6 HILL FORTS OF RAJASTHAN NOW IN UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE LIST

Cheer spread in the tourism as well as the art and culture sector today in Rajasthan when its 6 hill forts were selected to be in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The hills forts are – Amber, Chittorgarh, Gangron, Jaisalmer, Kumbhalgarh and Ranthambore. The Tourism, Art & Culture Minister, Ms. Bina Kak said: “the selection of these forts is a reflection of our work done in the past. We stand by our commitment towards conservation and protection of our rich cultural heritage, of which we are immensely proud.”

 

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Gagron Fort

Gagron Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

Chittorgarh-Fort

Chittorgarh-Fort

Amer Fort, Jaipur

Amer Fort, Jaipur

RANTHAMBHORE-Fort

RANTHAMBHORE-Fort

These hill forts were approved in the 37th Meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Cambodia on 21 June. The selection of these forts, located in different cities, as a serial cultural property, is the first of its kind ever by UNESCO.

Now with the selection by UNESCO these six forts will receive enhanced international recognition the way the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur did after being selected in the World Heritage List in 2010. This selection will also pave way for other monuments to be nominated for being included in the World Heritage List. In fact, the work relating to Stepwells of Abhaneri, Bandikui, Bundi as well as the Fresco paintings of Shekhawati region for being submitted for consideration to UNESCO list has already started.

All these efforts will sure reinforce positioning of Rajasthan on the world tourism map as a favored tourist destination.

It is to be recalled that several missions of ICOMOS (advisory body to UNESCO) visited Rajasthan since 2011 and discussed the nomination in great detail with State Archaeology Department, ASI and the Indian Advisory Committee on the World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.

Within the State of Rajasthan, six extensive and majestic hill forts together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence. The extensive fortifications up to 20 kilometres in circumference optimized various kinds of hilly terrain, specifically the river at Gagron, the dense forests at Ranthambore, and the desert at Jaisalmer, and exhibit important phase of development of an architectural typology based on established “traditional Indian principles”.

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Boat Ride

The pristine Chambal River cuts through mazes of ravines and hills and leaves many sandy beaches throughout the 425 km long sanctuary.
The Chambal Safari is an attempt to acquaint visitors with a land that has retained its unique landscapes, rugged charm and rare wildlife.

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Raj Niwas Palace , Dholpur is an ideal base for exploring the National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding areas, with excursions designed to appeal to everyone, from the serious birder to the wildlife enthusiasts. Set in 13 acres of garden, the palace grounds are full of peacock and birdlife that nip over from the National Chambal Sanctuary nearby.

National Cambal Wildlife Sanctuary is a 400 Km stretch of protected river for critically endangered Gharials & river dolphins. This vast area of sanctuary can be best explored on boats, providing spectacular opportunities to view the wildlife. A boat excursion to National Chambal Sanctuary offers many good viewpoints for photography of Gharials, shore birds and landscapes. The river safari is a unique experience, unlike anything on the Indian wildlife circuit. The boat ride on the calm waters of the Chambal, combined with the dramatic landscape and close-up views of the amazing abundance of wildlife are the highlights of the river safari.

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A boat excursion will also offer many good viewpoints for photography of water and shore birds and unique landscapes. Walking trails in the ravines and along the river offer opportunities for close observation of the wide variety of plants and animals in the Sanctuary.

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The boatman, are particularly skilled at cutting the boats engines, and manoeuvring as close to the birds and animals as possible, without disturbing them. Trained naturalists accompany visitors and provide expert information on the varied flora and fauna of the Chambal. A safari takes you on a four hour ride down the River Chambal, drifting past Gharials basking on the sandbanks, marsh crocodiles and turtles sunning themselves on the rocks  , while the dolphins, usually in pairs, splash in and out of the river as they come up for air.

The boatman and naturalists are all local residents that have been trained and given livelihood options that have them appreciate the National Chambal Sanctuary and provide the means of sustainable and mutually beneficial coexistence with the wildlife.

Hey Barber, Make Me Beautiful

Rajasthan Tourism

Shahrukh is ready to mesmerize with a stylish hair-do, while Salman with his rippling muscles is getting geared up with clothes and accessories. No, he isn’t taking his shirt off. Rather, both these ‘studs’ are being dressed at a camel parlour in Jaisalmer for the Desert Festival that starts on February 23, 2013.

Since camels are the most special and sought after attractions at the Desert Festival for everyone, you would find many veteran barbers particularly at the beautification of these four-legged creatures. They are endearingly called the beauticians and have been practicing the art of catering to the ship of the desert since their forefathers.

The camel population in Rajasthan is approximately three lakh, of which some 50,000 are used in the tourism industry. These salons are popular among camel owners who wish to participate in various competitions during Festival.

desert Festival Camel

desert Festival Camel

The salon comprises of a fancy and colourful cart in the golden sand with a few iron boxes, which contain scissors of different shapes and razors. It takes three hours to decorate Shahrukh and Salman with colourful tassels, beads and mirrors. Even the tail is a sight to see. By the end of it, both look as beautiful and bashful as brides. The process of beautification would be an exciting and delightful sight for the tourists attending Jaisalmer Desert Festival.

desert Festival Camel

Decorating the camels is a very special art!! Earlier, camel raisers/owners would themselves be barbers. People would gather the camels in one place and collectively cut their hair. But now, this work is being done at special salons in style.

Another art form used on these animals is tattoos. Many camel owners have their animals take part in festivals and compete during races and polo matches. Having a decked-up camel can help them win prizes and they are ready to go that extra mile.    Wonder what the camels would say ;)

desert Festival Camel

But you don’t miss to witness the infatuating ramp and play of these flaunting beauties during Jaisalmer Desert Festival, starting from February 23 to 25, 2013!!

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

Bikaner Camel Festival

If you thought Bikaner’s camel festival was the ultimate in exotic Indian festivals, wait till you see the fiesta at Jaisalmer. A three-day long extravaganza of dances, music, handicraft fairs and interesting competitions- including really unusual ones like a ‘Mr Desert’ pageant, a ‘turban-tying’ contest and a ‘best moustache’ contest- the Jaisalmer Desert Festival is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation from February 23 to 25, 2013.

Jaisalmer Desert Festival

It is a fantastic showcase of all aspects of typical Rajasthani, and is justifiably popular with tourists, both Indian and foreign. Besides the food, the music and the cultural performances, there are camel rides, processions, camel polo, and even a camel tug-of-war.

jaisalmer fort

All the cultural programmes are held against the backdrop of the awesome Jaisalmer fort and the pristine dunes of Sam. Fireworks display at night light up the area, and the fort along with desert is illuminated too.

Pushkar Fair begins from Nov 18-27, 2012

pushkar1

The most awaited Pushkar Fair is going to begin from 18th November up till 27th November,2012, also known as Pushkar Camel Fair and Pushkar Cattle Fair is a major event in the travel calendar of Rajasthan and is popular among tourists coming to Rajasthan from all over the World.

Religion, culture and fun, all are witnessed here in abundance. Pushkar is the home of Brahma, Creator of all Creation. Pushkar has the only Brahma temple of the world and is a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. The Pushkar Fair is held in the month of Kartik, when pilgrims gather here for a dip in the lake to wash away their sins.

Spread over nine days, this fair is the largest of its kind in the world and attracts lakhs of people from both India and abroad. The golden sand comes alive with Rajasthan traditions, a burst of colors and sounds of revelry. The Pushkar Fair is associated with cattle. It is the world’s largest camel fair and other cattle is also bought and sold in large numbers. Camels are a Rajasthani’s pride.

Tourist Attractions during the Pushkar Fair

  • The Holy Dips (Snan)
  • Floating Lamps (Deep Dan)
  • Cattle Trading
  • Temples & Ghats
  • Camel races
  • Music, folk dances and cultural events

The folklores, music, ballads and dance performances at Pushkar showcase the colorful culture of Rajasthan which heightens the joy and excitement of this fair. The bards and the poets enchant the audiences with the tales of gallantry. Cultural shows, exhibitions and movies add to the fun at the Fair.

Location: Pushkar, Rajasthan

Date: November 18 – 27, 2012

Jaisalmer to witness the biggest Art and Music Festival

 

Come November 16, 17, and 18, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, will be playing host to the first edition of Ragasthan. The three–day festival will feature several music stages, a film–screening tent, art and photography podiums, and outdoor activities like sand–surfing and dune–boarding.

The festival will attempt to promote local and international tourism to Jaisalmer, and also encourage the music, art and photography that will be showcased over the course of the three days. Bands encompassing several genres of music will perform at one of the three stages–Morio Main Stage, Ammara Electronic Stage, and Olun World Stage.

 

People attending will also be able to attempt kite–flying, zorbing, paintball, hot–air ballooning and RC car rides. The Ujalo film tent will screen films and have the directors present for discussions. While at the festival, people can camp outdoors. There´s even a small kids´ tent with toys and other activities to occupy children while their parents are attending an event.

The festival will also feature a lot of local, Indian artists, and some ancient, forgotten Rajasthani art–forms. For example we will have local Rajasthani artists perform the bingle which is an hour long performance of breathless poetry. Earlier, before kings would go out for war, they would have one guy come and recite poetry of their ancestry and their forefathers, so that would inspire them and then they would go out to war.

Tourists in Rajasthan, art and music Lovers can enjoy the true camp-out experience by either bringing their own tent or can opt for one of the luxury “Royal Swiss” tents (that come with a shower and bedding to boot) provided by the organizers. Ticket prices vary for a general admission pass for three days and different for a three-day pass if you bring your own tent.

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