Kuldhara - Abandoned Village, near Jaisalmer

Kuldhara village is considered as one of the most haunted and cursed place. Residents of this village abandoned this place one night to never return back.

Land of Bishnois

Peaceful co-existence is not that difficult if we learn to be happy within our means. Bishnoi people are happy in whatever they have. What makes them different is the pride in their culture and legacy which promotes harmony between humans, animals and nature.

Varanasi

...is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.....By Mark Twain.

Bhangarh

One of the most haunted place on the planet. Staying after sunset and going before sunrise is STRICTLY prohited by law.

Musical Pillars of Hampi

Musical notes from the Pillars has bought people from around the world to this place.

Mitawali

The Ancient Temple which inspired the design of Indian Parliament House.

August 2, 2015

Bishnois of Jodhpur

Visit to Jodhpur has been an amazing one, but somehow internal pleasure was not there. The joy of learning new culture, meeting different people was still to be attained on this trip. It was then came to know about visiting Bishnoi region, located at edge of Thar Desert; a distance of 22 km. from Jodhpur city.
Why? What is so special about this village. Special...Special is the custom here, special is the living philosophy and above all special is the practice of preservation of tress and wild life.
This is the place where 363 people sacrificed their life to preserve trees. In 1763 Mehrangarh fort was being constructed, gypsum was required in huge quantity to cement the rock. Gypsum was prepared in those days by heating the rocks, to heat the rocks wood was the only known source. So then king of Jodhpur asked his soldiers to cut the Khejri trees which are abundant in the region around Jodhpur. As the solders reached the region to cut the trees, Bishnois obviously tried to persuade the soldiers from not cutting trees. When soldiers used force to remove Bishnois, these Bishnois simply offered them to be killed before cutting the trees by raising slogans of:
" सिर साटै रुंख रहे तो भी सस्तो जाँण
सिर के बदले  भी अगर वृक्ष बच जाए तो उस बलिदान को  सस्ता ही समझना 
“Even one head chopped in saving a tree is worth and has not gone waste”
It was only when 363 bishnois were killed, the news reached the king. The king then ordered not to cut any tree from then. Picture kept at existing temple of Guru Jambheshwar is self explanatory in this regard: 


A memorial has been built as a remembrance to that act and on the place where the remains of those people who sacrificed themselves have been buried. Bishnois also do not burn the dead bodies of the gone, but bury directly in order to preserve wood, as it comes from trees only. Every year on the anniversary day of that sacrifice, people gather here in huge numbers to pay homage to ones who taught to this world the value of preservation of natural resources. 


There are around 20,000 Bishnois in this area. Bishnoi sect was started by Guru Jambeshwar in 1458 AD. Bishnoi sect is based on 29 principles (Bish – 20, Noi- 9: the name Bishnoi) which emphasize on love, peace and harmony among humans, animals and most important nature. They love fellow human beings and preserve Khejri trees (source of Kair Sangri) and worship Black Bucks. Their dedication to these principles can be seen by this: even if black bucks enter into the field of standing crop, they do not scare or try to move the herd out of the fields. There is also a temple dedicated to guru Jambheshwar. New temple is also being constructed.
In the campus there are lot of peacocks here in the temple roam around freely. Peacock is the only bird which reproduces when the female (peahen) swallows the tear of mail species. Tear come out after peacock get tired dancing in the rains/ monsoons. Till the time tear comes out, peahen calmly stands by the side of peacock.


Let’s go close to the life style of a Bishnois. They still live in traditionally house built with the cow dung and mud, no need to use fan as the interiors are very cold in the peak scorching summers too. They also have their traditionally built refrigerators out of husk, cow dung in which they keep and store food items. Food is cooked on chulhas, only the dried branched of trees, which have fallen to the ground by themselves are collected for cooking. You can see tea being prepared on a Chulha. Bishnoi Ladies are very hard working; they get up early do household work and help man in fields also. 

I got a chance to have tea made on chulha (earthen furnace). Bishnois welcome the visitors with opium tea. Though opium is banned, but bishnois have permission to cultivate for their religion and customs associated to it. Here is the apparatus for preparing opium tea. Opium is put into the long tube and tea is distilled slowly through the opium. 


Such is the harmony here that ladies can afford to roam around in forests without any fear. This is a place where animals and birds can live without fear. One can find a lot of Siberian cranes here in the local water bodies. Local water bodies are not encroached by any means by the locales and are reserved only to serve birds and animals.


Living on the edge of desert is not easy, but Bishnois have created a wonderful self sustained ecosystem and are not dependent on external means for their daily requirements. We in cities might not value water so much, but the importance of water preservation is exemplified by these simple people. Hats off. Khejri tree is a prominent plantation in this region. A tree which grows/ survives/ flourishes by only rain water. No extra water is required. Sangree is obtained from this tree, which is one of the most consumed vegetable here.

While moving around on narrow but well built roads, we were often coming across freely roaming chinkaras, black busks and other animals. Amazed by the culture, we moved ahead to see the craftsmanship of these people, check out:


  • Pottery work; beautiful toys, images of Gods/ Goddesses, piggy banks, lanterns and utensils are much sought after. Crocodile visible in the back is also hand made by potters here. Prepare one crocodile is very time consuming and generally takes 2-3 months to make one.

  • Block Printing: Bed sheets with a rich mix of colors is prepared by traditional methods. these bed sheet go with number of steps and then finely a beautiful bed sheet form. You are free to buy bed sheets, good thing that they will show you bed sheets as many as you want to see, but will not insist slightly even to purchase even one. 

  • Bishnoi family was kind enough to show us the Dari weaving facility and told us the intricacies involved in the process. This is a community co-operative where most of the community members take part in Dari weaving. It ensures livelihood for all of the families in this village


By this time we were very hungry and excited as it was the time to have our lunch with a bishnoi family. Menu was Bajre ki roti, kair sangree ki sabzii, Yellow Dal and Besan ki Kadhi. Every dish was yummy and much tastier then exotic meal in any restaurant or hotel. 

For explorers there is also an option of staying with the Bishnoi family, in their houses:

The Safari time of 5-6 hours passed like a second. But the take back experience of this place was awesome and worth for every moment. Take one day for Bishnoi safari and continue your journey to Jaisalmer or Bikaner...

For Information: This was the place where actor Salman Khan had killed the Black Buck, the act which was condemned widely. The case is still sub-judice in the courts. Black bucks are worshiped here as re-incarnation of their Guru Jambheshwar. As told by locales, had the vehicle been stopped by them, matter would have been very serious, justice might have been done there itself.

These days we keep hearing about people fighting all over the world for more resources. But after coming here, I firmly believe that peaceful co-existence is not that difficult if we learn to be happy within our means. People here are happy in whatever they have, but what makes them different is the pride in their culture and legacy. At this moment, Colossal Palaces and Forts do not look so great as compared to a Bishnoi house.
Remember: Needs can be fulfilled, but GREED can not be. There are sufficient resources for everyone on this earth. 

Keep exploring Guys...

July 12, 2015

Hampi...Land of temples

Continued from where we left at Hampi, Hemkuta Hill:

As further described by Abdur Razzek: Vijaynagar is built in such a manner that seven citadels and the same number of walls enclose each other. Around the first citadel are stones of the height of a man, one half of which is sunk in the ground while the other half rises above it. These are fixed one beside the other in such a manner that no horse or foot soldier could boldly or with ease approach the citadel." 


Razzaq describes the outer citadel as a "fortress of round shape, built on the summit of a mountain, and constructed of stones and lime. It has very solid gates, the guards of which are constantly at their post, and examine everything with severe inspection." Seventh fortress is the innermost of all and most protected as it used to serve as King’s residence."
"The space which separates the first fortress from the second, and up to the third fortress, is filled with cultivated fields and with houses and gardens. In the space from the third to the seventh one meets a numberless crowd of people, many shops, and a bazaar. By the king's palace are four bazaars, placed opposite each other. Above each bazaar is a lofty arcade with a magnificent gallery, but the audience-hall of the king's palace is elevated above all the rest. The bazaars are extremely long and broad." 

Thinking and deliberating on the magnificence of this place, we were now on the legendary Hemkuta Hill, it was the time to see and experience the large number of temples, archways and pavilions. The whole hill was fortified with tall wide stonewalls, the ruined remains of which can be seen till today. Hemkuta hill with reasonably flat expanse is one of the ideal places in Hampi to cherish the sunrise and sunset. 
According to the prevailing myth, once Lord Shiva was so impressed by the dedication of a local girl "Pampa" for him that he agreed to marry her. The occasion was celebrated by the Gods and it rained gold on this hill, which gave the present name to this hill (Hema in Sanskrit language means Gold). Hence majority of temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva, the major one being the "Virupaksha temple", located at north of this hill. This hilltop and its slopes offer a splendid view of the sprawling ruins site.
Virupaksha temple surrounded by small temples.
ruins siteVirupaksha temple is the principal temple in Hampi and an important pilgrimage centre for the worshipers of lord Shiva. The annual festivals attract huge crowds, Virupaksha temple is equally sought after by the tourists and pilgrims. It believed that this is the oldest functioning temple in India, as this temple has been functioning continuously ever since its inception in the 7th century AD. Virupaksha temple has been beautifully carved with numerous images of Gods and Goddesses.

One can reach the main entrance of temple through the chariot street in front of the Hampi Bazaar, just next to where the local bus stand. From the ticket counter close to the main entrance buy the entry ticket (Rs. 5), camera ticket (Rs. 50) and video camera fee (Rs 500). What an amazing piece of architecture? 

Virupaksha temple from inside: 

From the inner sanctum:
There is a long market outside Virupaksha temple and a number of bouldered structures, all in stones. Looks like once it has been a double story market.

This huge structure of monuments is located opposite to Virupaksha temple. I do not know what it was, but the sheer colossal size is amazing:

Next destination is the temple which even Lord Vishnu found too grand to his use and returned to live in his own home. yes we are talking of the most grand monument in Hampi, Vittala temple. the present look of the temple is attributed of Krishna Devaraya, the most acclaimed ruler of Vijayanagara dynasty. Temple complex is so big that it has shrines, pavilions and many halls located inside it. The famous "Stone Chariot", face of Karnataka tourism belongs to this temple.
Intricately carved Pillars                                                                                        Musical Pillars
The major attraction of this temple are the 56 musical pillars of Ranga Mantapa, one main pillar surrounded by a set of minor pillars. Pillars are called as "SAREGAMA" pillars courtesy to the musical notes emitted by them. Every main pillar is surrounded by 7 minor pillars. These 7 pillars emit 7 different musical notes of representative musical instruments. Sound quality depends on the type of instrument, whether wind, string or percussion type of musical instrument. These musical notes coming from the pillars has been a mystery to the people around the world. Even the 2 pillars were cut by then british rulers of India to solve this musical mystery. However nothing was found inside the pillars and the secret is still unknown. The 2 cut pillars can still be seen in the temple. These pillars are a true testimony to the technological acumen of those times. 

Rightly said the brilliance of this era will never be seen again ever. The aura of this place can not be described in words, lets hear the story from the stunning structures: 







Not only the huge structures, even the roofs are also delicately carved. Now the floodlights illuminate the Vittala temple complex and offers a majestic view of the complex. Purandaradasa Festival held annually in the month of February Attracts visitors from far off places. Hampi is a place where you can wander tirelessly for days, you will surely fall in love with the rocks. I was left spell bound.


Though in ruins now, but the aura is still intact for these monuments.

The Lotus Palace:

All of these were gradually reduced to ruins as the Empire fell to the invaders of North India in 1565 after the Battle of Talikota and the victors mercilessly plundered this beautiful region. Indeed one of the biggest losses to the civilizations, “Lost was a city, a region the brilliance of which will never be seen again in future”. Hampi has been declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Ruins still held their esteem and provide glimpses into the prosperity this place has seen. 

To reach Hampi:
Nearest railhead is Hospet, 13 km away and Toranagallu station, 25 Kms. There are about 10 daily trains and about 5 special trains to the station, which ply once or twice a week. From Bangalore, Hampi Express is the best option.
Nearest Airport is Bangalore, around 350 Km. from Hampi
Hampi is well connected by roads to almost every nearby city.

Keep travelling Guys...

July 1, 2015

Hampi - Majestic ruins of the lost era...

The city is such that the pupil of eye has never seen a place like it and the ear of intelligence has never been informed that there existed anything to equal it in the world
- wondered by a traveller, Abdur Razzak from Persia who visited the Vijayanagara  in 1443 AD.

"Roses are sold everywhere and are an intricate part of life of people here, as necessary as food....Each strata of society/ class has shops adjacent to one another; the jewellers sell pearls, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. In this agreeable locality, as well as in the king's palace, one sees numerous running streams and canals formed of chiselled stone, polished and smooth." This show cases the heights of equality the society has achieved where each profession was duly respected without any discrimination.
With awesome landscape along the banks of Tungabhadra river, Hampi was the capital of mighty Vijayanagara kingdom. The era of Vijayanagara empire has been often called as the most prosperous region ever to have happened, on this earth. The Vijayanagara kings were great patrons of art and made Hampi flourishing centre of Indian culture.
There were opulent palaces, marvellous temples, massive fortifications, baths, markets, aqua ducts, pavilions, stables for royal elephants and elegant pillars. The word "Grand" seems too small in this region. To begin with, check out one of the important ceremonial structures of royal use: 

Above structure, Mahanavami Dibba or Dasara Dibba was constructed by Krishnadevaraya after his victory on Udaigiri. This platform was used by royals to watch "Mahanavami Festival", "Dussehra Festival", army march past and any procession. This GRAND, three tiered 8 metre high stone platform is located to the northeast of the royal enclosure. Built in granite in 16th century AD, the platform is nearly 35 sq mts and has steps on the East, West, and South. Platform has sculptures depicting the socio-cultural activities of the time in the typical Vijayanagara style of architecture. Get ready to explore Hampi.
45 minutes drive from Toranagallu (35 Km.) took us to Queen’s Palace, a palace where royal ladies used to take bath.This is the first spot in line to Hampi exploration...
From outside it looked like a palace, where once water filled trenches all around the structure with fiery crocodiles used to ward off any unwanted invaders.
Few yards ahead is the Prasanna Virupaksha or Underground Shiva Temple: As the name suggests, this temple was constructed below the ground level.
The roof top of the temple is almost matching the ground level (check the ground level on the other side of this temple), due to which the sanctum and the inner side of the temple is always flooded with water. Reasons for such a construction are still unknown. Prevailing legends say that there is a hidden water source beneath the temple. During monsoon season water level rises in the temple. When the water level recedes below a certain level, a further down cellar room becomes visible, however whom so ever has tried to go inside that room has never been seen again. As per the myth there resides a big snake which is protecting the temple. Guys, enter at your own risk…
The temple was buried for over 400 years before it was discovered in the 1980’s. Looks like this the private temple of the Royal family members for their private ceremonies, as it is very near to noblemen’s quarters.
Few steps ahead ahead Hazara Rama Temple:

The Hazara Rama Temple is a significant spot in Hampi. It was once the private temple of the kings and the royal family of the Vijayanagara Empire. The reigning deity of the temple is Lord Rama. The temple is known for its relics and panels that depict the story of Ramayana.  

Only a few steps and few minutes in Hampi and I have been completely floored by the unique charm of this place. Next spot in line is Henkuta Hill and the amazing world of temples here. Just below the Hemkuta hill is the Laxmi-Narsimha temple. Carved out of granite stone in 1528 AD during the reign of Krishna Deva Raya, this 6.7 metre statue still retains its original charm. Lord Narsimha is seated on divine snake "Adishesh" which is also forming the hood over the head of Lord Narsimha. Observe this statue, one can see a feminine hand on the left part of the torse. As told by localites it is the hand of Goddess Laxmi.

This beautiful statue was vandalized and broken by the invaders in 1565 AD, broken portions are still visible. But the glow in the eyes of Lord Narsimha is still intact. 
 




Adjacent to Laxmi Narsimha temple is Badavilinga-temple: Legend has it that this was commissioned by a peasant woman and hence the name (Badva means poor in local tongue).








Walking a few steps on Hemkuta Hill, it was the time to pray at Sasivekalu Ganesha Temple.
Bouldered temple                                                                                         Lord Ganesha Statue with snake tied around Belly
Lord Ganesha'a love for food is widely admired. As per the legends one fine day, Lord Ganesa ate so much that his tummy was about to explode. In order to save his tummy, he just caught a snake from the ground and tied it around his stomach to prevent his tummy from bursting. Snake tied around his tummy is visible in the statue.
Just in front of Sasivekalu Ganesha shrine you can see a huge site map of Hampi installed by the archaeology department. 

Moving ahead we are on Hemkuta hill, the best place in the region to watch Sunset and the amazing world of temples. Hemkuta hill is a paradise for art lovers, numerous structures are carved out of beautiful images of Gods and Goddesses.

No doubt the times of Vijaynagar empire was the golden times for art and culture which flourished in every part of this place.

Temples to be continued...

To reach Hampi:
  • Nearest railhead is Hospet, 13 km away and Toranagallu station, 25 Kms. There are about 10 daily trains and about 5 special trains to the station, which run once or twice a week. From Bangalore, Hampi Express is the best option.
  • Nearest Airport is Bangalore, around 350 Km. from Hampi
  • Hampi is well connected by roads to almost every nearby city. Staying options are available at Toranagallu or Hampi.
If you decide to reach Hampi by road, you can witness some beautiful Emu rearing farms in the way, check out:
Keep travelling Guys...

June 3, 2015

Chand Bawdi

When your destination is the journey itself, you will come across places which are known as "Offbeat". These places are lying hidden in our countryside to which even most of the acclaimed travel planners have no clue.
 
People from all over the world have been fascinated by the colorful state of Rajasthan. However this colorful state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, where people make efforts to preserve each drop of water. To preserve the water exquisite arrangements have been made in state of Rajasthan since ages, most common of which has been Bawdis or step wells.
 
One of such Bawdi, which is also one of the oldest in Rajasthan is Chand Bawdi; situated in Abhanaeri village, Dausa district, around 95 Km. from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra Road. Chand Bawdi is a massive architecture consisting of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories. Approximately 100 feet into the ground it is one of the deepest and largest step wells in India.  
 
Bawdis were not just reservoirs of water but a special architecture constructed to preserve every drop of rain water, to provide precious drinking water and respite from scorching heat. Steps were intricately constructed to guide water till the bottom of the step well for collection and minimized evaporation/ loss in the process. Unique triangular pattern of the steps is really hypnotic, try to count the levels and number of steps...
 
 
As the water used to get collected at the bottom; air towards the bottom used to be much cooler, almost 5-6 degrees cooler at the bottom than at the air at the upper surface. Bawdis also served as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat and also a favorite hangout place. One side of the Bawdi also has a pavilion and resting rooms for the royals.


Looks like a small fort in itself...
Chand Bawdi is one of those spots in India, where you realize that the present one is more beautiful than the last one. This Bawdi has been constructed as a place where people can gather and pray to GOD as many relics are also inscribed in the walls of this Bawdi.
People can go till the bottom of stepwell to escape the scorching heat.  

 
Chand Bawdi was built by King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty around 800 AD and is dedicated to Harshat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness upon completion. It is located opposite Harshat Mata Temple and was constructed in 800 AD. Blessings of the Gods were imperative to ensure prosperity of their respective states and these bawdis used to provide an ideal cushion for the seasonal fluctuations of water availability due to uneven or no rainfall. Many of the flourishing civilizations have perished due to scarcity of water.
 
 


Such Bawdis are present in almost every town and city of our country. The water collection mechanism/ structure is still intact. If these bawdis can be connected to the present day water distribution system, it can solve majority of water problems which we are facing in India on a regular basis. Rain water collected in these bawdis can augment the existing water storage/ collection facilities too.
 
Bawdi , also pronounced as Baori, Bawri, Baoli, Bavdi in different parts of the country. Abhaneri was known as Abha Nagari, city of brightness in earlier times, however it has got its present name by mis-pronunciation over the times.
What an amazing day it was, unearthing such a fantastic gem..Keep travelling Guys...
 
If you do not want to go to Jaipur all the way; take a left turn before Shahpura while coming from Delhi drive to Bhangarh fort, the most haunted place in India and Chand Bawdi is only 60 Km. (via Dausa)/ 42 Km (via Bandikui) from Bhangarh Fort.
 
(With contributions by Abhishek Soni)

May 24, 2015

Teej Mahotsav - Jaipur

Teej festival marks the arrival of the Sawan (month of monsoon) and is celebrated for two days in hindu month of Shravan (July-August). Teej is celebrated in many parts of the country; however when it comes to celebrations Jaipur clearly steals the show. The scent of the soil wetted by monsoon rains on the desert region is simply amazing and absorbing.
An extravagant procession scheduled for 2 days in the lanes of the old city brings the whole city out on the roads to mark as welcome of rain gods. Teej Mahotsav (festival) creates an aura of a grand carnival covered in blanket of age old traditions. The grand procession gets a traditional start from City Palace, Tripoliya Gate.



Traditional Rajasthani dances enlightens the procession
Teej festival is dedicated to Eternal or divine couple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. One day before this festival is celebrated ladies put Mehandi on their hands and traditional sweet "Ghevar (घेवर )" is consumed. Ghevar is prepared only during this time of the year. Girls wear new clothes and mothers-in-law gift jewellery to newly married daughters-in-law on her first Teej after marriage.
Goddess Teej Mata in Palki                                                                         The procession
In Rajasthan Camels are part of life and they are beautifully decorated and are intricate part of Teej Festival. Also many artists showcase their skills:


Elephants enjoy a special place in Indian culture as an eternal omen of good luck. Decorated elephants are a real delight to the eyes.


Decorating the elephants is an activity in which you can also be a part. Contact Mr. Dinesh Soni (dineshsoni_70@yahoo.com) for indulging many more such activities.

This festival is attended by tourists from all parts of the world. You have to be a part of the moment to experience the magic moments in the Pink city of Jaipur. Make your plans for upcoming Teej Festival, on 17 - 18 August 2015...




I was totally unaware about this grand magnum opus, but surely this has the potential to be one of the most grand celebrations on this earth. Keep travelling Guys...Keep some time to visit Chand Bawdi, which is 90 Km. from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra road, you will be surprised by this hidden spot.

May 2, 2015

The Blue City of Jodhpur...

City of Jodhpur, also known as Blue City has been a travellers delight since times. City of Jodhpur has something which is very unique to Jodhpur only. Mighty Mehrangarh Fort and royal grandeur of Umaid Bhawan Palace has made Jodhpur frequently being listed as most extraordinary places to visit and stay, most recently in 2014 by Lonely Plant.
Mehrangarh Fort on top of the hill                                                            Umaid Bhawan Palace
To explore the royality of Jodhpur, we landed up in Jodhpur one fine morning and first destination on the list was "Umaid Bhawan Palace". One can book an auto for Rs. 500 and a taxi (AC) for Rs. 1100-1200 for a complete city tour.

One of the largest private residences in the world, this huge architectural giant has 347 rooms and is still the main residence royal family of Jodhpur. In sync with the name this was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh (1929 – 1942). Built in local sandstone, this is one of the finest examples of fusion of Indo-western architecture. A unique feature of this palace is that the sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking without any mortar binding.



A portion of the palace now serves as a luxury hotel, frequented by renowned dignitaries and celebrities from every part of the world. Another portion is now an exquisite museum which houses model aeroplanes, weapons, antique clocks, watches, crockery, hunting trophies and variety of antiques. Check out a wall painting depicting devil Ravana kidnapping goddess Seeta. This palace is full of such antiques...
 
 
 
 
After cherishing the grandeur of Umaid Bhawan it was the time to feel the might of "Mehran Garh".

Situated on a 150 m high hill Mehran Garh Fort is a fort, which is formidable as well as magnificent fort in Rajasthan. Rao Jodha ladi the foundation for this fort on 12th May1459, but the fort has been groomed by subsequent rulers of Jodhpur ever since.
 
 

As with most of the forts this fort too is associated with legends, like:
  • The hill was known as Bhakurcheeriya (Mountain of birds) and Cheeria Nathji, an old hermit used to reside here in the cave which is situated just at the entrance of the fort. Disturbed by the construction of the fort he left his cave and cursed the invaders of his solitariness,” Jodha, May your citadel ever suffer a scarcity of water” In order to appease the gods, a house for Cheeria Nathji in the new city and a temple in the fort very near the cave the hermit used for meditation was constructed by Rao Jodha.
  • To make the site auspicious, Jodha buried a man, Rajiya Bambi (Meghwal) alive in the foundations in lieu of promise to look after his family forever. The promise has been honoured by Rathores till date.
  • What is not established truly is that along with Rajiya Bambi, three more were buried alive in the foundations.

Lets leave the legends and enjoy the grand fort.
 
With constricted entrance roads paved with boulders/ barriers, narrow staircases and concealed positions for soldiers to attack the incoming enemy, this Fort is a classic example of warfare architecture.
 
Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned walls and brilliant stained glass windows make for the brilliant splendour of royal residence. Its walls, which are up to 36m high and 21m wide have protected some of the most beautiful and historic palaces in Rajasthan
 
 
 

Jodhpur is also known as “Blue City”, reason is visible apparent. All the houses near the vicinity of Mehrangarh fort have terraces painted in blue.
Breathtaking view of the city from Mehrangarh Fort
 
Coming down from the Mehrangarh fort on left is Jaswant Thada, the royal marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Also known as Taj Mahal of Marwar, it was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh, son of Jaswant Singh - II. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone.
 
 Passing through a secluded road, the passage itself presents a mystic aura. Apart from the main cenotaph there are some more cenotaphs adjacent to this, looks like Stonehenge of Jodhpur.
 



Last spot in the itineray was Mandore Gardens. Mandore was the former capital of Maharajas of Marwar and is located about 5 miles north of Jodhpur. Again in this place are the cenotaphs of Jodhpur's former rulers. However unlike other cenotaphs typical of Rajasthan, these are built similar to Hindu temples, four storeys high, fine columns and an elegant top, in red sandstone. These cenotaphs are set in beautiful landscaped gardens.
 
Major attraction here is “hall of heroes”, which is dedicated to various deities and Rajput folk heroes and the statues are carved out of rock and painted in bright colours.

 

In the next door you will find brightly coloured images of the various Hindu Gods. Its extensive gardens with lot of Gray Langurs or Leaf Monkeys make it a very popular local attraction. Take care of your cameras and mobile phones.
 
 
Not only the above mentioned attractions, city of Jodhpur is in itself an experience to cherish. Do not forget to savour the delicacies like Pyaz Kachori, Mirchi vada, Kair Sangri ki subzi, Gulab Jamun ki subzi, Makhaniya Lassi and everything which comes your way. Do try snacks from local shops, they will make your taste buds go ga-ga...
 
Jodhpuri Jutis (shoes), Suitings and do not forget to shop handicrafts and souvenirs from shops, which are too many in Jodhpur...

Keep travelling Guys...