Special Trains from Jaipur for Jyotirlingam Pilgimage

Dwarka

The Ministry of Indian Railway has decided to launch seven Jyotirlring special trains from Jaipur Junction. These trains will run under the authorization of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. The trains are scheduled for departure from Jaipur Junction on 30th June 2013 and passengers boarding these trains will return back to the Jaipur by 11th July. Trains will cover the various ‘Mahadev’ pilgrim spots in the course of 10 days.

A most revered pilgrimage circuit in India is the visit to the holy places of 12 Jyotirlingas It will be an enthralling experience for any of the Shiva devotee. Pilgrims will have an opportunity to visit the various temples on route. The itinerary of the routes and pilgrim spots covered is as follow:

July, 1 – Mahakaleshwar temple of Ujjain.

July, 2 – Onkareshwar and Dwarika of Indore.

July, 4 –  Naageshwar.

July, 5 – Somnath.

July, 7 – Grhineshwar  of Aurangabaad.

July, 8 – Bheemashanker.

July, 9 – Trimbhakeshwar.

You can get your bookings done from now onwards. Ticket fare per passenger is going to be Rs. 6600.

Spend your vacations differently this summer by visiting all these auspicious pilgrim spots.

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Take a tour to the Museums of Rajasthan

Museums can be a great way of peeking into the history of a place and culture as each artifact has some interesting tale. The museums in Rajasthan can get you a clear understanding of the rich and diverse culture, traditions, arts, history, crafts and other notable features of the state.

Let’s take  a trip to the famous museums of Rajasthan that form an intrinsic part of the tourist attractions of Rajasthan.

 Albert Hall, Jaipur

located in the gardens of Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur and is believed to be the oldest in the state. Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob designed the museum in 1876 to welcome King Edward VII on his visit to India. The museum was opened to public ten years later. The rare articles on display are metal and wood crafts, pottery, arms and weapons, textiles, carpets, paintings of flora and fauna of the state, toys, and dolls.

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Maharaja Sawai Mansingh Museum, City Palace, Jaipur

Located within the City Palace complex, the museum is the brainchild of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and houses ancestral collections of successive rulers of Amer and Jaipur. Initially, only selective visitors and dignitaries could visit this museum with prior permission. In 1959 this private museum was opened to the public.

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MehranGarh Fort Museum, Jodhpur

The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur houses rare and interesting artifacts, textiles, paintings and transport items. The beautiful Palanquin and Howdah Galleries have some of the most captivating historic items that are both old and expensive, on display.

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Government Museum, Ajmer

Akbar built this imposing palace in 1570 – partly as a pleasure retreat, but mainly to keep a watchful eye on local rulers. It was here, on 10 January, 1616, that Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador of King James 1 of England, was given the first official audience by the Emperor Jehangir. Akbar’s Palace houses the government museum, which has a small collection of stone sculptures, weapons and miniature paintings.

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 Government Museum, Jodhpur

Located in Umaid Public gardens of Jodhpur, the museum has a huge collection of artifacts that reveal the rich history of the region. It was during the reign of Maharaja Umed Signhji, the beautiful museum was built. The museum also boasts a great architecture and the credit goes to Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester.

The various exhibits of the museum include textiles, miniature portraits, weapons, local crafts and images of Jain Tirthankars. The collection also consists of stuffed animals. Stuffed animals like birds are kept in glass cases. A separate military section, which displays wooden biplane models and an excellent brass battleship, is also well appreciated.

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Prachina Museum, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

With a vision to preserve rich cultural diversity and to showcase monolithic identity of Bikaner, this Cultural Center and Museum was established by Siddhi Kumari daughter of Late Maharaja Narendra Singhji of Bikaner in 2000, at the beginning of the new millennium. Located in the great Junagarh Fort, it reflects the vivid glimpses of legacy that survived in the contemporary past.

Prachina Museum

6 Rajasthan Forts poised to get World Heritage status!

India has nominated a group of six hill forts in Rajasthan for World Heritage Sites this year. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh next month will decide on conferring the status on them.

 

The hill forts at ChittorgarhKumbhalgarh, Ranthambore, Gagron, Amber, and Jaisalmer are excellent examples of Rajput military architecture, which are found in palaces, temples, memorials and even in villages. Built between 13th and 19th centuries, these forts are unique to this region. The aesthetic ambiance of these marvels of architecture can be seen within their walls on various level layout plan in the opulent palace complexes.

 

Properties listed in World Heritage List, are recognised by the global community as having special significance which needs to be protected for future generations to enjoy.

Khwaja Garib Nawaj Urs at Ajmer Dargah!

The annual celebration at the Dargah or tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti, in Ajmer is observed with great fervor in the month of May each year. The Urs (the death anniversary of the saint) is an occasion for a massive pilgrimage, with thousands of devotees flocking to the dargah. The celebrations continue for six days, commencing with the hoisting of a white flag on the tomb by the Sajdanashin.
Annual Urs commences with Flag Hoisting at Buland Darwaza.

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Pilgrims of different religions come from all over to seek the blessings of the great saint. Programs of religious music or quawwalis are held all night long at the Dargah in which renowned singers participate. The intensity of the performance has to be witnessed, to be truly appreciated. Outside the dargah precincts, two massive cauldrons cook sweet rice garnished with dry fruits and condiments to be served as ‘tabarukh’ or sanctified food.

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This is the 801st death anniversary of the Sufi saint and there is a ritual of sandal. On this auspicious day the sandal offered by the devotees in the past one year is cleared and later distributed among the devotees coming from far and nearby places. It is believed that sandal cures various diseases and that is the reason devotees take the sandal, keep it in bottles of water and drink that water throughout the year.

Although it is an Islamic tradition, people of all faiths participate with equal reverence.

Khwaja Garib e Nawaz 

                                                             Qul Day ( Final Day)

Qul ceremony takes place on the last day of Urs which is also the sixth day of the month of Rajab. This is considered to be a very important day. After the morning prayer, people start gathering the Holy Tomb.The activities include recital of Quran, Darood, Shijra-e-Chishtia and other verses. People also tie small turbans on each other’s head and pray for the benefit of the people, for peace, prosperity and happiness.

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At the time of the Urs, a busy bazaar springs up at the foot of the dargah. Flowers, embroidered prayer rugs, prayer caps and decorative chadars are among the many things to be found in the bazaar, apart from the usual souvenirs which make their way to fairs such as this.

Nagaur Fort among 20 finalists for Aga Khan Award 2013!

The shortlist of nominees for the 2013 cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture was recently announced. The 12th century Nagaur Fort, which has been under the private domain’s largest architectural conservation, has made it to the shortlisted nominee list for US$ 1 million Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013.

Nagaur Fort

The award is conferred in recognition of architectural excellence in the field of historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment.

The conservation project at Nagaur Fort shortlisted from 800 nominations is among the 20 finalists. Five to six finalists will then be selected and announced at a ceremony to be held in Lisbon in September 2013.

Rehabilitation of Nagaur Fort, Nagaur, Rajasthan, India

At the heart of the ancient city of Nagaur, one of the first Muslim strongholds in northern India is the fort of Ahhichatragarh, built in the early 12th century and repeatedly altered over subsequent centuries. The project for its rehabilitation, involving the training of many artisanal craftsmen, adhered to principles of minimum intervention. Materials and construction methods of an earlier era were rediscovered, paintings and architectural features conserved, and the historic pattern of access through seven successive gates re-created. The finding and restoration of the intricate water system was a highlight: 90 fountains are now running in the gardens and buildings, where none were functional at the project’s outset.

The fort’s buildings and spaces, both external and internal, serve as venue, stage and home to the Sufi Music Festival.

Summer Festival -Mount Abu, Rajasthan!

Mount Abu is a beautiful hill station in Rajasthan. The tourists and the native’s alike head here to take a break from the smoldering summer blaze.

Mount Abu is probably one of the few places in the state of Rajasthan that endowed with lush foliage and a variety of flora and fauna. Besides being a summer getaway, Mount Abu is also a sacred pilgrimage spot. Revered sacred by the Hindus and the Jains, Mount Abu is associated with a number of shrines and the religious legends attached to this city.

The mystifying and beautiful city is known by many names such as “Hill Of Wisdom”, “Saint’s Pinnacle” and “Olympus Of Rajasthan“.

Places worth visiting in Mount Abu are:

  • Dilwara Jain Temples
  • Nakki Lake
  • Toad Roak
  • Gau Mukh temple
  • Sunset Point
  • Honeymoon Point
  • Government Museum And Art Gallery
  • Om Shanti Bhawan Or Universal Peace Hall
  • Adhar Devi Or Arbuda Devi Temple
  • Mount Abu Sanctuary

Though the place can be visited at any given time of the year but Summer or Winter Festival of Mount Abu has its own fascination.

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Mount Abu, the only hill station in Rajasthan, hosts the annual Summer Festival that lasts for 3 days, commencing from the day of Buddha Poornima. This year it will be held between 23-25th May, 2013

Chari

The festival begins with a ceremonial procession, which starts from the RTDC Hotel Shikhar and gather at the Nakki Lake Chowk followed by folk performances of Rajasthan & Gujrat states. The grand finale of the Festival a display of dazzling fire works all three days. This three day colourful festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism, Municipal Board, Mt.Abu & District Administration.

The second and third day of the festival is more interesting because of various competitions that take place the whole day. Skating Race, skater’s Show, CRPF Band Show, Boat Race, Horse Race, Tug of War, Panihari Matka Race and Deepdan add to the excitements of the celebration.

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The gorgeous setting of Mt. Abu with its rocky hills and placid lakes forms an apt venue for this exuberant show. In addition to the various performances, tourists can enjoy the natural beauty of this hill station with its pleasant climate.

RSRTC increases passenger fare from May 1!

If you planning to travel by Rajasthan roadways deluxe buses, then be ready to shell out more as bus fare hike comes into effect from midnight of April 30.  Every passenger has to pay 3 to 5 paisa more per kilometer.

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Rajasthan Roadways has increased passenger fare of  Semi deluxe , Deluxe & Volvo buses plying in the state.
While the fares in semi deluxe buses are being hike by three paise per km and in deluxe and volvo buses five paise per km. The new ticket prices would be effective from May 1. The department has kept the fare of express and normal busses same so that commoners do not suffer with the hike.

The fare between Delhi and Ajmer has been increased by Rs 14, for Kota it has been increased by Rs 12, for Jodhpur it is Rs 18, for Bikaner Rs 17, and for journey till Ahmedabad the fare has been increased by Rs 35.

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