science Park in Shastri Nagar. A huge statue of a T-Rex roars here.
  39. National Flag In The Central Park

There are so many ancient Temples in Jaipur that it is also called Choti Kaashi.

  1. Thikana Govind Dev ji – The rulers of Jaipur claimed to be His Deewans & ruled in his name.
  2. Shilla Mata in the Amber Fort. It has doors made of silver with  9 roops of Goddess Durga & 10 roops of Goddess Saraswati engraved on it.
  3. Laxmi Narayan Temple- A poetry in white marble made by the Birlas.
  4. Ganesh Temple, Moti Doongri, Jaipur ke pratham poojya!
  5. Hanuman Temple, Moti Doongri, Another ancient temple
  6. Kala Hanuman Temple near the old Ram Prakash Cinema Hall.
  7. Garh Ganesh on a hill near Gaitore
  8. Nahar ke Ganesh ji- This Temple is about 175 years old.
  9. Jagat Shiromani Temple-Dedicated to the Lord Krishna His likeness in a black stone idol is worshipped here.
  10. Akshardham Temple-Located in Vaishali Nagar this temple is dedicated to the 18th century saint Swaminarayana.
  11. Ram Krishna Mission is in the C-scheme colony.
  12. Sanghi ji Jain Temple-A 1000 year old Digambar Jain temple at Sanganer.
  13. Choolgiri near Jaipur on a hillock is a Jain Temple.
  14. Padampura Jain Temple is about 30 km from Jaipur on the Tonk road.

Clubs of Jaipur-These are the best options for eating, drinking, staying, exercising or meeting people of Jaipur. They have rules about allowing non-members to use their facilities.

  1. Jaipur Club on Jacob Road
  2. Ashok Club on Janpath
  3. Polo Club on Bhawani Singh Road
  4. Golf Club on Bhawani Singh Road.

It does not matter if you like festivals to disrupt the hum-drum day to day rhythm of life  or not they do leave you rejuvenated by their mere presence. These are some of the important festivals celebrated in Jaipur.

A Bazaar Decorated For Deepawali

A Bazaar Decorated For Deepawali

  1. Deepawali- The festival of lights is celebrated with much gusto in Jaipur. The whole city is bathed in colored lights to welcome the Goddess Laxmi.
  2.  Makkar Sakranti – A day for giving. The young guns of Jaipur fly kites, this day.
  3. Holi-Is the Festival of colors.
  4. Elephant Festival around Holi- If you wish to see this huge animal in huge numbers in one place all beautified for the day, this festival is for you!
  5. Gangaur – is a widely celebrated festival of Rajasthan where, Gauri, symbolizing Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiv, is worshipped as a symbol of virtue & fidelity. A big procession is taken out from the City Palace on 2 days.
  6. Teej-The festival is celebrated to pray to goddess Parvati for a happy married life, well-being of husband and children. A procession is taken out from the City Palace.

Excursions

  1. Samode is about 42 km from Jaipur Samode Palace is used as a heritage hotel & charges an entry fee for non residents to view the Sheesh Mahal & Darbar hall.
  2. Abhaneri- About 95 km from Jaipur off Jaipur-Agra Highway it is a huge stepwell in the shape of an inverted Pyramid.
  3. Bhangarh– Ruins of an ancient town said to be haunted .It is off Jaipur Agra highway.
  4. Tonk- About 110km from Jaipur it is also known as the ‘Lucknow of Rajasthan’. Sunehri Kothi is a must visit place. It is famous for Namdahs.
  5. Sambhar-About 65km from Jaipur it has the biggest salt lake in India. It is also a birders paradise around monsoons.
  6. Bharatpur-About 175km from Jaipur. It has a rich bird life for the Nature Lover and The Lohagarh Fort for the history buff.
  7. Ajmer- About 135 km from Jaipur. Holiest Muslim shrines of the world, Dargah Sharif is located here.
  8. Pushkar– is about 145 km from Jaipur & is famous for the Brahma Temple and the Savitri Temple, Sarovar  & the yearly Camel Fair.
  9. Pachewar-About 90km from Jaipur it has a 300 year old fort which has been coverted into a heritage hotel.
  10. Sariska Tiger Reserve– About 107km from Jaipur this National Park is spread over 866 sq km.
  11. Bairath or Viratnagar – About 86km from Jaipur. This town has been around since the times of Mahabharat. It was also a flourishing Buddhist centre during the reign of King Ashok.
  12. Seel Maata ki Doongri- 35km from Jaipur near Chaksu. This temple is dedicated the the goddess of small pox. Sheetala Ashtami is her day.
  13. Ranthambore- About 180km from Jaipur. This National Park has a rich natural life to be observed by the Nature Lover besides the Tiger.
  14. Alwar-About 150km from Jaipur. Famous for its monuments & Alwar Ka Mawa.
  15. Siliser-About 110 km from Jaipur near Alwar & Sariska. There is a palace hotel in the middle of the lake.
  16. Shekhawati- Encompasses the Districts of Jhunjhunu & Sikar.It is most famous for frescos painted on Havelies.
  17. Mehndipur Balaji off Jaipur-Agra Highway. The deity here is famous for exorcising evil spirits from a person.

Personalities

1. Sawai Jai Singh Ji II (1688-1743) A keen Astronomer he made the Jantar Mantars of Jaipur, Delhi etc and also founded the city of Jaipur.

2. Rajmata Gayatri Devi( 1919-2009) Voted as one of the World’s 10 most beautiful women by Vogue she was also an educationist & a philanthropist. She founded MGD School for girls & Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya. She also revived the art of Blue pottery.

3.Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt- Born in 1952 he won the Grammy award in 1994 & the Padam Shree in 2002 for taking Indian classical music to new heights.

Shopping

  1. Silk/Woolen Carpets, Rugs & Durries made in Jaipur are world famous.
  2. Mojari-Traditional leather shoes.
  3. Lac Work – Bangles made of lac are a must for any auspicious occasion.
  4. Laheriya- A saree dyed in diagonal stripes of different pastel colors usually worn during the monsoons.
  5. Bandhej is the process of tying & dying a saree etc.
  6. Thewa-This process of fusing 23 carat gold with colored glass was developed about 350 years ago in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan.
  7. Jewelry made with silver has much favour with the rural folk.
  8. Kundan- is the process of inserting gold foil between the stones and its mount, commonly used to make necklaces, believed to have originated in Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is the oldest method of making 24 carat gold jewelry in India.
  9. Meenakari is the art of fusing metal like gold, silver or copper with different lacquers of colors like blue, red or green.
  10. Miniature Paintings are a fine rendering in water color of the court life etc over the years.
  11. Brass decorative items are a must buy on a Jaipur visit.
  12. Hand made paper of Sanganer– Paper made out of waste materials. One brand even adds a ratio of elephant dung to the formula. A variety of paper is made of Akda plant, commonly found in Rajasthan growing by the roadsides.
  13. Jaipur Blue or Blue pottery a collectors item.
  14. Jaipuri Razaai-A sheer delight to use, made according to a centuries old formula, a must buy on Jaipur visit.
  15. Bagru Hand Block Printed clothes & furnishings
  16. Sanganeri Hand Block Printed clothes & furnishings
  17. Turbans-Headgear of men in Rajasthan. Every region had its own style of tying a turban. They were made of different colorful materials & designs all with its own significance.
  18. Heritage Liquor- Traditional liquor made by Ganganagar Sugar Mills as per recipes provided by the former Royal houses.
  19. Itra- locally made traditional perfumes
  20. Supari/Churan- A huge variety can be found at Link Road near Sarawagi Mansion.
  21. Gota- Lace made of metal or plastic used to trim traditional clothes of women.
  22. Batik print- A variation of Bandhej tie & dye process.
  23. Terracotta stuff- The best terracotta articles come from Baswa village.

Miscellaneous

  1. Jaipur Bus – A fleet of Lo-Floor Buses are plying the streets the city every day & connecting the far flung areas of Jaipur.
  2. Musical Fountain, Jawahar Circle, JLN Marg performs everyday from 7-7.30 pm in winters. They even show music videos on a wall of spray.
  3. Sanganer Airport – Recently renovated one of the top air-ports of India.
  4. Akshay Paatra- Providing free mid-day meals to the school going children.
  5. Gaalibaazi- An irreverent Kavi Sammelan at Holi, a tradition almost as old as the city.
  6. Hella Khayal Sangeet Dangal have been held in Lalsot on the 2nd day of Gangaur  for more than 257 years now. Through this platform the artists inform the public about current affairs and issues, put forth problems to government officers, or comment on social, political and economic issues.
  7. Jaipuri Weddings– you have got to attend one to know the difference.
  8. Sculptures at the Circles– part of the drive to beautify Jaipur, this is priceless art commissioned for the city of Jaipur.
  9. Mandana-are the rangoli done in white & red colored lime on the floor & walls of a house on an auspicious occasion to welcome the gods.
  10. Bandarwal- door hangings tied at the entrance of a house on an auspicious occasion.
  11. Shorgar-They make traditional crackers by hand in earthen pots to be used at weddings etc.
  12. Neelgar- They dye clothes.
  13. Mehendi is used in all important occasions in life. A woman’s Shringar is incomplete without some mehndi on her hands & feet.

Educational Institutions

  1. St. Xavier’s School on Bhagwan Das Road
  2. MGD Girls School, off M.I. Road.
  3. St. Xavier’s College in C-Scheme.
  4. Rajasthan University on JLN Marg
  5. Rajasthan School of Art in Kishan pole Bazaar.

Music

  1. Maand-The local singers sung praises of the Rajput folk heros like Tejaji, Gogaji and Ramdeoji in this style of folk singing.
  2. Pabu ji ki Phad-The heroic stories of the folk hero Pabuji sung as folk songs.
  3. Kathputli- Folk songs which accompany the antics of the puppets on stage.
  4. Ravanhattha is a two-string stick fiddle used by bhopa community to narrate the epic tales of Pabuji.
  5. Panihari- songs sung by the local women, narrating the scarcity of water etc.

Dance

  1. Ghoomar – A dance performed mostly by Rajput women in groups or singly.
  2. Kaalbelia- Dance done by the snake charmer community.
  3. Therah Taali- This dance is performed in praise of folk-deity Baba Ramdeo by the Kamad community of Pokaran & Deedwana.
  4. Kacchi Ghodi- An important dance form of Rajasthan. It is performed with the help of a dummy horse and elaborate costumes.

Mela

1. Pushkar- Camel Fair

2. Nagaur- Cattle Fair

3 Looniyawas, near Sanganer- Gadarbh (Donkey) Mela

Museums

  1. Albert Hall -The central Museum of Jaipur. It has an Egyptian mummy here.
  2. Sanjay Sharma Museum-A fine collection of rare manuscripts, art & shoes.
  3. Alice Garg Sea Shell Museum- A huge collection of sea shells.
  4. In the city Palace
  5. At the Jai Garh Fort
  6. Anokhi Museum- Hand Bloc printing museum
  7. Dolls museum- A collection of dolls from all over the world.

Work-In-Progress

Jaipur Metro Is On Its Way

Jaipur Metro Is On Its Way

  1. Jaipur Metro
  2. Museum in the Old Town Hall in the City Palace complex.
  3. Pet Show- usually held in Delhi going to be held in Jaipur this year.
  4. The tunnel at Ghat ki Ghuni on Jaipur-Agra Road

Unique Eating Places of Jaipur

Rambagh Palace

Rambagh Palace

  1. Swarna Mahal, Dining Hall at the Rambagh Palace
  2. Steam, Lounge & Bar in the Bogies of a defunct train & a Steam Engine
  3. Polobar, Bar at the Rambagh Palace
  4. Neelmahal, Restaurant for snacks at the Rambagh Palace
  5. Durg Cafetaria at the Nahargarh Fort.
  6. India Coffee House(ICH) on M.I. Road
  7. Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) Branch Of India Coffee House
  8. 1135, on the ramparts of Amber Fort.
  9. Restaurant at the Jaigarh Fort
  10. Palace Café, Café at the City Palace.
  11. Cave In Natraj Restaurant
  12. Revolving Restaurant at Hotel Om Tower
  13. Pink Pepper A restaurant on a moving Bus.
  14. Tapri – A tea stall, much frequented by the youngsters.
  15. Niros- If Delhi has Moti Mahal Jaipur has Niros.

Adventure

  1. Skywaltz- A firm providing Hot-Air Balloon rides in & around Jaipur
  2. Vintage Car Rally- An annual fixture in Jaipur’s List of yearly events.

Culture

  1. Rabindramanch– The 1st venue of Jaipur where plays were held over the years.
  2. Open Air Theatre Behind Rabindra Manch
  3. Open Air Theatre near Simriti Ban
  4. JKK- A hotbed of cultural activity in Jaipur
  5. Open Air Theatre at JKK
  6. Jaipur Lit Fest – A trend setting congregation of the elusive faces behind the books we read. An annual affair.

Flowers

  1. Rose Garden- Located at the Jawahar Circle. It is a sight to behold in the winters when the flowers are in full bloom.
  2. Guldaudi Exhibition & Sale – Annual fixture. A very successful show & sale of Sevanti.

Bazaars

  1. Bapu Bazaar & Nehru Bazaar-You can shop here to your hearts content for all the stuff Jaipur is famous for.
  2. Johri Bazaar- You can buy all sorts of jewelry, women’s clothes & bangles etc here.
  3. Thatheron Ka Raasta- A lane home to the utensil makers.
  4. Maniharon Ka Raasta – For Lac jewelry & other stuff made of Lac
  5. Khazanewalon Ka Rasta- Marble stone carvers lane.
  6. Raja Park Market- A micro Punjab in Jaipur
  7. Sonthliwala Ka Rasta- For all things Namkeen
  8. Choti Chaupar- silver jewelry. Rosted Namkeen at Vijay Store. Mithai at Bhagat ji.
  9. Bari Chaupar- Flowers, Bangles.
  10. Rajasthali at Ajmeri gate. A state government (RTDC) showroom offering all goodies Rajasthan is proud of.

Birding At

  1. Simriti Baan on JLN Marg
  2. Chandlai Dam30 km from Jaipur ahead of Sanganer. Home to the Flamingoes visiting Jaipur.
  3. Man Sagar Lake on Amber Road.
  4. Central Park in C-Scheme

Zoo

1. Jaipur Zoo Ram Niwas Garden

2. Animal rescue centre at Nahargarh

3. Deer Park & Duck Pond are located in the C-Scheme. Nice place for a visit with children or a date.

Library

  1. Maharaja Library 1st public Library of Jaipur home to many rare manuscripts.
  2. Radhakrishna Library Located off  JLN Marg. Popular among the students preparing for their exams.

Activities

  1. Morning Walk in the Central Park
  2. Shopping
  3. Clubbing
  4. Golfing
  5. watching Polo
  6. Camel/Jeep/Horse Safari in the dunes
  7. Attending A Conference
  8. Fine Dining
  9. Judicious Street Food Sampling
  10. watching Bollywood Potboilers
  11. Cycling
  12. Photograph Monuments of Jaipur
  13. Photograph the people of Jaipur
  14. Sightseeing
  15. Birding
  16. Going on Excursions
  17. Fly Kites
  18. Learn to cook Indian cuisine
  19. Learn a language like Hindi or Rajasthani
  20. Write a journal about your Jaipur trip & share it on the Net
  21. Bar hopping
  22. Sampling Heritage liquor & learning its legends
  23. Learn how to tie a turban & its history
  24. Learn how to tie a saree
  25. Learn how to wear a Dhoti
  26. Go for a ride in a Cycle Rickshaw or a Horse drawn Tonga
  27. Go for a ride in a Vintage Car.
  28. Get Mehandi applied to your hands & feet
  29. Learn Indian Classical music at Naad Sadhna www.nadsadhna.com

Interesting Facts to Know.

1. State Tree of Rajasthan – Khejari

2. State Flower of Rajasthan – Rohida

3. State Bird of Rajasthan – Godawan or Great Indian Bustard It is pretty rare now.

4. State Animal of Rajasthan – Chinkara (an antelope)

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Day Break At The Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man sagar-4

Early Morning At Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-1

Early Mornings At Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-2

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-3

If you do not live near the Man Sagar why would you want to go there far a walk  at day break? It is a good question. The answer is because  I like to take pretty pictures. And sun rise is the best part of the day if you ask me. It is a different dawn every day. And each is prettier than the last one. There are birds, there are flowers and desert vegetation and paved paal to walk on. There is even a guy selling tea even before dawn. If you ask him he will serve your tea in disposable cups.There is even a Cafe Coffee Day at a petrol pump just opposite the lake which one presume is open during the day.Later in the day you can get Camel and Elephant rides too.You get a good walk, some fresh air and get to capture the changing moods of Jal Mahal Palace and the Man sagar Lake  in your camera.

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A Day At The Pushkar Fair 2009

Just Resting A Bit

A Merchant Waiting for Customers

A Camel Ride

The chameleon

Pushkar is about 150 km from Jaipur .So if for some reason you wish to hurry back to Jaipur on the same day you arrive there it can be done. So I planned to do just that. Even before I start the journey I am planning how it will end. That is a result of the rushed lives we all lead. It is just one more habit we can not seem to break.

Jaipur-Ajmer and Pushkar are very well connected, especially during the Cattle Fair time. So I put my camera in a bag and took a Meri Car Taxi to the Sindhi Camp Bus Stand to catch a Deluxe Bus to Ajmer. I was in Ajmer at about 6 am in the morning. I am glad to say it was a good trip and economically priced too. Only thing to note was that the citizens follow the first come first served rule and not the seat number rule when they take their seats on the bus. It worked this time to every body’s satisfaction. Or maybe they were not awake enough to fight.

At Ajmer I asked the ticket seller to sell me a ticket to Pushkar on one of the jam packed buses parked there. He answered reasonably enough that he had already sold 70 tickets on the bus to pushkar  and asked me where I planned to sit in the event that he sold me a ticket. He told me to wait for the next bus. I finally got a ticket on the next bus which started on its winding route through the Aravalies to Pushkar after a long wait. Though the holy town is only about 15 km from Ajmer we reached there about 7 am. The town was already coming alive for the long day ahead. I bought a local newspaper in hindi and avoided drinking tea some body pushed in my face and went into the town towards the ghats.

I was surprised to see dried mud and small ponds of water. Somebody told me for 21 rupees he would sprinkle a little holy water on me to purify me as it was the holy ritual one had to follow before visiting the Brahma Temple. I avoided him too and went on to the Brahma Temple. After taking off my shoes and socks and buying flowers and prasad I tried to go in but they wanted me to deposit my bag with the camera into a free clock room which was not open yet. The Prasad seller did offer to keep the bag but you know how it is when you are traveling alone nowadays – you try not to trust anybody. So I went on again. The shops were opening up. People were trying to display their wares in the best possible way. As I went along I kept noticing temples and dry ghats. What struck me was our piety has nothing to do with a full Sarovar. It is with in us. It is good to have a full tank of water and good to take a holy dip but we can still feel we are purified even with a few drops of holy water sprinkled on us when we have to.

I came to a couple of giant wheel standing silent and empty with numerous other rides. I saw a couple of giant gas balloons giving rides to their foreign guests. I saw a craft mela and a stadium where the animal competition would be held during the day and came to the animal compound. There were Camels and Horses and tourists in a big number. I took a few photos and got directions to the Helipad on the Devnagar-Banseli Road where my friend had put up Swiss Cottages in the style of Bhadrawati Royal Camps. I got to the Helipad but there were no Swiss cottages, instead there was a big elevated road there. Later on I found out that the road is where the railway tracks are to be laid and the cottages were on the other side of the elevated road.

I had some breakfast and headed back to the Ghats again had some holy water sprinkled on me and went to the Brahma Temple and had darshan.

I came out and took some more photos of the colorful and diverse wares on display in the markets. I remember a woman exhorting her husband in a loud voice to buy her a camera and just then I saw some Kodak film cameras on display too. The gap between haves and have nots is narrowing, and rightly so too. Some of these photos are enclosed here.  I had some pakoras and a cold drink as a snack. And headed back for Jaipur after 5 pm and was home for dinner after a day well spent.

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In And Around Bhandarej-A Sketch

Off Jaipur Agra highway ( N.H.11) 11km from the district headquarter of Dausa lies the little known village of Bhandarej.This Powerpoint Presentation gives you a birds eye view of the village Bhandarej and the tourist spots near it including photos of The Hotel Bhadrawati Palace.

Mehndipur Balaji

Bhangarh

Marriages May Be Made in Heaven But Are Solemnised In Jaipur

A Guesthouse In Jaipur

Pushkar Fair

Pushkar Fair begins every year in the month of Kartika ( Oct-Nov) on ‘asthmi’ and continues till karthik poornima( full moon).During the fair about 2 lac people visit Pushkar from all over the world and India to buy and sell cattle & camels,have a holy dip in the pushkar Sarovar or to sight see.

Pushkarraj Maharaj is one of the most sacred and revered religious sites of India. According to Padam Puran the Sarovar was created by Brahma by combining the holy waters from badrinath,rameshwaram,jagannath and dwarka.Pushkar is the site where Brahma dropped the lotus he held in his hand when he was looking for a site to perform a yagna.He married a local-Gayatri-to start the yagna at the auspicious moment.When his wife -savitri-found out what had happened she cursed Brahma that henceforth he would be worshiped in Pushkar only.And her words came true.In 1791 thakur of Khimsar built a chatri in the center of the lake to mark the spot of the yagna.There are 52 ghats around the sarovar-all built about 300 years ago-with lot of small temples and surrounded by lot of white lime washed buildings.Gau ghat,Brahma ghat and Varaha Ghat are some of the main ones.Next to the ghats is the sadar bazaar extending till the brahma temple.Other temples of interest are Varaha Temple,Apteshwar Temple,Savitri Temple,Mahadev Temple and Rangi Temple.

Roses are cultivated here so look to buy gulkand(made from rose petals and sugar-used in sweet Paans),rose water,rose sherbet and gulkand thandai.

Pushkar is at the foot of the Nag Pahar or snake mountain and surrounded on three sides by Aravali Hills towards north side are some sand dunes.11 kms away Ajmer is the nearest railway station(about 15 min drive away). 154km away Jaipur is the nearest Airport(a little more than 2 hrs away by car) on N.H. 8.

MORE DETAILS

CAMEL-THE SHIP OF DESERT

National Research Centre On Camels,Bikaner,is situtaed 8km from the city on an arid parcel of land over 2000 acres in size.This Camel breeding farm was established in 1960( though Man domesticated Camels about 3500 years ago).It provides 50% of the nations camels.Three breeds of Camels (one humped-Camelus Dormedarius) found here are jaisalmeri (known for speed),Bikaneri(known for load carrying capacity ) & dark colored camels from gujarat.It is also researching two humped Camels-Camelus Bactrianus-found in the cold desert of Nubra Valley of Laddakh region.

NRCC has been able to cryopreserve camel semen,breed camels by artificial insemination and transfer  camel embryos among other arcane research.

Research on the shelf life and the therapeutic value  of camel milk has led NRCC to provide ice cream,flavoured milk,Kulfi and curd in its Milk Bar on the campus.NRCC has also developed a cosmetic cream made from camel milk.Camel bones are being used in place of Ivory.Camel leather is used to make items which are in great favour with the tourists.Foreign tourists greatly appreciate the camel and camel Cart rides.

Recently URMUL Dairy of Bikaner has launched camel milk products through RCDF in Jaipur for the general public through their Saras Milk booths.These products are of great therapeutic value in people suffering from diabetes,pain in joints and tension.In Ethiopia it is considered  as an aphrodisiac.

Dairy farming of camel milk is also being done in the Sahara Desert in Africa  and  Dubai in Middle East.

Presently there are about 3.5 lac camels in Rajasthan.These numbers are decreasing alarmingly because of lack of fodder,grazing grounds,poor economic condition of the farmer and the fact that camels are slaughtered for its meat(tastes like rough beef) .

Maharaj Ganga Singh Ji formed the Bikaner Camel Corp which fought with the allies in both  WW I( Egypt) & WW II(Middle East).Bikaner had had a camel regiment since 1945.The Corp survives today as part of the Border Security Force.

It is said that when  Maharaj Pabu ji of Kolu wanted to gift his sister with some camel cows,on the occasion of her marriage, imported from Sri Lanka, he entrusted the task of delivering and day to day upkeep to Ridmal Raika. Ever since The Raikas consider the Camels as no less than their Gods.

So if you would like to do your bit to save this ship of desert- have a Glass of Camel Milk Everyday.

Jaipur Life

Jaipur (IV)

Here in Jaipur the old and new worlds meet;

The forts,the temples,and the palaces

Look out on legislative offices

And schools and hospitals.This wide grave street

Worn by three centuries of slippered feet

And tripping pads of camels branches out

In roads that go impartially to meet

Old pleasure-gardens and new factories.

Here is a future growing from past beauty

Owning past inspiration-and a duty

To all men of all trades to build a city

Known for flourish of its industries;

Its roads made smooth for ordinary men

And knowledge climbing stairs to soar again.

R.N.CURREY,INDIAN LANDSCAPE:A BOOK OF DESCRIPITVE POEMS,PUB.ROUTLEDGE,LONDON,1947
R.N.Curry spent three years in India and was prize winner of Lord Wavell’s All India Poetry Competition.

Karan’s Guest House

Karan's GuesthouseKaran’s Guest house,

D-76,Shiv Heera Path,Chomu House,C-scheme,Jaipur,302001,

Rajasthan ,India e.mail.  kgh@aol.in

M.91-9828284433 T.91-141-2363262 F.91-141-2372919

web. www.karans.info blog. www.karansguesthouse.wordpress.com

DELUXE COMFORTS AT BUDGET PRICES

Karan’s Guesthouse is a clean and comfortable guesthouse, centrally located in a Posh Colony of Jaipur just 2 kilometres from the main railway station,bus stand,Walled City,11km from the Jaipur Airport 1 km. from Major Conference Venue,Government Offices and The Statue Circle.The guesthouse has seven Spacious double bedrooms and one single bedroom, each room has a western style private bathroom. All rooms have a satellite colour TV, small fridge, cupboard, desk, chair, lamp, sofa, air-conditioning and a heater. Two rooms have private balconies.There is a guest dining/sitting room with colour satellite TV and a well equipped kitchen for breakfast. However for those guests that wish to eat out there are many shops and popular restaurants nearby offering good quality food at reasonable prices.There is a telephone, fax machine available for all guests. You are invited to enjoy the homely atmosphere at Karan’s Guesthouse.

Room

Room

 

 

 

Hall

Hall

 

 

Official Website

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