Monday, 26 September 2011

Govind Dev Ji Temple

GOVIND DEV JI(an incarnation of lord Krishna)A vital part of the city Palace complex, this Krishna temple has been highly preserved by the erstwhile royal family. Sawai Jai Singhinstalled the image of GOVIND DEV JI(an incarnation of lord Krishna) after it was brought from Vrindavan. Housed within the sanctum of this spire less temple, the patron deity of the royal family is very religiously worshipped by most of the Hindus in the city and near by areas. The image is unveiled seven times daily for 'AARTIES' and BHOGS offered in the silver wares, consisting of sweets mostly. The idols of RADHA KRISHNA are dressed in different styles each time for the 'AARTI' procession where thousands of followers or 'Bhakt' gather around the courtyard for the Darshan (a look connecting them with the divine).

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Birla Temple Jaipur

Birla Temple of Jaipur is a major tourist attraction of Rajasthan. Birla Mandir is also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple.

In the south of Jaipur, situated just below the famous Moti Dungri Fort
Built by: B.M. Birla Foundation
Built in: 1988
Dedicated to: Lord Laxmi Narayan
Highlights: Rich carvings on pure white marble
How to reach: 
One can easily reach Birla Temple from the city by taking local Buses, Rickshaws and Taxis

Birla Temple forms one of the major attractions of Jaipur. Birla Temple of Jaipur looks stunning, when it is brightly lit in the night. Birla Mandir, in pure white marble, dominates the skyline of southern part of Jaipur. The enormous temple was built during the year 1988, by Birla Group of Industries, one of the business tycoons of India. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Narayan), the preserver and his consort Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Due to this reason, Birla Temple is also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple.

The Birla Mandir is situated just below the renowned Moti Dungri Fort. Built in a contemporary manner, Laxmi Narayan Mandir covers the vast lands of the city of Jaipur. The temple stands erect on a raised platform, at the footsteps of the Moti Dungri Hill. Birla Mandir is constructed in the finest quality of white marble. The three huge domes of the temple represent three different approaches to the religion. The beautiful white marble temple mesmerizes the onlookers, when it glows at night.

The attractive stained windows glass windows of the temple depict scenes from Hindu Mythology. The idols of the temple look so real as if, they would utter a word just now. Amongst all the idols, the marble idol of Ganesha is a masterpiece which looks almost-transparent. The idols of Lord Vishnu and his consort, Lakshmi attract the attention, being made out from one piece of marble. The temple also portrays great historical achievers, philosophers and religious saints such as Socrates, Zarathustra, Christ, Buddha, and Confucius.

The Laxmi Narayan Mandir is a modern architectural marvel, surrounded by lush green gardens. The fascinating exteriors of the temple are carved splendidly with beautiful sculptures based of mythological themes, while the interiors have a large marble panel portraying mythological events. The Birla Temple has a museum too, which showcases the ancestral valuables of the Birla family. Birla Mandir / Laxmi Narayan Temple is a masterpiece of art and tourists should not miss this architectural spiritual heritage on their trip to Jaipur.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Heritage of Jaipur

The sovereign of Amber, built Jaipur in the eighteenth century. It was also around that time that the
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had died and the decline of the Mughal Empire had set in. Jai Singh had started distancing himself from the affair of the Mughal Court and he began concentrating on building of Amber. His search for a safe place for the increasing population of Amber resulted in Jaipur, This was India's first planned city and a brilliant architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya from Bengal was commissioned to plan the city. He designed it in accordance with ancient Hindu treatise on architecture, the Shilpa Shastra (Vaastu).

Jaipur was planned in a gird system with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main roads, all arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (chokdis). The city is surrounded by a wall having seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and wild animals that lurked just outside in the jungles that surrounded the city. But Jai Singh's planned city has withstood all the pressures and the changes.

ROMANCE OF PINK - Jaipur needed a fresh coat of paint to welcome its distinguished guest the Prince of Wales in 1905-6. The contractor inability to supply any other color in the required quantity compelled the choice of pink shade for its walls. A contractor’s compulsion famed Jaipur to Pinkcity. Since then the PINK color is associated with hospitality in Rajput culture.
Jaipur has a timeless appeal in its colorful bazaars that delights for its Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvelous heritage hotels, once the residence of Maharajas, are worth admiration, not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi hued costumes that make Jaipur a tourist's paradise

Monday, 29 August 2011

Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defense of Amber. The legend also have it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the king himself. The rooms are linked by corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family for excursion in summers and is now even a favoured picnic spot. Durg Cafeteria just above the entrance sells meals and refreshments, while Padao Restaurant on the west sells drinks around sunset.
Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur.

The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.

All the means of survival & luxuries for the royal families and the people who were concerned with the functioning of this small kingdom of the Kachhawas were well provided. The Rajputs who had apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes, later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a history so old as 7 centuries, this place vibrates with its legendry past, in the archaeological history. Although many of the early structures have been literally ruined but at the same time, those dating from the 16th century on are remarkably preserved by sincere efforts.

The fort has 4 sections; each with the premises and one has to climb up through the imposing stairway or else the broad aisle, where one can ride on the elephant back for royal feel. The main gate Surajpol that leads to the Jaleb chowk, which is the main courtyard from where one can walk up the stairway, that leads to the palace. Jaleb Chowk was also the area where returning armies were welcome and they would display their war earnings to the population at large.

Before you enter the palace just towards the right is a sleep aisle and a narrow staircase reaching up to Kali Temple also called Shila Devi Temple famous for its mysterious history and the huge silver lions. It is a gorgeous temple featuring silver doors with raised relief. According to a legend, Maharaja Man Singh I had worshiped the Goddess for a victory over the rulers of Bengal. The Goddess appeared in the Maharaja's dream and ordered him to recover her statue lying under sea near Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and install it in a befitting Temple. True enough, after subjugating the enemies the Maharaja recovered the statute from the bed of the sea. The temple is called after Shila Devi, "shila" meaning stone slab. Like all temples this too has an image of Ganesha on the doorway, but carved from a single piece of coral.

Getting back from the temple the main stairways lead to the second courtyard of the fort. Here situated is the imposing Diwan-I-Aam, the hall of public audiences where the Maharaja received the populace and their petitions. This is a pavilion of double row of columns each capped by an elephant shape. There is a lattice gallery also.

Behind the exquisite and fabulous Ganesh Pol, "pol" meaning gate are located in the residential apartments of the Maharaja. The Jai Mandir, the Hall of Victory is famous for its inlaid panel and dazzling mirror ceiling. Much of it had deteriorated with neglect and is under restoration.

On the other side is Sukh Niwas, the residence of pleasure or pleasurable residence. The palace has an ivory inlaid sandalwood door. A channeled laid for flow of water is an inventive system of cooling. The water flowing from the channel wasn't wasted as it was allowed to flow in the garden. From there you can also take pleasure in viewing of the fort rampart and its reflection in the Moata Lake.

The Zenana or the palace of the women are in the forth courtyard. The rooms are though connected through a common corridor are cleverly designed to give each room privacy.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Zoological Garden (Jaipur Zoo), Jaipur

A lively city adorned with abundant natural beauty, Jaipur is always a fascinating attraction to the tourists. Its verdant greenery coupled with the effervescent gardens and parks are so charming that one could not forget at all. Among the various parks in Jaipur, Zoological Garden is regarded as one among the best sanctuaries in Jaipur. It is also called as the Jaipur Zoo. 

Jaipur Zoo is located in the vibrancy of the lustrous Ram Niwas garden. A zoo in the midst of magnificient floral arcades and verdant landscapes, proffers an enthralling scenario to the spectator. Famed as the best crocodile-breeding center in India, the zoological park is a hub of exotic varieties of flora and Fauna. It is a natural asylum for so many endangered species of both the animal and plant kingdom. The bird flock in the zoo is a special wing that arrests the vision of the tourists.

Jaipur Zoo with its museum, greenhouse, an aviary, a herbarium, and the sports ground offers a perfect holidaying for those who like to be in the lap of a beautiful ambiance. The zoo is working all the days of a week except on Tuesday and the time schedule is fixed at 8:30 am to 5:30 pm in summers and 9 am to 5 pm in winters.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Jaipur Excursions

Ranthambhor National Park Jaipur
Ranathambhor National Park
There are numerous tourist attractions to see near Jaipur, Rajasthan. Know more on Jaipur excursions.

Jaipur is one of the most alluring cities of Rajasthan, India. Every year, people from all over the world come to explore the majestic city of Jaipur. There are numerous tourist attractions in Jaipur; still the city offers many other places in the suburbs to satisfy the appetite of tourists. You can visit Abhaneri, a small town, popular for its astonishing step wells and Harshad Mata Temple. On the other hand, Sanganer is famous for manufacturing the quality hand-made paper in India.
Rajasthan is famous for its traditions and culture. Keeping the traditions, Bagru is a small village, where you can see the traditional block-printing without any modern adulterations in its process. For adventurous people, Ranthambore National Park and Sariska National Park would be the best options to surf. Sambhar Lake is another destination where you can observe the salt-making process. Continuing the excursion list, Samode is alluring with its Heritage Palace.

Art lovers would definitely love the Persian and Arabian manuscripts at Tonk. Bairath with its remnants of medieval Indian architecture attracts the tourists from far and near. Ramgarh Lake is a huge artificial lake, the other attractions being the hunting lodge and polo grounds in Ramgarh. All these beautiful destinations offer swift excursion from Jaipur

Abhaneri is a small town village, situated at a distance of 95 km from Jaipur, on Jaipur-Agra road. The place is popular for the amazing 'Baoris' (step wells) and Harshat Mata Temple. The village of Abhaneri is believed to be established by the King Raja Chand.
Bagru is a small village, located at a distance of 30 kms from Jaipur, on Jaipur-Ajmer Road. The village town of Bagru is not popular for any palace or fort, but for its typical wooden prints. These prints of Bagru are acclaimed all over India and are particularly known as Bagru prints.
Bairath is a place of historical significance, located at a distance of 86 kms from Jaipur, on Shahpura-Alwar Road. Bairath is said to have existed from the times of Mahabharata. In that period, Bairath was known as Virata Nagar. It used to be the capital of Abhimanyu's (Arjuna's son) father-in-law.
Karauli is a small village, situated at a distance of 182 km from Jaipur. Founded in 1348, Karauli is well-known for its Madan Mohanji Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Initially, the town was known as Kalyanpuri, which was named after the local deity Kalyanji.
Ramgarh is located at a distance of 25kms from the city of Jaipur. In the present day, this primeval spot is eminent for its huge artificial lake. This lake has been shaped by raising a high bund amidst the hills covered with trees.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is located in the eastern part of Rajasthan at a comfortable distance of 130kms from Jaipur. Nestled between the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges, Ranthambore National Park used to be the hunting ground of Maharajas of Jaipur. The Park is an eye treat for the lovers of wild-life. Various natural rivers and man-made lakes flow through the National Park of Ranthambore.
Sanganer is located at a distance of 16 kms from Jaipur on the Tonk road. Sanganer is renowned for its crafts and hand-printed textiles. Sanganer forms a major part of excursion from Jaipur.
Samode is a great place of tourist interest, located at a distance of 42kms from Jaipur, on the way to Shekhawati in Rajasthan. Samode is renowned for its stunning havelis and forts. Samod makes a perfect destination to enjoy one's holidays.
Sambhar is a small town, located at a distance of 60kms in the west of Jaipur, on Jaipur-Ajmer Highway. Sambhar is famous for the largest saline lake in India. Due to this fact, Sambhar is also known as Salt Lake City. Literally, Sambhar means salt and the lake has been providing salt for over a thousand years.
Sariska National Park
Sariska National Park is a wildlife sanctuary, located at a distance of 107 km from Jaipur. The Park possesses historic monuments and temples, which depicts the legacy of the Maharajas of Alwar. The Park is bigger than Ranthambore but has a similar topography.
Tonk is a small town, located at a distance of 96 kms from Jaipur. This little town of Tonk is also known as the "Lucknow of Rajasthan" due to its elegance. Tonk is popular among tourists for its magnificent mosques, mansions and havelis.

Fairs & Festivals of Jaipur

Elephant Festival, Jaipur
Gangaur Festival, Jaipur

Fairs & Festivals of Jaipur

Fairs and festivals provide a magical charm to the royal city of Jaipur. Know more about fairs and festivals in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Festivals are the occasions that add color to life. When it comes to Jaipur, the royal city celebrates each and every festival with full gusto and zeal. The colorful city gets brighter during the celebration of special festivals. There are numerous festivals which the city observes like any other part of the country. But the city celebrates some unusual and interesting fairs & festivals in their own style. The fairs and festivals which are worth mentioning are Elephant festival, Diwali, Teej festival, Kite festival and Gangaur festival.

Jaipur Fairs and Festivals are inseparable element of the cultural identity of the city. The vivacious city looks more vibrant during the festivity; people enjoy these festivals keeping aside all their tensions and worries. Different fairs and festivals have their own significance and offer a pleasurable break from the tight schedules of life. If you want to explore the customs and traditions of Jaipur, festive season is the right time to visit the city. In this article, we will explore some of the major festivals of Jaipur.

The Elephant Festival is one of the most popular festivals of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Elephant festival has its own charm and is celebrated every year in March on the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors. The festival has a unique concept of its own kind. The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated throughout India, but the festival gets some more spice added to it, when it combines with the Elephant festival of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Elephants become the major attraction of this festival in their classy attires.

Gangaur Festival

Gangaur is a significant festival of Jaipur, especially meant for the women. Gangaur festival is widely acclaimed and celebrated throughout the state of Rajasthan. The word Gangaur is derived from two words, 'Gan' and 'Gauri' which are synonyms of 'Siva' and his consort 'Parvati' respectively.

Kite Festival

Kite Festival is a popular festival of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Kite flying is enjoyed by people of all age-groups. However, 14 January, the day of Makar Sankranti, makes the official day for flying kites in Jaipur. People make most out of the festival by flying kites for the whole day.

Teej Festival

Teej Festival is one of the most popular festivals of India. Festival of Teej is widely celebrated, but its real charm can be found only in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Teej celebrates the arrival of monsoon, after the scorching sun of summers. Teej is celebrated in the month of 'Shravan' (July-August), according to the Hindu calendar.