north-india-travel Home

Hawa Mahal

hawa-mahalHawa Mahal is the most popular monument of Jaipur, located in the Tripolia Bazaar in the west of GPO. Hawa Mahal or "The Palace of Winds"was built in 1799 A.D by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh (grand son of Sawai Jai Singh and son of Sawai Madhoo Singh) and Mr. Lal Chand Usta was the architect. Sawai Pratap Singh was a great devotee of Lord Krishna and he dedicated this mahal to the Lord. The exterior wall of Hawa Mahal looks like a mukut (crown), which adorns Lord Krishna's head.

Constructed in pink sandstone, Hawa Mahal is intricately carved and bordered with white motives. Motifs and carvings designed on the walls of the Hawa Mahal are proof of the efforts, dedication and skillfulness of the artists of that period.

This five-story, pyramid-shaped structure endorse 953 small peepholes, each with tiny lattice worked (jali) pink windows and arched roofs with hanging cornices. Its fašade makes Hawa Mahal look more like a screen than a palace. The uppermost three stories are just a single room thick but at the base are two courtyards. It is a fifty-foot high thin shield, less than a foot in thickness, but has over 900 niches and a mass of semi-octagonal bays, carved sandstone grills.


Jantar Mantar

jantar-mantarThe Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at the Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Early restoration work was undertaken under the supervision of Major Arthur ffolliott Garrett, a keen amateur astronomer, during his appointment as Assistant State Engineer for the Jaipur District.


City Palace

city-of-palaceCity Palace is situated at the heart of Jaipur. Each and every corner of this grandiose edifice enters through a person's eyes but descends directly to one's heart. Filled with interesting and enticing artifacts, the royal palace is both a repository of the culture and a family album of the long line of maharajas who ruled this Pink City for so many years. An impeccable blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, the City Palace complex occupies a large area segregated into a series of voluminous courtyards, alluring gardens and magnificent buildings. A hybrid of magnum opera of different artists, a visit to the City Palace is a real joie de vivre.


Lake Palace

lake-palaceLake Palace (formerly known as Jag Niwas) is a luxury hotel, of 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls, located on a natural foundation of 4 acres (16,000 m2) rock on the Jag Niwas island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India. The hotel operates a boat which transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace.

It was built in 1743- 1746 under the direction of the Maharana Jagat Singh II (62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar) of Udaipur, Rajasthan as a royal summer palace and was initially called Jagniwas or Jan Niwas after its founder. The Maharana, ruler of Jaipur from 1628 to 1654, was very friendly with Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and encouraged his craftsmen to copy some of the glories of his incomparable buildings at Agra. The palace was constructed facing east, allowing its inhabitants to pray to the Sun god at the crack of dawn. The successive rulers used this cool haven as their summer resort, holding their regal durbars in its courtyards lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains and gardens.

City Palace, Udaipur

city-palaceUdaipur is popularly known as the Jewel of Mewar, the city was founded by Maharajah Jai Singh in 16th century. The city of Udaipur endorses three major lake, Pichhola, Fatehsagar and Udaisagar. The three lakes add to the magic of the city. Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.

City Palace has several gates that are known as Pols. Bara Pol (Great Gate) is the main gate to the City Palace complex that will take you to the first courtyard. On passing Bara Pol, you will come across a triple arched gate, which is known as Tripolia. Between these two gates, you would see eight marble arches or Toranas, where Kings used to weigh themselves with gold and silver. Besides Tripolia, there is an arena where elephant fights were staged. Across 'Tripolia', you would enter the 'Elephant Gate' or the 'Hathi Pol'.

Lake Pichola

lake-picholaPichola Lake was built in 1362 AD by Devesh Khandelwal(Banjara), a gypsy "Banjara" tribesman who transported grain, during the reign of Maharana Lakha. Later, Maharana Udai Singh, impressed by the charm of this lake with the backdrop of green hills, founded the city of Udaipur on the banks of the lake and also enlarged the Lake by constructing a stone masonry dam in the Badipol region on the shore of the Lake.

The lake's surroundings and the several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries, with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, bathing ghats or chabutaras (a raised platform, normally within a courtyard); some of the famous ones are the Lake Palace (now converted into a heritage hotel) in the middle of the lake also called the Pichola Palace (pictured) or Jag Nivas located on the Jag Island, the Jag Mandir, the Mohan Mandir (in the northeast corner of the lake built by Jagat Singh between 1628 and 1652), the City Palace of Udaipur (Bansi Ghat) from where boats ply to all other parts of the Lake, the Arsi Vilas Island, which is a sanctuary for birds and the Sitamata Game Sanctuary on the western shore of the Lake.

Mehrangarh Fort

mehrangarh-fortMost of the forts in the state of Rajasthan have been built on hill tops and Mehrangarh is no exception. The fort stands in the city of Jodhpur, on a hill top rising about 400 feet from the ground. Mehrangarh is one of the largest forts in India. The walls of this imposing structure rise to about 117 feet, and are 65 feet wide. The fort has in its treasure, several palace halls, galleries, cenotaphs and a great collection of arts and crafts.

In the year 1458, Rao Jodha, the fifteenth Rathore ruler started his quest for safer place to establish his new capital. After one years fruitful search, the emperor selected the sight and laid down the foundation of this massive fort. According to one belief a hermit used to live in a cave near the site. Disturbed by the construction the hermit is said to have cursed the emperor and his new building. Rao Jodha, terrified by this build a house and a temple near the cave so as to appease the God. Some of the provsions were added by the descendents of Jodha.

The Jaswant Thada

jaswant-thandaThe Jaswant Thada is an architectural landmark located in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built by Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of Maharja Jaswant Singh II .

The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun's rays dance across their surface.

Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs. The Jaswant Thada is a traditional cremation ground of Jodhpur rulers. The grounds also include exquisitely carved gazebos, a beautiful multi-tiered garden, and a small lake.

Umaid Bhavan Palace

umaid-bhawan-palaceThe palace built by Maharaja Umaid Singh who ruled from 1911-47 was the last expression of princely architectural extravaganza during the British Raj. It was in 1925 that Umaid Singh went to London in search of an architect and commissioned the firm of Lancaster and Lodge to build the palace. The foundation stone was laid in 1929 at Chittar Hill- a sight dictated by astrological considerations. "Striking indeed is the impression of romance and dignity which this occasion conveys" said Col. Windham at the time of its inaugaration, adding while addressing the king "It conjures up both a retrospect of the past and a prospect of the future Your Highness."

Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace was actually built for the welfare of the people. The purpose was to give employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long period of drought and famine. The construction of the palace utilized approximately one million square feet (90,000 m▓). Another special feature of the palace is the use of a special type of sandstone, called Chittar sandstone, giving it a special appearance. Umaid Bhavan palace of Jodhpur is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Over three thousand artisans were employed in the construction of this palace.

Jaisalmer Fort

jaisalmer-fortThe Jaisalmer Fort is a magnificent foundation laid in the midst of the sandy terrain of the Great Thar Desert. Jaisalmer Fort is the epitome of Indian artwork and design and military magnificence. It is the crowning glory of the Golden City of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

Constructed of yellow sandstone, the Jaisalmer Fort lies atop the Trikuta hill in Jaisalmer. The fort was built in the 12th century by Raja Jaiswal who shifted his capital from Lodurva which was subject to invasions. The Jaisalmer Fort was built in the year 1156 and is one of the oldest existing forts constructed in Rajasthan, second only to Chittorgarh.

The Jaisalmer Fort is 250 feet tall and is bound on all sides by the fortifying wall built of sandstone that climbs to a height of 30 feet. Carved of stone are 99 bastions which were used as platforms for guns. 92 of these bastions were built between the year 1633 to 1647.

Gadsisar Sagar Lake

gadsisar-sagar-lakeGadisar Lake is one of the most important tourist attractions in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, North India. Its charm lies in the fact that it was the only source of water for the Jaisalmer city in the olden days. A manmade reservoir, the Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan was constructed by Raja Rawal Jaisal, the first ruler of Jaisalmer. In the later years Maharaja Garisisar Singh rebuilt and revamped the lake. Gadisar Lake tours transports you into a different world altogether. You feel captured in a pleasant time warp. Artistically carved Chattris, Temples, Shrines and Ghats surround the banks of Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer.


Salim Singh Ki Haveli

salim-singh-ki-haveliSalim Singh Ki Haveli, Jaisalmre Travel GuideThis haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks.

The mansion is just below the hill and it is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the maharaja's palace, but the maharaja had the upper storey torn down.


Junagarh Fort

junagarh-fortJunagarh fort in Bikaner is considered one of India's most impressive fort complexes. It's exquisitely decorated interiors are in an excellent state of preservation. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh, it is one of the few major forts, which were not built on a hilltop. The complex consists of palaces, courtyards, pavilions, and balconies. The walls are adorned with carved stones, marble, paintings, and inlaid semi-precious stones. Each palace in the complex was built by a different ruler, over the centuries.

The Anup Mahal is one of the most impressive rooms in the fort complex. The ornately lacquered walls are covered in red and gold with colored glass inlay. White plaster pillars are decorated in delicate patterns and covered with gold leaf. In a land where water is rare, the Badal Mahal or Cloud Palace's walls are painted with a fresco of rain clouds. The Rain Fresco photograph shows a painting of Krishna and Radna surrounded by the blue cloud motifs.

Lalgarh Palace

lalgarh-palaceThe Lalgarh Palace displays an exclusive blend of Oriental and European architectural styles. Constructed of exquisite red stones it is a royal building with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. The intricate filigree work exhibits the refinements and delicacy of craftsmanship. The terraced lawns and the Bougainvillea bushes add to the splendor of this palace.

The Lalgarh Palace is a beautiful architectural wonder, built in red sandstone in Bikaner. Constructed in 1902 by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji of Bikaner, in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji, the Lalgarh Palace is a vision of beauty and grace. Designed by the famous architect Sir Swinton Jacob, the Lalgarh Palace is a synthesis of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. The effect is a magnificent oriental fantasy, a fairytale palace with delicate screens of lattice work and filigree covering the windows, arches, chattris and domes, rising like a golden vision from the desert sands of Bikaner.

Dilwara Temple

dilwara-templeDilwara Jain Temples is one of the finest Jain temple known world over for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous marble stone carvings, some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. It seems fairly basic temple from outside but every cloud has a silver lining, the temple interior showcases the extraordinary work of human craftsmanship at its best. These temples were built between 11th to 13th century AD, The beautiful lush green hills surrounding the temple gives a very pleasant feeling. The ornamental details of marble stone carvings is phenomenal and unmatched, The minutely carved ceilings and the pillars are just amazing. All this was done at a time when no transport or roads were available at a height of 1200+ Mtrs in Mount Abu, Huge blocks of marble stones were transported on elephant backs from the Arasoori Hills at Ambaji to this remote hilly region of Mount Abu. Dilwara temples is also a popular Jain pilgrimage attraction.

Achalgarh Fort

achalgarh-fortSituated about 11 km away from the main Abu town, the Achalgarh fort was built in the year AD 1452-1453. The Achaleshwar temple near this fort is a pilgrimage site where the toe prints of Lord Shiva are said to be embedded in a rock. Nearby is the Mandakini Tank, where the image of Adi Pal, a Paramar king, along with three large stone buffaloes pierced with an arrow is a major attraction.

According to a legend, the buffaloes were demons in disguise, who used to come to drink ghee (clarified butter) from the Mandakini that was said to be full of pure ghee. Adi Pal, one of the important characters of local legends, killed them with his arrow to save the ghee and the tank from the demons.

Ajmer Sharif

ajmer-sharifSufi Saint Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti Occupies a prominent place among the spiritual Healers of the world. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti popularly know as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz was born in 1142 A.D. in Sanjar (Iran). His paternal genealogy is related to Hazrat lmam Hussain and that of his matemal to Hazrat Imam Hassan And thus he is a direct descendant of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad

It is a well established historical fact that in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam, major and effective works have been Made by the Walis of ALLAH (saints). It was their humanistic grade, and piety which won over the hearts of millions of people.

Pushkar Fair

pushkar-fairPushkar fair in Rajasthan, India comes alive with a riot of colors and a frenzied burst of activity. The occasion: PUSHKAR FAIR. The magic of PushkarVery few, if at all any, fairs in the world can match the liveliness of Pushkar. Most people associate the Pushkar Fair with the world's largest camel fair. But it is much more than that.

It is an occasion for villagers from far and near to gather together and enjoy a welcome break from their harsh life of the arid desert. And enjoy they do! In dazzling style and colors.

It is an occasion for Hindu pilgrims to converge for a holy dip in the sacred Pushkar Lake to "wash away the sins of a lifetime" and pay obeisance at the ONLY Brahma temple in the world.