Category Archives: temple

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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Viratnagar

Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

Viratnagar is about 86 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Shahpura-Alwar route. You have to turn for Viratnagar at Shahpura on Jaipur Delhi Highway.

But why Viratnagar? Who goes to Viratnagar? You might ask.

A little time invested in visiting the sights this town has to offer will pay rich dividends, you will see.

Viratnagar  has been a witness to a lot of history being made. According to the excavations done around this town people have been living here since the prehistoric times.

Accorading to the Mahabharat,King Virat founded the city Viratnagar, and the Pandavs spent thirteen years of ‘Agyatvas’(exile) here. This is the city which saw much wheeling & dealing to broker peace to avoid the great war of Mahabharat. Ancient travelers have mentioned their visits to the city. The river Banganga flows near by, a fair is held here every year.

Beejak Ki Pahari
Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

This serene site is in the lap of the Aravali mountain range. On a ridge under a rock shaped like a Cannon there is an ancient Hanuman temple.
Hanuman Temple, Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar
And there are remains of a Budhist Monastry & a Budhist Stupa shrine from the Mauryan times. This site was found in work done in 1935-36. This is a protected site of ASI.
Budhist Ruins on The Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

In recent development work done here a cement shelter has been built at the foot of the hillock.

Ganesh Mandir and the Local Museum. The museum has some relics of great importance and antiquity from the Ashokan period.
Ganesh Temple above the museum,Viratnagar

Viratnagar

A stepwell on the way to Panch Malla Mahal badly in need of restoration.

A Stepwell,Viratnagar

Panch Mala Mahal. Raja Man Singh had this imposing structure made.  Emperor Akbar used to stay here on his way to the Ajmer shrine.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

I think he has seen a lot of tourists pass by this palace.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

The paintings on the domes of the chatries of the palace.

Fresco in the Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan.

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Maybe the ghost who walks was here! This is his mark.

The Phantom's Cave

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The Salt Lake of Sambhar

Sambhar,SaltLake

About 65km from Jaipur the city of Sambhar with the salt lake & the migratory birds it attracts and the holy places of Shakmbhari Mata temple & Devyani Tank is an ideal spot for a day trip excursion out of Jaipur.
Sambhar,SaltLake

Sambhar Lake is the largest salt lake in India. It has produced salt for more than 700 years. Three small towns of Nawa, Sambhar & Gudha are located on the banks of this lake & all are engaged in producing salt. The salt produced from the Sambhar Lake water is much more salty than the salt produced from ocean water & it comes in three different colors, ordinary white & pink & grey.
Sambhar,SaltLake

In 1876 this area was connected by narrow gauge train. Trains were a boon to this area as the lake is spread over an area of 190 sq km. The trains not only connected the area effectively but also were a big help in shifting the salt from one place to another.You can see these trains or trolleys in use even today.
Sambhar

A.O.Hume, the founder of Indian National Congress (INC), was the first commissioner of Sambhar Salt. He was also a keen ornithologist.
Sambhar,SaltLake,Salt Museum

There is a detailed report on the method of salt production in a historical account written during the time of the rule of Aurangzeb. Abul Fazal has also mentioned Sambhar in accounts written by him.

The Circuit House of Sambhar was built by the British in 1880. There is a salt museum housed in a heritage building nearby, also.
Sambhar

During the monsoon the fresh water of the rains attracts a lot of migratory birds. But they fly away once the weather starts getting hotter and the lake water starts becoming salty.

You should take packed lunch and lot of water and cold drinks with you. You can get ice and softdrinks at the Sambhar Bus-stand, also. If you like eating dhaba food, the dhabas at the Nawa bus-stand are a good option. Sambhar is also famous for its feenees, a sweet dish.

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Shaktipeeth-Kaila Devi

At the Kaila Devi Temple

At The Kaila Devi Temple

Mahatama Kedargiri established the idols of Kaila Devi in the lap of Aravali mountain range on the banks of Kalisil river, in the Kaila village, in the year 1114 AD. Kalisil is a tributary of Banas river. When Mahatama Kedargiri was praying to the Goddess to stay in Kaila village as its protectress  she gave him darshan in her child image & later on she took on the image of destroyer of evil-hence two idols are established in the ‘Garbh grah’. It is believed that the She is a benevolent Goddess and does not punish the ‘pujaris’ or devotees if for some reason an unintentional slight occurs. The idols are made from a mixture of numerous metals. They are always wearing their costumes with only their faces visible. Kaila Devi is the one of the ‘roops’ of Goddess Mahalaxshmi. Kal Bhairav & Shri Ganesh are ‘Languria’ or ‘adisevak’ of Kaila Mata. Their idols are right in front of the temple of  Kaila Devi. The devotees try to gain favour with the ‘Languria’ by singing ‘bhajans’ in his praise in the belief that his worship is a short cut to Kaila Mata blessing them sooner. Devotees from all parts of India, from all walks of life, throng the Kaila Devi temple in the hope that she will bless them and not see them return empty handed. And the generosity of the Goddess is such that she fulfills all their wishes and the devotees return in her presence time & again to express their gratitude.

A temple also houses the Idol of, Bohra ji, a devotee of Kaila Mata.

In 1116 AD the then ruler, Maharaj Mukunddas ,a Khichi rajput, built a temple around the shrine.

A meena tribal from the village of Peetupura worshiped Kaila Devi, who gave him a boon that from then on she would manifest herself in  his family members and they would be known as ‘Gothias’.

In 1153 Raghunathdas Khichi, after making additions to the then temple building, established the idol of Chamunda Devi also.

Karauli was established in 1405 AD by the then Yaduvanshi ruler Arjun Dev on the banks of Bhadrawati river some 25 kms from Kaila Devi. Since then the rulers of Karulai have taken it upon themselves to look after the day to day affairs of the Kaila Devi temple as the Goddess is also their ‘Kuldevi’.

At the Kaila Devi Temple

At The Kaila Devi Temple

Now a days a Kaila Devi Temple Trust looks after the affairs of the Temple and organizes the yearly Melas & does various other charity works like running a Non Government Organization (NGO) which runs a School for poor children & A Higher Secondary boarding school for girls. It also runs a handicraft workshop for the development of local women. Lots of small dams (Water Conservation projects) have been made, tree plantation has been done in the Kailadevi National Park which is a part of the project tiger and it’s a buffer zone to Ranthambore National park. The NGO  is also running  200 bed hospital. The NGO also cleans the Kalisil river of pollutants periodically as the devotees have a bath here before going to the Kaila Devi Temple for darshan.

When Emperor Akbar could not annex the Daulatabad Fort he asked for help from the Karauli Maharaj Chandrasen, whose son Prince Gopaldas, with Kaila Devi’s blessings, went to war with Akbar and the Fort was won.

Maharaj Jai Singh ji  added a dome to the temple and had it gilded with gold. He had a stepwell built for storage of drinking water.

Maharaj Bhawarpal had the Kalisil dam built. He also had a dharamshala built besides having facilitated the digging of the Durgasagar well, construction of shops & a road bordered by trees to the temple.

Timing for Darshan

Mangla Darshan 4 am to 4.30 am

Dhoop Arti 5.30-6.00 am in summers

6.00-7.30 am in winters

Shringar 8.00 am

Raj Bhog 11.15 am

Vishram Noon to 1.00 pm

Darshan 1.00-800 pm

7.20 pm is evening aarti

The goddess is offered Halva as Bhog. As the goddess is satvik & satoguni She is not offered liquor or meat.

Some Interesting facts about Kaila Devi

The green glass ‘Dhani’ bangles are worn by girls and married women alike. Young girls wear them for getting a suitable husband & the married women wear them for the long life of their husbands & to wish them well. Every year these bangles are sold in tens of thousands of numbers.

It is a shaktipeeth.

Nearby Places to visit

Karauli 25kms

Places of interest:

Bhanwar Vilas Palace & The City Palace of Karauli & the stepwell in the City Palace where the Royalty used to play Holi.

Madanmohan ji Temple.

According to legend it is very auspicious to have darshan at Madanmohanji Temple, Govinddevji & Gopinathji Temple in Jaipur in a single day.

Anjanimata temple on Pachna dam.

Nearest Railway Station to Karauli is Bharatpur- 35km.

Nearest Airport to Karauli is Jaipur- 180 kms

RSRTC plies roadways busses in countless numbers from all major towns & cities of Rajasthan to ferry devotees to Kaila Devi.

The Kailadevi National Park

Kedargiri Caves are 3 km away on the Kaila Devi-Karanpur road.

AMAR KUNJ YATRI NIWAS,(about 250 mts from the Kaila Devi Temple)

A nice place to stay with AC rooms with cable TV & attached bathrooms  & dining hall.

Phone:07464-228281, 093525-62262,097996-95126

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A Labour of Love!

The HallShree Hanuman ji

According to the information passed down over the years  the  Pujari ji of  The Hanuman Temple in Dhuleshwar Garden,C-Scheme, believes it to be some 500 years old. He says he   remembers it as a big chabutra with a neem tree, a room for the idol and a kitchen. Under the soothing  shadow of a huge peepul tree and the grace of the Gods worshiped here  and the patronage of the devotees  this temple has grown into a thing of beauty and not just only  a place of worship. The building has been newly done up with marble flooring and marble platform around the idols. Idols are surrounded by carved marble Jalis. Besides all this a  local painter, a Hanuman devotee,  has painted the whole building of the Temple with very pleasing and intricate murals. There are  gold, red, green, white, pink and blue colors making intricate flowers and petals on the roof, pillars, windows of the temple. The artist has also depicted in wall paintings scenes from Ramayan.   There is also a jhoomar  in the center of the ceiling illuminating the whole room and the lovingly done up art work. Idols of Shri Ram, Sita Ji and Lakshman Ji and the Idols of Shivji  and Parvati ji and a Shiv ling are also there in the Temple.

Drawings-1

Drawings-2

Painted coulmns

Design in the Floor

Window

Painted ceiling

Some other Hanuman Temples of note in Jaipur are:

The Chitthi wale Hanuman Ji  on Sardar Patel Marg, Opposite the PMG office.

Chandpole wale Hanumanji, in the Chandpole Bazar.

There are Two Temples of Hanumanji opposite each other in the entrance to the  Johri Bazar .

There is the Kala Hanuman Mandir Near the now defunct Ram Praksh Cinema Hall.

There is another very old Hanuman Mandir opposite the Ganesh Mandir on Moti Doongri near Birla Mandir.

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PANORAMAS

Panoramic views around the Jaipur City.

Nahargarh Panorama

Jaigarh-Amber-Panorama

Daybreak

Daybreak At The Man Sagar Lake

Basant

The 6 seasons of the Indian year are as follows:

Grisham- Summer-April & May are Dry & Hot.

Varsha- Monsoon- June & July are Wet and Humid.The landscape around Jaipur turns  green.

Sharad August & September are less hot

Hemant- October & November are the start of winter

Shishir – December & January are Cold. Winter has set in.

Basant-Spring – February & March Not too hot not & too cold.

A Mustard Field in Full Bloom

Basant officially starts after Basant Panchmi or Rishi Panchmi ( 5th day of the Magh month), the day  when  goddess Saraswati was born and  is worshiped with  Lord Sri Krsihna and Kamdev and his wife Rati .Goddess Saraswati is the goddess  of  knowledge, art  & music. The goddess is dressed in white and her vahan are white swan and peacock. In her hands She holds a veeana, a book and a string of beads.She is worshipped in three roops, Maha Sarawati,Maha lakshmi and Maha kali.These are the three roops worshiped in the caves of  Vaishno Devi. People dress up in yellow to worship her and offer her yellow sweets and flowers and lotus.  It is the most auspicious day  to get married also. And people do so too in large numbers.

Basant  is the king of all  seasons. This is when nature rejuvenates itself. Taking a cue from nature hearts of all  men and women sing the joyous songs of life. Suffice it to say here that great  writers and poets in India and abroad have written panegyric after panegyric in praise of this season, in particular. Bihari and Padmakar,two poets from Jaipur, writing in Brijbhasa, have outdone themselves in describing basant.

On this day the idols in the Govind Dev Ji’s Temple wear yellow also.

Holi is its  main festival.

It was Rishi Panchmi when Lord Sri Ram graced  Shabri mata’s hut with his presence. He was on his way to find Goddess Sita.

In 1192 A.D. on Basant Panchami Prithviraj Chauhan and poet Chandbardai stabbed each other to death after a blind  Prithviraj Chauhan had killed Mohammed Gahori  in his own citadel.

In 1872 on Basant Panchami Guru Ram Singh Kuka was  apprehended by the British Forces and  sent to Burma to be incarcerated till death in 1885  in the Mandalay Prison.

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Photographing Monuments Of Jaipur

The Young, The Old And The Ancient.

Light plays a big role in making a photo stand out. Golden hours are the sunrise and the sunset.When shooting monuments you have to know where the sun will be at a given time.

It is a good idea to start the day at the Amber Fort because the rising sun illuminates the Fort and you can have early morning darshan at the  Silla Mata Temple.You can not take pictures around the temple and the palaces will open later on.You should concentrate on the exterior of the Fort only. If you want you can take pictures or make a video   riding an elephant to the top of the hillock. One tourist tweeted from her smart phone while riding an elephant up to the Amber Palace. She wanted to be the first to do so.

Now you have a choice either you can wait for the Amber Palace to open to photograph the interiors and then visit the Jaigarh Fort for taking pictures of the Jaigarh Fort and the Cannons and to take pictures of Jaipur and Amber fort from the Jaigarh Fort OR you can head back to Jaipur and take pictures of the Jal Mahal Palace in the Man Sagar Lake against the rising sun and take pictures of  the facade of Hawamahal bathed in the early morning sun light.

Later on around noon you can take photos of the Jantar Mantar, Isar Lat  & the  City Palace. If the spirit moves you you can climb the Victory Tower after paying a small fee and take pictures of the Nahargarh Fort from there.

On your way to the Nahargarh you can take pictures of Jal Mahal from high up.

If you do not mind heights you can even book an early morning hot air balloon ride  to take pictures of the city from high up.

Sisodia Rani ka Bagh has to be captured in your camera in the morning. In the evening you will be shooting the palace against the light. Central Park is nice in the evening.The facade of the B.M.Birla Conference venue on the Statue Circle  is best shot in the setting sun. The founder of Jaipur’s  Statue stands tall at the Statue Circle.You can take its picture also now.

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This Jaipur-At A Glance

Birlamandir
Listed here below are some of the important posts about the city of Jaipur on this Blog for your ready reference.

BIRDING

This Pink City-In 1000 Words!

Museums

Shopping

Jaipur By Night

Books

Clubs

Gardens

Morning Walk

Birding

Thikana Govind Devji

Libraries

Jantar Mantar

Around Jaipur

Some Recipes

Jaipur Marriages

Where to Eat-1

Where To Eat-2

WORSHIP

Karan’s Guesthouse

Almost Twilight

An old man in the Central Park of Jaipur

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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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