Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Part 1 : Rajasthan Trip ( Jaipur - Pushkar - Ajmer - Jodhpur)

We wanted this trip to happen for a long time now... Every time when a plan was made, had to cancel at the last moment. So planning for Delhi was out of my mind.

One day while chatting with my brother (Himanshu), he asked us to come to Delhi as he was going to stay in Delhi for few more months. and i was like Phire se cancel hoga.... (Will have to cancel again...). But at-last i was convinced for the Trip.

 So deciding the route and days was very tricky as taking leaves was not a easy task with much of the responsibility at my head in office.. So finally the days were decided and leaves granted and did my bookings

Initial Plan was to do the Golden Triangle the only thing was left to decide the starting and ending points. As my better half Amrita was very keen towards Rajasthan, i wanted to extend the trip and give some more days to Rajasthan but being our little Angel Anisha with us i was not sure how she was going to react on so much of travelling. At-last the decision was to return to my Brothers home at Delhi, if beta was not felling well at any moment. So finally this trip was an extended version of Golden triangle tour...

Golden triangle of India is a tourist circuit which consists of three important cities of India - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur . The triangle is easily accessible through rail, road and air. These cities consist of most famous tourist attractions in India i.e. historical monuments  cultural festivals, etc. However my plans was to extend the trip a bit more...So i was going to cover Jaipur - Pushkar - Ajmer - Jodhpur - Agra - Fathepur sikri - Mathura - Vridhavan - Delhi..

Yes... its a long trip... so i am going to narrate the trip in 3 different parts

Part 1 : Rajasthan Trip ( Jaipur - Pushkar - Ajmer - Jodhpur)
Part 2 : UP Trip ( Agra - Fathepur sikri - Mathura - Vridhavan)
Part 3 : Delhi Trip


Day 0(Wed)-8 Feb 2017 - Train


I looked into the watch and the time was 19:00, me still at office.. ohhh... This Hand offs... what to do... Ok .. i will be on call in any case.. give me a call... Bye...

So much still to pack, whats i am forgetting.... Cash... Tickets.. locks.. Sandals... Done

Dinner... Done

Lets Go...

We reached Howrah Station at 22:30, The train left the Howrah station at exact 23:40

Train No. & Name: 12307/HWH JU EXPRESS 
From:HOWRAH JN(HWH)
To:JODHPUR JN(JU)
Scheduled Departure:08 Feb 2017 23:40 *
Resv. Upto: JODHPUR JN(JU) Scheduled Arrival:10 Feb 2017 06:35 *

Day 1(Thus)-9 Feb 2017 - (Night-Train)


The initial plan was to get down at the station whichever will fall in the next day morning, as the Train has a history of running 6 Hrs late on an average.. So on going on with that logic we will be reaching Jaipur in the morning. Even though we have a reservation upto Jodhpur, we have planned to get down at Jaipur. I had already booked a hotel in Jaipur for next day.

The Journey was comfortable with no problem.
Our sweetheart was also enjoying the Train ride and all the passing by things.

Day 2 (Fri)-10 Feb 2017– Jaipur – (Night-Jaipur)


We reached Jaipur at around 6 in the morning as anticipated 6 Hrs late. It was chilling cold at that time. We took a Auto from Jaipur station to the Sunder Palace Guest House, It was a nice hotel with lots of Rajasthani sculptures and traditional items located near the hitori Fort. It was a awesome hotel in Budget prices. we were having a check-in time of 11:00 AM but they have a nice roof top restaurant where you can relax and get freshened up.

We had Tea & breakfast there itself... the food quality was very good. By the time we had breakfast our rooms were ready. So we had a early check-in... the room was awesome.... very clean.. Later we came to know that we were the only Indian guests in that Hotel at that time.

We did a quick freshened up and started our sightseeing of Jaipur:

Jaipur Brief History
Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city. Jaipur is a major tourist attraction amongst Indian as well as international travellers. It belongs to the tourist Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. It hosts several attractions like the City Palace, Govind Dev ji Temple, Vidhan Sabha, Birla Temple, several massive Rajput forts and so on. It also serves as a stepping stone for travelers heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
Now Jaipur is growing fast and various development projects are being undertaken by the government and private enterprises. The town planning and infrastructure development in Jaipur is quite above the mark relative to many other Indian cities.
Jaipur is often called the Pink City in reference to its distinctly coloured buildings, which were originally painted this color to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities. The present earthy red color originates from repainting of the buildings undertaken for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876.


Our First stop for the day was  Amber Fort.

·     Amber Fort, (11 km North of central Jaipur, local bus #5 from Hawa Mahal or New Gate),  +91 14 1253 0293. 08:00-17:30. This massive fort-palace complex built in hybrid Hindu-Muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c. 1600-1727. The name has nothing to do with the rather pretty pastel yellow colour; instead, the fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. 


      The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, adorned with thousands on thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling. The fort/palace grounds are sprawling and the information panels (hindi/english) are somewhat limited, so it might be worth getting an audio guide or a real guide. The real guide will cost about Rs 70-100 and will also take you to the Rajasthan Kala Mandir (a government operated shop) to buy souvenirs. The guide gets a 2% commission on the items you buy. Also see the Amber Light Show below. It's a bit of a hike up to the fort from the town, but resist the temptation to take an elephant ride to the top. Elephant rides are cruel to the animals and they are often treated very poorly by their keepers, so it's best not to encourage the practice. Rs 25/10 for Indian/student and Rs 500/100 for foreigner/student. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free. Audioguides Rs 100.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About Amber Fort
· Amber Fort is a part of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
· The fort and the town gets its name from Goddess Ambe, the prime deity of the Meena dynasty.
·  It is a place that should be a must-visit for every Indian and for every art lover as it is full of artistic marvels, be it paintings, carvings, architecture and so on.
·  The Amber Fort Palace has four levels, each having a courtyard.
·   The main complexes within the fort are Diwan-i-Aam, a hall meant for public, Diwan-i-Khas, a hall for private audience, the splendid Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace, Jai Mandir and the Sukh Niwas, a complex that had natural air conditioning and this could happen because of the wind that blew across a water area built within. It is definitely a sign of creativity and wisdom of the time!
·It was mainly used for residence purposes by the royal families, as opposed to Jaigarh Fort, which was more of a defence and armoury location.
·A popular attraction is a carving known as ‘magic flower’ which is carved on a marble panel on a pillar in the Sheesh Mahal. Seven beautiful designs are carved on it including a lotus, lion’s tail, scorpion, hooded cobra, fish tail, cob or corn and an elephant trunk. You will have to cover the panel partially with your hands to view each of the design. An artistic marvel, really!
·               One of the main attractions at Amer Fort is the Sheesh Mahal which has mirror mosaics and coloured glasses all over. Even if a single candle is lit, its reflections in the thousands of mirrors inside the Sheesh Mahal make it appear like thousand stars. A visual delight!

The Next stop was Jaigarh Fort

 Jaigarh Fort, (A 1 km walk uphill from '''Amber Fort''', or Rs 100/200 for motorbike/auto-rickshaw),  +91 14 1267 1848. 09:00-16:30. Never conquered in battle, this was considered the strongest of the three forts in the area. It is best known as the site of the world's largest cannon, the Jaivana, which was test-fired only once — according to legend, despite using only the half the design amount of gunpowder, the cannonball flew 35 km! A better reason to visit the fort, though, are the scenic gardens at the other end and the spectacular views over the Amber Fort and the hills around. The remains of the foundry where the Jaivana (and many more) were cast are also in the fort grounds. Please note, there are multiple board with "no tips allowed" if you have someone bothering you. Rs 35/85 for Indian/foreigner. Included with the 1-week City Palace ticket. Camera Rs 50. Video Rs 200. Automobile Rs 50.



Interesting Facts and Trivia About Jaigarh Fort
·               Jaigarh Fort was one of the main cannon foundries during Emperor Shah Jahan’s rule as there were many rich iron ore mines in the region.
·               Did you know that two former rulers of Jaigarh Fort, Major General Man Singh II and Sawai Bhawani Singh also served in the Indian Army post Independence?
·               The main attraction of the fort is the Jaivana Cannon, one of the largest cannons at the time, weighing 50 tonnes and having a 20.19 feet barrel and 11 inch diameter. As the canno rests on four wheels instead of two, it could be turned in 360 degrees, thus making it possible to fire in all the four directions. Since, there were no bitter relations with the Mughals then and there was peace, the cannon was fired only once.
·               Though a strong and beautiful fort, it was never home to any rulers but was mainly used for manufacturing artilleries.
·               Built of red sandstone, this is a fortified fort and still maintains its magnificence and pride.
·               It is the watchtower that is the best place in the fort to be as it gives an astounding view of the splendid environs.
·               There are two temples within the fort premises – Kal Bhairav Temple was built in the 12th century while the Ram Harihar Temple is a 10th century construction; a must-visit.
·               Jaigarh Fort was in news in 1977 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was said to have launched a treasure hunt in the fort premises. Though the search by an army unit continued for three months, they didn’t find anything. Bad news for others but good news for the fort as it was left undisturbed.



Traveller Tips
·               It is best to wear comfortable clothing as you will have to be on your feet for most of the time. Wear comfortable shoes as well. Cotton clothes are preferable considering the sunny weather.
·               Carry water bottles with you.
·               The fort is quite a vast structure and the passages are winding and confusing. So, take care not to get lost in the fort. Take special care of kids.
·               It is best to avoid walking on the edges of the fort.
·               Please join in the efforts to keep the fort premises clean by not littering.



Nahargarh Fort +91 14 1518 2957. The smallest of the three forts, notable primarily for excellent views over Man Sagar lake and the vast sprawl of Jaipur. The fort also houses the (relatively) compact Madhavendra Bhawan palace, although its former splendour is fading fast under a new layer of graffiti and pigeon droppings. Portions of the movie Rang De Basanti were shot at this fort. To go the area where the "Pathshala" song was shot, take a left turn as soon as you enter the fort. An autorickshaw can be taken from the autorickshaw stand in front of the Amber fort and a round trip will cost about Rs 250. Rs 10 entry. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Rs 35 for Madhavendra Bhawan. Automobile Rs 10.


Some Facts About Nahargarh Fort You Will Be Interested to Know:
·               Nahargarh Fort was built for defence purposes but it was never attacked by enemies. The field guns stationed at the fort were never used for war but to indicate time through firing.
·               The most spectacular part of the Fort is the Madhavendra Bhawan which had 12 identical suites for each of the 12 queens of Sawai Madho Singh. There are stunning frescoes in the interior of the building and there are connecting hallways to the different rooms. It is said that the rooms for the queens were built in such a way that when the king visited one of the queens, others could not find about it.
·               Nahargarh Fort was also believed to be haunted and it is said that the spirit of a prince named Nahar Singh Bhomia roamed about the place and hindered the construction of the fort. It was then, Sawai Jai Singh promised to build a temple dedicated to the price and also to name the fort after him to appease the ghost. After that, the construction went on smoothly.
·               During the Great Uprising of 1857, the then ruler of the region Sawai Ram Singh provided protection to many Europeans who were moved to the fort.
·               Nahargarh Fort is also a popular film shooting location. Some of the films shot here include Rang De Basanti, Jodha Akbar, among others.
·               Today, Nahargarh Fort is one of the prime tourist destinations of Jaipur. At any time of the day, it is a visual treat to watch the splendid palace stand in its glory but in the evenings, the floodlit fort looks like a dream. You should visit the fort in the evening when you can get a great view of the city with lights on.



Jal Mahal (Water Palace), (On the way to Sisodia Rani Garden). A Rajput style architectured palace sits in the center of the Maan-sarovar lake. The lake is often dry in the winter, but summer monsoons frequently turn it into a beautiful lake filled with water hyacinths. Free on the 18th of May, as well as the Observatory and wind palace.  edit


Interesting Facts
·               Lake Man Sagar, home to Jal Mahal, lies in the north on the route from Jaipur to Amer, and has a distinct quality about itself with the Aravalli Hills in the background adding to its allure.
·               Sharing the common ground of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and design, Jal Mahal is a five-storey building built of red sandstone.
·               Only the top floor of Jal Mahal is accessible and visible, since the remaining four floors remain submerged under the water of Lake Man Sagar.
·               Jaipur’s government continuously makes attempts to preserve and develop the area surrounding Jal Mahal in order to maintain it as a tourist attraction.
·               Jal Mahal was originally constructed by Maharaja Madho Singh in 1750 for himself and his companions to rest during their duck hunting endeavours.
·               Maharaja Madho Singh II developed the interior and exterior of Jal Mahal later on in the 18th
·               Since the palace was used more as a picnic spot than a residence, there are no specific personal or common chambers.
Things to See
·               Jal Mahal, although just a picnic spot for the royal family of Jaipur, has a lot of architectural brilliance in it, which is why it attracts a lot of tourists.
·               Once there, you can visit the Palace Chhatris which are domes of traditional Rajput design, and will provide insight into the kind of architecture the royals of Mewar preferred.
·               The Chini Burj is a dome in the interior, made of traditional blue Rajasthani pottery.
·               The Pitli Burj is a dome made of brass while the Aina Burj is a charming mirror dome with a distinct allure.
·               The main attraction in all of the domes is the Shoba Burj, which boasts of typical designs of Rajasthani jewellery.
·               Jal Mahal is home to a sprawling and rich garden known as Chameli Bagh, which has been developed by the government and is now used as a platform for singing and dancing performances.
·               If you wish to witness the true regal patterns of the Rajput rulers, Anand Mahal Tibari in Jal Mahal is an example of intricate design made of blue and gold d├ęcor.
·               Raas Niwas Tibari is the hallway that depicts art and paintings of Lord Krishna, while Badal Mahal is filled with paintings of an overcast sky and rains.
·               Gulab Tibari adds to Jaipur’s identification of being the pink city, as it consists of radiant pink colours across the hallway, making it a distinctly beautiful decoration.
·               Boating is a popular activity in Lake Man Sagar, which gives an ethereal view of the Jal Mahal during evenings


Maharaniyon Ki Chhatriyan


Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan
Gaitore (Gatore), (In the walled city area named Brahmpuri, the foothills of Nahargarh Fort). This is a royal cremation site of the royal rulers of jaipur.

With this our first day at Rajasthan was over and what a day this was Majestic Forts and Palaces... you can say as Paysa vasool.

We reached room at 7 PM. Had dinner and slept.

Jaipur : Hotel Sunder Palace Guest House


Day 3(Sat)-11 Feb 2017 –Jaipur (Night-Pushkar)

This day was for the city palace square which includes The city palace (Chandramahal pavillion), the Hawa Mahal (from the backside, it's only a facade), Jantar Mantar and Govind Devji temple. 

First stop was Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breeze). Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women) chamber. It's purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The breeze (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name. Free on May 18th. Rs 50. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free.  edit


Interesting Facts and Trivia About Hawa Mahal
·               It was an architect named Lal Chand Ustad who designed Hawa Mahal. Built in red and pink sand stone, the Hawa Mahal is not actually a palace but more of a gallery, used by royal women of those times.
·               The architectural style is a combination of Hindu-Rajput-Islamic styles. The fluted pillars, floral patterns, lotus motifs, canopies symbolise Rajput architecture while the filigree work, arches, etc are derived from Islamic architecture. Nevertheless, the combination looks so amazing that you may want to spend hours admiring the craftsmanship and beauty of Hawa Mahal.
·               The architectural designs also resemble honey comb.
·               It is also believed that the Hawa Mahal is shaped like Lord Krishna’s crown, as Sawai Pratap Singh was an ardent Krishna devotee.
·               You enter Hawa Mahal complex through an imposing door, and you step into a beautiful courtyard. There are two-storied buildings on three sides. Hawa Mahal is on the east side.
·               One of the floors is actually known as Vichitra Mandir or the strange floor. It is said that this was the favorite spot of Sawai Pratap Singh, who spend hours sitting here praying to his favorite deity, Lord Krishna and composing poems in praise of the Lord.
·               To enter Hawa Mahal, you have to go through the rear end and not from the front.
·               Hawa Mahal is a delight to look at when the early morning sunlight falls on the structure, lighting it up it in its style.
·               Hawa Mahal is now under the care or ASI or the Archaeological Survey of India.
·               A museum is housed in the premises where ancient artefacts of Rajput rulers and region are displayed.
·               A unique feature about Hawa Mahal is that it does not stand on a foundation, the tallest such building in the world. Since there is no foundation, the structure stands at a leaning position at 87 degrees.
·               Another interesting feature about the architecture is that though five-storied, there are not stairs to reach the floors but only ramps.
Traveler Tips
·               It is best to visit Hawa Mahal early in the day as you can take a look around peacefully. Later into the day, the streets get crowded.
·               The museum is closed on Fridays. So, if it is best to plan a trip on other days so that you don’t miss out on the museum.
·               Comfortable shoes are a must as you will have to walk quite a bit and even climb many stairs.
·               There are many low walls. So, walk carefully and adhere to safety instructions.
·               Carry your water bottles with you.


Jantar Mantar, (very close to the City Palace.),  +91-141-261-0494, [7]. 9:00 a.m-4:30 p.m.. This UNESCO world heritage site is the largest of five astronomical observatories build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices (or yantras in Hindi) for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes etc. There is signage providing elaborate explanations for the use of each device, and guides can be hired to provide much the same information in a more digestible format. The audio guide at the observatory isn't great and doesn't tell you very much more information than the already existant signage. The observatory, the water and the wind palace are free on the 18th of May. Rs20 for Indians, Rs200 for foreigners. 



Interesting Facts
·               Jantar Mantar is one of the five astronomical complexes constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II, and the one in Jaipur is the largest and most well preserved.
·               The advanced instruments in Jantar Mantar were useful in predicting eclipses, location of stars and the exact orbiting movements of the earth around the sun.
·               The Samrat Yantra aka the Giant Sundial, is the centrepiece of the complex, known as the world’s tallest sundial with a height of 27 metres and a 6cm per minute speed of shadow movement.
·               The name ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from the Hindi words yantra meaning instrument and mandir meaning temple. During the British rule in India, the names were mistranslated which morphed into Jantar Mantar and have gained popularity that way since.
·               The instruments were so designed for Pandit Jagannath, the advisor and guru of Maharaja Jai Singh II, to help him create birth charts and predictions of major events like deaths, wars, weddings etc.
·               Similar observatories called Jantar Mantar were created by Maharaja Jai Singh II in four other places like Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura, with the largest being in Jaipur.
·               The instruments were built through inspiration taken from the Islamic school of astronomy, which was known to be the most advanced method of that time.
·               Jantar Mantar as an observatory was built as an example of the Ptolemaic positional astronomy, which was common with many other civilizations.
·               The three major celestial coordinate systems are represented in the instruments, them being: the horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system.
Things to See
·               The instruments in Jantar Mantar include the following-
·               Chakra Yantra, the instrument that gives the position of the sun at four different times during the day.
·               Dakshin Bhitti Yantra measures the altitude, meridian and zenith distances of the celestial bodies.
·               Digamsha Yantra is used to calculate the timings of sunrise and sunset forecasts.
·               Dhruva Darshak Pattika observes the location of the pole star as per the position of other celestial bodies.
·               Jai Prakash Yantra is an instrument that maps the inverted side of the sky, and lets one walk through the instrument to observe the changes.
·               Kapali Yantra is used to measure the position of celestial bodies and equatorial systems.
·               Kranti Vritta Yantra measures the longitude and latitude of celestial entities.
·               Laghu Samrat Yantra is a smaller version of the largest sundial instrument.
·               Rama Yantra is a double cylinder instrument with capability of measuring the celestial bodies and their positions and altitudes.
·               Shastansh Yantra is a 60-degree arc in a chamber helps measure the distance and diameter of the sun.
·               Unnatasha Yantrais a metal ring which divides itself into four segments to be able to measure altitude and distance of celestial bodies.

City Palace, (Inside the old city, close to New Gate and Hawa Mahal). An imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture. It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City. It was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The complex is divided into a series of courtyards, sprawling gardens and buildings. It is home to several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, (home to present Maharajah of Jaipur), Mubarak Mahal (housing a textile museum), Diwan-e-Khas (or Hall of Private audience housing the two largest silver vessels in the world, which are duly mentioned in the Guinness book), the Diwan-e-Aam ( or Hall of Public Audience) and the gateway Ridhi Sidhi Pol (with four small doorways decorated with motifs depicting the four seasons). Foreigner: rs 500; valid for 2 days, includes entrance to Jaigarh Fort and Royal Cenotaphs, does not include entrance to Chandra Mahal.  edit



Interesting Facts and Trivia about City Palace
·               The City Palace was built by Sawai Jai Singh who is also known as the founder of Jaipur City. The credit of Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar also goes to him.
·               Though the main architects behind the magnificent City Palace were Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh also contributed to the architectural design of the palace.
·               There are three main gates to the palace which are Tripolia Gate, Virendra Pol and Udai Pol. There are also four smaller gates in the third courtyard, which are believed to represent four seasons. The peacock or the Mor Gate represents the autumn season and there are 3D models of peacocks at the gate giving it a magical view. The Lotus Gate was to symbolise the summer season while the Leheriya Gate for the spring season. The Rose Gate is the winter gate. All these gates are decorated likewise and it is a sheer delight to just look at these gates, and entering it is a bliss.
·               Today, there are two parts of the palace, one which is opened for the public and also has a museum, and the other for the residence of the royal family, the descendants who live here even now.
·               One of the famous items in the City Palace are two silver jars which have found place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest silver vessels in the world.
·               Apart from Mubarak Mahal and the Chandra Mahal, there are Pritam Niwas Chowk, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Bhaggi Khana, Maharani Palace and the Govind Dev Ji Temple, an 18th century structure.
·               The Chandra Mahal, Maharani Palace and the Bhaggi Khana have been converted into museums.
·               Mubarak Mahal is a museum dedicated to royal textiles. You can see the dresses worn by queens and kings. The clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I is quite a treat to the eyes as he was believed to have weighed 250 kgs.
·               Baggi Khana is a place dedicated to chariots and coaches. The two prime attractions are the chariot which was used to carry the royal deity and a European Cab which was gifted to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II by Queen Victoria herself.
·               The Silehkhana has a great and fine collection of weapons and handguns used during the time. There are swords, knives, arrows, axes, and so on. The personal weapons of the kings are also displayed here.
Traveler Tips
·               It is a vast complex and you will have to walk a lot. So, dress accordingly. Good walking shoes or flat footwear are preferred.
·               Drinking water facility is available. So, there is no need to carry water bottles.
·               The trusts have undertaken care to see to it that the City Palace complex is disabled friendly.
·               Enquire for guides at the entrance.
·               Also, find more about tickets as you may have to purchase individual tickets for the palace and the museums.

 Albert Hall Museum 


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Catch a bus from the Ajmer bus stand or on the street opposite the railway station (ignore taxi drivers who will say you have to go to the bus stand). It is 20 rs and takes roughly 30 minutes. From the railway station, exit to the front and walk the pedestrian overpass to the opposite side of the street, the bus will pass by here.
Private taxis to Pushkar cost 500-600 rs.

Pushkar - 
Watch the evening prayers at Varah Ghat, a mesmerizing ceremony involving bells and lamps.


Day 4(Sun)-12 Feb 2017 Pushkar- (Night -Jodhpur)


Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.

According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.

PUSHKAR LAKE
According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.



BRAHMA TEMPLE
Nestled in the picturesque Pushkar valley beyond the Nangaparvat and Anasagar Lake, the Brahma temple holds a special place in the hearts of Indians. It is the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. Built with marble and decorated with silver coins, this temple can be identified by its red spire and the image of a swan (considered sacred to Lord Brahma). The chaturmukhi (four faced) idol of Lord Brahma is housed in the inner sanctum. A marble statue of the sun god stands sentinel at the temple. Interestingly, while all the gods are shown bare footed, Surya is shown wearing ancient warrior’s boots.

GURUDWARA SINGH SABHA
Gurudwara Singh Sabha, situated in the eastern part of Pushkar, was built in the beginning of the 19th century to commemorate the visits of the first and the tenth gurus- Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Govind Singhji.

RANGJI TEMPLE
The gracious and conspicuous Rangji Temple is another popular shrine that witnesses thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rangji, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The influence of South Indian style, Rajput style and Mughal style in the temple’s architecture is highly noticeable. The high-rising ‘Gopuram’, prevalent mainly in the temples present in South India is another feature of the temple that attracts visitors.

SAVITRI TEMPLE

Dedicated to Lord Brahma's first wife, Goddess Savitri, this temple is situated on a hillock right behind the Brahma temple. While climbing the long series of steps leading to the temple, one can catch a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding temples and sand dunes. The presence of the only Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the outcome of Savitri’s curse to Brahma for marrying another Goddess, Gayatri, while starting his yagna in Pushkar.





Reached Ajmer in the evening. 


The city of Ajmer gets its name from ‘Ajay Meru’. Roughly translated, it means ‘invincible hills’. Nestled in the Aravallis south west of Jaipur, Ajmer was founded by Raja Ajaypal Chauhan in the 7th century AD. Till the late 12th century AD, Ajmer was the epicentre of the Chauhan dynasty. After Prithviraj Chauhan’s loss to Mohammed Ghori in 1193 AD, Ajmer became home to several dynasties. The Mughals in particular, fancied it as their favourite destination due to the presence of the holy Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

One of the early meetings between the Mughal King Jahangir and the Ambassador of the Court of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas Roe, took place here in 1616. A few centuries later, the city was handed over to the British, making Ajmer the only region in Rajputana to be directly controlled by the East India Company. Ajmer is now regarded as an educational and cultural centre.

Ajmer is home to the famous Dargah Sharif, which houses the Tomb of Garib Nawaz, also known as Moinuddin Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of Sufism. Ajmer is also known for Mayo College, one of the country’s first schools that was a stepping stone for British style of education. It is also a sacred city for Hindus and Muslims alike and is renowned for being a centre of history and culture and beauty.

SONIJI KI NASIYAN

Soniji ki Nasiyan, also known as the Ajmer Jain Temple, is a wonderful example of ornate architecture, and is dedicated to Risabh or Adinath. Its entrance is made of red stone and the marble staircase inside is engraved with images of the holy Tirthankars – omniscient teachers of Jain faith who taught righteousness. Constructed in the late 19th century, this temple is counted among the richest temples in India. Its main chamber, Swarna Nagari (City of Gold), is aptly named so because of the several gold-plated wooden figures it houses within its walls. This famous architectural marvel finds a mention in Kurt Titze's book, ‘Jainism: A Pictorial Guide to the Religion of Non-Violence.’



THE AJMER SHARIF DARGAH
This is a Sufi shrine which encloses the ‘maqbara’ (grave) of Garib Nawaz, the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Built in the 13th century, the shrine is popular among people of all faiths who flock here to have their prayers answered. The shrine has three gates – the main gate or the Nizam gate, the Shah Jahan gate erected by the Mughal Emperor and the Buland Darwaza. Another big draw at this holy shrine is the sacred and scrumptious food that is served to devotees. Cooked in giant cauldrons known as ‘degs’, devotees gather in throngs to be blessed by this prasad.

ANASAGAR LAKE
Anasagar Lake is a scenic artificial lake, commissioned and built by Arnoraj Chauhan, son of Ajaypal Chauhan, between 1135 and 1150 AD. Arnoraj was also known as Anaji, which gives the lake its name. Many years later, Mughal Emperor Jahangir added his touch to the lake by laying out the Daulat Bagh Gardens near the lake. Emperor Shah Jahan too, contributed to the expansion by building five pavilions, known as the Baradari, between the garden and the lake.





Visit Darga Khwaja Sahib


Ajmer - Buses leave frequently from the Northern bus stand (near Milkman). Also seems to be some from the Eastern bus stand. 20 Rs


AII JU FAST PAS Till 1-Apr
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Train No. & Name: 54802/AII JU FAST PASS
Transaction ID: 100000723382254
From:AJMER JN(AII)            Date Of Journey:12Feb2017
To:JODHPUR JN(JU)           Boarding At:AJMER JN(AII)
Scheduled Departure:12Feb2017 14:25 *
Resv. Upto:JODHPUR JN(JU) Scheduled Arrival:12Feb2017 19:35 *


Day 5(Mon)-13 Feb 2017 - Jodhpur- (Night -Train)



Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of RajasthanIndia. It is called the Gateway to Thar, as it is literally on the edge of the Thar desert. It is also called the Sun City as the sun shines (very bright and hot!) almost every day of the year.

Toorji Ka Jhalara - Jodhpur's Historical Step-well

The Step Well Square is a mini-architectural tour with the Toorji's Step Well at the center, and almost 250 yrs of building traddition on view. Built in the 1740s, submerged for decades, its recent restoration uncovered over 200 hundred feet of hand carved treasure. Spend a few hours exploring this architectural wonder, and lunch, dine, sip or shop at the many restaurants and shops in the square.



Umaid Bhawan Palace. Clearly visible to the south of the city and completed only in 1944, this is the last great palace built in India. The Maharaja of Jodhpur lives here to this day, but half the building has been converted to a 5-star hotel (see Sleep). Only paying guests are allowed inside the hotel. There is also a small museum on the grounds (Rs.100 for foreign tourists, Rs. 30 for Indians, Rs 10 for kids 5 to 11 years, open 9 AM to 5 PM). There is not much of interest on display: some old photographs and china place settings. Few vintage cars are also on display in glass enclosures.You'll have to take a rickshaw to get here, and it's best to ask them to wait: figure on Rs. 100 for a round-trip with an hour's waiting time.




Jaswant Thada, 1 km downhill from Mehrangarh (easily walked - ignore the tuk tuk drivers who try to convince you otherwise, or lie about walking not being allowed). Royal cenotaphs built in marble, with a picturesque location next to a little lake. Entry Rs 30, plus Rs 25 for a camera. It is also free on the birthday of the Fort (about the 12th of May). The place is actually kept free of waste accumulating in corners and the lake.




Mehrangarh Fort [dominates the city and is the largest fort in all Rajasthan. Founded in 1458 as the site of Rao Jodha's new capital — hence the name, Jodhpur — the city has grown around it, and in the 500 years that have passed the fort has never been taken by force. It's easy to see why: it occupies the entire top of a 150 m hill with commanding views all around, with some three kilometers of massive ramparts built around the edges. An English owned company 'Flying Fox' operates a zip tour out of the beautiful Chokelao Gardens within the fort. As for July 2015: it is possible to go up to the fort and see the views of the city for free, but to enter the palaces and museum you do need the tickets that are sold at the entrance, Rs 600 for foreigners (see below all price details).



The name "Fort" belies the size of the complex, which houses the Maharaja's palace, several temples and, tucked away in the back, an extensive garden still farmed to this day. Highlights within the palace include:


·               Moti Mahal (Pearl Hall). Pearl-colored inside and decorated with colored glass windows, this is where the Maharaja held his audiences, with the five alcoves on the far wall allowing his queens to listen in.
·               Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Hall). Just what the name says.
·               Phool Mahal (Flower Hall). The most extravagant of them all, this was the Maharaja's pleasure chamber, for dancing girls and revelry.
·               Zenana Deodi. The inner sanctum of the palace once guarded by eunuchs, this is where the Maharaja's wives whiled away their days. The delicate sandstone screens and carvings are exquisite.
·               Chamunda Mataji Temple. Tucked away at the far end of the battlements, this temple is devoted to Rao Jodha's favorite goddess and remains a local favorite to this day.




A number of people are employed here and there to add flavor by dressing in period costume and doing photogenic things like playing traditional instruments and smoke opium (yes, the real thing). Snap away, but they'll appreciate a tip if you do. The museum also includes galleries devoted to howdahs (elephant-mounted seats), palanquins, fine arts, weaponry, and the inevitable Turban Gallery.
An audio tour is included in the entry fee of Rs600 (for foreign tourists, Rs400 for foreign students, a deposit of Rs2000, passport, credit card or drivers license is required). Usage of video is Rs200, still camera is Rs100. (July 2015). The audio guide is actually quite good, and gives you information you otherwise wouldn't get from signs within the fort. Some audio guide devices have poor batteries, which may run out within minutes. Just take it back to the ticket office and they'll give you another one.
Entry to the fort is free each year on it's birthday (about the 12th of May), and is not as crowded as you would think.
The fort is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00.
There is a set of stairs leading down to the city below, tucked away between the entrance gate and and the car park. Easily walked and shorter then the winding road.



Tips:
·               Explore the fort: If you have the time, also venture deeper into the fort (outside the palace) which will give you a more complete idea of it's size. You will also see the Chokelao Gardens, which are located outside the inner wall and accessed through a gate to your right (follow the signs for the FlyingFox). Cool and relaxant.
·               Eagle spectacle: Daily from around 15:30 to 16:00, there is a person (young boy, sometimes a man) feeding the eagles leisurely cruising around the tower opposite the Chokelao Garden entrance by throwing pieces of meat from its top. Quite a spectacle, if you have never seen 200plus eagles in one place.
·               Outside walk: You can also walk outside the eastern side of the walls (to your left as you face the entrance gate) on a sometimes overgrown path. It will eventually bring you to a small temple on the southern end of the rock and will give you great views of the walls towering above and the city below. Especially nice for early morning photography. Police, though, warn of 'naughty boys' there and the area shows evidence of evening/night activity. Also, dogs roam the area. At the temple are two sets of stairs leading down to the old market area.

Mandore, 7 km outside the city. The ancient capital of Marwar, before Jodhpur was built. It is open to the public free of charge. The lower part consists of small temples and garden areas including a river. Would be nice except for the usual waste. The upper part holds the ruins of the old fort. No charge, but closed from 7pm to 7am. Good views. The little museum does not hold much of interest.





Ghantaghar Clock Tower

It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh (1880-1911) from whom the market takes it name. In fact, the tower dominates the entire scenario. It's a 70 mm cinemascope with unknown and faceless humans in the lead roles for many tourists, most of whom are filming it live.


Train No. & Name: 12308/JU HWH SUPFAST
From:JODHPUR JN(JU) Date Of Journey:13Feb2017
To:AGRA FORT(AF) Boarding At:JODHPUR JN(JU) Date Of Boarding:13Feb2017
Scheduled Departure:13Feb2017 20:30 *
Resv. Upto:AGRA FORT(AF) Scheduled Arrival:14Feb2017 05:55 *


Day 6(Tue)-14 Feb 2017 - Agra- (Night -Agra)



3 comments:

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kksharma said...

Amazing experience you shared of your golden triangle trip. its really awesome and have so many good things to enjoy. Golden triangle tour with Jodhpur is one of the best option to visit famous monuments of india.

Rat Jaipur said...

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